Celebrations: The Last Year

by Abraham Cremeens

I am excited! In the last few weeks, I have seen significant endeavors from the past year come to wonderful fruition. I drove home this past Tuesday night after our elder meeting thanking God for his kindness to us in multiple ways.
This Sunday, we begin a weeklong celebration of our 75 year anniversary. We have much to review in covering so many great decades as a church. However, I’d like to describe below what I am celebrating over this 75th year in particular. Some great things are happening in our midst. It seems like so much is coming together!
Recently, I have found myself going back to a significant date in 2018. It was May 4, and the current team of elders and staff met for most of the day to focus on who were as a church, direction moving forward, and how we were going to get there. We reviewed our ministry model of Gather, Grow, Scatter and not only reaffirmed it but dug even deeper into it. That model became a scorecard for how we were approaching our ministry efforts.
Further, we shaped a new identity statement: We are a community of disciple-makers toward the Great Commission. We honed in on discipleship as the key part of our identity. That was significant for the next steps we began to pursue.
Staffing Plan
On that same Friday, we also began an important discussion regarding our staff team that lasted most of the summer. At that point, Will Peycke (then our Director of Family Ministry) and I were the current ministry staff. However, we gave serious attention to what needed to change in our job descriptions and how we could best serve as staff together. We made some adjustments which then helped us see what we needed to look for in adding to the staff team. This was an exciting discussion because it further developed our thinking on how staffing would affect our ministry model and identity as a church. The whole pursuit only got better when Will Peycke was affirmed as an elder and became our Pastor of Family Ministry a few weeks later.
Hiring Process
With a staffing plan defined and a job description written, we pressed into a hiring process. We had the privilege of interacting with some great men as potential fits, but I was blown away by God’s grace in bringing Gami Ortiz to the team as our Pastor of Worship and Connections. The support of the whole church family was evidenced in the overwhelming vote to affirm him as an elder at the same time. Our elder and staff teams were in place and full of health. Gami officially started last week and has already added so much in so many ways.
Strategic Plan
The most recent step was the finalization of our Strategic Plan 2.0. After plenty of work, we met as elders this past Tuesday to complete the strategy and then met with deacons for some interaction on the matter. We will roll out this plan as part of our anniversary celebration on May 5. I am very excited about the areas of focus we have designated for the next few years.
It has been a challenging past year in a lot of respects, but it has also been a wonderful year. I find myself full of gratitude for these last 12 months. There is much to celebrate. There is a lot of health. God is giving focus and direction. You are an awesome church. I am excited at what God has been doing in recent months, and I look forward to what is ahead in the years to come.
Would you please take a moment and thank God with me?