Leader: Andy Appleby and Team
Greatest Common Factor (GCF) is a ministry group where students in 6th-12th grades can find belonging and grow in their identity in Christ. Students and adult leaders alike meet nearly every Sunday evening (except on holiday weekends) from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. for snacks, fellowship, authentic worship, Christ-centered bible study and discipleship time, snacks, and games. This group of students likes to have fun and adventure almost as much as the adult leaders, so we will occasionally play bizarre games, compete in silly competitions, and even do activities that take us beyond the walls of the church for adventure. Summer church camp provides students opportunities to deepen their relationship and make life-lasting friends all over Illinois.
GCF is also a church within the church, and our name is more than a just a novelty. This group was founded with a commitment to making all students feel welcome. All of our students have a math class in school no matter what school they attend or what grade they are in. You can ask any one of them what the greatest common factor in math is, and they can tell you that the greatest common factor is the largest number that can divide evenly into two other numbers. Similarly, Jesus Christ is the greatest common factor amongst any two believers. No matter what divides any of us, we can all of us share a remarkable identity in Jesus. So as pastor Woody says, “No matter where you feel you don’t belong, you belong here“.
With a vision recently cast for student leadership, group members are regularly encouraged to live out their faith in service, leadership, and Christian love. Many, if not most student members serve in various church ministries and in their communities. Students may lead prayer, help lead worship, and teach God’s word occasionally. GCF as a group also gets to lead Sunday morning worship in its entirety. Some churches look to its students as the future of the church. At First Baptist Atwood, our future is now.
So, what are you waiting for? If you are a student and you are still reading this, we have even more good news! God has a purpose and a plan for your life that he is ready to reveal. Please come and join us! We can’t wait to meet you!