Congregational Update | 2020: A Year in reviewNovember 29, 2020 Update
Gospel City family,
2020 certainly didn’t look like the year we thought it would back in January! But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the year God intended for us. In fact, 2020 has been a year of spiritual pruning that has produced gospel growth and so much fruit. As I’ve been reflecting on the deeds that the Lord has done in and through Gospel City Church, here are just a few of the things that fill my heart up with gospel gratitude.
In March of 2020 when the world was shutting down, we hit the accelerator and adapted in pursuit of excellence—one of our core values. Because of the Made For More facility expansion project, many of the technologies that allow us to provide a quality online gathering experience were already purchased and ready to use at the beginning of the pandemic. Countless volunteers worked behind the scenes allowing us to pivot quickly so that we could continue providing high-impact worship gatherings without delay. I hope you’re as thankful as I am for the army of volunteers that make church happen week after week!
Our discipleship team simplified for focused alignment by creating several tools and “all-in moments” to unify the church body. Small groups adapted and met virtually or in new contexts, and we heard reports that attendance was higher and more consistent. This fall, all of our groups focused on Abiding in Christ together. Many of you have taken part in the Personal Discipleship Plan tool helping you to learn to live more like Jesus. Over 800 of you signed up for 100 Days in the Word, committing to reading the entire Bible before the end of 2020.
One of our biggest outreaches every year is Vacation Bible School (VBS). Our children’s leadership had the fantastic idea to multiply their efforts and equip homes all across Michiana to be missional in their neighborhoods by hosting Backyard Bible Bash. Instead of having around 400 kids on campus this year, we reached more than 600 kids all over the city because you opened your homes.
2020 brought new believers, many of whom were baptized in our new worship center. Through technology, we gained many new attendees who have now become members of our church. We have seen so many new faces this year.
In September, we kicked off a new ministry year with four days together in prayer. God has grown my prayer life exponentially this year, and we’re prioritizing prayer even more in 2021 with monthly prayer gatherings. I hope you’re incorporating what you’ve learned around your dinner table at home, and in your small groups as well.
Our elders, pastors and finance team have been carefully watching our giving and spending. I’m tremendously thankful to report that our giving never dropped below our operational spending. We were able to maintain all of our core discipleship efforts, and continued supporting our local and global missions partners. AND—in a season where many other churches saw drops in giving and had to lay off staff, we were able to add key staff members. In September, we planted not one, but two autonomous churches. Redemption City Church in South Bend and Gospel Community Church in Goshen are both growing and healthy churches. A pandemic cannot stop God from building His Church!
Construction is now complete on the facility expansion project that we called Made For More. Through the generosity of God’s people, $6.9M (almost 90%) of this $7.8M project has already been paid for. I am overwhelmingly thankful for how many of you cheerfully and generously gave. If you were a part of that—thank you!
As we begin a brand new year, we would love to be able to say that our church is once again debt-free. In order for this to become a reality, we’re asking the Lord to provide the final $950,000 by December 31. As you evaluate your end of year giving opportunities, would you seek the Lord about how He would have you help meet this goal?
Thank you for your constant prayers and contributions to your church. Your regular, generous tithes and offerings fuel the mission of making disciples of Jesus, increasing the reach of the Gospel in our community and around the world. We may not know what 2021 holds, but we know that God is faithful to complete the good work that He has begun. He is our hope and strength and refuge.
Soli Deo Gloria,