Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Who Are Northwest Nick And Nichole?

Last week, I promised you that I would share some stories of real people in our church who have found Pathway to be exactly what they needed--a church body that would come alongside them and provide guidance, encouragement and help for their spiritual journey:

  • This summer, we launched SPLASH (Single Parents Letting Another Supply Help). We had two single moms that took advantage of this ministry, bringing their kids here so that they could have some free time to do the things they needed or wanted to do. We also offered Soccer Camp to these families free of charge. One of those families brought all three of their kids every night of Soccer Camp, and all three prayed to receive Christ the last night of the week. The other family expressed great appreciation for SPLASH and what a huge help it was to them. We are attempting to build on this relationship by encouraging both families to get their kids involved in Awana and youth group this fall.
  • This spring, one lady accepted an invitation to attend a worship service. She liked it and came back for a second week since she was off from work (she was normally scheduled every Sunday). However, after sensing God's presence and being deeply moved, she talked to her boss and got her schedule rearranged so that she could be here every week. She says that when she misses a week here, she notices a huge difference in her life, and that the weekly worship service has become an essential time of connection between her and God. Now her teenage kids are regular in youth group as well.
  • One Sunday, a family came to visit our church. They enjoyed the services well enough, but what really impressed them is the quality of our children's ministry. They are so grateful that their children have a place to learn about God in a setting they enjoy with adults who truly care about them. After their first week here, they went downstairs to pick their kids up, and they found them praying that Pathway would become their church and that they would never leave.
  • One gentleman began attending this summer. He appreciates how the worship services make him think, and he's growing in his understanding of God. After being away from church for awhile, he has now recommitted himself to Christ, and is involved in serving in an area of ministry in which he has specialized skills.
  • Another man had gotten away from church after going through a difficult period in his life. But he recognized that he needed a community of faith in order to grow. He found great encouragement here through his participation in one of our small groups.
  • One couple had attended church for years, but after years of service got burned out due to constant overload. They stopped going anywhere for about a year. But they were invited to come to Pathway by one of their friends who attends here. The contemporary worship style was not what they were used to, but they were strongly attracted to the faithfulness of our message to God's word. They ended up staying because of the compelling presentation of truth.

Our mission is to meet people where they are on their spiritual journeys and lead them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus. That means we meet people wherever they are on their spiritual journeys. But people are in lots of different places. They have different needs, different experiences, different expectations. Wherever they are, that's where we're supposed to meet them, which means we have to meet lots of people in lots of different ways--Love-Motivated Service (SPLASH), Relational Outreach (Soccer Camp, personal invitations), Accessible Worship (worship services), Connecting Community (small groups), and Life-on-Life Discipleship (small groups).

That's why we have these systems in place, and I'm so encouraged to share these stories with you about how our systems are working--accomplishing the central mission of the church that they were designed to accomplish.

Our strategy now is to get as many people into the funnel as possible. That's why I'm so excited about Kids Hope USA, our mentoring program for at-risk kids at Flora List Elementary school. It's an opportunity to show the love of God with no strings attached by serving the kids and their families in our community who desperately need it, and we'll pray that it will lead to great relationships and an atmosphere of trust and respect that draws them further into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That's the reason we exist.

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