Ministry on the Margins at Commonwealth Christian Community

At Commonwealth Christian Community in Crozet, Virginia we have the following mission: To be a congregation that seeks to honor God and be transformed in His presence, to love our neighbors as much as God has loved us, and to develop disciplined followers of Christ that will change our world. In short, we strive to love God, love man, and change the world.

There are many ways we try to implement this mission. The first is through our small group ministry, which is our main discipleship vehicle. We have seen well over 70 percent of our Sunday attendance involved in weekly small groups in this last year. This year we have even opened up one of our groups to the local community through a neighborhood website and are seeing several people ministered to that either don’t have a weekday opportunity in their local church or are unchurched themselves. This change in our approach has created an evangelistic layer to our weekly discipleship.

We connect to our community as a collection point for a local food bank run by Crozet United Methodist Church. They have a well-established program with many regular clients. By partnering with this ministry, we are able to reach out to those needing assistance in our town. It is this kind of Kingdom partnership that helps us to fulfill our mission regardless of our current size.

We are blessed to have two successful childcare ministries within our congregation. Commonwealth Christian Childcare includes a full-time daycare and preschool for children 18-months to 4 years old. We also have an after-school program for children in grades 1 through 5 during the school year. This program expands to a full-day summer program from June through August. These ministries help parents in our community with childcare and we work hard to make them the least expensive in our area. However, the greater reach for our purpose is the relationships it allows us to have with many unchurched families in our town. We grow these relationships through daily conversations with parents, foster parents, and other guardians as they drop off or pick up children. We also create many fun-days outside of weekly contact which occur on seasonal days such as back to school, Easter egg hunts, and end of year celebrations.

We have a strong children’s program that ministers to many of these children every Wednesday evening through which we have seen several children come to Christ. The next layer of ministry comes as these children are baptized in water or participate in seasonal musical presentations, both of which occur in our Sunday worship gatherings. These events allow many of these unchurched families to experience God’s presence in a Sunday service. We spend much time in prayer and preparation to be a place that these local families will see as the answer to the issues of life that they deal with every day.

Please pray with us that many in our small town will experience God in a powerful way. Pray for us as we take care of secondary needs that will lead to many people hearing the Gospel and finding Jesus as the answer they need. Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to lead and guide us to effectively be the world-changing disciples that God has called us to be.

Paul Hollifield 
Lead Pastor
Commonwealth Christian Community