Many good things and many challenges face our church family. I am grateful to God for so many men, women, and students who are making disciples or being discipled. We have many women participating in our Bible studies on campus, and we had about 30 men show up Thursday morning for our Proverbs Bible study and small group accountability time. Our LifeBridge ESL is off to a fantastic start. Our North Africa mission team leaves tomorrow morning to go on mission. Many in our church family are taking the mandate of Jesus most seriously and are making disciples.
On Sunday we will conclude our study, Joseph: A Portrait of Grace and Forgiveness. We will look at Genesis 50 with a message entitled “God Meant It for Good.” I am sad, in a way, because this is our last message in the Joseph series. God has used this Old Testament patriarch to speak to us all and bless, encourage, and challenge us to be people of integrity, grace, and forgiveness. The following Sunday, October 2, I will begin preaching our new series entitled CROSSFIT, an 8-week series of sermons to help us grow in sharing the gospel and making disciples. I believe God will use this emphasis on sharing our faith and making disciples as we study not only in corporate worship, but also during the Connect Group classes. So many of you are investing in people and inviting them to our church and it shows. I was in the home of a family Tuesday night who had visited Great Hills because Anna Johnson and Serena Li invited them.
As for challenges, yes, we have them as well. For the last six weeks we have not given the bare minimum for us to pay our bills as a church. We need $60,000 each week or we will overspend. (Keep in mind our monthly debt mortgage is $57,000.) We are now $300,000 overspent for 2016. On Sunday our offering was $33,000. Also, we still need about $78,000 for Building Vision to reach our goal. I would like to make a very heartfelt, grace-based appeal to you to make attending church a strong priority each Sunday and please financially support our church. We simply cannot do ministry and accomplish what God intends for us to do without your sacrificial giving. Thank you!
Don’t forget that Sunday is Change-Your-World Sunday when we take up monies for our benevolence ministry. We have many in our church with numerous needs and because you give, we are able to help them.
I love you, church family, and am honored to be your pastor. I am striving to help us be a radiant church that makes disciples of our neighbors and the nations. Thank you for hearing my heart in this communication.