"But YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth."
As best we can tell from his writing the Apostle Paul was a sports fan. In 1 Timothy 4:7b-8, he writes "Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." In doing so he compares the demanding regimen of an athlete in training to the calling of a believer to personal spiritual growth. Since the rewards of the latter are eternal as well as present time, our training in godliness should be an even more serious endeavor.
At GEFC it is our goal to consistently challenge our people to greater worship, applied knowledge and obedience. In addition to group Bible studies we seek to offer resources for individual growth in prayer, meditation and learning from Scripture. Through seminars, group participation programs and hand-outs for reference throughout the week, we strive to make on-going contact with God a more natural part of your life 24/7.
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES IN JERUSALEM and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth."
Like "charity" in the old adage, ministry begins at home. That Jesus recognized this truth is evident by His placing it first in the succession of ministry circles He mentions right before His ascension in Acts 1:8. Though the church must be ever vigilant not to limit its impact to its own backyard, the local body as well as individual believers, does well to "bloom where you're planted."
From Sunday worship and Christian education to Bible studies throughout the community to our care-giving efforts to the greater Groveland area, GEFC strives to be a church that ministers and gives opportunities to minister to a wide range of people.
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES in Jerusalem and in all JUDEA and SAMARIA and to the ends of the earth."
In the Great Commission of Acts 1:8 Jesus shows us the ever-expanding circles in which we are to, in spiritual and practical ways, demonstrate our love and concern. After "near-neighbor" ministry, Christ expected His followers to reach those who had some national, cultural or linguistic commonality.
The New Testament, in addition to church planting and encouraging Spiritual growth, also places a high value on alleviating human suffering. In Acts 11:27-30 the church in Antioch mobilizes a relief effort to help with a predicted upcoming famine in Jerusalem. Later, in Romans 15:25-26 Paul speaks of churches in the regions of Macedonia and Achaia bringing help to the poor in Jerusalem. Much of GEFC's national ministry has been in this area, sending disaster relief teams to Louisiana, Kansas and Texas. In addition the church supports a number of state-side missionaries.
U.S. based Missionaries we support:
- Robyn Buchanan – City Central Ministry, Tacoma, WA
- Steve & Lia Dunne – Y.E.S. Campus Outreach, Santa Barbara, CA
- James & Diane Gleaves – New Tribes Missions, Central USA Representatives
- Jun & Beng Sabate – EFCA Filipino Outreach, San Francisco Bay Area.
- Paul & Susan Yost – Campus Crusade for Christ, Colorado Springs, CO.
U.S. Mission Trips:
- November 2006 – Hurricane Relief (Katrina) – New Orleans, LA with EFCA Touch Global.
- October 2007 – Hurricane Relief (Katrina) – New Orleans, LA with EFCA Touch Global.
- June 2008 – Tornado Relief -- Greensburg, KS with EFCA Touch Global.
- October 2008 – Hurricane Relief (Katrina) – New Orleans, LA with EFCA Touch Global.
- October 2008 – Hurricane Relief (Ike) – Galveston, TX with EFCA Touch Global.
- March 2009 – Hurricane Relief (Ike) – Galveston, TX with EFCA Touch Global.
- EFCA Touch Global
- Campus Crusade for Christ - http://www.ccci.or
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES in Jerusalem and in all JUDEA and SAMARIA and to the ends of the earthh."
Jesus, in his parting commission, gives words of challenge to all who consider themselves His followers. From this point on the book of Acts becomes a chronicle of the explosion of God's kingdom, with an ever expanding circle of impact both geographically and culturally. We follow the Apostle Paul as he takes three planned journeys of evangelism and discipleship and, in his trip to Rome in chains, what amounts to a fourth, "accidental" one.
There is a sense in which Acts is an open book, with on-going cross-cultural ministry being carried on by the missionaries of church history as well as those of today. GEFC has chosen to be part of this global movement of ministry through financial and prayer support of full-time missionaries as well as sponsoring short-term teams to help jump-start sister churches around the world. In so doing we have had the privilege of partnering with some of the strongest mission sending agencies in the world.
Foreign Missionaries we support:
- Ben and Jeanne Beckner – EFCA Reach Global – Missions Consultant, Trainer & Mobilizer - French Speaking Europe.
- Bruce and Mary Damon – EFCA Reach Global – Macau.
- Mike and Janet Davis – EFCA Reach Global – Europe.
- Alexia DeSylvio-Fall – United World Mission – Senegal, Africa.
- John and Irene Johnson – EFCA Reach Global – England
GEFC International Mission Trips:
- September 2007 Rwanda – e3 Partners
- June 2008 – Peru – e3 Partners
- October 2008 – Romania – e3 Partners
- EFCA Reach Global: www.efca.org/reachglobal/
- e-3 partners www.e3partners.org
- United World Mission: www.uwm.org
- New Tribes Mission: www.ntm.org