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One of our prayers at Rock Bridge is to connect 10,000 people to life in Christ: 10,000 people in relationships and environments where they are being discipled to Jesus. We realize that while God gives the growth, He does call us to pray, to discern, and to act in cooperation with His grace and power. Or as the Bible says in Proverbs 21:31,

A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the Lord.

We are preparing the horse for the victories we pray God will bring for His Name. This comprehensive preparation is what we have called the BOLD Initiative. It includes several components.

Ministry Space

Most prominently, it’s the addition and renovation of physical space that will increase our seating capacity. Many of us are giving generously and sacrificially to make this a reality. This is preparing the horse and cooperating with the fact that God wants His church to have victory in disciple-making.

New Campuses

Most notably, it was the launch of our Hixson Campus last fall. Preparations are also underway to begin a worship service in Spanish in Dalton. Additionally, we are seeking to start small groups in Rome to seed a potential campus launch. This is preparing the horse, realizing that God desires Gospel-expansion and Gospel-unity to occur geographically, ethnically, and socioeconomically.

Discipleship

Ultimately, our fundamental mission is to make students of Jesus from all walks of life. Over the past year, we have changed our leadership structure for small groups to be more focused and intentional. This includes moving Alfred Turley from the role of Dalton Campus Pastor to be the Discipleship Pastor for all RBCC. This is preparing the horse for battle, and we are already seeing some fruits of God-given victory. We have 250 more people (or a 14% increase) in small group participation from one year ago!

Evangelism & Outreach

Currently, we are discerning ways to equip more of our church to share their faith, tell their story, and bless people intentionally to showcase Jesus. In the future, we hope to see many Rock Bridgers equipped to be disciples who make disciples. This is preparing the horse because for the Gospel to save, it first has to be seen and shared.

Overall Leadership

Consistently in scripture, we see the importance of adding leadership capacity and creating efficient leadership structures to maximize ministry (see Acts 6:1-7 and Exodus 18). This is why we added Ryan Stigile to our team as our Executive Pastor. Additionally, we have increased our number of elders to ensure we have more shepherds for our people and discerners to help guide our church.

New Dalton Campus Pastor: Recently, our Elders have named Tony Helton to be our new Dalton Campus Pastor. Tony has previously been an elder and a small groups pastor, and currently serves as our Dalton Children’s Minister. After a season of prayer and interviews, the Elders strongly affirm Tony’s heart, gifts, and fit for this role. This move is important because it gives a dedicated champion and leader to the Dalton Campus. For the past year, Matt and a team of pastors have been leading this campus in effect by committee but with no one fully championing and owning the overall health and direction of the Dalton Campus.

We pray these leadership moves will ensure the best possible deployment of our staff and leaders based on the spiritual needs of our people, the leadership needs of our teams, and the gifts God has placed within each of us. Like Acts 13:1-3, the Spirit-directed, strategic positioning of leaders is preparing the horse for battle. However, we admit that without God there can be no victory and trust Him to send it as the Gospel is declared and demonstrated so more disciples—perhaps 10,000—are made.

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