Sovereign Grace is made up of ordinary churches that God is using in their communities and beyond to further his purposes. As Sovereign Grace churches, we are joined together by shared values and a shared mission.
We asked Wayne Brooks, pastor of Grace Church (Orlando, FL), to answer some questions about what the Lord is doing in the church as they seek to make the gospel known in their community and join with other churches in Sovereign Grace to be "part of something bigger." We hope you're encouraged as you get a glimpse into the life of one Sovereign Grace church.
How did Grace Church begin?
Grace Church of Orlando was planted in February 2006 out of Metro Life Church in an area southwest of Orlando. There were a number of families in that area that had been driving close to an hour to attend Metro Life.
What does partnership with Sovereign Grace (SG) mean for you as pastor and for the people of Grace Church?
Prior to coming to Sovereign Grace, I had pastored in a denominational church for a number of years. The thing I appreciated about SG was the relationships with other pastors and leaders. I continue to benefit from the relationships, counsel, and accountability from fellow pastors in SG.
My church has benefitted from being a part of something bigger than itself. We are able to participate in spreading the gospel and building churches around the world thanks to our relationship with SG. We also benefit greatly from the music, conferences, and relationships within SG.
What about your church brings you the most joy as a pastor?
The way they build their lives on the Word of God. Their sincere desire to hear the Word preached and the way they apply the Word to their lives gives me great joy.
Secondly, the way they live their lives with each other. From care groups, to serving each other, to casual times of doing life together, you can see that the folks of Grace Church love each other. One of the biggest differences for me in pastoring in a denominational setting and pastoring now is that now I have the privilege to pastor my friends.
Is there a conversion story from the past year that you could share with us briefly?
A member at Grace invited a neighbor named Doug to a men’s breakfast. Doug said he was impressed by how welcome the other men made him feel. He enjoyed the relationships with the men so much that he attended that next day, continued to come, and came to realize his need of the Savior. He came to Christ, and we had the joy of hearing his testimony and baptizing him recently.
What are you currently preaching on Sunday mornings, and what is the Lord showing you through it?
We just finished a wonderful series on the book of Jonah—Salvation Belongs To The Lord. We delighted in God’s mercy to sinners and were challenged to determine if we had a Nineveh. Are there folks that are very different than us that God wants to be merciful to through us?
What is the city of Winter Garden/Orlando like, and what is your vision for reaching people in your community?
Winter Garden is a suburb of Orlando in the southwest quadrant of the county. We are located 20 minutes from downtown Orlando, Disney, Universal, and Sea World. Winter Garden is a desirable community for families who work in the theme parks or downtown Orlando, so it has grown as a residential community. We want to make sure those living here and moving here are confronted with the gospel.
Our desire is to live our lives as Christians in proximity to unbelievers who will witness our good works and hear from us the good news.
Our care groups are growing in including an outreach component to our activities and life together. We are including the lost in many of our regular activities. Our goal is for them to see us in our relationships with other Christians and to see them respond to the gospel and be added to the church.
What are some recent outreach events or ministries that God is particularly using in your church these days?
We had a group of folks that felt burdened for the people that live right around our meeting place. So one Sunday after our meeting, they spent the afternoon going from house to house inviting folks to attend Grace Church.
We also have a group of folks that seek to show God’s love by serving regularly at program for kids with life-threatening diseases. They help serve meals and interact with the children and families that are here for free vacations. It is a great opportunity for families to serve together.
How can we be praying for Grace Church?
Please pray for us as we continue to grow in reaching out to others. God is leading us to not seclude ourselves with those like ourselves but to include others in order to influence them with the gospel. Pray that we will have much fruit from our efforts.
Wayne Brooks has served as a pastor for over 25 years. For the ten years prior to the plant of Grace Church, he served as Executive Pastor at Metro Life Church in Casselberry. Prior to joining Metro Life's leadership team, he served for eleven years as a senior pastor in Titusville, Florida. He and his wife, Sandie, have two married daughters.