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Pastor's Points April 2019

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Dear Church Family,

We are approaching one of the best times of the year to invite people to come to church.  Please be praying about those whom you can personally invite this year to one of our Easter service.  The research shows that people are just waiting for an invitation from you to come to your church.  A few years ago, LifeWay Research conducted a    survey of 15,000 adults for the North American Mission Board to try to determine which of 13 approaches is the best-received when a church wants to be heard. The research showed us that best-received means of seeing new people walk into one’s church is, well, a personal invitation.

a. Sixty-seven percent of Americans say a personal invitation from a family member would be very or somewhat effective in getting them to visit a church.

b. Sixty-three percent of Americans say a personal invitation from a friend or neighbor would be very or somewhat effective in getting them to visit a church.

c. Sixty-three percent of Americans are very or somewhat willing to receive information about a local congregation or faith community from a family member.

d. Fifty-six percent of Americans are very or somewhat willing to receive information about a local congregation or faith community from a friend or neighbor.

So, people ARE open to an invite from church, particularly if it is from someone they know. But one simple invitation isn’t necessarily going to result in subsequent attendance. Neighbors may come because of an invitation, but they’ll stay for the     community.

Please get one of our prayer guides this month and use it to help you make this most important invitation.  We want you to be praying about who you know that may not know Christ but needs to.  Who’s Your One?  This is a very important question.  This prayer guide will help prepare the way for you to invite this person to come and be a part of one of our Easter services this year.

With all the craziness that is going on in our world today, we have a golden opportunity to reach out to people with the hope of the Gospel.  People are looking for something to put their trust in, but all that this world offers leaves people empty.  We need to make sure that we offer to all who will hear the hope that is found in our Savior Jesus Christ.  Please make the effort to ask the question, “Who’s Your One?”  And after you ask the question and God gives you an answer, open your mouth and be faithful.  You never know, a simple invite to a church service could have an eternal impact!!


I love you and I love being your pastor,

 

Posted by Alan Scott with

Spare Change - April 2019

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                                                                        Ministry Update

The past three months have been pretty crazy.  We wrapped up the Upward basketball and cheerleading program the first part of March.  I would have to say that this was one of the most successful years in terms of outreach and connecting with families.  We know for sure that one child was saved.  We have had several families visit our church.  There have been a few of the middle school students begin to engage with our student ministry.  In one sense I am happy the season is over, if for no other reason to get some rest, but I will miss it and the opportunity for ministry.  Thank you to all the volunteers and coaches that put in countless hours to organize this league.  We could not have done it without you!

From there we move on to planning for Easter and even VBS!  Easter will be on us before we know it.  Our Easter weekend is a great way to connect people to our church.  They will be able to hear the gospel proclaimed and learn about the power of the  resurrection.  One of the highlights of the weekend is our Community Easter Egg Hunt.  We fill over 6,000 eggs and invite the entire community to come out.  This event is what we call a bridge event.  We simply try to connect with our community in a positive way.  It is something that you can invite friends and family to partake in that is casual and fun.  We hope to have a great turn out for the egg hunt.

Also, a lot of my time right now is focused on VBS.  Yes, VBS!  We actually start prepping for VBS in February.  We really ramp up in March and April.  Mostly getting volunteers lined out, supplies ordered, and having our leader training.  This year the theme is “In the Wild”.  We are going to look at  snapshots of the different ecosystems around the globe while looking at snapshots of the life of Jesus.  I can’t wait to see what God will do through our VBS this year.  As I wrote last month, VBS is the largest evangelistic push that most churches do all year.  We are going to keep the focus on connecting with families and proclaiming the gospel.

I have enjoyed the last three months as the pastor of children and missions.  It has been an adjustment, but it has been a delight to get to know the kids and their families even more.  We have a great group of kids and kids’ ministry volunteers.  Please pray for them, they don’t just provide childcare, they are pouring into your children the Word of God each week.

We also have had another big change the past few weeks.  Our Hispanic church planter, Leonid Marsan, came onsite at the end of February.  He and his family are currently living in our Charis House while they get set-up and adjust to life in Evansville.  Leonid is not sitting idle, he is getting out into the community and God is already beginning to work.  Leonid has been connected to several Hispanic individuals by God’s providence.  Please pray for him and his family as they begin this new work.  Also pray for them as they learn the culture and English language.  Our church family has been so welcoming to them already, I know you will make Oakhill feel like home.

God has also been doing some things in my life; reminding me that people, not programs are most important when it comes to ministry.  We must keep our eyes on Jesus, proclaim the gospel, reach out to our community, and make disciples.  If we keep those ideals first, then the programs will fall into their proper place.  Thank you for trusting me to be the pastor of children and missions, it is quickly becoming one of the greatest joys of my life.

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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