Intensiveness, Growth, and 2004

Intensiveness, Growth, and 2004

Originally posted on December 29, 2004

As 2004 began, I knew it would be a year of intensive effort, and I prayed that God would grant us the greatest year of spiritual growth our church has ever known.

2004 was certainly full of activity and labor on the part of many. This year, our church negotiated a contract to purchase property, secured a zoning change and two site plan approvals from two different city governments, held our first capital giving campaign, closed the purchase of property, designed a building, began the construction, and moved the church office to the new location.

And, we carried on the church’s ministries of worship, discipleship, and outreach. We added new classes and Community Groups, went on retreats, participated in global mission trips, and involved many people in new outreach opportunities.

I could go on, but the point is clear. This year, fueled by the grace of God and love of others, the people of Grace “abounded in the work of the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).

But, was it a year of growth? After all, that really is the issue. We can be busy, but what we prayed for was spiritual growth.

The conversations I have had with Grace people this year have encouraged me to believe that God answered our prayer. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21) People have come to understand how God wants them to be stewards of their money. Faith in God’s provision has deepened as we have given sacrificially. More people are finding ways to show the heart of Jesus through deeds of mercy. While we are not perfect, sins are being abandoned, marriages are being strengthened, emotions are being healed, children are being taught the truth, youth are being called to faith, adults are learning the gospel, and Christ is being embraced as the Saving and Sanctifying Lord that He is. We have seen people come to faith in Jesus, be baptized, and join our church. This has been a year of spiritual growth.

How do we honor God for the growth He brought us this year? By asking Him for more next year. I am grateful for God’s good hand among us in 2004. I look forward to receiving the grace He will supply for faith, obedience, joy, and kingdom service in 2005.

Grace family, I am humbled that God has called me to be the pastor of this church. Reflecting on this past year give me joy. Contemplating another year of covenant life with you brings me more joy. Let’s pray and walk together for Christ and His kingdom.

Happy New Year,
Pastor Scott