This year we are giving our full attention to What’s Next. Our goal for this year is to live hopeful and be helpful in showing people how to map out their forever. God has made it clear that He has big plans for the future. Jesus came and conquered sin and death to save a people for Himself. He promised He would return for us and make a New Heaven and New Earth, where we will be with Him forever.

Because life is short and forever is, well, forever, we need to be making decisions that are informed and inspired by What’s Next.

To begin the year, we focused on Mapping Out a Smart Start. We learned how to be smart with our resources, faith, heart, actions, and plans. God used that study in Haggai to get us going in the right direction. Now we are ready to move into high gear to go forward.

The first thing we are going to do is REGATHER the flock on Spiritual Renewal Sunday, February 7. The day is literally here!

Every year we have active members and regular attenders become less engaged in the life of the church. Spiritual Renewal Sunday is a time to get everybody back on board and involved in the life of our church family. Please, please, please take time to think through folks that you have not seen at church and give them a call and ask them to join you for worship on that Sunday.

In years past, I have asked a special guest to come and speak at Spiritual Renewal Sunday, but this year God has given me a special message to preach from Revelation 20:10-21:8. It is a message that will inspire us all to live our lives in light of What’s Next and encourage us to be involved in what God is doing in and through our lives.

Beginning February 14, we will start a study in 1 Thessalonians called “Opportunities!” In light of What’s Next, God has provided us with opportunities to do good things with our lives. Each message in this series will be encouraging, and I urge you to invite people you know where you live, work, learn, and play to come with you so they can be encouraged and blessed with good news.

That afternoon, we are going to celebrate the grand opening of the Hope Center for Biblical Counseling. We will have an open house for the renovated facilities and have a time to commission the staff and pray for God to use the facilities. It will give everyone the opportunity to see in person the place God has provided on our campus to help hundreds of people to anchor their life and hope in Jesus and gain victory over the issues that plague them.

On the night of February 14, we will launch Sunday Night Stuff. This is a fun-filled night for our kids and the perfect opportunity for them to invite friends to attend with them that don’t attend church regularly. It’s an action packed night with lots of things to do. In the process of having fun, the children will hear the Gospel and learn how important it is for them to have a personal faith with Jesus and a church home of their own. We will also have some outstanding Equip classes for adults. I will be teaching one on Spiritual Disciplines and sharing some insights I gleaned, during my sabbatical last summer, that have blessed my soul.

The “Opportunities!” series and Sunday Night Stuff will lead us right up to Palm and Easter Sunday, March 20 and 27. You are going to be hearing a lot about Easter and will be encouraged to make sure we help as many people as we can attend one of our SIX SERVICES: Thursday at 7p, Sunday in the Worship Center at 8a/9:30a/11a, and in the Chapel at 9:30a and 11a. On Palm Sunday, we will learn what happened in the world “When Jesus Went Down.” And on Easter, we will learn what happened in the world “When Jesus Rose Up.”  These messages will inspire hope and help us all believe in the truth of the Gospel and the power of our mighty God!

There is a desperate need in our city to experience the living God. We don’t need more religion and we sure do not need just another thing to do. The people all around us are like us. They need hope, like we do. We have been blessed to find the source of Living Hope and we need to share it with those we know so they can find hope and healing for their lives, marriages, and families. Please pray for God to do what is impossible for man, but is possible for God, which is to give new and eternal life to people. Be praying for those you know who are far from God and not actively involved in a local church and invite them to know Jesus and be a part of our church family.