It is the end of 2014, New Year’s Eve as I’m writing. And so, it’s time to reminisce.
A lot has happened this year for our church: first and foremost, it came into existence! Still as a “Mission” church, but just a year ago we were meeting informally at the Hostetter’s house once a month, just beginning to see our desire of starting a church take shape. We chose a name; we talked about core-values; we prayed; we planned; plans changed and we re-planned. We had a meeting at Andrew Buchanan, where we then continued meeting monthly. We figured out how to handle child-care and Children’s Church with our seemingly innumerable young ones (and very limited volunteer-pool). We’ve had visitors; we’ve had new people join us. We had fun at our Easter Egg Outreach and Kids Camp and met new people from the community. We started meeting weekly in September and since then finished the transition out of Hope Church. We had our first Youth meeting and started a Youth Group. We completed our first sermon series. We approved our first budget. We had our first Christmas Eve Service in the beautiful Bender Barn. We look forward to adding an Elder in January. All in all, not a bad year. Let’s take time to give thanks to God for his goodness and faithfulness.
Our main “organizational” goals are to become financially self-sufficient and to have our own governing body (a “Session” – currently Hope Church’s Session still oversees Redeemer). After both these things happen, we can “particularize”, which means we are an official church of the Presbyterian Church in America.
More importantly though, our main driving goal must continue to be to reach people with the gospel of Jesus. Lots of organizational things will happen to help us do that, but they are all secondary. Let’s pray that as a Church we don’t miss the main task which Jesus gave us to do. Especially as we settle into being more “established”, we don’t want to lose the sense of urgency and importance with which we should view Jesus’ command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20). Please pray and strive towards that end.
We plan to transfer memberships from Hope Church to Redeemer Church in early 2015, along with beginning a class for new members. More details will be coming on this.
We have our own bank account. So, starting in January you can make checks payable to Redeemer Church. If you are still giving to Mission to North America, it will still get to us, but we’d prefer if you could give directly to Redeemer instead.
THANK YOU! I have never been a fan of the solo-super-man-church-planter model, and would never have signed up for something like that. Even a church-plant is the work of the body of Christ, not one individual super-star (which I am not). I am very thankful to have a group of people committed to serving Christ. So, thanks to all of you who have prayed, given time and effort and money, volunteered, volunteered more, served, served in ways you might not normally serve, served when it was not convenient, etc. I hope that as you reflect on this year and as we prepare for more of the hard work of church-planting ahead, that you will “know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)”.
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being your pastor.