As I sit here and write the words for this column,
I am thinking about three important dates…
In just a few days school will start, September 1st will mark the beginning of a new church year, and September 7th is the date for our churches to return their ACPs (Annual Church Profiles) or Church Letter (as often referred to) to the Associational Office. I want to address each of these and perhaps point out why they are of importance.
First, the start of a new school year. This will be the tenth consecutive year that our churches will have organized and mobilized to prayer walk at each of our school campuses the weekend before students arrive on August 8th. We are thankful for the superintendents and principals who across the years have welcomed this event and given us open access to the schools. Our prayers for these schools should never be confined to just this time when we prayer walk. Each church should adopt one of our schools and pray for them regularly. It should be our pledge to check with the administration and staff in order to receive prayer request and stay up to date on how to best pray for them.
Next, the beginning of a new church year on September 1st. Each year it becomes more difficult to fill the offices and positions of service in our churches. Somehow, we need to understand that one’s service to their church is not just an act of duty. Serving in one’s church is a privilege, a joy and a demonstration of love. I cannot think of a higher honor than to use our gifts, talents, and resources to serve in the Lord’s church. There is always a place to serve in your church. Psalm 100:2 states that we are to “serve the Lord with gladness.” That tells us that in serving we find joy, fulfillment, and purpose. So, in this new church year, find your place of service and faithfully fill that role.
Lastly, I want to say a few words about the completing and returning of your ACP to the Associational Office by Sept 7th.
The completing and returning of the ACP is not a means for us or our denomination to meddle in the local church’s affairs. However, it is a means of cooperation and it helps your local association and our convention along with its entities to track the growth and decline of churches. It provides me with an understanding numerically of where we are as churches. It is a tool that provides insight to develop strategies and methods for reaching people and starting new ministries.
As we look toward the future, may we be found faithful in all God has given us to do.