A Happy New Year

by Abraham Cremeens

It is a happy New Year. That seems odd to say now that we are into February, but it captures my heart some 36 days into 2021. In a world full of bad news lately, I am delighted to review some great news. January proved to be a great month. Why? “The LORD has done great things for us and we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).

This past Sunday, we met as a church family during our monthly Family Gathering and interacted over items from our Strategic Plan. It was a packed hour because God has been doing incredible things in our midst. For one, we reviewed the Building Revamp Proposal and financing plan. That vote carried, and very soon we will launch that project. As a church family we discerned together to open up our building in new ways to further our mission. It was a stewardship decision that has me deeply excited as we move forward.

There is more! We also celebrated the addition of Chad Moore to our staff team as Director of Campus Ministry. Your feedback in that decision was incredibly positive and helpful. God is up to something in and through our college students, and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.

There is still more! The updated Strategic Plan articulates other heartbeats and endeavors for God’s glory in the coming months and years:

Gather. I am eager for the road ahead in our worship gatherings as we seek to develop and foster a culture that is attentive to and dependent on the Spirit’s work. There is a lot to unpack and learn along the way, but a key component is the desire to create space on Sunday morning to let the Spirit do his work in our hearts. The Spirit works through our planning as well, but we as elders share a desire to pause and be attentive to all that God is doing on Sunday morning. It takes space to allow for that. 

Grow. In our efforts to grow, we have targeted three new areas. First, reach out and engage those less connected due to the pandemic and its aftermath. It has been a tough and strange journey, and we have quite a road ahead. We have been working to stay in touch with those more isolated in assisted living facilities and our seniors but want to ensure we don’t lose anyone along the way. That requires some shifts in our approach to make sure that happens. 

Second, develop and implement training courses for Serving at Kossuth and Leading at Kossuth as follow-up from Welcome to Kossuth. We do a great job helping those newer to our church into membership. And, while connecting into service and leadership often happens organically, we desire to do as good of a job in those two areas as we do with membership. We are excited to roll out a four-week Connection Hour class that helps church members plug into serving opportunities based on their gifting and passions. We have also launched a newly designed Teaching Cohort to further equip communicators of God’s Word.

Third, we identified a question that will lead to an important area in family ministry. We will identify a key action down the road, but for now we are asking the question, “How can we guide young people to pursue biblical manhood and womanhood in an increasingly secular culture?” There is a lot of confusion in our world that is contrary to what God has designed and revealed in his Word. We intend to press into that area head-on.

Scatter. Finally, under our efforts to scatter, we aim to deepen relationships with a few select local partners in order to have greater impact and also pursue partnerships & strategize new efforts to support and care for orphans & vulnerable children. We have made great progress in these the last few years and desire to take it to the next level in focus and action.

Can you see why I’m considering this a very happy New Year so far? Much has already taken place in these last 36 days, and we have articulated great goals for the future. Your role is vital, so please connect with any of these endeavors that excite you. Below are specific ways you can pray as well:

  1. Pray that these goals and action items would actually grow us spiritually as a church. Remember that our goal is not to have completed a “to-do” list but rather to more closely align ourselves with what we understand to be the biblical target of what a local church should be and do.
  2. Pray that the leaders of Kossuth would steward their responsibility well. Ultimately, the church belongs to Jesus Christ, and our visions and strategies are only profitable when they are held in full submission to him.
  3. Pray that these steps forward would glorify God. He has given us a work to do and we want to pursue that work wholeheartedly and for his glory.
  4. Pray that we will gladly receive adjustments and changes to our plans as God graciously intervenes to provide us with new opportunities and protect us from danger. We need to be reminded that Jesus is building his church, and his blueprint always prevails.