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a ministry for pastors

...Standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents. - Philippians 1:27-28 (NAS)

Common Ground is an interdenominational network of central Pennsylvania pastors.  Pastors meet for fellowship and prayer from 9-11 AM on the first Thursday of each month at Abundant Harvest Church in Duncannon.  Please use our Contact Page to RSVP for your first meeting.

Abundant Harvest Church
510 New Bloomfield Rd.
Duncannon, PA 17020

The purposes of Common Ground:

  • To create a safe place were pastors can enjoy fellowship, develop relationships, practice mutual accountability, and pray for and support one another.
  • To encourage one another to stand firm in defending truth.
  • To encourage individual pastors to reach out to one another for prayer and support.
  • To unify those who are like-minded in the faith.
  • To accept our differences and celebrate our common ground in Christ.
  • To make each other aware of the unique ministries offered by each of our churches.
  • To inform one another of available opportunities or services.
  • To serve as a constant reminder that the body of Christ is universal, extending well beyond our individual churches and denominations.

What Common Ground is not:

  • Common Ground is not intended to serve as a spiritual covering or an ordaining or governing body.
  • It is not our purpose, outside of our Core Beliefs, to dictate to individual churches the doctrines they should believe or practice.
  • Our purpose is not uniformity, but rather, unity.
  • We are not a replacement for local church councils or denominational gatherings.
  • We are not an organization that needs a treasurer or board members.

Core Beliefs

  • The Holy Bible is the inspired and infallible word of God to man.  [2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; Heb. 4;12]
  • God is three-in-one.  God the Father is the creator and sustainer of all things; God the Son, Jesus Christ, was incarnated, lived a sinless life, died, and rose again for the salvation of mankind; God the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and indwells all believers.  [1 Jn. 5:7; Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 13:14]
  • All people are born in sin and, therefore, must be born again.  One can be forgiven only through repentance and faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross and in His resurrection.  [Gen. 3:1-24; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12-21; 2 Jn. 1:7-8; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 5:8; Jn. 3:3-6]
  • We believe in eternal life to those who are saved by grace in eternal damnation of those who reject the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.  [Matt. 10:28; Mark 9:43-47; Rev. 20:10-15; Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:21; Tit. 3;7]
  • The Church should be shaping our culture's understanding of morality and the secular culture should not be shaping the Church.  Therefore, we believe that Christian pastors must strive to live pure, holy lives that are pleasing to the Lord.  [1 Tim. 4:12; Rom. 12:2; Js. 1:27; Js. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Tim. 2:22; Js. 3:13]

Code of Conduct

As a participant of Common Ground, I pledge:

  • To live in personal holiness and Biblical integrity, abstaining from all forms of sexual immorality.
  • To confess any struggles in personal holiness to a trusted peer or leader who can hold me accountable to Biblical standards of repentance and holiness. 
  • To keep my marriage and family in proper balance with the demands of my ministry. 
  • To treat as confidential and never repeat, without permission, anything that is shared by my fellow Common Ground members, whether within or outside of group meetings.  
  • To speak well of other pastors and ministries and to work together respectfully and peaceably with other ministers of the Gospel as much as I am able.
  • To stand firm in defending the truth of the Holy Bible, even when those truths are unpopular or rejected by the secular culture.  I will defend the life of the unborn and uphold the Biblical principle of marriage between one man and one woman.  I will not endorse any marriage or officiate any wedding ceremony that does not meet this Biblical definition of marriage.  
  • To focus on the common ground I share with my fellow pastors and overlook doctrinal differences that do no contract Common Ground's five core beliefs.  I will strive to maintain unity without expecting uniformity. 
  • To strive to participate as frequently as possible in Common Ground's monthly meetings in order to pray for, encourage, and exhort my fellow laborers in the Gospel, stirring up love and good works in fulfillment of the Biblical mandate of Hebrews 10:24-25.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the leadership structure of Common Ground?
    Common Ground is led by a coordinator whose role is not to control or dictate, but rather, to serve one's fellow laborers by encouraging them to connect with one another.  Currently, Common Ground is coordinated by Tim Eshenour, Lead Pastor of Abundant Harvest Church.
  2. What happens at a Common Ground meeting?
    There will be about an hour and a half of fellowship and discussion.  Pastors are encouraged to openly share their struggles and frustrations and to reach out to exhort and encourage one another.  The meeting will close with a time of corporate prayer.  
  3. Is Common Ground truly a safe place to share my heart?
    The Code of Conduct signed by all pastors upon joining Common Ground includes a pledge of confidentiality.  Breeches of confidentiality may result in a member being asked to leave the group.
  4. What activities does Common Ground hold?
    Common Ground provides an opportunity for pastors to develop relationship with colleagues holding similiar Biblical values and to encourage, support, and pray for one another.  Common Ground will not organize, or participate in organizing, community events or unity services.  Any activities outside of monthly meetings that members choose to pursue are solely at their own discretion.  
  5. What will I be asked to do?
    You will be asked to make a priority of participating in meetings as much as possible in order to pray for, encourage, and exhort your fellow laborers.  You will be required to sign and abide by a code of conduct.  You may be given an opportunity to display signs or distribute materials as a part of a public information campaign in support of our shared values, although participation is strictly voluntary.  You will not be asked to serve on a committee, organize, or participate in events, or donate money.  
  6. What does it cost?
    There is no cost to join or to participate in meetings.  All costs are currently borne by the home church of the coordinator.  
  7. How do I join Common Ground?
    If you agree with Common Ground's core beliefs and are willing to pledge to its Code of Conduct, contact us and the coordinator will respond to you with further details.  
  8. How do I sever ties with Common Ground?
    You may resign from the group at any time for any reason with no questions asked.  Please inform the coordinator by email of your intent.
  9. On what moral issues does Common Ground take a stand?
    Common Ground stands firm on the clear Biblical principles of marriage between one man and one woman and protecting the life of the unborn.