In this first service of the year, Greg took a moment to reflect on what we are doing here. It is important to make an honest assessment of what progress we’re making in advancing the kingdom of God. We inevitably face opposition in this world, but the task before us is worth the sacrifices that will need to be made.
This first service of the year 2004 Greg took a moment to reflect back on what we are doing here. It is important to make an honest assessment of what is going on and what needs to change. It is easy to get discouraged when we live in a world so conformed to lies about who God is and what life is about. Greg expressed his own cynicism–but also shared some verses that challenge his ability to stay there. Paul speaks powerfully about standing firm in the position of obedience because the labor that we do for God is never in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58). In another passage, Paul encouraged Christians to “hold fast to the word of life”. There is something about working for the kingdom that causes us to face opposition in this world. When this comes, the word is clear, stand firm, hold fast, press on, keep running, etc. These are the kinds of phrases that the leaders of the church used to remind people that the task before them is worth the sacrifices that become inevitable.
Greg took time to express some of his frustrations that emerged as a result of not seeing certain expectations met, but then the focus shifted to recognizing what God DID manage to get done here at WHC in the last year or so. In other words, he took some time to brag on God…here are some of the highlights:
- We’ve seen MANY decisions made for Christ
- Many small groups have become increasingly active in ministry
- People are getting freed from addictive behaviors (and other personal forms of distress) in our counseling programs
- We have received over $1,000,000 toward the GITS project and have pledges for over $4,000,000! Because of this we are moving ahead on phase one of the youth center
- Part of GITS included sending $160,000 to Cambodia to do powerful ministries of healing, care for the desperately sick and abused, and even church planting
- We support 25 fulltime missionaries and 20 mission teams
- Locally we support battered women by helping to provide shelter
- Our counseling center is in such high demand that we are forced to turn people away unless they cannot afford professional counseling
- We are running a pilot course on Racial Reconciliation and building new relationships with churches in the city who are willing to help us
- We are participating in some new initiatives to strategize and network with churches city-wide- We have partnered with Efrem Smith’s exciting church plant and foundation for holistic ministry in the city
These are just some of the ways that God has seen fit to bless us and use us to further the Kingdom! We need to express our appreciation for the opportunity to participate with God in this way! Hide Extended Summary