Dear members and friends of Valley Park,
It has been a busy few months at VP. We have elected several new deacons who have worked with other Board members to form a budget. On June 24th our church membership approved a budget that will be used to manage spending for the next fiscal year which runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
Now that leadership and a budget have been approved by the church membership, we need to plan programs that will provide a healthy ministry focus in the Fall. A healthy church is the product of our focus upon people through evangelism and discipleship. Several priorities for our ministry involve the following:
We are making plans to strengthen our Awana ministry. We know already of new children and youth who will be attending the program in September and have added a few new leaders who will need training during the summer. Last year we had close to 70 enrolled in the program and we are anticipating growth this year.
The Awana ministry is a discipleship focus for children and youth. The name Awana means “Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed.” The curriculum and format are designed to equip the children and youth to know the Bible and to know what God wants them to do with their lives for life. If you might consider helping with Awana, you should know that the program is well-designed and an extremely constructive format for helping young people grow in the Christian faith. What might be important to know is that it is a program easy to learn so that volunteers can get on board quickly. If you are available on Friday evenings, talk to Dan Han about your availability. We do need help.
We have also welcomed close to 40 new members to the church since Christmas and I am believing we would do well to consider a 7-8 week small group experience in the homes of a few of our members. My plans at this point involve the following:
- Starting after Labor Day and finishing before Thanksgiving. The possible starting date would therefore be the week starting Oct 1 through to the week starting with November 12.
- I am considering that we could have at least three optional groups per week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays). In this way members and friends of the church have the option of attending on a night of their preference.
- Standard meeting times would be 7:15 to 8:30 pm sharp. This means people who are considering attending would know that it would not be a long evening commitment. They could easily be home before 9 pm.
- I will write a lesson to be utilized at each small group by the leader(s) so that every group is on the same page. There will be a time of sharing, teaching and prayer at each group.
- The topic of relevance for the seven teachings would be “The Healthy Church.”
The advantage of these small groups is that we would promote understanding of the church and build healthier fellowship and connectedness to VP for all who attend. It is one of the unfortunate truths about churches that people get lost when they attend and are not missed when they do not. Relationships are a necessity in a healthy church and we need times apart from Sundays to learn how to “love and serve” each other. Good things happen when we try to nurture healthy relationships consistently. A “seven week” commitment should be easy for the majority of us to manage.
Two things are necessary for a healthy small group experience:
- We need host homes committed to showing hospitality for seven weeks. If you are interested in opening your home up to fellow Christians for seven weeks, talk to Pastor Kevyn. Leading the lesson is not required if you are willing to open your home. The lessons can be read or taught and we have members who can lead the lessons in your home if you would prefer.
- We need to advertise the nights and our members need to commit to attending a group. At this point I believe we should know the available nights before people start signing up. Hopefully the sign-up sheets will be available by the end of August.
There are many other ministries in need of growth. One of my primary concerns is for young adults and young marrieds. Hopefully by the Fall we will have a ministry going for this age group. Our children’s ministry has grown but needs more help. Our youth ministry is growing stronger. Our Sunday morning Bible study and Wednesday evening study are poorly attended considering the size of our church. We are considering more promotion and possibly shorter studies for 6-7 week commitments.
There is a lot to consider over the summer and we need God’s leading in all planning and decision-making. Of great importance in ministry is building ministry around the gifts of our members. God needs to raise up people with gifts to meet our ministry needs. Won’t you join with me in praying for the ministries of VP as we consider doing new things in the Fall? God has entrusted to us a wonderful property and membership. He desires to see that we are doing ministry that makes healthy disciples. Let’s pray together for this.