Last Sunday night the Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. It was their fourth championship in this century and their first since 2013. As good as they were this year, less than a month ago they were not the favored team to win the world title, the Houston Astros were. It just goes to show you how the future is always open to change.
And that’s not just true for baseball championships, it true for a church’s influence in its community as well. A local congregation’s life is always changing, and with it our effectiveness in engaging with our local community. Six months ago we were studying the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy on Sunday mornings and talking about ways to more effectively pass the baton of faith for a greater gospel witness across our community. And then over the next few months of our church’s life we saw more than a quarter of our regular attenders, both military and civilian, move away. In just a short time, the challenge of passing the baton to upcoming leaders became much more difficult as we’ve had to double down just to fill key roles left vacant by those who’ve moved on.
Well, the loss of some of our ministry workforce has been hard, but it’s been clarifying too. For one thing it’s highlighted our need to be better at communicating our presence to our community, better at getting the word out about the great ministry opportunities that are here, and better at pursuing the kinds of ministries that engage us with the needs of our local community.
Last month in this newsletter I shared with you our plans to move forward with a Christian preschool, just one means of raising our visibility and availability to our community. And I’m excited to let you know that our own Julie Gowdy has stepped forward to pursue the state licensure required to be the director. She is well credentialed in childhood education and joyfully enthusiastic in her love for kids and in her leadership with them…as is so evident in her leadership within our AWANA ministry.
Beyond this, our elders are launching a small team to help us focus on strengthening our church family’s footprint in our community, a team to prayerfully assist us in refreshing our ministry to those outside the “walls” of our church family. We’re calling it a “Sanctuary for the Future” team, a team to help us pay attention to fresh ways the Lord is leading us to reach our community with the gospel of His love.
To help this team get traction, our elders are also asking for as many of you as are interested and able to join us in coming together for an interactive evening of brainstorming and prayer. We’ve already had some great suggestions for fresh avenues of ministry that will be shared in our time together, but we want to hear from a wider swath of our church family, and most of all we want to come together to pray – we really want to be in step with God’s leading. So, we’ll be gathering at 6:30 PM on Thursday, November 15, and plan to wrap up by 8:00 PM.
God has given us a great ministry base here on the corner of Carmel Valley and Schulte roads, but we know that His call on our lives extends to living for him all across our peninsula and beyond. While the culture and context for our ministry is constantly morphing with the tides of time, our great confidence is that Christ’s love for this community is unchanging. It’s with this in mind that we want to gather. Please, join us, and let’s seek His lead together.