There’s Always Good News
Good News Church recently celebrated its 5th anniversary from our official launch on September 13th, 2015. As I write this, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. I never would have imaged that our 5th anniversary as a church would be in the middle of such a unique and challenging time in modern history. It has been a great reminder to hold our plans loosely, yet cling more tightly than ever before to the Good News of Jesus.
It was this Good News that drove us to start a new church in Powell, Ohio. Powell is a suburb of Columbus on the north-west side, just outside of the 270 outer-belt. It is filled with “rich young rulers” (Mark 10), who are succeeding at the American dream, yet have a deep need for the Gospel that none of their successes can fulfill. They are natural born leaders, highly educated, super talented, and very distracted…but Jesus loves them and died to save them. Read this closely,
“Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” He said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” — Mark 10:21-23
Jesus stopped, looked at this man, and is says that Jesus “loved him”. This is so important and significant. Jesus knew this man’s heart, He knew how this man would respond to the truth, yet He still chose to love this man and tell Him the truth concerning the cost of being one of His disciples.
We are so grateful that God has given us a front row seat to see some “rich young rulers” in our region surrender to Jesus and receive the true everlasting “treasure in heaven”. We are thankful for the opportunity to love people where they are at and proclaim to them through our love and words the Good News of Jesus that they need. Of course, we have also seen many walk away from this truth, but the joy of seeing those who may not have ever heard the saving Good News of Jesus without our new church coming into this city is a gift from God that keeps us driving forward.
When we first set out on this journey, there were 7 of us (counting kids) meeting in my house, and it was the hope of the Good News of Jesus that drove us. When we started renting space in Liberty Middle School and officially launched in that location, it was still the joy of the Good News of Jesus that caused us to press forward through many days of set-up and tear-down. When we took the leap of faith to rent a more expensive 24/7 facility and then launch 2 services, it was the growing need for the Good News of Jesus that caused a willingness to sacrifice in greater ways. When a global pandemic hit and forced us to innovate and meet needs in different ways, it was the certainty of the truth found only in the Good News of Jesus that kept us encouraged and focused.
It always was, always has been, and always will be the Good News of Jesus (the saving Gospel) that is our “WHY”. Jesus is who the often overlooked people need in low income areas or third world slums around the globe. Jesus is who the middle class needs and He is who the upper class needs too, because Jesus doesn’t define us, good or bad, by our earthly situation or position. All of us have the penalty of our sin on heads without the saving grace of Jesus’ blood that washes us white as snow. No matter where God plants you, you are called to be an ambassador of the Good News of Jesus to whoever your “neighbors” are in that place.
God used Stadia as a sturdy support, constant encouragement, and a catalyst for equipping Good News Church to live into the calling of sharing the Good News of Jesus to the community that God planted us in. We have been so blessed by our partnership with Stadia, and we thank God for the women and men who faithfully serve new churches like us through the ministry of Stadia. No one should ever plant alone. We sure are glad that we didn’t!
Even in a pandemic that has brought our church some new and significant challenges, there’s always Good News! Nothing in this world can take this Good News away from us if we remain in Him. No matter who we meet and what they’ve done, we’ve got Good News for them because of Jesus. The same Good News that was delivered to us, we get to freely share with them. We get to boast of our Lord and all that He has done for us. The many lives that have been baptized and transformed by His grace and the many mountains that we have prayed for God to powerfully move and He did. They now get to be a partaker and witness to the goodness of God over their own lives, as they now share that Good News with others who they uniquely know. This is how multiplication happens.
Never forget the Good News and hope that you have in this life because of Jesus, and never stop sharing it with the world around you. The church is the hope of the world because we know first hand the true hope of the world. Jesus!
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!” — Romans 10:14-15
Cody Balch’s greatest honor is the title of husband to his lovely wife Micah, and being a father to Jael, Ruth, Esther, and Jude. Cody graduated from Ohio Valley University in 2009 with a Bachelors in Bible, a minor in Youth Ministry and a minor in Missions. He has served in full-time ministry for almost 12 years, with 11 of those years being in a Lead Pastor role. Cody served as the Lead Planter to Good News Church in Powell, OH, which officially launched in September of 2015. Cody’s passion is people, and he loves nothing more than to help people come to know the truth of who Jesus really is and the Good News that saves them.