Just a few highlights include: we ending the year in the black in our budgeting, crossing over the halfway mark in tackling our total debt service, seeing nearly a dozen new families join the church, reaching out into the community in many new ways for Jesus, making great strides in discipleship for all ages, and having the greatest number of baptisms in the church’s history!
Where do we go from here? As we stand on the precipice of 2018, the possibilities are endless with the Lord. It seems God is continuing to direct us to hold the course in the areas in which we are investing. However, we have a few goals to spur us onward and keep us focused toward that end this year. There are four areas in particular before us.
First, as we continue to invest in children’s ministry, we hope to double our average involvement this year. Last year we doubled regular average attendance from 6 to 12 in Sunday School from children ranging in the ages of kindergarten through 5th grade. We are praying about a strategy to assist toward that end which you will hear a bit more about soon!
Secondly, we are working to build a model and strategy to undergird our teen ministry. The Craig brothers are working with me to put together a mission statement, goals, and pattern (just as we did for Children’s Ministry), that will serve us well into the years ahead. Do keep them in your prayers though this process.
Thirdly, Tom Thompson has graciously agreed to serve as our Adult Discipleship Chair as we further equip, build and encourage the adults in our midst. He will assist greatly in our Growth Group efforts, garnering feedback, and working closely with Fr. Greg and I as we map out teachings and seasonal offerings for adults. I ask for your prayers for him as well!
Lastly, we are making financial strides toward parish status. As we tackle our debt, we leap over the main hurdle toward that end. Two remain, declining diocesan support and fully funding our diocesan assessment (therefore being a full contributing member of the diocese). This year, by God’s grace and your commitments from our stewardship drive, we will hopefully decline diocesan support and move closer toward funding our full assessment. I hope in the next two years we can achieve this goal!
More on each of these this Sunday as well as the amazing stories from 2017 that mark what God is doing in our midst. You will not want to miss out on the opportunity to see what you are a part of at Saint Barnabas!