Five years ago, in a yearly planning meeting with the staff of Flint-Gloves Baptist Church, two simple and straightforward questions were posed that would radically change our church:
1. Are we being good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us?
2. Has God given us resources that we could better leverage for the body of Christ?
That meeting sparked many discussions, realizations and conclusions. One of which was that we are a part of a kingdom-minded church that has plenty of space to spread the gospel. We began to pray and trust God to use our church to reach His kingdom, however He saw fit. Little did we know that God was about to do something new.
Six months later, William Ortega, senior Hispanic church planting consultant with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, introduced us to Jose and Angela Hernandez — suddenly God’s plan became clear. God was calling Flint-Groves to plant a church within a church. With the full support of Flint-Groves, Pastor Jose along with his family launched Iglesias de Gastonia. Launching this new church plant within our church allowed us to use our building to reach more people, take fulfilling steps of faith and be a part of taking the gospel to all nations — all by simply opening up our door.
Though Iglesias de Gastonia and Flint-Groves are two separate churches, we use everything that God has given to function as one church to reach all families throughout the community with the gospel. It all started with one church opening our hands and saying, “Lord, all of this belongs to You, use it as You please.”
Since the churches started operating in one building, things have become much busier. The lights are on all the time, people are constantly meeting and the churches collide daily. Even so, we wouldn’t change a thing.
Flint Groves is now reaching the nations from home. We’ve found that the body of Christ is very diverse, and seeing that diversity sprout in the church walls of Flint-Groves is a beautiful picture of the gospel. God has opened our eyes to discover the blessings of leveraging everything we have to reach our community — especially those who are different from us.
Are you being a good steward of all that God has entrusted to you? Has God given you resources that you could better leverage for the body of Christ? Every church can ask these life-changing questions and be obedient to what God asks.
Let’s all be a vessel that God can use to change our cities.
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