Last Fall ACC clearly defined our mission to make discipleRs. We made it clear that the goal in everything we do would be to raise up disciples who will raise up more disciples. The win is not simply to get someone in the door or get them saved. No, the goal includes that, but is not complete until we see those people making disciples themselves, pursuing the mission of Jesus. To that end we identified D-Groups as the relational environments in which these things would take place.
Changed by Jesus
Serving the Mission of Jesus
So, how did we do? We saw some victories. We saw groups rally together around the mission and grow. People stepped out of their boxes and took steps towards leadership. We saw two groups experience the joy of participating in the baptism of members.
We can measure success, but we realize we still have a long way to go. This is not an initiative that will quickly be replaced when the next big thing comes around. Instead, we hope to see the goal of following, being changed by, and serving Jesus permeate every facet of every ministry at ACC, so that Christ’s mission truly motivates, inspires, and fuels the fire behind each ministry, family, and individual. After much thought and prayer, we are incredibly excited to share with you our primary focus for this fall: Our children.
Every day I hear of another family in crisis. At Youth Network meetings, I hear reports of what kids are going through in Anacortes. Make no mistake, by the time a child enters middle school, there is a good chance that they have been exposed to alcohol, drugs, many are sexually active, or quickly heading in that direction.
On Sunday, at the end of second service, I mentioned that I felt like our families at ACC were under attack. I started stuttering halfway through because from my vantage point, I suddenly saw eyes widen and fill with tears all over the sanctuary. Conversations that followed clearly confirmed this. This area is definitely close to the hearts of ACC’s members.
“We gave our three year old granddaughter a pencil and paper and asked her to draw our family… Her picture did not include the mother.” This is one quote I heard recently, and I feel that it reflects a growing percentage of our population.
We have a growing number of little ones filling our church body with new life. We have the opportunity to invest in those lives. What about other kids in Anacortes?
By making children’s ministry a primary focus for the Fall, we are not deviating from our previously defined mission to make discipleRs, but further embracing it. This is a means by which our church family can rally together around a mission that can have dramatic effects on the greater Anacortes community. What if our goal was nothing less than to raise up kids who are fully equipped and capable of making discipleRs themselves? Is that asking too much? Shooting too high? Be careful to remember the words of Jesus “Let the children come to me…” and “Whoever would cause one of these little ones to stumble… (Matthew 18:1-6).”
This summer, staff and ministry volunteers will be meeting together to discuss vision, planning and strategy for the Fall. Understand that the opportunities to serve in this area will likely grow – even if you don’t see yourself as “comfortable with children,” there will be needs and opportunities for you to serve in ways that do reflect your unique gifts and personality. The goal to focus on children’s ministry is not a compartmentalized facet of ACC, but will also effect our ability to grow, to minister to families, to increase D-Group involvement, and to give more opportunities for groups and individuals to serve together in a way that is meaningful and rewarding. The ability to invest in lives is much greater when that investment starts at a young age. We hope you will join us and feel the excitement and potential that this opportunity creates. Be looking for visible changes like more interaction with kids in services, volunteer activity, and hopefully a lot of excitement.
Finally, please pray diligently for this ministry. Our prayer is that this will be a means of combating the giants in Anacortes. The goal is much bigger than offering a renewed, slick program. The goal is to do battle for the lives of the up and coming generations in Anacortes. Be looking for more updates as the time draws near.