2020 Year in Re(ar)view
Heading into 2020, your board and staff planned to have the church spend 2020 focussing on the life of Jesus and the Apostles as recorded in Luke and Acts (by Luke).
We wanted to get really clear on what Jesus did and what He sent the Apostles to do, and what God calls us to do.
In some ways, Clearly understanding the Gospel, our Identity, and our Motivation for sharing the Gospel as we are Connecting with Jesus, Our Church and Our Community is simply an indepth look at The Great Commission, in our context today.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:19-20 ESV
Then we set a goal to aim for, based on our theme.
GOAL: By the end of 2020, 100 people have clearly spoken the Gospel to someone not yet connected to Jesus and can name a place in the community where they are engaged in building relationships.
This was our aim in 2020.
And then 2020 began to unfold.
Take a look back with me for a minute, and as you remember any challenges, think about what you learned from that challenge, and also find something in it or as a result of it to thank God for, and write it down.
January - Do you remember the 30 day devotional resource and answering the question “What’s my Identity?” just as there were some rumblings about a virus in China?
Feb-March - Do you remember L@ST Sunday pot lucks? How about choosing a book on Heaven and Hell and having a “book club” style discussion?
March-April - Maybe you remember going through the Gospel as an acronym in 2.22 to get a better handle on what it is, how to see it in our lives and how to talk about it. Maybe you remember that at the end of March we had made the decision to try and support our first responders and medical professionals as well as to care for our neighbors by temporarily moving our in-person worship gatherings to online worship services. Do you remember the disruption to school, or work, or the feelings you had about having to go, or not being able to go somewhere?
May - Do you remember the death of George Floyd? Do you remember Giant Asian hornets and the announcement of the government stimulus package for COVID relief? Maybe you were just trying to make it to the end of the school year?
June - I’m guessing you don’t remember a church-wide impact prayer wall, since that and many other things we had planned had to change. Maybe you remember the continuing presidential Campaign, and thinking and hoping that the summer weather would kill off COVID.
July - December What trips did you have to cancel or change? Do you remember the ever changing planning for the beginning of the school year? What about sports? Do you remember our successful AM2FM campaign? The election is still relatively fresh in most people’s minds.
There is way too much here, I can’t possibly do justice to any of it. What do you remember? What stands out to you?
Do you remember how long ago it was that we stopped using words like unprecedented?
Do you also remember first trying on-line worship? And our worship teams recording their music and making videos so we could sing together? Do you remember 2.22 via Zoom or are you still enjoying Thursday evening Stronger Homes gatherings? Maybe you engaged in Mom to Mom, Caregiver Support, or many other meetings that moved to an online platform. Maybe you figured out how to do Zoom Thanksgiving, or had smaller holiday celebrations. Maybe you have been able to spend more time with the few people in your very close circle.
Sometimes instead of deciding to get food before or after going to a movie, you can’t go anywhere, and there are no movies or restaurants to stop at. But even in the midst of drastic changes, God is with you.
“...And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Even as we can’t wait to get back together, what have you learned about being part of a Church, part of a community, and a member of a household? What have you learned about connecting, and what do you understand more clearly now about how God has connected with us, How much He loves you, and why it’s so important to Him and to others that you spread the news and His love?
What do you see in the rearview as you look back on 2020 that you don’t want to leave behind?
I would love to hear what you have learned. If you’re willing to share as a comment, or if you want to talk about it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor and D.M.M.