Our task, among others, is to hope whenever there is little reason to hope. With some exceptions, churches (not just churches of Christ) are not doing well right now. COVID-19 had something to do with it. But there was something already brewing in the generational and cultural changes and differences. Despite those changes, even if some don’t believe we do, I believe that we have something to offer Wenatchee and the world. We can offer something of value to Wenatchee and then the world AND preserve the legacy of the people that built this building and labored here in Wenatchee and keep this church here and thriving indefinitely. Five hundred in attendance in five years is possible and God WANTS it to happen. However, it will require us to remain focused and not distracted, and to strategize and serve and step out of God’s way.
Thinking of our plans, we are nearing at the end of the year and this time of year has historically been a great time to assess the past and plan for the future. You have been doing this for months prior to our arrival and we have been doing this since I agreed to come and work alongside you, even prior to our coming to Wenatchee. I am thankful that as we consider next year, the birth, life, and death of Jesus is front and center with Christmas. We are all, of course, aware that Jesus was unlikely to have been born at this time of year and there is no biblical mandate or suggestion to celebrate his birth, but doing so can focus us on the reason not just for this season but for our very existence—Jesus.
Even as a baby, Jesus invited others to be around and serve with him. That is what we want to do and how we want to be. As we consider our calendar for next year, one of the additions being considered is what we are, at this time, calling our “Big Invite” day. My vision is for us to have 300 people at the 10:10 assembly on April 14, 2024. I am working on a postcard mailer for us to send to neighbors, family and friends, but in the meantime, you can be considering who you can invite and bring. Gather names, phone numbers and addresses so that people can be invited personally by you and through other avenues multiple times. The research says that people are often amenable to visit worship services; they are often only waiting on a personal invitation. Stay tuned and be considering how we can make this day a huge success!
We are also wanting to create more opportunities for people to participate in small groups. I have been creating the discussion questions for these groups for the last several weeks and will continue to do so. There is a need for some of us to host a regular meeting in our home, a coffee shop, the church building, or some other place. These meetings need not be complex. You need not serve food or coffee. The only need is for you to be able to consistently meet. My vision is for the section of the bulletin with our meeting times to be packed with small group opportunities for people.
Where Jesus has said it exists, there is hope. Jesus provides hope for the world. Don’t be discouraged. Let’s work together to make a difference to Wenatchee and the world!
“God, grow our faith and number. Let us serve Wenatchee and the world.”