It’s 2015! How did we get here so fast! And look at where we are. God has blessed Living Hope and He has raised up Godly members and leaders that help make this a great family of faith.

I have high expectations for this year. This is a defining year in the life of Living Hope. We are going to begin a long-term process that I pray leads to the salvation of many and the strengthening of God’s church.

This year is The Year of Hope. As we study 1 John, we are going to talk about what “hope is…” That phrase, “hope is…,” is one you need to get used to seeing and speaking to. This year God can do something wonderful in your life, in your family, among your friends, and in the ministry you are involved in. It is something that could enable you to complete that statement, “hope is…,” with a meaningful personal pronouncement.

In preparation for this great opportunity we need to get ready. Nothing spiritually significant happens without two things: prayer and leadership. Look throughout the Bible and you will see God consistently working through both leaders and prayer. The Lord calls us to pray for what He wants to do and raises up leaders that He works through. That’s what happens every time God does something significant.

In light of what God could do this year, we are going to give significant time to develop both our leadership and our prayer focus. We are going to use Wednesday nights to do it. On the FIRST Wednesday night of each month, the elders, the staff, and I are going to be meeting with ministry leaders to equip them and pray through the work God has called them to do. These gatherings will involve one specific ministry at a time so we can speak to their particular needs. Invitations will be sent for these nights as soon as our plans are finalized. On the THIRD Wednesday night of each month, the elders, staff, and I are going to have a meal and a time of prayer with the church. This will be an informal time around tables where we will fellowship and receive the Lord’s Supper. I will teach on prayer and we will pray together in groups and then spend more time in fellowship.

The goal of these Wednesday night gatherings is simple. We are seeking to strengthen our leadership and to pray. Why? Because nothing spiritually significant happens without two things: prayer and leadership.

I also want to encourage you to begin to fervently pray for people where you live, work, learn, and play. Ask God to enable you to lead them to anchor their life and hope in Jesus. We have many people in our city who are living without Jesus. Some of whom were raised in a church and some who have never been. Regardless of what has been, many need Jesus and they need God to be at work in their life and for us to share the Gospel with them.

To help us gain a greater focus on our calling to live hopeful and be helpful and lead more people to anchor their life and hope in Jesus, Dr. Bob Boyd is going to come and spend Sunday, January 25 with us. Please don’t miss this inspirational time of worship. I encourage you to buy tickets for the luncheon and hear more about how God has brought about amazing change in people’s lives. Dr. Boyd will share stories of how he has seen God bring about revivals in communities just like ours.

The Year of Hope is before us! Please prepare for it by praying and beginning to think about who it is you know that you can introduce Jesus to.