L O C A L S T O R Y
This Sunday Matt Vergin shared with us how God has been working in his life over the past few weeks.
“For the past several months I’ve been in a prolonged position where I’ve had to make a very
difficult decision. My first avenue for resolving this dilemma was to go to the Lord. After I had spent quite a bit of time in prayer and felt no closer to a clear decision, I then began to also seek out counsel from other believers who I knew had experience in this area. Unfortunately, the more people I asked, the wider range of opinions I got.”
Matt discovered a loss of joy in his prayer life and found that his mind was distracted away from the Lord as he became consumed by the decision he had to make.
“Then one night as I was once again in prayer asking for clarity, the Lord helped me to realize
something. I realized that I had spent so much time fretting over this decision, that it had subtly
distorted my relationship with Christ. The weight of the decision had become a third party inserted between Jesus and I that didn’t belong there.”
It was during this time that God showed Matt that as a follower of Christ the number one question in his life should’t be ‘am I making the absolutely wisest, right decision?’ But rather ‘am I close to Jesus? Do I have a thriving relationship with Jesus?’
“The Lord never gave me clarity in the sense that I 100% knew what the right call was. But he did give me clarity to know that he’s powerful enough to
use the decisions I make for my good and the good of others, even if I don’t have 100% certainty. And that because I have Christ I don’t have to micromanage my life to make sure that I absolutely avoid all suffering or difficult decisions because I know that with Christ I can be content regardless. That freed me to make a decision boldly, and trust that the Lord would use it.”
Matt encouraged us that when we’re faced with a difficult decision to pray about it and seek advice but to understand that as long as we strive to stay close to Christ, He has the power to shape our lives more than we do.
Listen to Matt share his full story at localchurchstpete.com
Sundays at 10AM
Disciples who make disciples to impact the city of St. Pete for Jesus.
St. Petersburg has an average of 361 days of sunshine each year; because of this the city has been nicknamed “The Sunshine City.” It’s no wonder why St. Pete is the largest city in the most densely populated county in the state. St Pete is a diverse, eclectic, artistic and active city.
I love St. Pete. I love its quirkiness and diversity; I love its passion and beauty. Our hope is for Local Church St. Pete to be a place to grow in faith, ask hard questions and take time to explore the truths of who Jesus is and what it means for our lives today. Simply put, we are disciples of Jesus. An imperfect community of people called out of brokenness and shame and called into a relationship with Him. We believe in the mission Jesus gave his disciples to love one another and make disciples. We’re humbled by God’s grace and eager to share the joy and hope we have in Him, and we understand the local church is God’s missionary strategy to reach a broken world.
In 1 Peter 2:9-10 we find the church (followers of Jesus) has a “double identity.” The church is called out of the world to belong to God and sent back into the world to declare His praises. Our temptation can be to either withdraw and isolate ourselves or to blend in and compromise. Instead, we’re called to be set apart while at the same time deeply involved in the world, entering the pain and suffering of those around us. We believe God has called us to be a church in the city of St. Pete that understands it’s identity as the called out and sent in people of God.
I’ve pastored for 19 years in the bay area (14 of those years in St Pete), and I’ve been encouraging local pastors and church planters along the way and will continue to do so. The network of relationships we have with local pastors is a gift and I know it will prove to be a strength for us as a church. We’re excited to move forward and see a new expression of God’s people through Local Church St. Pete. Our story is still unfolding and we can’t wait to see who God brings into it. We’re forever grateful for the people we get to walk out our faith alongside and we’re excited to move forward. We would love for you to join us!
With Joy and Faith,
Daryn Kinney has pastored for 19 years in the Tampa Bay area, 14 of those years in St. Pete. His passion for the local church and his love for discipleship has been a focus for him over the years. He enjoys music and has led worship teams longer than he’s pastored. Originally a visual art major, he has a deep appreciation for the arts. Daryn married his high school love in 1999 and has three boys (Jude, Shay and Silas).
Beliefs + Resources
Our hope is for Local Church St. Pete to be a place where you can grow in your faith, ask hard questions and take time to explore the truths of who Jesus is and what it means for your life today.
Here are some truths we treasure and resources we love to share. Enjoy exploring them.
God himself has come to rescue and restore us in and through Jesus Christ. When we change our mind about who is God in our lives and by faith believe that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection has secured our rescue and restored us to a right relationship with God the Father, we’re then made new in Jesus. Through Jesus, God has graciously provided a way for our broken relationship with Him to be restored and made right again. It’s this very message of reconciliation and hope that defines who we are as a church. We get to come alongside others and say, “Look at what God has done in Jesus!…Jesus is God’s answer to the hurt, pain, brokenness and longing in our own hearts. God has not left us alone, He has provided a way for us to be at peace with him – this story of Jesus grows out of a bigger story – one that’s been shouting promises of forgiveness for ages and now in Jesus we see how those promises have been answered!” Nothing shapes the identity of Local Church St. Pete more than this Gospel Story.
Tim Keller: “When we experience Christ’s radical grace through repentance and faith, it becomes the most intense, foundational event of our lives…In Christ we have both spiritually died and been raised to new life.” Our identity is not in how we dress, what we look like, how much money we make or where we live. It isn’t something we have to earn either. Our identity is found in Jesus and this means we’ve entered a new family, a Gospel community, where we are loved and accepted, not because of our work and effort but because of the work and effort of Jesus. As adopted sons and daughters we want to share the same kind of compassion and grace we’ve received from God our Father. Completely captivated by this new identity we have in Jesus, we know it’s best lived out in the context of Gospel community.
We were never meant to live our life in Christ on our own. Jesus said John 13:35, “all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The New Testament exhorts us to be joined to, devoted to, counsel, honor, confess your sins to, forgive, bear with, carry the burdens of, be kind to, teach and admonish, build up, pray for, love one another. In other words, we’re called to be and do something together that we could never be and do on our own. Through this new “Gospel community” God continues to gather a people from every tribe, tongue and nation – including the people of St. Pete. Life is messy, no one is perfect and community can be tough at times, but we understand the church is God’s idea for our good and His glory.
In Thessalonians 1:5 we read that the Thessalonians heard the Gospel of Jesus in a way that came not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. The result? They became imitators of those who preached the gospel, imitators of the Lord Jesus himself. In other words they connected what they heard to their very lives. The message they received rang out not because they planned an event that would demonstrate their faith but because their very lives gave them away! Their faith in God had become known everywhere because their passion was to serve the living and true God. We want this to be said of Local Church St. Pete. We understand that intentionality in serving God’s mission happens when there’s an overflow of love and joy for God and a true brokenness for the lost. We’re humbled by God’s grace and that translates into active, ongoing service. We aren’t striving to prove our own significance or aiming to build a name for ourselves, instead we want the people of St. Pete to see Jesus for who He is and bring honor to His name.
John Stott: “He (Jesus) did not stay in the safe immunity of His heaven. Instead He emptied himself of His glory and humbled himself to serve. He actually entered our world. He took our nature, lived our life and died our death. He could not have identified with us more closely than he did…And now he calls us to enter other people’s worlds, as he entered ours…We are called to enter other people’s social and cultural reality: into their thought-world, struggling to understand their misunderstandings of the gospel, and into the pain of their alienation, weeping with those who weep. And this without compromising our Christians beliefs, values and standards.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
Local Church St. Pete is a non-denominational church. Our statement of faith is The Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement.
Expectation and Dependency
We believe God will do great things for our good and His glory. We want to trust him and lean on him through prayer in every way.
Humility and Compassion
We know we are not the “saviors” of St Pete, there’s only one. We are not the only thing going on in St Pete. God is at work through many people and in various ways but we get to be a part of His mission. We will always have something to learn from others. We have been shown compassion, and want to show it to others.
Love and Mercy
Jesus said, “The world will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.” We want to walk in love. This will require sacrifice and patience, sincerity and time. We have been forgiven and shown mercy through Jesus and want to show forgiveness and mercy to others.
Intentionality and Hospitality
The time is now and the mission is before us. We want to move about our day-to-day lives with intentionality. We want to listen to, learn from, eat with and welcome people into our lives.
Tolerance and Community
We do not have to agree on everything with someone else to show them love and respect. We do not need to accept their belief system as true to be their friend. We want to bring honest questions and honest answers where we have them. We know this happens best in the context of genuine community.
Disciples Who Make Disciples (one page in-depth resource for disciple-making)
Discipleship Groups (resources, tips and FAQs)
Acts 29 Network – A diverse, global family of church-planting churches. Learn more HERE.
Thank you for your interest in serving others at a Local Church St. Pete gathering!
Serving connects us to people, guarding us against isolation, and connects us to God’s work, a privilege like no other.
Join a Sunday AM Team(s)
- Please fill out the Sunday Serve Teams form to initiate the process.
- If you’re interested in serving with Local Kids or our Student Ministry you will need to fill out the Local Kids and Student Ministry Volunteer Application as well.
Connect with our LOCAL mission
- Our House Groups partner with, learn from and come alongside local ministries reaching the marginalized, hurting, abused and neglected of our city. If you want more information on how to get involved with one or all of the ministries please reach out to the designated point of contact. Learn more HERE.
NOTE: We use Planning Center for all volunteer scheduling. It’s an easy and helpful way to keep track of where you’re scheduled to serve. Here’s a brief video that will help you become more familiar with Planning Center.
Please sign up to receive News + updates by entering your email address at the bottom of our webpage. You can also stay up to date on ways to serve through the news section at the top of our webpage, social media and the Local Church St. Pete calendar.
Church Center App
Download the Church Center App today and have access to all our group info, event details, Sunday handouts, online giving and more. Download the Church Center App for your IOS device HERE AND download it for your Android device HERE.
House Groups are the primary way we live life together at Local Church St. Pete. Our groups attempt to follow the early church described in the book of Acts, chapter 2: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
We typically meet in homes two to three times a month across St. Pete, where we spend time together often sharing food, discussing the Scriptures, praying, and looking for opportunities to serve one another and the city. The groups consist of around ten to twenty people. Our hope is that the relationships that form in House Groups will grow far beyond the actual meeting and spill over into everyday life.
The House Group “season” runs from September through May, and groups with available space can be joined at any point during that season. We take summers off from formal House Groups to gather in other ways, including neighborhood dinners, discipleship groups and opportunities to serve our community.
How do you join a House Group? Find one close to you HERE or in the below list, email or call group leaders to let them know you’re interested in coming out to visit the group and expect a timely response.
Have more questions about House Groups? Please email us at [email protected]
LOCAL mission | serving our city in love.
Our House Groups partner with, learn from and come alongside local ministries reaching the marginalized, hurting, abused and neglected of our city. Learn more about LOCAL mission and how to get involved HERE.
Central Oak Park (CAMPUS focused)First, second and third THURSDAYS / 7PM
Led by Ryan and Katie Hoagland / (727) 420-4326
Central Oak ParkFirst, third and fourth THURSDAYS / 7PM
Led by Lance and Susie Marcin / (727) 453-8107
Disston Heights (Tyrone)Second, third and fourth WEDNESDAYS / 7PM
Led by Brett and Jessie Inscho / (814) 243-1291 and (727) 494-7936
West CentralTwo SUNDAYS a month / 12:15-2PM (specific schedule varies)
Led by Josh and Brooke Allen / (727) 366-9961
Northwest Park (Tyrone)First and third WEDNESDAYS / 6PM-7:30PM
Led by Trevor and Emily Shultz / (816) 786-5031
TyroneSecond and fourth SUNDAYS / 12:15-2PM
Led by Dave and Brie Smeltz
PO BOX 7664 St. Pete, FL 33734