Do you enjoy meetings? I don’t know many people that would say “yes.” However, I recently attended a meeting that was a great time of celebration, full of gratefulness, and had a hopeful look forward.
You see, a couple weekends ago was Hope’s Annual Meeting. Steve started our meeting with a look back on 2016. I was filled with gratefulness as he flew through the year, listing many of the highlights and significant things our church family has gone through in the past year. Steve reminded us that in 2016 we baptized 48 Hopesters, bringing our Hope history total to 1,172 people. Yay! God!
I don’t have room to list all the good things Steve shared, but he went on and spoke of the growth and health of our in-house ministries, as well as the amazing work going on around the world through the 25 different Missionaries we support, including the water filtration projects going up in Cuba, and Hopester Founding Family, Randy and Tammy Moss moving to Romania where they help provide safe housing and support for young women that are aging out of their foster system. Yay! God! We have many things for which to be grateful and it’s good to take a look back and express thankfulness to our Heavenly Father.
We also took time in our Annual Meeting to look forward. With the upcoming April 1 transition, 2017 is bound to be an epic and important year for our church family. There’s no reason for us to allow this transition to slow us down from participating in the many great things the Heavenly Father is doing all around us. Whether is it completing some of the great Outdoor projects on our property that are already in the works, or it’s taking seriously the question “how do you share Jesus in our current culture and with our surrounding community?” These are things our church family needs to be engaging in throughout this upcoming year.
At the Annual Meeting, I also shared something the Father has been personally laying on my heart and I believe impacts our church through this transition. We as a church are almost 30 years old. Before I personally turned 30 years old, I hardly had a care in the world. But, when I turned 30, I started thinking about my 401K, my decisions seemed to carry more risks, and I become a more cautious person. I really don’t want to see us as a church family follow that pattern.
As our church continues to age, as we make this transition and turn to the next season of life, I believe it’s vital that we hang on, even reclaim, our youthfulness. The church must put her mom jeans away…To be passionate. To have reckless energy. To fall in love with the some of the wrong people. To be quick to forgive. To give away our hearts. To leap before we look. And if you look at Hope’s history, ironically, I think our Olders can teach our Youngers a little bit about that.
2017 will be a big leap for our church family. Yet, we can leap with confidence knowing that our Heavenly Father is ready to catch us on the other side. May we take the leap with the excitement and joy that any child would!