This marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for our church as well as this weekend being in some ways the "officially true" (to borrow a phrase from my daughters) beginning of summer. As we look ahead, our church faces some exciting opportunities as well as some daunting challenges (and the two are related). God is most definitely directing our steps and presenting us with opportunities to engage in his mission. As I have shared recently, we are seeing God draw the churches of GR and especially those we partner with in our neighborhood to build His kingdom together in our communities. We anticipate the next year of activity as the Palau organization prepares for its CityServe and CityFest initiatives. We rejoice in our recent combined prayer service with our neighborhood churches and anticipate the next one on July 30 (mark your calendars!).
We are also humbled by how our Wednesday night Gathering has introduced us to our neighbors in the community. We praise God for the relationships Jim and his staff and our youth have built at The Well and how those will grow on their upcoming canoe trip. We are thankful for the funds our Capital Campaign has raised and the improvements already made to our facilities as a result. We look forward to the coming projects and how they will bless and allow our ministries to grow in impact. Our recent VBS, Celebration service and carnival saw much engagement from the community.
Most importantly a dedicated group of us has faithfully met on Wednesdays to seek God's presence, guidance and provision for our body. Revivals have started with less and we need revival! That brings me to the challenges. We face shortages of volunteers and funds that pose a gap between what we can see in the present and what we feel God is presenting us with as a vision for our future. Rather than being discouraging to me, I receive this gap as an invitation. Joining God in His mission is not automatic. It will require that we invest our time, treasure and talents in contexts that may be unfamiliar or intimidating. We will need all hands on deck to sacrificially pursue the goals God has for us. I have already been challenged by what I have seen in Paul's life in our Bondservant series and how necessary it is for us s a church to hear.
The next two weeks will be especially significant in applying the themes of Gospel Mission and Discipleship to our church. If you are unable to attend either this week or next, make sure to listen to these two messages online. Let me encourage you to take time this weekend to reflect on your commitments to Berean and consider how God might be asking you to do more. Specifically, I would ask you to join me in praying specifically for our church daily for revival (my prayer has been focused around Philippians 1:9-11) and to join us at least once over the summer on Wednesdays to "Watch One Hour". I would ask you to consider your giving and whether God is asking you to be more invested in His mission at Berean through your finances.
Finally, I would ask you to consider your involvement in serving. I know many of you devote sizable time to our body and I am so grateful for it, but I also know that some of us have not made the step of doing much more than attending on a regular (or semi-regular) basis. I am excited for what God is laying before us and I pray that all of us are counted worthy of participating in it. May we be used to build Hs Kingdom for His glory in our lives, our church and our city!