Newport Forum Recap

Thanks to everyone that came out to join us last night!  We had 60 adults and 9 kiddies.

Here's a peek at what went down, for those of you unable to join.

Little cheesecake thingys, as promised here.  What can I say, I don't like to lie.

Look at that eye...busted for picture taking.

Now for the details.

Business Meeting Review.  Giving is consistently more than spending, for which we're very grateful to God.  If you have questions, or want to dig in deeper on this stuff, I'm not the expert in it, but Bob Smith is.  Feel free to reach out to him at bobsmith[at]graceky[dot]org.

Newport By the Numbers.  Numbers don't tell us the whole picture.  We're after changed hearts that are growing in relationship with Jesus.  There are some things that we talked about that help us know if people are changing and growing, but that's hard to measure.  Here are some of the numbers we talked:

  • Our average attendance increased from our "hard launch" date by 17 people.  We have an average attendance of 169 and at "hard launch" we started with 152.
  • About 100 people have come out to visit since our launch.
  • 40 of those people have stuck with us to some degree, 15 of which have chosen to join a Small Group, give or join a serve team (or do more than one of those things).
  • 25% of our visitors come from Cincinnati.
Small Group Birth.  The LaRuffa group is birthing!  We're sending Dave and Andrea Wernz to lead a group at Andew Caudill's home in Eastgate.  This will help accommodate many of the Cincinnati folks coming to join us.

Location.  We celebrated many things about our current theater location: it has comfy seats, it's easy to find and tell others about, ample parking, we don't have to set up chairs.  We also talked about some of the downsides to being in a theater: sometimes it feels like there are less people than there really are, we can't hear each other sing in worship well, needing to setup and tear down.

Our mission/vision isn't to be a theater church.  We likely won't be in a theater forever.  But, wow, does the theater beat some of the places Grace Fellowship Church has met in the past!  God has blessed our socks off with this location.  

From this place of thankfulness, we can pray for something that might better fit our needs.  

Please pray for a space for us to rent or buy (strip mall, abandoned car dealership, office park, etc.).

If you see something you think would be a good fit for us, give me a shout.

Outreach.  There are outreach opportunities for you at three different levels: individual, small group and campus-wide.  Here are a few:
  • Kicks for Kids - we have a relationship with Doug Pelfrey, founder of Kicks for Kids, which seeks to "level the playing field for children at risk."  We're in the beginning stages of conversations about how we might be able to partner with them.
  • Salvation Army - there's an existing need for volunteers for food outreaches in September and October that seem like a great fit for our small groups to fill.  If a handful of small groups each take one of the Wednesday night food outreaches, we'd completely fill the need that Salvation Army has.  Our goal would be to serve food, to start conversations, to meet needs, and show the love of Christ to those in the Newport & Covington communities.  I'll be in touch with small group leaders about this.
  • Prayer Stand - I assembled this beauty in 5 minutes.  It can be brought to anywhere with foot traffic.  People like to be prayed for.  Anyone can be prayed for.  We have some Biblical Counseling handouts that can go with it, too.  I'm excited to see how you use this.  Give me a shout if you want to borrow it.
Don't wait for me to announce the small group and campus opportunities.  Where can you be inviting the people you know, and talking to the people around you about the gospel?

Take Aways.  Here's what some of you said your "take aways" were:

I'm encouraged that we have a serious heart for outreach.  I was 
concerned we were going to grow and gather but not go.

Remember our history and how long it took to be where we are 
as Grace Fellowship Church today.

I'm encouraged that we're growing, and that more 
people are coming than when we started.

Thanks for your enthusiastic participation in our very first Forum last night!

God bless,

Pastor Peter
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