The Church at West Vista

 In Church Planting
Jody Ratcliffe

Jody Ratcliffe is a native of Camden, SC and graduate of North Greenville University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been serving in the ministry for 22 years in youth ministry and church growth ministries. He is married to Melanie of Barnwell, SC and has three teenagers, MaCayla, Leia, and Aiden.

IMG_0280The vision for home churches was first lived out for my wife and family on the mission fields of Far East Russia. There, we planted churches in apartments and began to revive the blueprint church found in Acts. Non-believers who have a deep need to connect in personal ways found “house church” becoming their church.
I brought this idea home to the US, where I found churches surprisingly declining and not knowing why. Calling them life groups, I saw lives change and the lost hear and respond to Christ through the warm setting of the living room. I realized our homes must be used to advance the kingdom. Our homes are the best tools to meet and bless our neighborhoods.

12647107_1716618015219232_8588561473260480953_nIn 2014, as a result of my senior pastor asking his staff to pray about the church’s greatest needs,God began to give me the vision for planting a new church that would model the original church of Acts. The Church at West Vista began to take shape in late 2014. At The Church at West Vista, we believe that the church is the beautiful Bride of Christ, that it is relational above attractional, that the church is stronger when it is smaller and more personal, and that each member has the equal responsibilities of personal discipleship and personal evangelism. Our vision statement is “Homes Becoming Bridges for the Gospel” and we began meeting in late 2015. We want to be multiple points of gospel contact all over the Midlands through home churches.

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