As we all know, another year has come and gone. I think one of the most important things we can do is look back at where we have come from. To examine what we have gone through. To review what we just have walked through. To learn from mistakes and to celebrate the victories. I pastor a church and I spend a lot of time evaluating what has went well and what has not. So as we turn the calendar over I spent some time thinking about where we have gone as a church over the past year, and as I did this, I was just blown away.
Here is a list of some of the awesome things we were able to do throughout 2011. If you are not a Christian or could care less about the church I serve at, I would just ask you to read. I think you will see some things that God has used our church to do and experience that are real and meaningful. I think you will see some things that reflect the teachings and heart of Jesus.
- Grace Clinic – our church partnered with two other churches to start a free health clinic on Tuesday nights. This clinic serves a poor area of downtown Columbus. We have been blessed to be able to minister to around 100 patients from August through the end of the year.
- Single Parent Fair – we provided a single parent fair for single parents in our community. This fair/ appreciation event offered school supplies to the kids of these parents, family photos, haircuts, manicures, and car washes for the parents. The event did not draw huge numbers, but those who were present were given rockstar status for the day. We are really excited where this event will go next year.
- 3rd service – we launched our third worship service at the beginning of September. Our volunteers and our staff and leaders have stepped up to continue to make this happen. Each of our services continue to grow.
- Red Hot Monogamy – our church engaged in a sermon series on the book Song of Songs. Through this series, we saw many marriages in our church get challenged and change. It was a blessing for our church to think through the nuts and bolts of a healthy marriage.
- Empty wallet offering – on mother’s day, our church talked about how the ethic of Jesus is generous hospitality. Jesus always extended a welcoming compassionate hand to anyone. We wanted to make this real. So at the end of the service, we asked people to empty their wallets to extend generous hospitality to people in need. Not a dime went to our church, but over$6000 went to a ministry in real need to meet hurting people.
- Newthru30 – our church was challenged to read the New Testament in 30 days. We had around 150 people commit to this. It was amazing and refreshing. It was so powerful for so many.
- Water for Water – we decided to minister to people in the world who do have clean drinking water. We raised enough money to give to charitywater.org that would allow us to build two wells in the Central African Republic that will each last for about 20 years.
- Cut Deep Testimonies – our church preached through a 3 week sermon series on what happens when we get cut deep by life. What happens when it hits the fan? For each week of that series, we had 3 people share about cut deep moments in their lives. Lindsay, Jim and Ryan just did amazing jobs. These were a blessing.
I could keep going…but just these highlights are awesome.