You know summer has arrived when the cold splash of a water balloon feels refreshing. This year I knew summer had started when my daughter thought it would be good to continually throw water balloons at me. Most bounced right off, but she threw one hard enough to break it. And that cold water felt amazing against the scorching sun. I love summer for so many reasons, but at Jordan Presbyterian it’s still spring. Yes, we’ve had to turn on the A/C in the sanctuary on Sunday Mornings. More people are out camping on weekends. Vacation Bible School is fast approaching. But the feel at JPC reminds me of spring. Spring is a time of new life. It’s when we eagerly anticipate the earth turning from brown to green. A few months ago I wrote a newsletter called “Spring at JPC.” I outlined some of the reasons why I believe our best days are ahead of us. And as I write this newsletter I believe even more that our best days are ahead of us. In fact, the past couple months have been some of the most exciting for me in terms of seeing God at work in our church.
Let me share with you some of what has happened since that earlier newsletter came out:
• The decorating committee has put together a proposal for updating the look of our church building and worship space. What has encouraged me is to hear the excitement of the people on this committee as they share their ideas. They have many recommendations that will help make our building a more warm and welcoming space.
• We are working on a series of videos in which people shared stories of why they love this church. Young and old, longtime members and newcomers all shared their stories. As I listened to them I was reminded of the incredible ways in which God has used our church. People have come to know Christ here. People have developed a personal relationship with Christ here. People have found a home away from home. People have seen their lives transformed by the work of God’s grace. I can’t wait for you to hear these stories!
• We held a three-week Sunday school class to discuss the vision of the church. Specifically, we asked, “What is our church uniquely equipped to do as one part of the body of Christ?” We then looked where our strengths as a church overlapped with needs we observed in our community. It was encouraging to see people's eyes light up as we envisioned how our church could really use our strengths to bless others.
• God is using our church as a safe place for people to find hope in the Gospel. We’ve got a number of new faces in our church. (Make sure you introduce yourself to some of them during our greeting time!) What encourages me is how hungry so many of these people are to know Christ. Some days my schedule is filled meeting with people just to read Scripture or some other Christian book and then pray together. It’s been such an honor to be able to see people’s eyes open up to the message of grace through Christ Jesus. One new person recently told me that at our church he has found hope and strength in God. Please continue to pray for God to use us for his purposes!
It’s spring at JPC because I see signs of new life all around us. I believe we are just getting started. I’m eager to see how God uses this church in the next two, five and ten years.
Summer is busy, and our normal routines are often disturbed, but I encourage you to make an effort to pray for our church this summer. Before coming out to Utah (exactly three years ago), I read these verses in Colossians. It became something of a theme passage for me. Paul writes,
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. -Colossians 4:2-6
Would you join me in devoting yourself to prayer for our church? Will you pray for us all to to know Christ more? Will you pray for God to open doors for our message of Christ? I’m excited for the future, and I hope you are too!