Every New Year, we are torn in two opposite directions. We can’t help but look back at the year that was while at the same time, we can’t help but look forward to the coming year. In this newsletter, I want to look back at 2009 and in a later document (to be presented at the annual meeting), I will look ahead and focus on some goals and priorities for Hope Church in 2010.
As we look back on 2009, it is impossible not to see the amazing faithfulness of our great God and King. He has done a great work over the past year and we cannot fail to praise Him. To God be the glory! In the gospel of Matthew, we find a precious promise. “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” As a church, we must remember that it is Jesus who will build His church. We can’t do that, nor can anyone else. We are simply His servants in His Kingdom. In the coming year, we will work as hard as we possibly can to reach the citizens of Crawford County, but we will work in HIS strength and power, and not our own. This promise is incredibly freeing because we know that as long as we follow the Shepherd, he will show us the way and ultimately, build His church.
I have heard people say that for a small church, Hope really does a lot of activities. This past year was no different. We had the Spring Fling, two Forge days, two outdoor services, the Ice Cream Social, Kids Day, the Missions Conference, not to mention numerous smaller events and activities. I want to assure you that these are not just fellowship events and fun get-togethers. Fellowship is an important component of our church, but ultimately, we do these activities for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. If Hope Church is not focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are just another social club, and we might as well shut the doors and stop wasting our time.
I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as pastor over the past year (and over the entire length of my tenure). God has been so good to us and it has been a great joy to participate in that blessing. I am grateful for the year that was, and I am so excited about 2010. Let us labor together in the service of the Lord.