It is our goal to provide you with a clear framework for growing deeper in your walk with Christ and in your relationships with other ABCers. If you are a regular guest at ABC, we are so honored to have you with us. We desire that you would begin to experience the full blessings of being a part of our church family. But sometimes it may seem that there is no clear pathway for moving in that direction. That's why we've created the NextSteps framework. Take some time to work through this page and we promise you will walk away with a clearer understanding of how to get (and stay) connected at ABC, growing in your relationship with God and with others along the way.
STEP 1 • Connect
Membership Matters Class. If you have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and want to take the NextStep with ABCLovelady, come to the next Membership Matters class and hear more about the mission, vision, and direction of our church. At this class you will learn everything you need to know about becoming a member of our church body and about the major ministry areas of our church. Membership Matters classes are offered about every 2 months, immediately following a morning worship service. Lunch is provided.
Baptism and Church Membership. Baptism is how new believers in Jesus Christ identify with Christ's death and life (Romans 6:4-11); it is our public profession of faith in Jesus. To be a member of ABC, you must be a believer in Jesus Christ who has been baptized by immersion as a public profession of faith, sometime after making the decision to follow Jesus. If you have never been baptized by immersion as a public profession of faith, it will be a great joy for us to celebrate that moment with you as a church body. If you are already a baptized believer in Jesus Christ, you may join our church body in one of two ways: (1) By transfer of letter from a sister church, or (2) by statement of like faith (if you do not have a formal letter of membership transfer).
Small Groups. If you are our guest or a member of ABC but are not connected to a small group, you are missing out on the best opportunity for spiritual growth and community connection that we have to offer. Small groups are where you have the greatest potential for transformation, and the greatest opportunity to become a partner in the transformation of others around you. Small groups is where we do life... together... on purpose. Many Christians often feel disconnected and isolated in their walk with Jesus. Small groups is our avenue for keeping you connected and growing up in the faith. To get connected to a small group at ABC, send a message to the Small Group Coordinator through the "Staff" tab of this website.
Men's, Women's, Youth, and Children's Ministries. Wednesday nights at ABC are electric. This is the night we pour into our people through these four specific ministry areas. Although Wednesday nights are not designed to provide an alternative to the need for small group connection, they do offer another valuable opportunity for connection and growth in the faith.
STEP 2 • Give
As our pastor often says, "We are never more like Christ than when we are giving." All throughout Scripture, God expresses His love for us in that He gave. Giving to the church is such a personal issue because money hits home in a very tangible way for most of us. But Scripture is clear that when we give to God cheerfully, from the overflow of a grateful heart, we are blessed in ways we could not even begin to measure. ABC has a structured framework for giving that we invite you to look over under the "Give to ABC" tab in the main menu of this website. But for now, take a moment to listen to this short testimony from a couple of our church memebrs who decided to start giving faithfully to God, and began to see God's blessing on their family in new and fresh ways.
STEP 3 • Serve
Here are three areas of service to consider, as you are taking steps toward growth in the faith and further commitment to what God is doing in and through our church body:
Serve the church in simple, thoughtful ways. Every time you come to the church building, take ownership. If chairs and curtains need to be set up, join in. If trash needs to be taken out in the middle of a Wednesday night meal, take it on yourself to do so. When you serve the church body in simple ways, you are investing in the mission of the church. It's Jesus's church, yes. But as you begin to serve the church body, it becomes your church, too.
Use your gifts. If you are gifted in a specific area, let the leader of that particular ministry team know. This doesn't always guarantee that you can plug into that ministry right away, but ministry team leaders do not know your giftedness unless you tell them. If you don't know the leader of such a ministry team, email or call the church office so that we can get you connected with the right person. God puts people in His church for a reason - all of us have something to contribute to the mission and direction of the church body.
Look for ways to serve the community/area as an arm of Antioch Baptist Church. You don't have to get special permission to wear an ABC tshirt and lead a prayer gathering at the County Courthouse. Passing out invitations to church during a community event is not something for which you need special permission. Holding a Bible study in your home, organizing projects to beautify your city, or visiting people in the nursing home are all things you can do as an extension of our church's ministry, without needing a church staff member to organize it. At ABC, you will hear lots of emphasis on being the church instead of just doing church. So be creative. Be a servant. Be the church in your community.
STEP 4 • Share
The greatest "win" in the Christian life, other than Heaven itself, is when through your words and actions, you are able to lead someone else into saving faith in Jesus Christ and connect them to the local church body. So as a final step down the road toward connection and growth at ABC, learn to share the Gospel with lost people in such a way that you give them an opportunity to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, right where they are. Evangelize. Share the gospel. Lead people to Jesus.
Also, share the word about what God is up to at ABC. Tell everyone you know about how God is on the move in and through this church body, and invite them to come be a part of it. When you are taking this final step consistently, you are leading people to Step 1... then they will have the opportunity to take these NextSteps as well, growing closer to God and to others in our church family. In this way, the end of this road is a step back to its beginning. So share the gospel with the lost. Invite people to church. And watch how God uses your testimony and your faithfulness to share, to make eternal investments in His kingdom.