October 23rd or October 30th
"Go and make disciples...
and surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20 NIV
Every church was once a new church. Every Christian believer is a spiritual beneficiary of the faith journey of other believers who shared the "good news" of God's love and grace. This timeless truth continues to be the fundamental reason why Disciples are growing in number and faith.
The Christian Church in Ohio is committed to that exciting and rewarding ministry of spreading the "good news" in every way possible. One of the ways we accomplish this is through establishing new churches because. Starting new churches is not only a biblical commandment but it also gives existing congregations the opportunity to transform and grow.
In the 1950's the Ohio New Church Program was born in response to the need to form new churches in communities where people did not belong to a faith community. Now in the 21st century, we are renewing our commitment and are excited about the Disciple churches which are being birthed by new leaders with exciting ideas.
Read on to discover how our new churches are making a difference...
Last year I met Tracy Ruff in the parking lot of Kilbourne Middle School. She was in a rush and caught between one child's mandatory parent meeting for track and the other's softball meeting. We briefly talked and I assured her it would be okay and somehow we would get her all the information. I didn't think much about the encounter during or afterwards. I was simply doing my job as a track coach and helping a parent. As the season progressed her child and I developed a sisterly relationship and I got to know Tracy as a friend. Her child ended up running for the Center City Champions but I still hadn't considered the impact of our first meeting.
Recently we were reflecting on our first encounter and she said she felt a connection between us-like old friends reuniting. What started off as a busy and hurried encounter has turned into a friendship in Christ. After working up the nerve to invite Tracy to be a part of our launch team she graciously agreed. She also volunteered, in a roundabout way, to be our primary administrator for our summer track program the COLUMBUS CHEETAHS. Although Tracy is a member of another church she lends her support and ideas to us as we seek to build God's kingdom and it all started in the parking lot.
I think about what would have happened if I would have told Tracy I was in a hurry or she absolutely had to be at the track meeting for the duration-no exceptions. What would have happened if I treated her child like a number instead of a little sister? What would have happened if I never invited her to take a more active role with the COLUMBUS CHEETAHS as our parent coordinator or serve on the launch team of Second Chance? You never know how meeting one person can affect the future.
-Rev. Trayce Stewart
Second Chance Christian Church