What is Deeper?

Social storms surround us as the culture attempts to redefine faith and morality. Christians are confused, wondering how to respond to the changing winds of society. Some run and hide from the danger, choosing isolation over confrontation. Others respond in fear, which inevitably leads to aggression. Still, more are blown back and forth by the winds of public opinion. Sadly, their faith is not rooted in the Word of God.

So, how should we respond? First, we must resist the temptation to selfishly turn inward in isolation, but we must also remember that our church’s first priority is not to simply grow bigger. Instead, God is leading us to Grow Deeper.

Imagine with me, the resurrected Jesus, now standing on a mountain in Galilee overlooking the Sea. Preparing for his departure, the Savior proceeds to give final instructions to his closest followers. These words, from Matthew 28:19-20, have become all too familiar: Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Our church is not just praying for a season of spiritual improvement. We are seeking God for a lasting strategy of Disciple Making. We don’t want to just Reach, we want to Teach people across the Upstate to love and live for Jesus. We are Growing Deeper!

– Pastor Wayne Bray

Missional Challenge:

CONNECTION - See 2,000 Committed to Daily Scripture Reading & Prayer

COMMUNITY - Increase Adult Groups Attendance to Over 2,000 Weekly

COMMITMENT - $1,000,000 invested in Missions through Upstate Groups

COMMISSION - 72,000 Gospel Connections and 24,000 Gospel Conversations leading to 500 Baptisms


Barnard Story

Up until 2 years ago, Melissa and I had been members of Andy Williams' Group. At that time I started feeling called to teach again (we had a class at FBS previously) so, working with Andy, we created a new Group with a few others from Andy’s class - now we have ~24 members. From the start we had two goals for our group, one, was to be a group for anyone. We have married members, single members, younger members and older members - doesn’t matter. Second, and most importantly, we wanted our Group to serve, to “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 Over these last 2 years, in spite of COVID, our group has served. We have helped people move, we have helped with yard work, we support the Fishers of Men Ministry (locally led by a member of our Group), we facilitate the churches “Secret Church” event and our group always supports with donations. We also have been strong supporters of the churches involvement with the Foster Youth Initiative (FYI) - and it is through this engagement that we were introduced to the Dominion home for boys in Spartanburg. Our involvement with these boys is one of the things I am most proud. We have made and catered a Thanksgiving dinner for them, held multiple cookouts with them (and associated corn hole contest), and provided them with cards, treats and gifts at various holidays. We are now looking to connect with a local Spartanburg church so that together we can share the gospel with these boys on a more regular basis. We have been ALL IN and are ready for ONE!

Mayfield Story

We were taught biblical principles at an early age so service and tithing have been ingrained into our daily lives. We have been at FBS for about 25 years and, while not always tithers, have learned obedience to God is so important for our Christian walk. Mark was called to his first foreign mission trip many years ago but we had no ability to pay for the trip. The minister in charge of that trip basically stated we have 2 avenues of mission help. The supporters and those who are sent. He explained that many have the financial ability to help send those who may not be able to afford the mission expense. That has always stuck with us and helped in changing our commitment to tithes and offerings. After recklessly avoiding our duty to tithe, we began giving small and increased it every year. As our giving grew so did our dependence on God, after all, He can do far more with our finances than we can. Moments like the economic crash of 2008-2009 as well as the current pandemic have proven that God will take care of us if we continue our faithfulness to Him. Our challenge to all is to listen to God when He is stirring in your heart to step up to the next challenge. If we are not being challenged financially, the devil probably has us in his happy place. Malachi 3:10

Andy Nelson & Bill Sims

Dale & Melissa Barnard

connection with christ

Deep inside the heart of man is a longing to connect. We tend to search for this connection through people like friends or family, things like talents and abilities, or maybe even our careers. These connections define who we are and who we are becoming. But what if the most important connection we pursued was our relationship with Christ?The reality is that we cannot connect people to Jesus until we’re connected to Jesus ourselves. At First Baptist Simpsonville | Upstate Church we say it all the time, “We exist to see people in the Upstate CONNECT with Jesus to change their world.”

Therefore, over the next 24 months, our prayer is that you will join us in committing to connect with Jesus like never before. We want to see Jesus in the center of every home of Upstate Church. Are you committed to being “daily devoted to Jesus”? How is your prayer life? Are you making it a priority to spend personal time with Jesus outside of Sunday morning? We will focus for the next two years to help each other grow in the areas of spiritual devotion, spiritual discipline, and spiritual health. Let’s grow deeper!

community with believers

We can’t grow deeper with Jesus in isolation. God made us for community and he gave us the local church because we need each other. We aren’t only growing deeper in our individual relationships with Jesus but we’re drawing closer to Jesus as we draw closer together in community with other believers. Community matters because it points us to Jesus, helps us to study God’s Word, and sends us out on mission together.

Growing deeper in community is going to take a great investment from all of us. We all have next steps to take. We need to start new groups, train new leaders, and help our current groups grow in accountability and vulnerability. Growing deeper in biblical community is going to require more than organizational expansion; we need each other! That’s why we’ll focus so much on strengthening and expanding Upstate Groups. This is the primary way that you can get plugged into community at our church. Groups are where we begin to experience true belonging, personal accountability, and spiritual care. Don’t miss your chance to grow deeper with people who care about you. It won’t be the same without you!

commitment to the mission

A decision of commitment stirs up all types of responses. In most cases, it is a negative response, maybe fear, uncertainty, or selfishness. When we are asked to commit, it requires us to release our grip on something of value. Shouldn’t we commit to things of priority and eternal impact? When you commit to give financially, it requires releasing the grip you have on your bank account. You may commit to go on a mission trip which requires you to let go of a comfortable routine.

The Christian life requires commitment to a unique set of values. Jesus’ call for those who desire to follow Him into a deeper relationship is one of wholesale commitment to things of eternal value. Jim Eliott once said, “he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” What we commit to give, financially to the church and in service to others, is a reflection of what we value most.

In the gospel of Matthew, a parable is told of a man who finds a treasure in another man’s field. He immediately runs home and liquidates everything he has in order to purchase the field. Why the overwhelming desire to sell all he had? The treasure he found was far more valuable than anything he previously owned. He determined that everything he had could not compare to the treasure he found.

We go deeper in our commitment to Christ when He is our greatest treasure. He is worthy of it all. Going deeper with Jesus requires a growing desire to give in all areas of life: financially, with our time, and with the gifts God has given.

commission to the lost

Jesus is clear in His commission to the world, both in Matt. 28 and Acts 1, that if a person really knows Him, they will be a disciple-making disciple. There are no exclusions or excuses given for the Christian not to participate. Therefore, the 21st century believer is called to live out and share the gospel regularly.

What does it look like for a Christ-follower at FBS|UC looking to grow deeper? We want to be people who are growing deeper and making disciples. This means we will pray for gospel connections, seek gospel conversations, and give gospel invitations. The Upstate of South Carolina is filled with 1.5 million people whose lives are hanging in the balance. Are you praying for them? Are you seeking to engage them in conversations about Jesus? Are you inviting them into this community of faith where they may find the hope you have in Jesus?

What does this look like for us specifically? Over the next two years we will make 72,000 gospel connections. We will start 24,000 gospel conversations, and we are hoping to see 500 new Christians follow the Lord in believer’s baptisms. How does this happen? We don’t just want to be a church that makes disciples; we want to grow deeper by becoming a church full of disciple-makers.




8:45AM | 10:00AM | 11:20AM


8:45AM | 10:00AM | 11:20AM


10:00AM | 11:20AM


10:00AM | 11:20AM


10:00AM | 11:20AM