Even for Jesus, ministry flowed from intimacy with the Father (John 5:19-20). Similarly, may our ministry flow from our intimacy with the Father. Over the past month, our Governing Board and pastoral staff have been discussing and discerning what God is doing in our midst. Today I want to share six areas of strength that we have identified, areas where we see God at work in encouraging ways.
First we see growth. Each Sunday new visitors come to the church, and many are engaging deeply in the life of the church—joining in home groups, serving in ministry, and/or deepening in their life of prayer. The high number of visitors enables them to engage in the life of the church as they feel comfortable. Our Warrenville congregation is also growing as younger people take leadership, and a large percentage are engaged in home groups and service. Most importantly, people are praying and seeing their unchurched friends and family come to church and follow Jesus Christ.
Also, we have a demonstrated a willing and open spirit to embrace change. This past Sunday as we opened up signups for The Table, a space to build relationships across congregations, it was encouraging to see how quickly those signups filled up. Our pastoral and office staff have a strong level of unity and are working well together. We are people with stamina and are embracing change. The difficult challenges in our nation have ignited conversations about Jesus. We have stepped into changes, both large and small, with verve and energy and focus.
Third, we see an increased diversity in the body of Christ in age and race. We have grown younger quickly, as many college students have begun to attend the church. Also young families are finding a home both in Warrenville and Wheaton. The ethnic diversity is also a draw for people in the area looking for diversity in the church. With this diversity, people are hungry and willing to step across generational and cultural lines to love and care for people around them.
In this way supportive cross-cultural and intergenerational relationships have brought healing and strength across congregations. People from one congregation have the unique skills and background to minister to people from other congregations. Home group leaders feel less exhausted and serve from fullness. Our Warrenville congregation feels supported, encouraged and moving forward to grow because of people around them.
Next we also have been blessed with strong leadership. Our elected leaders are a diverse group of gifted individuals who shepherd our church well. Our church staff has the right people in the right positions and is moving together with enthusiasm. Our finance team has worked to unify the systems of our previous churches. While it is not easy to bring two very different leadership teams and styles together, the Lord has orchestrated this well so that we find a renewed energy and perspective as we work together.
Finally, the strength of preaching on Sundays and teaching in EQUIP classes and other venues has brought great energy. Contemporary issues are addressed from God’s Word, providing especially young people a framework to understand the events of this day. People generally feel fed and strengthened through God’s Word at Wellspring.
Praise the Lord! He is at work in our midst. As God’s people have brought their two small copper coins, their five loaves and two fish before Jesus, He has taken that and broken it to feed people in and around us. By no means is our work yet done. Next week I will take some time to articulate some of the weaknesses that have been articulated as we have been exploring what the Holy Spirit wants to birth in our midst. But for today, let us give thanks for the good work that He has been doing!