2006 in the rear view mirror

(the following is my newsletter article for our church)

What a year 2006 turned out to be! For some it was filled with good memories, for others, it was a year they would rather forget. Personally, it was an exciting year, both personally as well as with the ministry. I was able to visit two different countries which included traveling overseas for the first time. Kate and I also received the news that we will soon be parents. 2006 was a year to remember.

Plunge Ministries seems to be running at full strength. We are seeing more teens on Wednesday nights than we have ever had, between 40-50 on many nights! We are also seeing students who are making lasting and impactful, positive decisions that will not only affect them for the years to come, but that will also have eternal impact on them! Please that God for what He is doing in the lives of the students in our congregation and our communities! 2006 will be seen by several of our students as the year they received Jesus Christ as their savior!

2006 is also the year that as a ministry, we said goodbye to one of our friends. Matt Roth went to be with the Lord in June. This proved to be a trying as well as growing time for our ministry. Matt brought a smile and laugh every time he walked into the youth room. That smile will never be replaced. Matt will continue to be a part of our ministry and our lives. Please continue to pray for Matt’s family as they experiencing their first year without him. For them, 2006 has been a tough year.

This week I was reading a newsletter from Big Sandy Camp. Scott Stinson, the interim Executive Director, reminded the readers that looking back is important, but what’s most important is to continue to look forward. I like that! It’s so easy to keep our eyes on the rear view mirror and not on the road in front of us. Plunge Student Ministries, our church, and us personally all have things to be looking forward to in 2007. We don’t know what the New Year will hold, but we need to continue to move forward, seeking God for direction. I have a quote I often refer to that says, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” Isn’t it comforting to know that God, the creator of the universe, holds our future? Take courage in that today!

It is my prayer that 2007 would be a fruitful and encouraging year for you. May you take a look back at 2006 and remember the good things, see how God helped you through the tough times and being to look forward to 2007. We have done so much to build up great ministries of our church. Let’s work together to further those ministries and reach as many of our friends, family and community members as possible. 2007 has the potential to be foundational and unprecedented, but it starts with each individual. Are you willing to seek God first this New Year? To put aside personal desires or wants and follow the will of God? If so, welcome to the team! Let’s go make a difference. Not so that we can say we did it, but so that we can say, to God be the glory!

Will you pray with me, this first week of the New Year? Pray that God would lead the different ministries of our church, that the leaders of those ministries would be submissive to His leading. Pray for our congregation to be a welcoming and encouraging group of people in our communities. Pray for our communities, that many would receive Christ. Pray that we would be willing to get into our communities and share with them about Christ. This is a small list, please continue to pray for our ministries and communities throughout this new year! With prayer, we can turn these requests into praises.