Rannie Childress is lead pastor at New Outlook Christian Fellowship—a newly planted GCI church in Attalla, Alabama. Rannie and his team are being equipped by GCI Church Multiplication Ministries (coordinated by Heber Ticas), and supported with prayer and finances by three church planting support networks in the GCI-USA Southeast Region, donations from several congregations, and through grants from the GCI-USA GCnext fund. In these ways, Rannie and his team are receiving high levels of support to help this new congregation get off to a good start.
Rannie recently sent an update newsletter to his supporters. Here is part of what he wrote:
It’s been quite a ride! During the year spanning Easter 2015 to Easter 2016, we were blessed to baptize 12 people (see pictures below). We reached out to the surrounding community with a picnic at a local park, a free car wash, and distribution of free bottles of water. We also launched a Christ-centered support group called Life More Abundant (LMA). It meets every second and fourth Wednesday evening of the month. We also launched Bible Study and Becoming a Godly Man groups, a speech club and a twice-monthly Bible study/breakfast group for women.
We’re now at work incorporating principles for developing our congregation learned through the Outside the Walls (OTW) consulting services provided by our denomination, Grace Communion International. We’re expanding what we’ve been doing to reach out with God’s love into our local community, canvassing the area around our building to invite our neighbors to special events. We learned these approaches to community outreach at a recent OTW event held at GCI’s Jacksonville, Florida church. My participation in that event opened my eyes to possibilities for our development here in Attalla.
We currently average about 30 people in attendance at both our Sunday service and LMA group meetings (see pictures below). Some people attend both; some just one. As a result, we are serving about 45-50 people each week. Of course, we do not measure “success” by numbers alone—our primary goal is to bless our community at large while we focus on serving people involved in drug rehab and jail programs.
I thank God for the opportunity he has given us to serve him and his beloved children in these ways. I also am very grateful to all those who are supporting what we’re doing here through prayer and financial gifts. I thank Heber Ticas (coordinator of GCI Church Multiplication Ministries) and Ted Johnston (GCI SE Regional Pastor) for their ongoing mentoring and training as we move forward in seeing New Outlook become a church deeply connected to its surrounding community.
I’m excited about what we have planned for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend (May 4-5). On Saturday we’ll have a free car wash, a bottled water giveaway and fun activities for children. Then during our Sunday service we’ll honor mothers, and on their behalf have a “blessing of children” ceremony.
I have a prayer request: Please pray for us at New Outlook as we seek to join Jesus in raising up additional leaders to serve the ministry needs of our surrounding community in the areas of music ministry, children’s ministry and teen ministry. Also please pray about our continuing financial needs.