I am posting a preview of my article for our first quarter newsletter. Enjoy.
To the Church at Hickory Grove,
I can’t believe that 2009 is already gone. It doesn’t seem like enough time has passed for another year to be over, but it is and as you are reading this, it is 2010. It’s a new year, and many people approach this time with a sense of renewal and hope. We make New Year’s resolutions, we plan and we dream about how the New Year will be a different year. The sad part is that those many people seldom implement a strategy that will help them accomplish their dreams and plans for that year.
Tim, Jeth and I have been dreaming big for HGBC for 2010. We have been praying, talking and listening to the Lord and you, the body, concerning our church and we feel like we have something that will bring excitement, joy, worship and ministry to our church in the coming year. We have a theme for 2010. I mentioned it on December 13 in the morning service. The theme for 2010 at HGBC is “Being the Church.”
It is time we change the way we think about and approach church. Church is not somewhere we go; it is WHO WE ARE! We are the church. When a Christian approaches church as a place to go he is able to set aside and compartmentalize “church” into a specific place and time. Scripture tells us that we are the church, always. There is never a time when we set it aside or take it off. As a staff we are excited about the potential of this time of change in the life of the church.
I am going to be preaching a series of sermons on “Being the Church” in January and February. The series will take Acts 2:42-47 and examine the five purposes of the church. And we will, hopefully, see how we can incorporate these ministries more effectively into the life and ministry of our lives as the church. We have also settled on theme verse for 2010, I Corinthians 10:31, and even a theme song. I am so excited.
We have also begun planning four (4) days during the year where we will gather to do servant evangelism ministry projects. We will do one each quarter throughout 2010, and we will do this so that we can “Share the love of Jesus in a practical way.” I know God will bless us as we live out this year “Being the Church.”
We are also going to make a slight schedule change on Sunday evenings. Beginning in February we will be having a regular Sunday evening worship time every Sunday night. I know that this will be a welcome return to the familiar for some. In conjunction with that worship time we will also be adjusting GROW to function as it was originally intended. Each Sunday night during the worship time we will offer GROW to those who wish to participate. We will have one team each Sunday night worshipping the Lord through outreach and ministry. The staff believes that this will bring excitement and continuity to our Sunday evening worship experience. We will be putting a schedule of which GROW team will be ministering on any given Sunday night. I can’t wait to see how God blesses us as we seek out new ways to glorify Him through our acts of obedience to His word.