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Spirit-Led Word-Centered

Prayerful Relational

Costly Evangelistic Reproducing

Intentional Holistic Spirit-Led Word-Centered Prayerful

Intentional Holistic
bayareacc.org/GOANDMAKE FREE SPRING 2024 ISSUE #92


14 One and Only Life Living in The Book of Acts



The Power of an Invitation


Processing the Costliness of Discipleship


The Power of Communal Gathering and Personal Practice

Christian Teens Embrace Boldness in Sharing Their Faith: A New Narrative Emerges Amidst Growing Church Exodus



We are all on our own spiritual journey of becoming more like Jesus - of embracing the call to follow Jesus and live as He lived. We have identified 9 essentials of discipleship that are paramount in each of our unique walks (holistic, intentional, word-centered, Spirit-led, prayerful, relational, costly, evangelistic, reproducing). Within these pages, you'll encounter inspiring narratives of individuals who exemplify these essentials through their actions, faith and commitment to living out the teachings of Jesus. We hope in sifting through this issue you are equally encouraged as you are challenged to pursue Jesus and grow closer to Him.



Abbie Hoekstra-Nold


Josh (Burgi) Burgin


Arianne Teeple


Jake Williams


Aaron Rosa

Sandi Smith

Shawn Hart

Jonathan Madrid

Allen Smith

Bill Smith

Chris Heacock

David Grabau

Greg Dixon

Greg St. Cyr

Keith Riniker

Ken Gilmore

Kevin Rump

Kyle Sponaugle

Mat Soltis

Roger Ishii

Ron Dutton

Stu Cooper

Tom Dalpini

Tom Hogan

Warwick Fairfax

Allen Smith, Missional Communities Pastor – allen.smith@bayareacc.org

Aaron Hixson, Teaching Pastor – aaron.hixson@bayareacc.org

Brian Hopper, Annapolis Campus Pastor – brian.hopper@bayareacc.org

Greg St. Cyr, Lead Pastor – greg.stcyr@bayareacc.org

Jason Barthelemy, Odenton Campus Pastor – jason.barthelemy@bayareacc.org

Jeff Supp, Executive Pastor – jeff.supp@bayareacc.org

Jake Wieduwilt, Student Ministry Pastor – jake.wieduwilt@bayareacc.org

Jocelyn Sacks, Serving Director – jocelyn.sacks@bayareacc.org

Jonathan Madrid, Worship Leader – jonathan.madrid@bayareacc.org

Kammi McGinty, Care Network & Marriage Ministry Director – kammi.mcginty@bayareacc.org

Kristin Collins, Annapolis Children’s Ministry Director – kristin.collins@bayareacc.org

Shawn Hart, Global Missions Pastor – shawn.hart@bayareacc.org


Jake Williams

For a comprehensive list of all Bay Area staff, elders and deacons, please visit bayareacc.org/ourteam

We appreciate your comments and questions. Please email us at feedback@bayareacc.org and a staff member or elder will respond within 48 hours.



YTD Giving through 1/31/24: $3,037,000

YTD Budget through 1/31/24: $2,965,000

Actual vs. Budget: $72,000


YTD Giving through 1/31/24: $233,440

YTD Budget through 1/31/24: $208,570

Actual vs. Budget: $21,870


The financial generosity of our church family helps fuel our mission of making passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations. Every gift is used to resource our ongoing ministries at our two campuses, and support dozens of local and global missions partners who are reaching people with the gospel around the world. Want to learn how to manage your finances God’s way? Read our Philosophy of Generosity at bayareacc.org/give.


If you would like to give, you can do so at bayareacc.org/give, or by mailing a check to our Annapolis Campus (884 Chesterfield Road, Annapolis, MD 21401). Please be sure to include your campus designation on all gifts.



Intentionality in the Journey to Become Like Jesus

Dear Bay Area family,

There are two things I’d like to share with you as we head into the spring of 2024.  First, I’ll be taking a sabbatical starting in May.

Every seven years pastors and directors are graced with the opportunity to take several months off for spiritual refreshment, to focus on family, and time for deeper study and reflection. I say “graced,” because it is indeed a grace. This sabbatical is especially significant as it will mark Mary Kaye and my 30th year at Bay Area. We will reflect on God’s faithfulness, dream of the future, and spend time with children and grandchildren. I’ll be doing a deep dive into the history and culture of biblical times, rereading books that have impacted me the most, studying several heroes of the faith, and working on what I’m calling my “life messages” (which I look forward to sharing with you).

After Easter, Mary Kaye and I will travel to Kenya and Ghana to encourage several of our global partners. We will return for our elders’ retreat and then I’ll preach my final sermon on April 28 before leaving for Sabbatical in May.

The second and most important thing to remind you of is that the goal of life is to become like Jesus. Over the last seven months we’ve been talking a lot about discipleship; specifically, becoming more like Jesus.

The first person we are to disciple is ourselves. Each of us must take personal responsibility to become like Jesus. Though it is true that God is the One who

ultimately causes growth, He uses our human effort, decisions and discipline.

Dallas Willard says, “The problem of spiritual transformation among those who identify themselves as Christians today is not that it is impossible or that effectual means are not available. The problem is that it is not intended . People do not see it and its value and decide to carry through with it.”

How intentional are you about becoming like Jesus?

That said, maturity in Christ doesn’t stop with intention. All of us have had good intentions and not followed through. Maybe for years you’ve intended to grow spiritually but have made little progress. Why?

Willard adds, “The will to obey is the engine that pulls the train of spirituality in Christ.” One of the greatest gifts God has given us is our “will.” Created in the image of God we can exercise our will and make choices for which we will be held accountable before God.

So why aren’t we growing? More than likely, it is because either we are not intending to grow or we are intending to grow but are not exercising our God-given will to carry

out our intention to grow. The consequences of not becoming like Jesus is devastating. It brings with it a shallow relationship with God, a lack of purpose and fruit, a wasted life, and loss of eternal rewards.

I’m reminded of Oswald Chambers quote on January 1 of My Utmost For His Highest : “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest – my best for His glory.” Chambers is talking about being intentional. We need to pause and ask ourselves, “Is my determined purpose to be my best for His glory?” Is my intention in life to become like Jesus?

How do we realize this determined purpose , this intention?

Chambers goes on, “To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making the decision.”

To paraphrase Chambers, he is saying, “It is my determined intention to be my best for His glory through the exercise of my will to become more like Jesus.”

Let me state it as plainly as I can: Becoming more like Jesus involves a decision of the will.

“The “good portion” that Mary chose: making the choice to spend time with Jesus.”

As believers, we have the indwelling Spirit and are enveloped in God’s grace which empowers us to make decisions that glorify Him. God is asking us to exercise our will to make daily choices that bring about Christlikeness in our life.

You might be thinking,“Greg, you don’t understand what I’m going through. My marriage is on the rocks; I can’t find a good job; I’ve faced rejection and depression all my life; I’m overwhelmed… ” If that is you, God is not asking you to DO anything more in this moment than to make a choice of your will to follow Jesus. This involves surrender to Him and trust in Him. Jesus will lead you.

The most convicting passage for me when it comes to being intentional and making a decision of the will to become more like Jesus is Luke 10:38-42. Jesus is spending time with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha is serving and becomes bothered. Why is she so disturbed?  Because she had a plan, an agenda.

But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” Luke 10:40

The problem is that Martha takes her eyes off Jesus. She becomes distracted by other things, even good things like serving! With her eyes on her agenda, she becomes disturbed that Mary is not living up to her expectations. She then doubts Jesus’s care and begins to demand that Jesus do something about it.  All of

that led to distancing in her relationship with Jesus. Does that sound familiar?

the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:41-42

What is the one thing that is necessary? The “good portion” that Mary chose: making the choice to spend time with Jesus.



What is Mary doing while all this is going on? … Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. Luke 10:39

“sitting at one’s feet” was the position of a disciple. Mary was absolutely absorbed in listening to,  learning from, and loving Jesus.



Martha SAT



Jesus is clarifying life’s highest priority. Life has many competing demands and many important responsibilities. But Jesus is saying: Life’s most important activity is spending time with Me!

The single word from this passage that has forever rocked my world is the word “chosen.” Mary made a choice. The choice to sit at Jesus’ feet. It was her intention to become more like Jesus. She exercised her will to make the choice to spend time with Jesus. And Jesus said it was the best choice. You and I have the same choice to make every day.

It’s my prayer that we will make our highest priority in life that of cultivating a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord. It is the “one thing” that Jesus says is necessary: spending time with Him.

Mary made time with Jesus her priority and as a result, she grew closer to Jesus.

Don’t miss how lovingly Jesus responds to Martha. But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen

From here to the nations, GREG S T. CYR

We can do this because Someone made the choice to exercise their will to die for our sins.  Through the cross, we are recipients of His grace and Spirit which enable us to make daily choices to sit at the feet of Jesus and become more like Him.

Will you make the daily choice – as a decision of your will – to spend time with Jesus?

Greg St. Cyr is the lead pastor at Bay Area Community Church and a regular contributor to GO&MAKE.


ecoming more like Jesus is hard. I’ve been walking with Jesus for almost 35 years (came to faith when I was born! Ha JK). As a young adult, my life prior to Jesus was such an incredible mess. In fact, part of the gospel message that intrigued me and gave me hope was the fact that with Jesus in my life, I would become a better person - someone who made fewer mistakes, who cared more for people, who could find freedom from sin and experience true love and healing, and become someone others could follow. The thought of becoming more like Jesus inspired me. And today, thankfully, I can say I’ve experienced a lot of that significant growth and healing in my life.

But making those changes and growing was (and still is) not easy. Let’s be honest, becoming a better person and making the sorts of changes that Jesus desires isn’t always a walk in the park. Yes, it’s Jesus’ power through the Holy Spirit who enables us to change and grow. And yes, for the most part, He is doing the heavy lifting… but it still involves us.

And this is where the difficulty comes in because for us, change requires a surrendering of our will to allow Jesus and His Spirit to effectively bring about the necessary changes in our life. And surrender is not something that we typically like. If you’re like me, you like control, you like the comfort and convenience of life. In fact, most of us live decent enough lives that the need to change is fairly low. Doing life like we are is pretty ok, so to disrupt that and be challenged to change and sacrifice really isn’t something that many of us pursue.

This is why, in part, we felt led this year as a church to elevate the need to become more like Jesus. Rather than simply thinking of

ourselves as a ‘good Christian’ we believe that our true identity is that of being a disciple of Jesus. Yes, we follow Jesus, yes, we are Christians - people who have placed their faith in Jesus - but even more than that, we are disciples of Jesus.

For me, that change in language is a nuance that provokes me to act, to literally envision myself as someone who is trying to become like their Rabbi, similar to how the Jewish disciples were trained to be. It moves me from simply being a church attender, or a ‘Christian’ in the world to becoming someone who is actively pursuing and taking on the habits, character, traits and knowledge of the Rabbi. And in doing this, my pursuit is met with a greater willingness to be less like me. I find myself more freely surrendering the things that I want or doing things the way I would do them and instead asking the question - how would Jesus do this? How can I become more like Him?

This is why our definition of a disciple is rooted in Matthew 4:19, where Jesus says, “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” A disciple is someone who follows Jesus (places their faith in Him and commits to follow Him as their ‘teacher’), is being changed by Jesus, and on mission with Jesus. When we see ourselves as a disciple we are best poised to be changed and become more like Jesus.

This identity shift was paramount to my ongoing growth and desire to become more like Jesus and as a result has enabled me to continue to grow and be changed more and more into His likeness. And I believe this is true for you as well. And this is what we desire for every person that is part of our church. As leaders, we asked the question - what would it look like around here if every person saw themselves as a disciple first

"...change requires a surrendering of our will to allow Jesus and His Spirit to effectively bring about the necessary changes in our life."

and took their next step of faith to become more like Jesus? Imagine the collective impact of all of us more like Jesus! That question led us to identifying the 9 Essentials of discipleship and creating the assessment tool to help everyone identify their next step. We’re thrilled that over 400 of you have taken the assessment and are hoping it has helped bring clarity to the area that Jesus wants to grow you in.

Later this year, we’ll be introducing new resources and environments aimed at helping you have everything you need to take that next step.

Becoming like Jesus doesn’t have to be hard. It does require seeing ourselves as a disciple and as a disciple, we can more regularly surrender our lives to His life. My prayer is that we all would become more like Jesus this year.

Number of people who took the 9 Essentials Assessment: 418

Top growth area identified: Reproducing


Living in The Book of Acts

About mid-October of last year my son asked me why I was so tired. I told him I had spent the day living in the book of Acts.

Planting a church is not easy, and with the whole of human knowledge at our fingertips these days, it can quickly be reduced to strategies, techniques and surveys. But in the book of Acts, church planting is surprisingly simple. In certain places, the Spirit of the Lord prepares the hearts of a few, calls missionaries, and arranges a meeting between the two.

Sometimes this happens dramatically, like on Pentecost in Jerusalem, and sometimes it happens subtly, when Paul meets a middle-aged, single professional

woman at the local watering hole in Philippi– but it always happens in the same way.

Tim Keller has a pithy saying, “If you want to plant a successful church, find out where a revival is going to be, then plant a church there ten years before.” It sounds deceptively easy but the true difficulty lies in the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, the Spirit is like the wind which blows where it pleases and is impossible to predict.

Jesus liked to compare things to weather phenomena, and later trained His disciples to recognize moves of the Spirit by tell-tale effects around them. The Spirit shines in darkness, He is evident in the hearts of those receptive to the Gospel and He makes His dwelling with the least of us.


These are the things I saw in the Harbor House public housing community over a year ago, things that motivated our team to labor faithfully in “the neighborhood” multiple times a week, every week for over a year.

We followed the lead of the Spirit in helping a man set up a large wedding tent, buying him a missing piece, then rejoicing in God’s provision when the man asked us to use the tent every week for our gathering. We saw the Spirit in a transgender resident who would weekly come and chastise me while I was preaching, yet who eventually asked me to read him Bible stories. When we found out he had been hit by a bus, his eyes teared up when he realized we were the only people to visit him at Baltimore Shock Trauma.

But there were many days when we wondered if the Spirit had left this place. When the days and hearts seemed dark and cold. When our tiny church suffered. A new believer was battered and raped and we sat in a dark apartment listening to her grapple with why Jesus would allow this to happen to her. Our tent was suddenly removed by the housing authority and our ministry had to pivot to home visits. My Monday mornings were all too often occupied with calling the flock in the

neighborhood to make sure they were alright following weekend gang shootings in the news. As a team we cried out in prayer for the Lord to fill us again with the Spirit.

Then one morning, while praying in front of the city administrative facility in the neighborhood, we were invited in by the staff. They shared with us some of their struggles and we were able to encourage them with scripture and when we left we felt reaffirmed in the Lord's calling.

Scripture describes the Christian life as wholly dependent upon the Spirit, guided by the Word to glorify the Father. I can think

of no better description of the last year in the neighborhood. Recently, the Lord has granted access to the recreation center, a physical building with lighting and climate control. Our invitation and reach has spread far beyond our corner of Harbor House to adjoining Eastport Terrace and the surrounding Hispanic population. We gather weekly around the Word, we worship the Father and build each other up in the Spirit.

Each member of our team still goes to bed tired at night–tired because we’ve been living in the book of Acts.

If you would like to explore being involved with our outreach team we have many different ways to support! Come find out more in a six-week Connect Group where we will learn about the theology of evangelism and missions, the specific challenges of ministering in Annapolis, and the greater Gospel movement at work in Anne Arundel County. Check out the website for more details!


Power of an Invitation



his is a story about the power of an invitation and how relationships and community play such an important role in introducing Jesus to others.

Jillian did not grow up going to church or knowing Jesus. In fact, the last 8 years of her life had been filled with anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts. At the age of 14, she found herself at rock bottom, lying in bed in the psych ward crying, and knowing something had to change. After her time in the hospital, her problems and bad decisions continued, but she just figured out how to hide them better. She felt alone. Although she wanted to change, she didn’t feel capable.

It wasn’t until her friend Julia (who had recently been invited herself) invited Jillian to join her at Amplify, Bay Area’s Student Ministry (BASM) Wednesday night community group time, that her life took a dramatic turn. “One of the very first memories I have of BASM is Sean Anderson [one of BASM’s community group leaders] chasing someone through the BASM Warehouse tearing their shoe off and running away so fast I thought he was going to fall,” Jillian said. “At that moment I knew this is where I’m supposed to be. I spent the next two and half hours watching my now family mess with each other, chase each other, and care about each other in a way I had never seen before.”

Jillian quickly became one of our most consistent attenders on both Sunday and Wednesdays, and even began to serve on BASM’s Hospitality Team where she grew to love spending time with Rachel Mahaffey, BASM’s Hospitality Coordinator, in the cafe. Every time the Warehouse doors were open, Jillian was there. She spent her whole summer either volunteering in the BASM Café or

on a BASM summer trip. Jillian says, “my life changed so much in just a year because God knew who I needed in my life and put me with them…It took me almost 15 years to find God but the day I did I was in worship at Amplify and I felt this feeling in my chest, it felt like my heart was on fire and burning.”

While Jillian continued to grow, her mother Dotia was becoming more and more consistent attending the main gathering on Sundays. Because Jillian loved serving so much, she encouraged

“The week before Christmas, Jillian and her mother were baptized.”

her mother to find a place to serve too, and very soon, Jillian and Dotia were not only serving in the BASM café together, but they began serving in Children’s Ministry as well.

As Jillian was growing in her faith, she knew the next step was to make her faith public and get baptized, but she was scared of what people would think if she messed up or sinned after making such a public statement. One Sunday, Bay Area’s Student Ministry Pastor Jake Wieduwilt was teaching about how God’s opinion was the only opinion that truly mattered. This spurred Jillian into action and within a week her baptism was scheduled.

Jillian’s boldness in wanting to get baptized illuminated

something in her mother as well. Around the same time that Jillian began going to BASM, her mother started feeling a deep calling to read the Bible. Through doing so, she started to really feel God’s presence. He had truly been preparing Dotia for her daughter’s invitation to attend church with her. Dotia told me, “my awakening in Christ came on slowly, then one day I woke up and my whole attitude felt like it had shifted, I felt light and free! I knew baptism was going to be my next step.”

Dotia had enjoyed volunteering in BASM so much and had grown so much while doing so, she wanted to get baptized in BASM. She told me, “it was really important to me to get baptized with the students that I serve –Jillian brought me to church but all the students are keeping me there. I wanted them to see how important their faith is and that it can/is changing the world!”

The week before Christmas, Jillian and her mother were baptized. It was probably one of my favorite moments as a BASM staff member. Jillian said afterward, “that day changed so much for me. Half the kids in BASM didn’t know who I was but now they know my story and my mom’s story. Before I got baptized, I knew I loved Jesus… After I got baptized I was all in and everyone knew it.”

This story really makes me think of the power of an invitation. Would Jillian be walking with Jesus today without Julia’s invite to Amplify? Would Dotia be attending church or so committed to serving without her daughter’s invite? I love to think about the sovereignty of God and watch how His perfect plan unfolds in His perfect timing. It also makes me excited and in prayer for BASM’s “March Madness,” where we really encourage our students to invite their friends to Amplify.




Processing the Costliness of Discipleship BYSHAW

Ihad recently returned from Egypt, the snow was lighting up the night as Carly and I sat on our couch reflecting on the Christian life. Carly asked, “Is this really what life was meant to be like?”

It’s a tough question. This question can be asked with many different motivations. Motivation from boredom with the mundane cycle of workdays asks, “Is this all there is?” Motivation from intimate encounters with the pain and suffering in our world asks, “Was life meant to be this hard?”

There are many different reasons one might ask questions about meaning and purpose and I find myself in all of them. Life is hard and at times exhaustingly boring, but I am confident that God wants to walk with us through all of it. I am confident that he has more for each of us, but the problem is not God, it is us.

I believe God is ready and waiting to catch us and carry us when we step into our fears and out of our comfort zone but many of us are just not giving Him the opportunity to. We are bored with life, because we are choosing to live boring lives. It is not a surprise to me. We don’t give God the opportunity to save



us from our fear because we spend a lot of our time organizing our lives to maximize comfort and minimize risk. These are the things that Carly and I were (and currently are) processing on that cold January night.

“Are we too comfortable?”

“Where are we counting the cost of following Jesus?”

“Is this really what Jesus imagined when he said, ‘GO’?”

“Are we missing it?”

Welcome to the light evening discussion between a married couple who longs to please Jesus, but is wrestling with the life that we now live. We desire to live for God and if He is a God who created this world, then He is a God of imagination and adventure, and I believe He longs for those created in His image to get wrapped up in this adventure with Him.

Rarely will we see God do great things from our couch. If we want to see our great God show up in great ways then we have to be willing to take great steps of faith. If discipleship is meant to be costly then what is the price you are willing to pay to follow Jesus?



"If we want to see our great God show up in great ways then we have to be willing to take great steps of faith."

I am in a season of wrestling with this question.

Those of you who know Carly and my story are aware that it has involved some sacrifices. I am sure many of your lives have, too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live on yesterday’s sacrifices. I want the Lord to show me today what He is calling me to sacrifice. I want to live into tomorrow’s sacrifices because that is where the Lord is. He is always ahead of us, calling us further along with Him. And often that calling forward is a road that involves counting the cost and following Him. Will we trust Him and take whatever step He is calling us to?



Living with Purpose: A Life Modeled after Jesus

"You get one life –how will you live it?"

This question isn’t merely existential but deeply spiritual, beckoning us to ponder the purpose and significance of our existence. For Christians, the answer lies in the profound call to follow Jesus and become more like Him.

It’s a journey illuminated by those who have walked before us - those who we look to as mentors and contributors to the faith because they exemplify an unwavering commitment to follow Jesus and live as He did.


Another influential figure is Priscilla Shirer , a dynamic teacher, author and speaker whose ministry empowers women to embrace their identity and calling in Christ.

Shirer's unwavering faith and bold proclamation of the Word challenges us to step out in courage and obedience, trusting in God's faithfulness and sovereignty. Her life exemplifies the transformative power of discipleship, as she leads by example, pointing others towards a deeper relationship with Jesus.

and biblical justice advocate whose tireless efforts to combat racial injustice have garnered international recognition. Stevenson's commitment to pursuing justice, mercy and reconciliation reflects the heart of God and the values of the Kingdom. Through his work with the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson embodies the call to be agents of change in a world marred by systemic injustice and oppression (read more about his life in ‘Just Mercy’).

Teresa, whose selfless devotion to serving the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta continues to inspire millions. Despite facing immense challenges and doubts, Mother Teresa remained steadfast in her commitment to live out the teachings of Jesus, finding joy and fulfillment in sacrificial love and service.

In a culture that often prioritizes individualism and self-gratification, these examples remind us that true fulfillment is found not in the pursuit of prestige or popularity but in the radical call to leave the world behind and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

The essence of the Christian life lies in becoming more like Jesus and participating in the redemptive work of the Kingdom of God. As the apostle Paul exhorts in Ephesians 5:1-2, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

To live in imitation of Jesus is to embrace a radical and countercultural way of living—a way marked by selflessness, sacrificial love, service and purpose. It is to love God wholeheartedly and to love our neighbors as ourselves, extending grace, mercy and forgiveness to all. In short, by prioritizing eternal values over temporal pursuits, we are imitating Jesus.

And as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, we are transformed completely, becoming vessels of His grace and instruments of His peace in a world desperately in need of hope and healing. Ultimately, as we embrace the call to follow Him, we become agents

of change and bearers of light in a darkened world.

The beauty of this is that you and I can be just like these examples I’ve listed with your neighbor down the street, your coworkers, the people we see at restaurants and coffee shops, or the ones packing our groceries at Trader Joe’s. None of these examples were seeking to make their name great, but to make GOD’S name great. In fact, I bet Mother Teresa would be perfectly fine if no one ever knew who she was or what she did.

The reality is that the vast majority of people that are doing things like those listed above are people whose names we will never know! But that’s not the point - the point isn’t for our names to be known, it’s for God’s name to be known. And we do that by doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God. We do this by looking at Jesus’ life and choosing to do as He did.

In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "When Christ calls a

man, he bids him come and die." To follow Jesus is to die to self, to relinquish our own agendas and ambitions, and to surrender our lives entirely to the will of God. It is a journey marked by grace, as we stumble and falter, yet are continually embraced by the unmerited love of God. Good thing for us, the call to follow Jesus is not a solitary journey but a communal one - one we are on together in faith, accountability and mutual encouragement toward becoming more like Jesus.

What I’m getting at is this: the question of how to live your one life finds its most meaningful answer in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself declared, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) - He is the embodiment of God's love and the ultimate example of what it means to live with purpose and significance.

So let me ask again: you get one life – how will you live it?

The Power of Communal Gathering and Personal Practice

very day I struggle to be present. There are a ton of things vying for my attention. I want to be a great husband and dad. I want to be a good friend. I want to kill it at work. I want to be a monster at jujitsu. I wish I could tell you that Jesus runs through my mind 24/7. Contrary to popular belief, working at a church doesn’t automatically make you yearn for all things Jesus. I think the most honest thing I can say is that I want to want to be in constant communion with Jesus.

Can you relate?

Maybe you've been walking with Jesus for a bit. You know what you should be doing; you've heard the sermons every Sunday, but you’re still trying to figure out how to make what you’re hearing and learning reality. Good news, friend, you’re not alone.

Paul addresses this very issue when he opens up about the internal conflict he faces every day. He describes it as a struggle between two realms: who he is and who he wants to be (Romans 7:14-25). The issue was so pervasive for the early church that he kept having to address it (Galatians 5:17, Romans 6:6, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:9, 10).


Thankfully, we have a Savior who not only delivered us from this plight but also empathizes with it profoundly (Hebrews 4:15). And because He grasps it so intimately, He’s given us tangible graces to help us endure and overcome. One of these graces is the gift of communal gathering.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus highlights the incredible

authority and wisdom that believers tap into when they join together in prayer and agreement (Matthew 18:19-20). In John, He prays that they, His disciples, and all believers would be “brought to complete unity” (John 17: 2023). Jesus imparts this teaching and offers this prayer because He understood the necessity of community in guiding us toward alignment with His will.

One of the ways we live this out is through our worship and prayer nights. These nights serve as a time to reconnect to the vine and the body in a different way. We get to own more of the exhorting that Hebrews calls us to (Hebrews 10:25). We inspire one another through our sung and spoken prayers. We experience the unity of the body of Christ coming together in pursuit of deeper intimacy with Jesus. In simpler terms, we slack off when we don't have a way to put into practice what we've been learning. We need nurturing atmospheres to put our growing faith into action, and that is what we are trying to provide here.

That’s why

Worship and Prayer nights aren’t just inspirational, they’re a training ground.

We learn by doing. Jesus understood the importance of experience in the discipleship process. I believe that’s why he sent out 72 of his followers in Luke 10. He knew that His people would best learn His teaching by practicing what He taught. Turning thought into action is one of the biggest challenges we have as disciples of Jesus. That’s why it’s important we have safe spaces to work some of these things out. Think of worship and prayer nights like a CrossFit gym. There’s a leader/trainer guiding

"We need nurturing atmospheres to put our growing faith into action."

the session, demonstrating how to engage each practice. If you're uncertain about how to participate, you can glance at those around you for cues or even ask them for advice. Ultimately your experience and takeaways are entirely in your hands. We're just here to provide the space for you to explore and find your way.

Worship and Prayer nights are a time where the space between heaven and earth becomes permeable.

When we’re together like this, we’re more receptive to experiencing God in a profound way. We inspire, teach and train one another in the practice of communing with The Father. We equip each other with the tools necessary to build personal formative practices. My hope and prayer is that these nights would serve to catalyze a renewed passion for God in each of us and a deepened commitment to live as disciples.

Worship and Prayer nights are not the destination. They’re

not even the vehicle. Prayer is the vehicle, unbroken communion with our Father is the destination.

These nights are a tool to help you construct your personal vehicle to that destination. I love hearing that you want more of these evenings. God willing, we’ll continue to gather this way. But guess what? You don’t need us there. You don’t need a band or a stage. You can experience God’s presence anywhere, anytime. Take home what you’ve learned and put it into practice. Make this yours. Invite others along. Make it count.

How? That’s between you and the Lord. But here are some thoughts. If you’re a parent, you might begin to incorporate family worship and prayer. Perhaps you’ve been insecure about praying out loud. Get some confidence praying corporately and then challenge yourself to do it in other settings. Maybe your view of worship is too small or even stale. Learn how to catch a reverent vision of God's holiness at these nights and work out how to sustain it in your daily life.



A New Narrative Emerges Amidst

Growing Church Exodus

hristian teens are getting bolder and bolder about sharing their faith… specifically how much they hate it.

You probably know a young person who stopped attending church in the last year or two. It’s no secret that young people are leaving the church in droves, but it’s not the progressive professors turning them off to Jesus. Many students have said that they are put off by the church. One 13year embodied this negative sentiment this way: “Why should I tell others that I'm a Christian. Christians are jerks."

We are in the middle of the greatest shift in church attendance in the history of our country. According to The Great Opportunity Report by the Pinetops Foundation, one million young people are leaving the faith every year! By their estimates, with current trends, as many as 42 million children will walk away from their faith before 2050. That is the same number of all children around the world

displaced due to war and conflict, according to a UN report.

We might be tempted to respond to this data in fear, like so many believers before us. But the gospel of Jesus gives us hope in the middle of a crisis; our message says that resurrection follows death. Mark Sayers, a Christian cultural commentator, often says “a crisis always precedes renewal.” We see in Scripture that the early church only spread throughout the world when believers went through a crisis of persecution, which God used to disperse them throughout the world sharing this new “Good News.”

Our comfort is held in the gospel, a message that teaches that God is always faithful to raise up a remnant of passionate followers of Jesus, who take the opportunity in the darkness to bring light. The Great Opportunity Report recognized this and reported, “The next 30 years will represent the largest missions opportunity in the history of America.”

This national crisis is happening in our day, but equally, so is the solution! Are young people leaving Bay Area Community Church? Sure. But in a congregation where “Evangelistic” is one of lowest ranking of the 9 Discipleship Essentials, 40% of those who came to learn and be equipped at the last Evangelism Workshop were teens!

Students Tessa and Andrew both specifically call out a tool called the Oikos Map that helps them intentionally pray for specific people in their lives to be receptive to gospel conversations. Student Adam found strength in learning the theology of evangelism: “The conversations and practice helped me build upon my faith that the Holy Spirit will fill me in that moment and guide me in sharing the good news.” Ezekiel had a major obstacle removed as he realized the salvation of others depends on the work of the Spirit and not on him.

Bay Area’s vision is for the gospel to advance into the lives of anyone who calls Bay Area home, so much so that the same gospel advances into our neighbors (whether literally next door or students at school) and the nations. Not content with an empty religion of morality, the students who participated in the Evangelism Workshop got more than tools for creating gospel opportunities, they discovered breathtaking ramifications of the gospel in their own lives.

The students in the workshop described a mission field that could best be described as explicitly hostile to the gospel, yet their hearts were moved to build spiritual bridges through the course of the class. How? What do these teens know that many of us struggle with?

Simply put, they have seen the transformative power of the gospel. How the gospel purifies and transforms, how it offers hope and the comfort in final

judgment of sin. How the Spirit moves hearts and gives subtle clues that a person is ripe for a gospel conversation. How the call of Christ is not an invitation to a repressive moral code, but a full reconciliation with God who makes His dwelling among us. The gospel these teens share is one that takes the wildest dreams of the unbeliever and shows how infinitely more beautiful they can be in Christ!

That 13-year old was right, why would he want to tell others he was a Christian when the reputation of Christians was so poor? But what the Workshop teens learned was how evangelism is sharing the reputation of Christ, not of the Christian. That the unbeliever joins the believer in a life of constant repentance and shedding of the old man and sharing in the new.

The gospel is advancing among the students at Bay Area…and they’re telling each other all about it.

"Evangelism is sharing the reputation of Christ, not of the Christian."



DivorceCare Support Group - Winter Sessions

Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m., Virtual Meetings


DivorceCare is a weekly seminar/support group that will help you heal from the hurt of separation and divorce. It’s a warm, caring environment led by people who understand what you are going through. Learn practical information and gain hope for your future.

GriefShare Support Group - Winter Sessions

Thursdays, 6:45-9 p.m., Virtual Meetings


GriefShare is a special weekly seminar and support group designed to help you rebuild your life after losing a loved one. Our group is led by caring people who have experienced grief and want to help you through the difficult days ahead. We know it hurts and we want to help.

Caregivers Support Group

Every 4th Monday, 7-8 p.m., Virtual Meetings


If you are in a season of caregiving and want to learn about resources available, or just talk with others who may be journeying with you in a similar season, join us for our Caregivers support group. We are starting back up with new leadership this fall.

Learn more about these groups and more at bayareacc.org/carenetwork.


Celebration Saturday

March 30, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Annapolis Campus


Families! (and everyone else!) Join us for our annual celebration on the Saturday before Easter. We'll have egg hunts, food trucks, a flower stand inflatables, and so much more! We'll be there rain or shine. Head to our website to let us know you're coming: bayareacc.org/annapolis-events

Spring Preschool Playdate

April 23, 10-11:30 a.m.


We will have crafts and fun for preschoolers and parents. This is a great opportunity to meet other families! Parents and their crawlers and walkers are also welcome! Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be provided. Register on our website: bayareacc.org/annapolis-events

Kids Con (Save the Date)

July 15-17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Annapolis Campus


Stay tuned for more info!

Serving in CM with Special Buddies

Have a heart for serving with children who have special needs? We would love to have you as a part of the Special Buddies team! E-mail mickey.huntington@bayareacc.org.



Feeling led to host a Pilot Community Group?

Pilot Community Groups are a taste of Community Group life at Bay Area. They are the main vehicle to get you into longterm community and connection.

If you would like to know more about how to lead or get connected in community, head to bayareacc.org/ community or email Kevin Rimando at kevin.rimando@bayareacc.org.

Pursuing the Heart Workshop

April 6, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Annapolis Campus


In this workshop, you will learn how to draw out someone’s heart by asking questions in order to discover what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives.

In the workshop, you'll get a biblical understanding of the heart, develop skills that will help you be a more holistic and Spirit-led disciple, and get in touch with your own heart and practice pursuing the hearts of others. Learn more and register: bayareacc.org/ annapolis-events


First Step


First Sundays at 9 a.m. in Room 237

If you are new or looking to get connected at Bay Area, join us for First Step. You’ll get a chance to learn about our mission, vision and how to get connected. Find more details and sign up on our website at bayareacc.org/ nextsteps.


March 10, April 14, immediately following the gathering

Join us in the Arundel High School Teacher's Lounge to hear more about who we are as a Church and find out how you can be more connected. Find more details and sign up on our website at bayareacc.org/nextsteps.


20’s & 30’s MINISTRY

Good Stewards Workshop

April 26-27


As a church, we want to all become more like Jesus every day. This applies to every area of our lives, including our finances. Join Lead Pastor Greg St. Cyr and Generosity Director Meredith Winter as Bay Area hosts speaker-teacher-financial planner Greg Tutino for a two-day financial workshop. We'll dive into the biblical basis for generosity and explore important steps to financial freedom. Learn more and register: bayareacc.org/annapolis-events.

The BACC Deck Bible Study

3rd Fridays, 7 p.m.


Join us on 3rd Fridays as we dive into the word together during our monthly Chapter A Day Bible study. This is a great opportunity to connect with other 20’s & 30’s over a time of fellowship. You can learn more about what to expect each week at bayareacc.org/ youngprofessionals.

A Night at Nigh Hawk

April 5, 7-9 p.m.


Pickleball, batting cages, mini golf - what more could you want on a Friday night in Spring?

Tres Dé Mayo

May 3, 6:30 p.m.


Like Cinco Dé Mayo but on the third! You know the drill - tacos, friends, warm weather.

We’ll post details for these events on our website and in our GroupMe, which you can find at bayareacc.org/ youngprofessionals.


Men's Breakfast

Third Saturdays, 8-9:30 a.m. in the BASM Café


Join the men’s ministry every 3rd Saturday of the month for breakfast in the Student Ministry warehouse and café. Learn more and register: bayareacc.org/annapolis-events.

Men’s Bible Studies



There are several bible studies in progress at Bay Area throughout the week.  See the options and contact info at bayareacc.org/men.

Men's Mentoring


Do you need someone to come alongside you with encouragement and wisdom to help you grow in various areas of your life? There is a new men’s mentoring ministry active at Bay Area. You can request a mentor, or even sign up to be considered to be a mentor yourself. Learn more and register: bayareacc.org/men.


Where are you feeling called to serve on mission this year? Read full team descriptions and complete our Short-Term Missions interest card at bayareacc.org/stm.

Belize 1: March 22 - March 29

Dominican Republic: April 30 - May 4

India: May 31 - June 10

Kenya 1: June 29 - July 11

Kenya 2 (BASM students ONLY): July 20 - August 1

Poland Family Camp: July 17 - 29

Uganda: July 19 - 29

Belize 2 (BASM students ONLY): July 23-30

Appalachia Gifts for Children: Early December


Every Wednesday, 6-8:30 p.m. at the Annapolis Campus


Middle and High Schoolers are invited to join us for our time with gender and age specific community groups. A couple dates to note:

March 27: No Amplify, Spring Break

May 15: Last Amplify of the year

Senior Retreat

April 12-14 in Deep Creek


Seniors are invited for a weekend of reflecting on their time in BASM as well as looking forward to where the Lord is leading them next.

BASM Serves

April 27


Twice a year we invite BASM students to go in the community and serve with us. More details for this date to come!

Friday night Hangs

May 10


Save the date! More details to come.

More events and information can be found on our websites:

bayareacc.org/odenton-students bayareacc.org/annapolis-students



Praying for Our Husbands

As wives we want to love, honor and respect our husbands. One of the best ways we can do that is by being devoted to lifting them up in prayer. We meet one Sunday a month. Learn more and register: bayareacc.org/women

Moms In Prayer

Do you find yourself worried over your children’s future? Do you find yourself concerned about the choices they are making now? Do you ache to see the Lord’s hand in your children’s lives? Moms in Prayer is for you! Learn more: bayareacc.org/women.

Women of Legacy

2nd and 4th Mondays, 10:30 a.m.-noon


Are you a Bay Area Woman 55 or older? We have a wonderful fellowship group for you! The activity at each meeting varies but always includes connecting with your peers, enjoying one another’s company and encouraging each other spiritually. We would love to have you join us soon! Learn more and register: bayareacc.org/women-of-legacy

Art and Faith Creative Workshop

May 4, 9 a.m.-noon


Come fellowship with us as you create your very own painting and Kelly Lagaras shares a brief encouraging message with scripture. You do not need any experience in painting, Kelly will guide you through a step-by-step process. Our hope is you leave feeling encouraged as you connect art and faith. Learn more and register: bayareacc.org/annapolis

Paddle Boarding

June 7. 9 a.m.-noon


Come enjoy our first of several summer opportunities for a peaceful paddle and great fellowship as we enjoy some time together at Capital SUP Nautilus Point Marina. We will explore the Back Creek and its many coves in and around the historic city of Eastport Annapolis. Learn mroe and register: bayareacc.org/ annapolis-events


Women’s Ministry in Odenton

There are lots of ways to connect, grow and serve with the women in Odenton. Some events to look forward to include:

March 15, 6:15 p.m.:

Rend Collective Concert Event

April 12, 6-9 p.m.:

"Believe God Board" craft night

Sundays: Word & Prayer twice a month 8-9 a.m. in the teacher’s lounge. Dates vary.

Reach out to Lisa Brown for more info: baccodentonwomensministry@ gmail.com.


Spring Date Night

April 12, 7-9 p.m.


Think Chef Brian. Think Date Night. Think fun cooking adventure. More details to come: bayareacc.org/annapolisevents.














MAR 22 - 29

APR 30 - MAY 5

MAY 31 - JUN 10

JUN 29 - JUL 11

JUL 17 - 29

JUL 19 - 29

JUL 20 - AUG 1

JUL 23 - 30

Prayerful Relational

Costly Evangelistic


28 GO&MAKE SPRING 2024 Intentional Holistic
Spirit-Led Word-Centered

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