My Vision for the First Quarter of 2022

Church family, I know COVID is being crazy again, so if you didn’t get a chance to hear my message from Sunday, please watch it. You can see it on our YouTube channel here. What follows is some of what I shared.

After seeking the Lord for several weeks, going back to our Christmas break in Arkansas, it has become clear to me that we need to focus on Jesus. Of course, one could argue we are always supposed to focus on Jesus. I get that and agree. However, what I mean is that our preaching will focus on Jesus for at least the first three months of this year.

I see us having been tempted to focus on many things other than Jesus over the past two years. We have been tempted to focus on the uncertainty of our day. This will lead us to anxiety. Or, we have focused on the loss we’ve experienced. This could lead us to discouragement. Lastly, we have focused on anything we can do to remain safe. This leads us to stay in our comfort zones.

Personally, I have found myself wanting to feel safe lately. That desire has materialized in wanting to listen to music I have known for a long time. It’s as if I want to hold on to anything that can give me a sense of normalcy, safety, or security. With everything changing so quickly, just give me some music I know.

I submit to you that this desire to feel safe and protected (from COVID or anything else) has led to an unintended consequence for us.

The consequence is that we have not fully come together as one congregation after welcoming those of you from Maple Grove (and others who are newer). In the past we would just have a big potluck or two and spend a lot of time together in order to come together as a family. COVID has put a wrinkle in that. So, as what will hopefully be a spark, I am asking all of us to participate in what I’m calling “Project One Church.” Here’s what it is.

Project One Church

On every Sunday from January—March, I’m asking us all to do three things: (1) sit with someone you don’t normally sit with on Sunday at our 11am gathering, (2) look for a time to have a meal with them that week, (3) at the meal, share how you came to know Jesus. Here are those things again, but with a little more detail.

1. Sit with someone you don’t normally sit with at our 11am gathering every Sunday from January—March.

There are multiple ways you can determine who to sit with. You could talk to someone in the gathering place before service, or you could plan ahead and contact someone. Or maybe you could stalk someone to their house, peer in the windows until they notice you and then shout “SUNDAY!! YOU GUYS WITH MY GUYS!!! LET’S DO THIS!” (This one is not recommended.)

If you’d like to contact someone, use the contact list by clicking the “Download” button below.

2. Try to have a meal with them at some point that week.

Sunday after service may be a good time to do this. You could have someone over, or eat out. Your choice!

3. At that meal, share how you came to know Jesus.

It is my prayer that this will help us develop new relationships with one another and come together as one church over the next three months.

The Closer We Follow Jesus, the Closer We Come Together

The phrase above is our slogan for the first three months of the year. It’s true. There is only one Jesus. So, as individuals draw closer to Jesus, they find themselves drawing closer together.

This is what we must do over these next three months: focus on Jesus. He is what bring us together. He is who can give us peace and joy in these turbulent times.

I’m praying He will use this to bring us together as one church. After He does that, it will be time for the second part of my vision in 2022.