ARE YOU REALLY SEEING WHAT I'M SEEING?
[Original Posting: October 12, 2021]
If you didn't read or don't remember my post from June, I would suggest going back and reading it (again). In it I highlighted some wonderful things that were happening in the life of our church. Now fast forward nearly four months and my heart continues to burn with excitement and humbleness at what our God is doing at Charrette. A quick look back in history - October 4th served as the one-year anniversary of being pastor. The Sunday prior I came to preach and for a vote to be had on whether to extend the call to be pastor. There were under 30 that participated. This past Sunday, we had 71 in attendance - PRAISE GOD! More chairs have been added to the sanctuary to help accommodate the increased attendance and the expectation of more to come. (As I type this, I've responded to several inquiries about our church via Facebook & email)
Since October of last year, we've seen 8 people join our church and four of those through professions of faith. Our God is up to something good! We have seen a number of new families (many with young children) attending during that span. Just over the last month two new families have been coming faithfully and another family stopped in to visit in their search for a new church home. We are starting the search for teachers for a new children's Sunday School class because of the increase of attendance. Our Wednesday night children's program is seeing this growth, too. Michelle Ruether is leading our Wednesday kids with AWANA and is looking at a large group of kids that will be participating.
Charrette is coming out of a ministry coma (sorta) and is beginning to stretch its legs, arms, and hearts in ministry opportunities such VBS, school supplies & backpacks, and the up-coming Fall Outreach event (Oct 31 @ the Tobben's in Marthasville). We are also looking at a summer mission trip in addition to other intentional ministry opportunities for 2022. I don't know about you, but I do hope you are seeing what I've been seeing over this year. God is moving - He's working. Lives are being changed and He's using Charrette to do it.
There will come a time when we will be faced with a decision to step out on faith and trust God at what He's doing at Charrette. We are finding ourselves looking for solutions for space needs for our children's ministry. That need could increase - we are prayerful that it will. We are on the edge of a space need for Sunday school. As we create another kids class, we could very well be looking at another adult class. One class already meets in the sanctuary (Pastor's class). And, as the weather gets colder and wet, our space will be restricted to indoors - putting more stress on the availability of space. These are good issues to have.
WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE BE?
First, THANK GOD! He has been pouring out His rich blessings out on us. We need to be thankful and be good stewards of those blessings. Being thankful is also a humbling action. We are humbled that God is blessing us. Let us thank Him for his goodness!
Second, PRAY and PRAY AGAIN! Pray that we will be bold and obedient to God and His Word. As more and more families and people come, we must open our arms and welcome them, then love them as God has loved us (and gave His life for us). We need prayer warriors leading us as Satan will be doing his darnedest to stop any advancement of the gospel. Let's place a hedge of protection around our church and our people through prayer. Let's lift up the needs of our church and our people before God. We've seen that power of prayer already. Let's be faithful in continuing to approach His throne of grace.
Third, SERVE LIKE NO OTHER! With more people coming, it will require more people willing to serve. There will be more needs for volunteers in the nursery to care for the little ones. There will be more needs for children, youth, and adult teachers and co-teachers. There will be needs for greeters and ushers. There will be a need for more volunteers to clean the church. Currently, Michelle Ruether and Monica Tobben volunteer every other week to clean the church. More people participating in the building means more messes to clean up. We could use more people to partner in keeping our church clean. We will need more people to have SERVANT hearts. We need your servant heart.
Fourth, BE A CHEERFUL GIVER! With more participants in the ministries that Charrette offers, the greater the need to provide resources for those ministries. That requires adequate finances. The church has been faithful during this past year - giving at an average over 105% or budget. Guess what? We are starting to spend more that in the past year or so due to that fact that there weren't any regular activities due to COVID. We're past that now. People are coming. More is being done. Our faithfulness must continue in our giving, too. In biblical times, a "tithe" (or a tenth) was asked of all believers. While we tithe, don't consider the tenth (or 10%) to be the end. Give as God has blessed. For some that might be more that 10%. For some, it might be less. Some will tithe not just on income, but on special funds from inheritances or sales. The idea is to be faithful in your giving - giving as God blesses you and your family. Charrette and its leadership have been entrusted with taking those cheerful gifts and using them to impact this church, community, and the world. So, be a cheerful giver!
Lastly, COMMIT TO BEING A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST! This is huge. By committing to be a follower of Christ, you are allowing yourself to be used by God in any way, form, or fashion. You are allowing yourself to grow stronger in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer and bible study. This is key. If you are not constantly seeking God through prayer and through His Word, you will not be where you need to be when He needs you. Take time to not only be involved in our corporate times of bible study and worship, but find time for personal bible study and quite times. Personal times of worship during the week. Each will feed of the other - creating a greater desire to honor God with all your heart, soul, mind, body, and strength. Let's commit to being a true follower of Christ.
Is it becoming a little bit clearer now. Can you see it? Can you really see what I am seeing?