As hard as it is to imagine, we have begun another new year. To be honest, with its short days and cold weather, January is not my favorite month. But I do love the start of a new year.
I always try to mark this milestone in two ways. First, I want to celebrate the year that is past. For our church 2016 was an exciting year of great ministry. At every campus we saw people come to Christ and be saved for eternity. Jesus himself said that the angels in Heaven rejoice over a single person who repents of their sin and comes to faith.
In 2016 we held our first ever Night of Worship. This was the year that we launched our online campus. 2016 saw a significant expansion of our lifegroup ministry. We had dozens of our folks travel the country and the world in missions. We launched our Family Ministry Initiative this year. And perhaps the biggest celebration of the year, after 181 years in our original building, we moved into a new worship center at our Sandown location.
As we begin the new year, I want us to pause and celebrate all the ways God has been at work among us and through us. It has been an amazing year. The other important aspect of the new year is to look to the future. In the same ways we pause to celebrate the year past, we also want to pause to dream about the year to come.
What do you dream of for our church? How do you imagine God working in our ministry in 2017? I believe the three core convictions that we talked about in the fall give us a good framework for our future ministry together.
- Everyone needs Jesus. I believe that this year more people than ever will come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior through the ministry of our church. My guess is that every one of us has family and friends who do not currently have a relationship with Jesus. Wouldn't it be great if this were the year!
- Everyone is meant to grow. As a church we want our reach to be outward to those far from Christ. But we also want it to provide opportunities for those of us already in relationship with Jesus to grow deeper. In 2017 our Lifegroups are going to continue to expand the opportunities to connect and grow. I'm also very excited about some of the sermon series planned for this year to take us deeper into God's Word.
- Everyone is gifted to serve. In 2017 I also dream of every one of us finding a place of mission and ministry that is exactly what God desires for us. There is nothing more fun or fulfilling than to be using the gifts God has given you in a meaningful way to make a positive difference in the world!
Those are my reflections as we charge into the new year. I'd love to hear your thoughts. What do you celebrate about God's work in our church in 2016? What do you dream of for our ministry in 2017? Feel free to leave your comments below.
I hope you can all join us this weekend as we continue our series "Reboot~A Fresh Start for the New Year."
Yours in Christ,