A Pastoral Word
Happy New Year!
Every year when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st/January 1st, we get a new beginning and another try have a great year. All of our previous hardships and mishaps seem to be brushed away with each strike of the clock and we start out the new year with a clean slate. Then we all start making our new year resolutions and we are confident that we are going to live out to these resolutions. “My new year resolution is to work out more. My new year resolution is to try new things.” “My new year resolution is to start a new hobby.” “My new year resolution is to watch what I eat.”
We know that the whole point of the new year resolutions are to reflect on our lives, take a look at our growing areas, and try to better ourselves through the help of friends, family, and willpower. Every year, people around the world stop and reflect on becoming a better person and on just how they are going to achieve this goal. And that is exactly what Midway Christian Church is doing also.
As we start out this new year, the board is developing a strategic plan that comes out of the notes and comments from the board retreat and will lead us in the process of re-visioning and restructure. I have looked over resources to help us vision our future and to help us develop a mission statement, and all the resources seem to say the same thing. “Know the community around your church.” So I checked out a suggested website that helps churches get a good picture of their communities and I was excited about the results that this website gave me. I simply typed in our zip code and after a few moments of tabulating here is what is says about the faith preferences for Midway, KY.
49% of the population who live in the 40347 zip code have a strong faith involvement and 89% of the population have a preference for “Historic Christian” tradition. And based upon worship, music, and architectural style preference in the area, the overall church style preference can be described as very traditional. When asked, the population who lives in the 40347 zip code is looking for a church who provides opportunity for bible study and prayer, social programs and most importantly, spiritual development.
My first thought was Wow! That describes Midway Christian Church! We know that we are a place that opens its doors to all of God’s children and provides a safe environment to explore and to be challenged on the faith journey. We know that we are a place that has a deep rooted tradition that has shaped us and formed us into who we are today. We also celebrate our phenomenal music program that enriches and enhances our worship experience.
We as a church are always looking for new opportunities to learn and develop a deeper relationship with God and with one another. We have a deep compassion for helping to bring about the Kingdom of God through mission projects. And most importantly, we like each other and want to spend time with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, especially when it involves food!
Each week, we are getting more and more visitors! What a wonderful sight to look out into the congregation and see a sea of faces! And the people are coming to Midway Christian Church because someone shared the gift of our church. I have heard so many comments about how someone invited a visitor to Midway Christian and they are glad that they came.
So as I look toward this new year with Midway Christian Church, I am challenging all of us to try out another new year resolution. “Our church’s new year resolution is to invite people to come to church with us.” Invite your friends who are searching for a place to ask those difficult faith questions in a safe environment. Invite your co-workers who are looking for a church home where all are welcome to the table. Invite your neighbors who may be wondering where God is calling them. Invite your family whose passion is mission work and is looking for a church home who has embraced its vocation to shine the light of God into all the dark places in the world and to share God’s grace and hope with all.
May we celebrate the new year with new vision and new life.