Back in the Fall, I introduced 5 strategic initiatives to help us live into our mission. That seems like a long time ago. Since then, we have moved into our new worship space, we are working to move into our new Locust Street campus in the next weeks, and we are in the process of getting a new church name.
There is so much excitement in this new season. But all of those things haven't changed who we are. In fact, this season gives us a chance to lean in to who we are. To play offense rather than defense. We are a community of people who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ who gave his life for us. Our mission is to love the Valley in Jesus' name and invite others to find and follow the Jesus who changed our lives for good! For over 140 years, this community of people have been about the same thing.
The 5 initiatives keep us focused on our mission and are more important than ever in our new "start-up" season. I invite you to pray for each of these initiatives. Note the specific prayer request for each.
Investing in the Next Generation:
We are committed to passing the faith on to the next generation. We work to create environments where children want to come to church and age-specific programs that guide our children to know and follow Jesus. We want to equip parents to be the primary faith-shapers of their children. And, we love seeing the next generation make their own faith commitments and grow into leaders who are ready to live their faith as they go off to college.
PRAY FOR OUR 15 STUDENTS GOING THROUGH CONFIRMATION.
Reviving Our Group Life:
Small groups are a part of the DNA of our church. For many years, we have been committed to small groups because we know that people grow in circles, not just in rows. We have groups that meet year-round. And twice a year, we do short-term small groups based on the sermon series. Small groups are also a place where life-long friends are made and people do life together. We hope most all who are a part of our community will commit to a group.
PRAY FOR OUR YOUNG ADULTS WHO ARE WORKING TO RELAUNCH A NEW SET OF SMALL GROUPS.
Practicing Radical Hospitality:
We want people to experience the warmth of our community from the moment they show up on campus. As a multi-generational church, we want all ages of people from all backgrounds to experience authentic community. Each weekend, we serve homemade baked goods after each service--one small sign of our commitment to a warmth that might be a surprise to many who assume a large church is impersonal. Though our greeters and welcome team are the advance team of our hospitality, every person plays a part in showing the love of Jesus. Of course, hospitality does not stop at the end of our campus--we carry the love of Jesus Christ into our neighborhoods and throughout the Lehigh Valley.
PRAY FOR OUR AMAZING HOSPITALITY TEAM AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE BEING REKINDLED ON SUNDAY MORNINGS.
Encouraging Each Member's Mission:
God has given every person unique gifts and passions. We want to equip and encourage people to use their time, talent and treasure to do what God is calling them to do. We want to stir people's missional imagination and share their stories so that more and more people will meet Jesus and know the full-life that is possible following Him. We will work to make strategic connections with ministry partners and your passions as we love the world in Jesus' name.
PRAY THAT GOD WILL SHOW EACH PERSON IN OUR COMMUNITY THEIR UNIQUE CALLING.
Get the Word Out:
We want everyone in the Lehigh Valley to know about our church and ultimately, about the Jesus we follow. We will use social media and technology as well as old-fashioned word of mouth to let people know how God is at work in our church, and to invite people to join us.
PRAY PRAYERS OF THANKS FOR OUR STREAMING TEAM THAT GIVES MANY IN THE VALLEY THE CHANCE TO SEE OUR SERVICES AND LEARN ABOUT OUR CHURCH.
This Sunday, we will continue in our series, Seven Days. From Palm Sunday all the way to Good Friday and then to Easter Sunday, we walk with Jesus. Each day shows the heart of God and the sacrificial love that God showed the world. This week, we get to Monday where Jesus goes into the Temple and overturns the tables. Why did Jesus do that? Were the merchants selling doves and lambs price gouging? What was he so mad about? Come on Sunday to see how Jesus was telling the good news through his righteous anger.
I can't wait to see you at 9 am (Classic) or 10:30 am (Modern) as we walk with Jesus together. See you at BECA!
Your Pastor and Friend,