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Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008: The Call to Belong

I am excited about 2008 at Grace Christian Fellowship!

We have a strong foundation on which to build. Christ is the cornerstone, to be sure. On top of that we saw Grace grow deeper and wider in many ways. Baptisms were up. Giving was way up. Home Groups were launched and continue to grow. Worship attendance continues to climb as well.

There were other, harder to measure, indications of growth as well. Marriages were strengthened. Leaders emerged ready to serve. Children cared about reaching their neighborhood friends. Many learned better how to trust the Lord in all things. Families got through difficult times by leaning on Christ.

It's hard to measure changed lives sometimes. The numbers don't tell the whole story. (See what one church is doing about that) But when we do "Life together," we see the evidence first hand. Many of you witnessed that at Grace last year.

We're building on that this year. Our theme in '08 "The Call to Belong" flows from Romans 1:6 where we are "Called to belong to Jesus Christ." In Acts 2 we see these same followers interacting as the Body of Christ. That's what authentic community looks like--people living like Jesus would if he were in their shoes. We want to move in that direction this year.

As a result, we'll focus on belonging by going through 40 Days of Community as a church. This series builds on the book Purpose Driven Life. It will not only grow our groups numerically--it will strengthen them as well making them more authentic and loving.

Next week I'll share where I sense God is leading us and how we're going to get there.