We have chosen the name “Antioch” because our hearts have been captured by an ancient vision of a church that literally, changed the world. Many years ago, in a region known as “the foothills of Lebanon”, a church emerged. In Acts 11 and 13, we see a description of what seemed to be a pretty simple church. Their single passion was Jesus and they desired to love like Him and live like Him. They seemed to show the hope of Christ to everyone that they encountered, regardless of where people were on the faith journey. They were committed to learning and growing in their relationship with God and they experienced a sense of Christian community that was authentic and vibrant.
But though they were a simple church, the church of Antioch was no ordinary church. The Bible says, over and over, that “the hand of the Lord” was upon them and therefore, they were experiencing results that could only be explained by God. The unbelieving culture all around them simply had to create a label for this brand new category of people and the term “Christian” was coined. There was something that was so real in the way that they lived, acted, and loved, that some Biblical scholars have remarked, “Here was the most influential local church that the world has ever seen.” Not only was their city and region transformed, but they became the great missional launch pad of the entire ancient world. Leaders were raised up here that carried this Antioch vision of ministry out to the very ends of the Earth.
Once again, in a region called “Lebanon”, a church has emerged. Like our fore-father church, we desire to live with such passion, to love with such depth, and to care with such authenticity, that the ripple effect of the hope of Jesus will extend through us, to the very ends of the earth.
Church in the Countryside YMCA?
We are a church that meets at a YMCA and yet, it is very important to understand that we do not see ourselves as a group that merely rents a room. We desire to intentionally bless the community of the YMCA and to be a source of hope, joy, and servant hood in this great movement.
In the New Testament, Christian leaders would begin with the major gathering points of the city in their desire to spread the hope of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible. We believe that the Countryside YMCA is the great “gathering point” of Warren County. With nearly 35 thousand people associated with this Y, we believe that this is a wonderful place for ministry.
We also believe that we are here to help the YMCA fulfill their great mission. Throughout history, YMCA’s have consistently partnered with churches in an effort to accomplish their mission. The global mission of the YMCA is stated as follows: “The Young Men’s Christian Associations seek to unite those young men who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour, according to the Holy Scriptures, desire to be his disciples in their faith and in their life, and to associate their efforts for the extension of his Kingdom amongst young men.”
We love this mission statement and are intentionally partnered with churches and YMCAs all over the world that seek to live this mission together and recognize that YMCAs and churches can help each other as they walk in the same direction. To find out more on the missional foundation of the YMCA, check out http://www.ymca.int/who-we-are/mission/ We would be overjoyed if our presence in this YMCA helps to bring about the success of their ultimate mission!