I think many of us have a love/hate relationship with “new.” On the one hand, there’s something comfortable about that which is old and familiar. But there is also something exciting about the “new.” New Year‘s, in many ways, is a celebration of both. It is a time to look back, reflect and give thanks to God for all of the good things from the year that has passed. But it is also an opportunity to look forward with anticipation of what God will do in the future.
2017 has been an amazing year of ministry for Rock Church. I wish I had time to recount and celebrate every success, every joyful moment, every victory for the Kingdom of God that we experienced this year. But in the interest of keeping this blog to a reasonable length, I would like to share with you just one story. A couple of Sundays ago a young woman worshipped with us for the first time. She was personally invited. When she arrived she was in warmly welcomed. She was engaged by the worship, touched by the message and made the life changing decision to accept Jesus into her heart (which she shared with us on her connection card.) We met this week to talk about next steps. We talked about prayer. We gave her a Bible and a little guidance on how to begin reading it. She is joining a Lifegroup and her daughter is excited to begin NextGen. As we spoke, you could see the joy of the Lord on her face.
After our visit I thought to myself “this is why we do all we do as a church.” This past year we have seen many people come to know the hope of Christ and the gift of Christian community. So what is my hope and dream for us for 2018? I pray that we would see this experience replicated 100, no 1000 times over. I pray that every week we would see people transformed by the love of God and made new in Christ. I believe this is God’s greatest desire, that we would help people find their way back to Him. But notice that it took a team effort. Someone invited. The hospitality team welcomed. The worship team engaged. Someone made sure there was a connection card available, and someone else noted her response and shared it. Someone leads a Lifegroup. And someone else paid for the Bibles that we give away. A whole team of people provide Nextgen. The list goes on.
I believe 2018 is going to be an amazing year of connecting people to Jesus and helping them grow in their faith. And every one of us can be a part of that by inviting freely, serving joyfully, giving generously and welcoming warmly. There is no one person who is responsible for helping people come to Jesus. Its all of us, working together, doing what God has gifted us for. If each of us will do all that we can, this is going to be an amazing year.