|“We are praying for God to give us favor in this community as well as hearts to be receptive to the gospel,” says Trey Gilmore, the church planting resident of Contrast Church. Contrast Church is a new Charis Fellowship congregation that is being supported by Movement Church in Hilliard, Ohio (Mark Artrip, lead pastor) and Three Creeks Church in Gahanna, Ohio (Joel Trainer, lead pastor).
Prior to moving to Columbus to plant a church, Trey was on staff in at a church in Arizona as the student pastor. He was feeling a continual stirring to church planting, which had been a passion and interest of his since college. During that time, Trey was connected with Joel Trainer, which led to a connection with Mark Artrip.
“In conversation with him, Mark has sought to plant 25 churches in 25 years and Contrast is a continuation of that dream. I will be the third in this dream, and this is my first experience with the Charis Fellowship. I am excited to champion a lot of the Charis Fellowship DNA and be a part of the unity that they embody.”
Three Creeks Church is supporting Contrast Church through a residency program and a process that is set-up to ensure a well-supported planting community. Three Creeks saves a percentage of their giving to put toward church planting. They have been supporting Contrast Church for three years until the congregation is able to be self-sustained.
Though the bones of planting the new church are sturdy, Trey admits that it will be a challenge to reach the hearts of the people of Grandview.
“The Grandview area is one of the most unchurched areas in Columbus. It is extremely tough soil, plagued with a lot of comfort and success as well as a very post-Christian worldview,” says Trey. “There is a very little, if any evangelical presence in our target region and we would like to step into that and create a healthy gospel-centered church for people to be a part of.”
Trey and his team have found that inviting people into a more organic environment with safe conversation around others who wrestle with their faith has been a key success for people to hear the compelling good news of following Jesus.
“Because Grandview is a tough soil, we are really just asking that people would deeply pray for the cultivation of the soil as we start to move into the area,” says Trey. “We are also asking for prayer for our launch team, that they would be passionate about living missionally in our neighborhoods and living the way of Jesus to those around them. We don’t ever want to sink into an apathetic rut, but continually be living on mission and discipling those around us.”
Part of the Charis Fellowship philosophy is centered around churches coming together to help other churches. One of those ways is by members of other fellowships joining together in church planting other Charis congregations.
“Everything is still in the early stages, but I want to be used with my strengths however is needed for this church plant,” says Lucas Carle, who became involved with Contrast Church as a result of attending Three Creeks. “What if there are church molds that Christians have gotten used to, but aren’t the most effective way of reaching lost people with the Gospel? I am excited because Trey is a pioneer, armed with the Bible, not afraid to try new ways of sharing Christ with our neighbors. I’m honored to call him my leader, and I am excited for the ways the Holy Spirit will guide us in our endeavors.”
Contrast Church plans to officially launch later in 2020 they currently have 45 members on their launch team.
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