Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
Never in my life has a year flown by so fast quite like 2016 has. It seems like only yesterday Kristy, the kids, and I were standing before you being voted in as your next Senior Pastor. God has richly blessed us in so many ways throughout this past year. He has blessed us financially. We have seen our regular giving increase and, with the sale of a portion of our land, we have reduced our debt $2.1 million! God has also blessed us by allowing us to baptize 15 new believers this year. He has blessed us by sending new families to our church family. Since January, we have had 82 people join our church. He has blessed us with new ministry opportunities and a revitalized sense of purpose and mission as a church. There are so many things to celebrate and praise God for. But, for all that God has done and all that we are thankful for, our heart’s desire must be to see Him do even greater things. And, for 2017, that will be our theme – “Greater Things.” In Ephesians 3:20, Paul reminds believers that God is the One who “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” In this coming year, my desire and prayer is to see God do “greater things” in five areas of our church:
1) SALVATIONS – Our number one desire as the people of God must be to see more people introduced to Jesus in the coming year. We don’t want numbers for numbers sake but we must realize that every number is a name and every name is a person that God loves and sent Jesus to die for.
2) DISCIPLE-MAKING – The third part of our purpose statement is to “teach people to follow Jesus.” This happens through relationships. My prayer is that, in 2017, we see our Sunday School grow – not just numerically – but in purpose, relationships, and disciple-making. My prayer is also that we see more of our mature believers come alongside newer believers and enter into disciple-making relationships with them.
3) MISSIONS – In 2017, we have several mission opportunities available for our church family to be involved in. We have international mission trips, domestic mission trips, and monthly mission opportunities through our Women on Mission, Reality & Truth homeless ministry, Mixtec Outreach, along with many others. My prayer is that we see a greater number of our church members participate in these opportunities and that God opens the door for even more.
In 2017, we are also launching our Acts 1:8 Missions Partnerships. We will be partnering with missionaries all the way from Montgomery to Romania. Our partnerships will include financial support, prayer support, as well as sending teams to help with projects and needs. We will be partnering with the following missions:
- Montgomery Mixtec Outreach
- Strong Tower Church, Montgomery, AL
- Gibbs Village Outreach Ministry
- An Alabama Church Plant
- Journeymen Church, Denver, CO (Pastor Eric Sanford)
- Bethel Baptist Church, Satu Mare, Romania (Pastor Mihai Micula)
4) STEWARDSHIP – God has tremendously blessed us financially this year through our giving and through the sale of a portion of our land. This has greatly reduced our debt and we are so grateful to God. Our prayer in 2017 is that God continually pour out His blessing on us and that we be more than ever in our giving to the Kingdom!
5) FAMILY MINISTRIES – We must understand that what we do now impacts who we will be in the future. The older our church gets, the younger it needs to get, too. Our prayer, in 2017, is that we see God send us young families with children and that we will see the younger generation rise up to leadership. In 2017, we will also be focusing a lot of attention and energy toward our children’s ministry. Pray that God will give us vision and leadership in this area.
Also, coming in January 2017, our first annual "Renew" Conference!