Thoughts on being a member of a new church by Joe Gallop
After moving to the Charles Town, WV area a couple of years ago, we looked hard to find a church in which the Word of God was preached in a faithful expository manner: reading, clarifying, and explaining the Biblical text, rather than delivering topical sermons and stories from the imagination of the preachers or proof texts strung together around some idea. We ended up driving about on hour to Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, VA to get to a church where faithful exposition was the norm. As we found out later, there were a number of other families driving long distances from other points westward: Bluemont, Berryville, and Winchester to avail themselves of the solid teaching and preaching. So we were delighted when we heard that Guilford Baptist Church was considering the possibility of planting a church west of the DC metro area. We joined several of the other "westward" families, and some others living in the Winchester area to begin the work of planting a church in Winchester.
It has been a tremendous blessing to be a part of this new church, together centering our lives on Jesus Christ, encouraging and praying for one another, and gathering together every Sunday to worship the Lord, in song, prayer, and the ministry of the Word. We are especially encouraged by the ministry of the Word, as the pastor always has a well planned sermon series announced in advance. This enables our family to read and discuss the passage which will be preached every day in the week leading up to the sermon. Instead of having lots of different studies going on at the same time and never having time to go deeply into any of them, our family is able to focus our daily study and Scripture meditation on the same text that we will all be hearing expounded on Sunday morning, then discussed on Sunday evening in a small group setting. In this way we are edified daily by God's Word at home, prepared to hear and understand a meaty sermon on Sunday, and to able to actively participate in Sunday evening discussion on the theological and practical implications of the message.