As I write this blog, we’re a little more than halfway through the 2016 calendar, and it’s already been a great year at Mount Pleasant Christian Church. In fact, there’s not enough room in this blog to list all the great things that have happened so far. There was “Night to Shine” our first prom for special needs folks, Change the World week (over 400,000 meals prepared, the frames of 5 houses constructed, and countless other people served in and around our community). We’ve had mission trips to Romania, Poland (2), The Dominican Republic (home build), Cookson Hills Christian Home in Oklahoma, Big Creek Mission in Bear Creek, Kentucky and Mexico (VBS), and we’ve got remaining trips to Austria, Mexico and Myanmar on the calendar. Each of these trips provided opportunities for people to be served and the gospel to be presented. We had almost 400 students and volunteers at Camp Allendale for a week of church camp as well as over 200 students attending Christ in Youth MOVE and MIX Conferences. Our Bible Bowl teams capped off another successful year by placing 2 teams in the top 3 at their recent National Tournament. Our preschool continues to grow and serve the families of our community. We’ve kicked off a new Soul Care ministry along with a new Financial Freedom ministry. Our Home Group ministry is growing, I could go on and on. It’s been a great year and its only July 27.
I have always had a vision for a church that provided multiple opportunities to reach and serve people. And while Mount Pleasant Christian Church is far from perfect (there’s no such thing as a perfect church), I’m seeing that happen each and every week. So let me encourage you to embrace that vision and that opportunity by making some important commitments for the remainder of this year. First, commit to faithfulness in worship. While we are a church that is involved in lots of ministry opportunities, our major focus continues to be our weekend services. The Bible encourages us in Hebrews 10:25, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing… (NIV) I know you’ve got a busy life. I know weekends are filled with lots of options when it comes to your time. But I also know the great value of committing an hour and fifteen minutes to worship. Making that commitment is something you’ll never regret. Second, get connected through a Home Group and through regular service. Church was never intended to be a, “Just show up once a week” experience. We can’t live out the “one another” commands of the New Testament (love one another – serve one another – bear one another’s burdens – etc.) if we’re not “connected.” Get connected to a Home Group (you can even recruit your own Home Group) and say “yes” to the many opportunities to serve on a weekly or monthly basis. Third, Be faithful and consistent in your financial support. It takes money to do ministry – especially when your ministry is so focused on making an IMPACT both locally and globally. We operate on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 thru June 30 and we have begun the 2016/2017 fiscal year a little behind our budgeted needs. This isn’t unusual as lots of our church family are gone through June and July with vacation and lots of other activities. And I know that “back to school” always brings an extra expense to families with young children. But our financial commitments are continuous and we don’t want to fall behind. We’ve got operational costs to support the great campus God has blessed us with, a large staff (and families) to care for, and significant opportunities for IMPACT through the IMPACT Center (food & clothing) our IMPACT Chin ministry, local & global mission partners, and the list goes on.
So here’s my encouragement to you. Take some time today to thank God for the ministry of Mount Pleasant Christian Church (say that prayer right now - it really is incredible). Ask God’s blessing on the many ministry opportunities that are before us throughout the remainder of this year. Then be prayerful and thoughtful about your response to the three commitments I’ve shared. Be faithful in worship, get connected through community and service and give faithfully. I can tell you that one of the greatest decisions my wife Sandy and I have ever made, was the decision to be faithful, consistent and generous supporters of our local church. There has never been a moment when we regretted or fretted over this support. We have our weekly gift automatically taken from our account so it’s here even when we’re not. And I can tell you from years and years of firsthand experience, no matter how much we give, we can never out give God.