Elder Announcement

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From the Elders

Dear White Oak,

We set out 4 years ago to follow God’s leading to spread the Gospel of Christ and to reach the lost in the Green Township area. We spent an entire year making plans and preparing. During that time our brothers and sisters who meet there have experienced great successes as well as frustrations. As a matter of fact, there are some following Jesus today and now worship regularly because of the outreach of this fellowship of believers.

While there are new believers who have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and are participating in small groups, there have been additional indicators that have caused the Green Township leaders, along with the White Oak Christian Church pastors and elders, to review where we are with this campus and what the next steps should be.

After many months of prayer and discussion, it has been decided that it is time to discontinue the worship services in Green Township. But we also believe it is equally important that we work together to keep White Oak’s impact in the Green Township community active.

Even though White Oak will not be holding worship services in Green Township, we are developing strategies that will enable us to continue working in this district with Whiz Kids, small groups with a Green Township focus intact as well as seeking additional ways to keep our influence in this community alive.

October 8 will be Josh Benforado’s final Sunday with us as the Green Township Campus Pastor and we invite you to thank him and send him off well. There will be a luncheon for Josh and April and their family following next week’s service at the Green Township campus.

It would be easy to make the assumption that Josh’s decision to take a ministry at another church is the sole reason for closing our Green Township Campus. His resignation was certainly a consideration, but it was one of many.

Taking a step of faith is always filled with a feeling of risk because, for us, the future is unknown. Sometimes those steps are easier when we have a positive vision for the future. A wedding. A new home. A new campus for WOCC. We are excited about the possibilities. Other steps of faith are harder because it’s difficult to see anything to get excited about. I think of a grieving widow or widower. It’s not a step backward. Every step of faith is a step forward. A step closer to God..

We know you may still have several questions regarding the changes at our Green Township Campus and we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions or you can contact us at elders@thewocc.com.

Sunday, October 15th, will be our final worship service at the Oak Hills High School. Rick Shonkwiler will be preaching there that Sunday.

Your partners in ministry,
2017 Elders: Rick Barnett, Lloyd Hamilton, Bill Haussler, Steve Lane, Rick Lee, Dennis McDaniel, Robert Tarter and David Willmore

From Rick Shonkwiler

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Dear White Oak,

The announcement read this morning by the elders has been prayerfully determined. It is neither hasty nor ill-advised. I thank each of the elders and the Green Township Campus leaders for the many hours of reflection and conversation. They really are a great leadership team.

I recognized that we will stretch at White Oak. We will follow what we believe best reflects our understanding of God’s call for our church. Urgency and deliberation are essential as we want to help as many people possible, before Jesus returns, to come to Him. We will meet community needs, in Cincinnati and around the world. Faith will be required, but we did not get where we are today, over 187 years of history, without sacrifice, faith, and risk. We dare not play it safe. We find that when the church is faithful, you risk doing what’s possible, and then watch God do the impossible.

  • One of our values is Risk (not fear).
  • We will do things that are risky because Jesus asks us to surrender everything (even when we don’t know the outcome or it doesn’t turn out the way we hoped it would). We will continue to risk for God’s Kingdom.
  • We will continue to risk for the sake of Lost people, another corporate value, (our hearts break for people who don’t know Jesus and we’ll do things no one else is doing in order to reach them).
  • God has big things in store for us, White Oak — get ready.
  • A Night of Prayer for all of White Oak to participate in on Oct. 15 at 6:30pm.
  • The Holy Spirit is leading us…We have so many things we are working on and will be talking with many of you in the next three months! We will go where people are. Let’s make waves to give life!.

I love the words of the Third Day song “Cry Out to Jesus”!

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

Or the song, “No Longer Slaves”, which has these words:

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I will stand and sing
I am a child of God.

Yes, I am
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

 

White Oak is, and always has been, a church of vision. Over 190 people have been baptized since we opened Green Township three years ago, 11 at GTC!

There is more to do!! Let’s make waves! We do not have to fear as God leads us into the unknown! He asks us to trust Him!

Rick Shonkwiler
Senior Minister
White Oak Christian Church