As I am reflecting at the end of Resurrection Sunday on my back deck, I am so thankful to God for Youngers Creek Baptist Church in Elizabethtown. This wonderful faith family invited my family and I into their lives in November. It was a joy to spend my first holy week with them this year.
My heart is full of thanks this evening, but let me try and capture a few specific things I am thankful for.
1. The REACHOUT Effort. We had 132 in attendance on Palm Sunday and 156 on Resurrection Sunday. Numbers are not everything, but each of these men, women, kids and students represent a soul that God loves and Jesus was willing to give his life for. There were 3200 invitations mailed to our community and over 200 personal invites made to friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers. For this I am very thankful.
2. The Family Egg Hunt. We had over 40 kids and 4 guest families attend the family egg hunt. I am so thankful for Ms. Stephanie Litton and the children’s ministry lead team for making this a HUGE success. They prayed, planned, invited kids and families, and created a perfect atmosphere where families could come, have fun and hear about the message of the Resurrection. For this I am very thankful.
3. The REFRESH Efforts. Many volunteers gave countless hours refreshing the exterior landscaping, cleaning up the parking lot, painting downstairs, setting up banners, and completely revamping the nursery, toddler room, and kids space in fellowship hall. Everyone has been so willing to give their time and talents to make space ready for younger children and families. For this I am very thankful.
4. Volunteers Galore. Over 3 weeks (i.e., Serve Saturday, Palm Sunday and Easter), we had nearly 80 volunteers serving in all sorts of ways. We had 30+ volunteers for Serve Saturday. About 15 volunteers who organized, decorated, cooked and led the family egg hunt. Volunteers served as greeters for our worship services. Volunteers prepared music and media for worship. Volunteers arranged for the communion elements. Volunteers baked cookies to give out as gifts. It has truly been a team effort. For this I am very thankful.
5. Tremendous Staff Leaders. With an all part-time church staff, you might think we would go light and do the minimum. That has not been the case at all. I am thankful to Dr. Tony Cunha, Mr. Adam Hicks, Ms. Stephanie Litton and Ms. Pat Filyaw for their hard work over the past few weeks. You make my role very easy because each of you are so committed and dedicated to your ministry calling. For this I am very thankful.
6. The Warmest of Christian Hospitality. If @YCreekBC is known for something, it is their gift of gracious hospitality. From the homemade cookies, to the Easter bookmarks, to the lively, friendly, inviting atmosphere, they make everyone feel right at home. Friends and family alike can never say YCreek is a stuffy church. Nothing could be further from the truth. For this I am very thankful.
7. Dedicated Deacon Servant Leaders. The six men who serve as deacons truly represent Christ-like servant leadership. They pray, serve, guide and give without any hint of pride or arrogance. They are humble, kind, and Spirit-filled. They love Youngers Creek Church and do their very best to serve Christ in their words and deeds. For this I am very thankful.
8. The Vision of Two Godly Women. This whole 3-week effort was the dream of two godly women – Mrs. Bonnie Thompson & Mrs. Laura Mobley. During a Wednesday night dream session, they shared their dream of letting the community know “our church is alive.” From that dream came Serve Saturday, the community mailer, the refresh effort, the family egg hunt, and the various first impression improvements for Palm Sunday and Resurrection services. Their vision has become the vision for our entire church. For this I am very thankful.
Lastly, I am very thankful to God for the opportunity to serve alongside the Youngers Creek faith family. This Easter ministry season has been truly blessed.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10