From March 2020 through May 2021, I repeatedly encouraged our church with these words. The words were neither wishful thinking nor empty hype. Rather, they were a hope-filled pronouncement rooted in a deep conviction that the Spirit was maturing us to accomplish Christ’s purposes in our world. The Spirit planted Philippians 2:1,2 in my heart as His vision for maturing our church through 2021:
Oneness. That’s how the Spirit has been strengthening us—becoming one in our minds and hearts as a fulfillment of Jesus’ vision, as an expression of the Spirit’s presence, as a path toward offering the love of the Father to the world. He has been working to lead us to oneness because He knows that we all need Him and each other like never before.
Oneness enables our Student Ministry to provide a place for students to experience the gospel's truth in an atmosphere of acceptance and belonging. Oneness enables our Biblical Life Counseling team to counsel over 400 cases each month—restoring marriages and relationships through the power of the gospel. Oneness enables us to share our Sunday services online with over 2,000 people each month—providing a place to worship for those who cannot be with us physically. Oneness enables our Kids Ministry to lay a foundation for the gospel to take root in the hearts of our kids. Oneness enables our young adults to find community through our New Person Connects—making family from strangers.
So, as you read and prayerfully prepare to respond to the proposed budget for August 2021 - July 2022, be confident of this: our God is at work to bring us to an increasingly mature unity as a disciple-making movement. What we have seen these last fourteen months reminds me of a movie trailer that gives you a promising glimpse of the adventure that lies ahead. Only in our case, the adventure is not a story we watch—it’s the story we are living!
I am so thankful to say to you that in June 2021, we are stronger than we have ever been before. Thank you for submitting yourself to His Word and His Spirit to become stronger with us. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Entrusted by Grace,