Our Mission

Our Mission

All of our Sunday School classes, Bible studies, prayer groups, and small groups exist to prepare you or your child for living for Christ in the real world. We use a variety of learning methods and teaching styles, so there is a fit for every type of learner, and each class or study includes a practical, relevant application to real life – where you are. We believe Christian Education exists not just to fill our minds, but to change our hearts and our lives.

Our purpose, our mission, and our call continues to be not just going to church, but BEING the church together, both in our church community and out in the world.

Spring Semester 2018


 Community Groups are groups of people who meet once or twice a month around a common interest. The goal of community groups is simply to build relationships among our church members and family and friends or visitors who want to be involved. As we garden together, read together, play board games together, etc., we hope to build deeper friendships and a stronger community. If you don't see a group below that works for you, contact Pastor Robert (robert@gspc.net or 704-364-1234) about starting your own group!
  • Gardening: Shannon Klar, every other Saturday morning
  • Book Club: Diana Horne, every other Wednesday morning
  • Knitting: Barbara Thomson, every other Wednesday night
  • Board Games: Mark and Melisssa Katibah, one Saturday night per month
  • Family of Those Struggling with Mental Illnesses: Marty McKenzie, contact for details

FIRST & THIRD WEDNESDAYS: "Dinner Church" (6:00-7:00pm)

The first & third Wednesday night of every month, from 6:00 - 7:00 pm, we have a covered dish dinner open to the WHOLE CHURCH COMMUNITY as well as any friends and neighbors of the GREATER COMMUNITY. The purpose of this monthly meal together is the same as our community groups - building community among our church members, neighbors, and friends. Which means, feel free to bring neighbors and friends! Bring whatever you want to share - no pressure on making any fancy dish or even bringing anything homemade. Lots of people just swing by Harris Teeter or even Taco Bell and grab something on the way. God usually works it out so we get a somewhat balanced meal. And no one will mind if we end up with all desserts one or two or three times!

We eat at intentionally mixed-age tables and follow a structured schedule for our meal, with unique sacred activities like candle lighting, breaking of bread, and liturgy; and creative elements to keep things interesting. But don’t worry, there will still be plenty of time to chat with your church family! We are hoping this more intentional time will build our faith community and create a unique space to invite friends from our greater community into our wonderful church family. Because of our small size and our family feel, we have such a unique opportunity at Good Shepherd to really connect inter-generationally, young children to their grandparents and aunts and uncles in the faith, and to come together as one united body. This is just one way to take advantage of that.

Sunday Mornings (9:30-10:30am)

CHILDREN (overview)The preschool and K-2nd classes will use the Explore the Bible curriculum. Each class will study the books of Matthew, Ruth, Judges, and Psalms, using games, art, and discussion.
  • PRESCHOOLERS taught by: Marty McKenzie
  • K-2nd GRADERS taught by: Ronnie Dolinger and Chris Orr
The 3rd-5th grade class will use the Studies on the Go curriculum and will explore the book of John. They will use different activities to discover who Jesus is and how he works in their lives.
  • 3rd-5th GRADERS taught by: Cindy Dolinger

(6th-12th grade*): the youth class will have an in-depth study of the book of Matthew, using discussion and activities to discover who Jesus is and how He works in our lives. taught by: Sara Halpin
               *11th and 12th graders also have the option to attend an adult class if they would like.

ADULTS (overview): Each semester, we offer different options of styles (lecture vs. discussion/interactive, academic vs. intro level, topical vs. textual, etc.) to meet a variety of learning styles, interests, and spiritual needs. Each semester, we offer different options of styles (academic vs. intro level, lecture vs. discussion/interactive, topical vs. textual, etc.) to meet a variety of learning styles, interests, and spiritual needs.
1-2 Peter, taught by Jim Hinton
textual, discussion, academic and life application

This class will explore the little-studied New Testament books of 1-2 Peter. These books were written for practical purposes. The church at the time was dealing with the persecution of believers and the rise of false teachers in the church. Peter helped believers deal with both challenges in theological terms, by meditating on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ.
Managing our Finances God's Way, taught by Mark Katibah
topical, discussion, videos, life application

Using Crown Financial Ministries curriculum, Managing our Finances God's Way, we will explore what God says about our money and how to use it to honor Him. Did you know there are over 2,350 verses in the Bible about money? Did you know that nearly half of Jesus' parables are about possessions? The Bible is packed with wise counsel about your financial life. In fact, Jesus had more to say about money than about heaven and hell combined. This video-based curriculum was co-developed by Crown Financial Ministries and Purpose-Driven Ministries.

For more information on adult classes, contact Pastor Robert Austell (robert@gspc.net; 704-364-1234)

For more information on children & youth classes, contact Sara Halpin (sara@gspc.net; 704-364-1234)

just for KIDS

INFANTS are lovingly cared for in our nursery by professional staff and volunteers during Sunday School and worship.

CHILDREN’S CHURCH is during 11:00 am worship, after the Children’s Sermon. Children ages 4 years old through 1st grade are dismissed with an adult leader to hear the message of the sermon on their own level and to understand and practice elements of worship. On communion Sundays (1st Sunday), children are invited to remain in worship with their families.

KID'S CLUB (K-5th grade) meets on the SECOND Sunday of each month, from 2-3:30 pm for a "mini-VBS" event, which includes Bible Study, fellowship, games, crafts, and lots of fun! This is a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbors out to play with us!
Contact Sara (sara@gspc.net; 704-364-1234) for more on Children’s Ministries.

just for YOUTH

MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP meets on Sunday afternoons from 4:00 - 5:30 pm for games, worship, prayer, and discussion with youth their own age and adult advisers who are passionate about youth. This spring they will be discussing finding their identity in Christ as they navigate middle school.

HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP meets in a girls small group (Sunday nights from 5:30-7:00pm) and a boys' small group (time tba). Once a month we get everyone together for games, worship, prayer, discussion, or a service project. The high school ministry is assisted by adult advisers who are passionate about youth. This fall, they will be discussing how to maintain a strong relationship with Christ amidst their busy schedules.

YOUTH also do lots of special activities through the year like service projects, concerts, retreats, game nights, and more.

Contact Sara (sara@gspc.net; 704-364-1234) for more on Youth Ministries

just for MEN

Our new Men’s Ministry is going strong, continuing our monthly fellowship activities. Join us for Wings Night (last Tues. of the month) or for Running Club on Saturday mornings at 8am at the Piper Glen Greenway. If you’re interested in joining us, have any ideas or need more info, or want to help, contact Todd Pearce or Chris Orr or call the church office (704-364-1234).

just for WOMEN

Women's Bible Study meets in two groups:
  • Tuesday Nights, 7:00-8:30 pm [Barbara Thomson]
  • Tuesday Mornings, 9:15-10:45 am [Heather Austell, and Robin Orr]
Each group is a delightful group of ladies of all ages and backgrounds who meet together to study, pray, laugh, cry, support, and encourage each other through all of life’s ups and downs and twists around. Both groups would love to welcome new members with open arms and open hearts!

Women of the Church meets twice a year for fellowship and spiritual growth - at a brunch (fall) and a retreat (spring). This year, for our fall retreat, we were excited to have our own Bentley Ball, a licensed counselor and great Bible teacher, lead us in study, discussion, and prayer on the topic "Hope Again." Stay tuned for info on the spring retreat!

Contact Pastor Robert Austell (robert@gspc.net; 704-364-1234) for more information on Adult Ministries.

NEW book study

In response to God opening his eyes to issues of race all around us, a number of members and friends undertook a book study this past Fall on Waking Up White as a FIRST STEP towards our responding to the inequity and inequality found in our culture and society. There is much more to be done, but we cannot engage what we do not see, and this book has been useful tool for many pastors and leaders in opening their eyes to their own blind spots. That group of 15 or so is moving on with some next steps. If you are interested in a spring reading of this book please contact Pastor Robert (robert@gspc.net; 704-364-1234)

See Right Menu for Notes from Past Adult Sunday School Classes & Bible Studies, Lent Prayer Guide, Advent Devotional Guide, and other Resources