I was on a Zoom call with some Michigan ministers several weeks ago. I was in a bit of a funk thinking about the Christmas season and what exactly we were going to study. I was also, in all likelihood, in deep thought about Covid, the fragility of life, and where I could find a cold Mt. Dew. Anyway, the guy leading the call asked what encouraging things had happened throughout the course of 2021. He gave us a heads up and so I had looked up some numbers out of curiosity. The more I contemplated the year and considered the programs we had running and the involvement in the community we have undertaken as a church, the more encouraged I became. So, here are some encouraging notes from 2021. You will probably hear these again at our annual meeting.
The most exciting number for any church is the number of people who surrendered their life to Jesus in baptism and those who joined the church. This number represents souls. People who are going “all in” with Jesus and his church. That number as of this writing is 43 in 2021. When I shared that number with the other ministers, they praised God with me.
We were finishing up a wheelchair ramp project with Freedom Builders a couple of months ago and I asked Kelly (the Freedom Builders guy we partner with) if he kept records as to how many projects we participated in this year. When he got back to his office he texted me that we had partnered with them on 16 different projects. That is 16 opportunities for us to impact the community and 16 opportunities for people to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
We were able to start back up our Titus 2 women’s discipleship program and our Basecamp men’s discipleship program. We had over 100 women sign up for Titus 2 and 70 men sign up for Basecamp. I honestly didn’t know how many people would sign up after a year off and with the pandemic still actively affecting people’s lives. It revealed to us that people are ready to be meeting again and that people are hungry for small group discipleship.
The final praise I will share with you is that God has been blessing us beyond what we could have expected financially over the past couple of years. Many of the guys on my call were having to make tough financial decisions and there I was talking about being many thousands of dollars ahead of our budget. Because of that, as you know, we committed to giving the last offering of the year away. As I type this the official number is not in, but early indications are that we exceeded our $20,000 goal!
Sometimes we just need to pause and reflect in order to realize how much God blesses us. Reflecting on the numbers above, I can’t wait to see what He does and how He moves in 2022. Let’s keep our eyes open and celebrate the wins!