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March Pastor's Points

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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
    family member.
  • 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

Pastor Alan

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God is Moving in Awesome Ways

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Dear Church Family, 

As I write this article at the end of the first month of 2015 I am overwhelmed with how God is working in our church family! We have hit the ground running and God is moving in awesome ways. 

We have baptized in at least one of our services each week in January! We are ministering from Friday through Sunday each week as UPWARD basketball and cheer and our food pantry are up and running! We are literally reaching out and ministering to well over 1,000 people each weekend through our weekend ministries and worship services! God is so good to us and our church family is amazing in the way in which they are willing to serve!!! I am so thankful for all of you. 

Also, God has blessed us in our new worship service format. From January – September of 2014 we averaged 467 people in our combined worship attendance. From October 2014 – January 2015 we have averaged 530 people in our combined worship attendance since adding our third worship service. So, we are averaging 63 more per Sunday for a 13.5% increase in total worship attendance. It is no coincidence that during this time our baptisms have risen as well. I truly believe God is blessing our obedience to be willing to do what it takes to continue to reach out to people with the Gospel message. Thank you for being willing to change and sacrifice to see God do what only He can do!! 

We have also kicked off our Sunday night emphasis where adults are learning more about the Gospel, as well as, becoming more familiar with how they can share life more effectively with those in their lives. We had 74 adults for our first Sunday night together. We also kicked off our children’s Easter musical/drama and 54 kids came out and participated. That is amazing! Looking for God to continue to do big things on Sunday nights. 

Finally, we have entered into 2015 with a focus on missions like never before. We have added a new strategic partner to help us facilitate international missions. Culture Waves Global is this partner and one of our own church members, Ron Osborne is the founder/president of this great company. This year we are partnering with a few trips that he has to India and possibly China. Some of our members are going to India in March to participate in missions! I could not be more excited. You will being hearing more about these opportunities in the weeks and months to come. We also have a partnership with the North American Mission Board to minister in Detroit, Michigan as well. We will be taking three teams there this year as well. You need to pray about being involved in these mission opportunities. After you pray, find Pastor Bryan and get the details so you can be deployed to go serve in the name of the King of Kings! 

You now see why I feel overwhelmed with God’s goodness to us already at the end of the first month of 2015!! I cannot wait to see what else He has in store for us! 

I love you and I love being your pastor, 

Alan Scott

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