We have chosen the name “Antioch” because our hearts have been captured by the vision of an ancient church that was pretty special. Many years ago, in a region known as “the foothills of Lebanon”, a church emerged. In Acts 11 and 13, we learn a few things about them; their single passion was Jesus and they seemed to show the hope and love of Christ to everyone that they encountered. They grew as followers of Christ within a Christian community that was authentic and vibrant.
They were also a church that experienced God’s presence in amazing ways. 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 around them simply had to create a label for this new category of people and the term “Christian” was coined. There was something about the way that they lived 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 a great sending church. Leaders were raised up and sent out to carry the Antioch vision of ministry to the very ends of the Earth.
Once again, in a region called “Lebanon”, a church has emerged. Like our namesake, 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 in a YMCA and yet, it is very important to understand that we do not see ourselves as a church that merely rents a room. We are not trying to save money until we, one day, own our own building. We believe that God has called us here for a great purpose!
In the New Testament, Christian leaders would minister in and through the major gathering points of the city. Countryside YMCA is one of the great “gathering points” of Warren County. With nearly 35,000 people associated with this Y, it is a wonderful place to spread the hope of Jesus. As we love, serve and care for people within this YMCA community, we help to raise the “C” in our city.
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 which 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.”
This mission statement calls out the great themes of exalting Jesus, being faithful to God’s Word, living as His disciples and extending His Kingdom. We are committed to these themes and intentionally partner with churches and YMCAs all over the world that seek to pursue these themes together. We are thankful to have planted many churches within YMCA’s both internationally and locally. There are more than 14,000 YMCA’s all over the world, and we desire to plant a church in every one of them!