A few weeks ago, Tim McGhee announced our premiere initiative for 2018 called Op2Bless. Op2Bless is a call to every church member to, very simply, bless their neighbors by praying for them, listening to them, sharing a meal together, serving them in some capacity, and then sharing the story of how God has changed you. It’s a very simple, non-threatening way to fulfill the Great Commission by loving those we run into every day.

Well, as we consider how Op2Bless might impact our community and our church – there’s a couple things that your church leaders have been working on.

Doing Life Together

First, in 2018 we are going to greatly increase our full church social events. Last Sunday evening we held our annual Chili Cook-off event. It was a great night of fellowship for all ages, that we want to repeat throughout the year. In March, we’re planning a Family Night with something for the whole family. In late April, we’re planning a covered dish dinner after the morning worship service. In June, a Saturday afternoon/evening, church-wide picnic with games for the kids, finishing with an adult softball game. In September we will have Worship On the Lawn, followed by an October Fall Festival and Cocoa and Carols for Christmas Eve.

Churchwide Events 2018

Our intent is to provide our church with plenty of opportunities to gather together to get to know one another and fellowship together. However, it will also give us opportunities to invite our neighbors, and introduce them to our church, in a very relaxed social setting.

Preparing for the Harvest

Second, as we considered what God might do as we reach out and Op2Bless our community – that caused us to evaluate our ministry offerings and preparedness. If we’re going to reach out to the community, we have to be prepared for the harvest that God will bring. In that evaluation, we found ourselves lacking. For most of our major ministries, we found that we’re about 80-85% staffed to run those ministries effectively, and that doesn’t account for the harvest God might bring. And in some cases, we found we don’t have a ministry in place for some who may come from the community.

A great example of that would be our post-college singles ages 22-35. Did you know that 20% of the adult population in Powell is single, with many in the 22-35 age group? Well, if we’re going to reach out to the Powell community, we need to be prepared that some of these singles might visit our church. A few months ago, we didn’t have a place for them, but now we do. A few weeks ago, Jay and Lauren Scarbro, along with Kelly and Kim Chapel, started a LifeGroup that ministers to this unique age group for the cause of Christ.

A Place for You

And there are many more ministries we are spinning up. Bottom line, we are short handed in some ministries, while others are really short-handed. And yet as I consider our church members, there are great many people who can follow the call of Christ by engaging in ministry. So here’s what we’re going to do. On Feb 25th, we’re holding a ministry fair in the Family Life Center. There you will find tables and booths set up where you can talk with and get information from ministry leaders about how you can plug in and help out. We have all kinds of roles to fill – from standing at the doors each Sunday with a smiling face, handing out the Encounters, to serving on one of our construction teams, to being part of our graphic communications team, to teaching children or adults in a LifeGroup. Many different ways to help out with varying degrees of commitment.

The booths will be manned before and after the morning and evening service. We’ve asked our LifeGroup leaders to end their class 30-mins early to allow people time to walk through the ministry fair.

Prior to that, in order to help each of you consider where best to plugin, we’ve asked all of our LifeGroups to administer a spiritual gift evaluation, designed to assist you in identifying how God has gifted you for ministry. Here’s something I’m absolutely convinced of. You will never experience more joy in your walk with Christ, than when you are using the spiritual gift God has given you, in some form of regular, consistent, and frequent ministry. When the grace of God and Spirit of God is flowing through you to others, we experience maximum joy – and who doesn’t want that?

Our prayer is that from amongst us, God will raise up a great army of workers to fill in gaps, build new ministries, and prepare for the harvest that He promises. We’re asking each of you to consider how God might be calling you into getting involved in a brave, new way that contributes to expanding His Kingdom.

As I close, let me just say this, I’m very excited for what God is going to do with our church in 2018. There are a lot of great things happening in our church. There is the potential for many, many more great things to happen. Not for our exaltation, but to exalt Christ – that His name may be made much in our church and our community. Would you consider going deeper with Him by joining us? We’re praying that you will.