Grace Community Church has been a pillar of faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ for more than fifty years, so it's natural that churches looking for help contact us. In fact, Grace Advance was formed to respond to churches that are in need—both existing congregations requiring revitalization and core groups desiring to form new congregations.
Churches find themselves in need of revitalization for various reasons. Fracturing caused by disunity, the failure of pastoral leadership and the resulting fallout, or a lack of leadership to give direction can all cause once-healthy churches to flounder. On the other hand, core groups are motivated to contact us because there is a lack of biblical teaching in their areas. This results in a desire to plant new churches that will meet the spiritual needs of the groups as well as those of their communities.
Today, twenty-five fully autonomous churches exist in North America because Grace Church responded to the needs of the body of Christ through the formation of Grace Advance. Many of these churches are still very young—they do not have their own buildings, and their pastors are working bi-vocationally because the congregations cannot fully support them. But others are firmly grounded, healthy, and becoming well-established in their communities. And there are yet additional churches being vetted right now that will hopefully become Grace Advance churches and begin to thrive to the glory of Christ.
We're pleased to announce the launch of a Grace Advance ministry support program, an exciting new opportunity for members of our Grace Church family to come alongside these developing churches in person. Under the aegis of Grace Advance, starting in the summer of 2016 we will begin making short-term ministry trips to our GA churches throughout North America. Some trips will be long weekends, others a full week. Some are within driving distance of Grace Church, and others will require a flight. In most cases, families with children will be able to participate and the trips will be very cost effective. This is a wonderful opportunity for those who cannot travel overseas and yet still desire to serve God's people as the physical hands and feet of Christ on behalf of Grace Church.
Similar to international STM teams, these domestic support teams will do things like lead Vacation Bible Schools, help renovate church facilities, conduct community outreach, and much more. There will be many opportunities to encourage and serve our brothers and sisters in these congregations.
Stop by the Grace Advance table on the patio this morning to learn more about these exciting opportunities to serve Grace Advance churches, and learn how you can demonstrate the love of Christ on behalf of Grace Community Church.
For more information about Grace Advance or ministry support trips, visit www.graceadvance.org.