Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2012-2013 A Look Back

We are actively preparing for Vision Sunday to celebrate the beginning of a new season of ministry at Church of the Apostles. Before we do, it is good to pause and take a look back at all God has done in our midst this past year. 



Faith in Christ
Baptism on August 11
It was a very fruitful year as people continued to come to faith in Jesus Christ through your ministries and prayers.  A number of parents had the wonderful privilege of leading their kids to receive Jesus as their Lord. At least 8 of these children were baptized. 15 young people came to faith in Jesus through the work of our student ministries. At least four adults came to faith in the midst of a variety of ministry settings. We are sure even more have come to faith as we continue to be encouraged by stories of our members faithfully reaching out in their families, neighborhoods, and places of business. 

Growth
We can also rejoice that God has provided growth in our congregation. This past year we saw a 6% increase in overall attendance. The Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry Sunday attendance increased by 18% and 16% respectively.  We also saw five new community groups formed to bring the total to 33 groups and 305 participants, as well as our women’s groups and men’s groups. We added 34 new members and had over 800 registered visitors!

Depth and strength
Our January sermon series on marriage proved to be very inspiring and practical. One member said, “We should do this every January!” The Lenten series on prayer was also very well received and many expressed deep appreciation for how their connection with the Lord through prayer had been enriched.

Jonathan Noël
The Lord has blessed our worship ministry as well with the addition of Jonathan Noel. His musical ability, experience, and expertise have added a notable depth and richness to Sunday morning worship. His leadership also displays a loving and humble character as he leads us to more faithfully worship our Lord. 

The addition of Lee Hilts to our staff has provided a much needed element of organization and oversight to the administration of the many tasks, strategies, and teams required to effectively carry out ministry in a church our size. 

Church Planting
We have made especially good progress in our church planting initiative this year. Ford has been named as our church planter and is working diligently with his advisory team for his personal preparation, the identifying of his key team leaders, and the raising up of a congregation out of our own who will join him and Lindsay on this new venture.

I would love to keep writing, as so much more has taken place, but our intent is to keep our blog posts short and readable. Over the course of this coming year, many of your stories will be told in this blog so that we can all be aware of and celebrate what God is doing in our midst. I close this posting with one of my favorite quotes from Paul:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.   -Philippians 1:3-6

With you in Christ,

Patrick


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