Dear Church Family,
First, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has made UPWARD such a huge success this year. There are about 80 volunteers every week that make this ministry possible and I am so
thankful for each and every one of them. I need to say a special thank you to Jacob Townsend and April Sharp for making it all possible. Their leadership is what allowed all of the 80 volunteers to come together and make an eternal impact on the lives of the families that we ministered to. Thank you for all of your dedication and sacrifice!
Also, as we begin the month of March, I want you to be thinking about those that you can reach out to during the upcoming Easter season. This is one of the times of the year that people are very open and receptive to a personal invitation to come to church. Ed Stetzer shares in one of his articles the power of a personal invitation:
“Whatever happened to the strategy of simply inviting a friend, co-worker, or neighbor to church? According to our research, an invitation to church is still an effective way to reach the lost.
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.
- 67% of Americans say a personal invitation from a family member would be very or somewhat effective in getting them to visit a church.
- 63% of Americans say a personal invitation from a friend or neighbor would be very or somewhat effective in getting them to visit a church.
- 63% of Americans are very or somewhat willing to receive information about a local congregation or faith community from a
- 56% 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.”
Community is the last thing I would like to touch on this month. We have been blessed with numerous people visiting our church! Many are returning guests and we need to assimilate them into a small group so true community can happen. Please make an extra effort to reach out to those that you may not know and invite them to your 2:42 group. Ask their name, introduce yourself and help them to feel a part of what God is up to at Oakhill!! God is moving and preparing us for what He has for us in the near future!! I am so excited to be a part of what He is doing!!!!
I love you and I love being your pastor