Common Ground Summer Benefit

I can vividly remember the spring of 2013 when Jake and I first walked down this small alleyway in the community of Oak View. At that time, we had no organization, no volunteers, no money, no location, and no relationship within the community we were hoping to serve. All we had was this very simple question we were determined to answer… what does it look like to bring hope to a community? 

One of my favorite passages comes from Mark 4:30-32 in which Jesus is trying to give a glimpse as to what Heaven is like. Jesus says, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what story shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade”.  I believe that as followers of Jesus we are called to tell people about the kingdom of God, and show people a glimpse of what it’s like here on Earth. For several years now we have met hundreds of kids that come from all different backgrounds. We have met kids that come from broken homes, single mothers, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, loneliness, gang influence, abandonment, and much more. In every situation we strive to bring kids hope, love, and a place where they can perch in some shade. I am absolutely blown away by the people that have partnered with us since the first day we entered the Oak View community. We have incredible volunteer leaders, board of directors, Church partnerships, and financial donors that are dedicated to the same idea we started with back in 2013. 

Saturday, September 15th we had our first ever Common Ground Benefit. It was a night where our organization invited people from all over to join us for a night of celebration of the past several years of ministry, while at the same time fundraising for our future. I was absolutely blown away to see hundreds of people gather around us in support. At the end of the night we discovered we had raised almost double the amount of money we had set as a goal! This is not only a testament to the amazing people we have in our community, but it is just another example of God showing us that He loves to bless His children. 

Common Ground is dedicated to bringing hope to communities.  We believe this hope can only be found with a relationship with Christ. The way we’ve decided to share this hope is by following three simple guidelines.

  1. Inviting kids into a true Community of leaders that love and care for them

  2. Teaching kids about the Restoration found in Jesus Christ and His gospel

  3. Walking with these kids each step of the way through the Adventure of following Jesus. 

As we look back over our history and begin to dream of what God has in store for our future, we realize that the only way to stay pure and devoted to our purpose is to always ask ourselves that initial question. What does it look like to bring hope to this community today, tomorrow, and for years to come? 



Matt JohnsonComment