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The Story of Christ Community Church
The Story of Governor's Square
Christ Community Church started with a simple calling.
“…Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood. Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore.” —Hebrews 13:12–13
In the fall of 2009, our planting pastor, Lee Webb and his wife Rachel, along with a small group gathered around this passage of Scripture knowing that many had not heard about the gospel of Jesus Christ which teaches us…“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Our small group turned into a “launch team.” Together we asked, “What does it look like to join Jesus “outside” of our comfort, share the good news, and pursue Him in our community and the world?”
God continued to draw us back to Matthew 22:36–40. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” He said…step outside your complacency. Love Me. Love others. It will change lives.
Christ Community Church began its first open Sunday Gathering at Southside Elementary School on 10-10-10. God began to connect people to this gospel centered vision. The immediate impact was less measured by the amount of people attending or how successful a program was planned. Instead, a bread salesman agreed to give his leftover bread to fulfill a local hunger need, a Spanish-speaking follower of Christ agreed to lend her translation skills to share Jesus through a ministry, and a returning college student gave his refrigerator to an operation that helped fire victims. Something was happening.
Christ Community Church gathered at Southside Elementary for the next three and a half years. The need to move meeting locations became evident in 2013. Through prayer, fasting, and following God's leadership, the church moved to Governor's Square aided greatly through a generous gift that made a way to have space rent free! The church raised the money to build out the space and began gathering there Easter weekend of 2014.
In the fall of 2014, Lee transitioned to a founding pastor role where he was not active on the Pastor/Elder Council or staff. He continues to serve as a leader in the church and community. Blake Lawyer was voted in as the Lead Pastor after having served on staff. Blake and his wife Katelyn continue to serve in that role today. Together, they are leading us to Go Outside and Seek the City at Governor's Square as well as in the overall vision to continue starting new churches.
The Story of Midland
In the fall of 2015, CCC's Pastor/Elders began asking questions about what was next. What happened when we filled up the gathering space at Governor's Square? Would we add gathering times? As God often does, he replaced our questions with a better question:
What if we sent more people than we could seat?
As the church wrestled with that question, God was leading us to pursue planting a church in the Midland neighborhood. It was surprisingly diverse and in our estimation under-served. We began serving in the neighborhood through the leadership of Daniel and Sarah Kelsey. In May of 2016, CCC sent out Philip and Loretta Devine as well as a launch team of people to begin laying the ground work for a new church while continuing to learn about the needs of the people of Midland.
The summer of 2017 brought much change as space was leased to publicly launch. In August of 2017, CCC Midland officially opened their doors with Bobby Carnes as the location Pastor. He and Jamie are continuing to lead the people of CCC Midland to Go Outside and Seek the City in the Midland neighborhood.
The Future of CCC
The lostness indicators in our region of Kentucky continue to alarm us. In most areas 75-90% of the population are not actively engaged in the local church. Reserach continues to suggest that people are not coming to church. The solution seems obvious that the church should be going outside towards them. There are 3 main ways that we envision this continuing to happen at Christ Community.
1) People Joining Jesus
At the core of the CCC vision is that each person would join Jesus outside the gates. In other words, they would get uncomfortable. They would go and serve those far from Christ. They would share the gospel through their stories and by walking through Scripture. It requires people laying down their preferences, comforts, and more to join Jesus in the mission to love God, love People, and love their community. We are praying regularly that God would call the lost to be saved and that he would create a hunger and thirst for believers.
2) Serving our Communities
The church is called to go and engage the lost; to meet them on their turf. CCC has always had a heart to serve the community driving from the question, "If we ceased to exist, would our community miss us?" As a church, we want to be actively working with non-profits, schools, and more to serve our communities to the best of our ability. No strings attached. We are praying regularly for our communities and the people we meet as we serve that God would continue to open doors for effective ministry.
3) Church Planting
Research has proven that new churches are much more effective at reaching people that established churches. If we desire to see the lostness indicators change, we must be engaging in starting new churches while at the same time establishing healthy leadership and rhythms in our established churches. We are praying that God would continue to make a way for both new churches and health in established churches.