You alone can make impact in this world. As Frederick Douglass, the great American abolitionist said, “One and God make a majority.” Yet, we know that as Christians it takes a WE not a ME to effectively accomplish the mission Jesus gave the church. Every NCC congregation is tasked with ‘Bringing Jesus to the North Central United States” and beyond. No NCC congregation can do that alone.
Here are just a few of the ways your NCC team is “Bringing Jesus”.
The first half of 2012, NCC churches have invited many to follow Jesus, and over 650 people have made new confessions of faith in Jesus. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, and is occurring among churches of every size and demographic. Leading the NCC in effective evangelism are congregations ministering primarily among African Americans and Hispanics. With powerful vacation Bible School ministries, several congregations have seen an upsurge of children making decisions to receive Jesus.
Pastor Scott Whiting (pictured) in Eau Claire, WI is seeing amazing fruitfulness through the work of Catalyst Church. A strong value of the NCC is loving and connecting with your community. Scott and his team know the power of connection and prayer. Scott says, “Catalyst has been praying 'selfishly' for our landlord. We don't want to get kicked out of our space because its perfect for our needs and a very visible location. So we've been praying that all the other empty units in our shopping plaza get tenants, so that our landlord's income is boosted; and since she knows we've been praying for this, she might be less likely to kick us out for a higher paying tenant. I spoke to her this morning. All three other units have now been leased. All new tenants expect to be open for business next month. And one of them is a coffee shop! How perfect could that be? Not to mention the snow cone vender (who's a seminary student) in the parking lot! She's absolutely thrilled and thanked us for praying.”
Greater Hope Community Church in Clarinda IA is experiencing revival, despite deep personal pain and struggles. Pastor Ed Simmon reports, “God is blessing the Church Family, we had 2 rededicate their lives back to Christ. I have been teaching a new Christians class on Wed Nights wonderful class. On August 10 people will be baptized in our swimming pool in my back yard. As for me God has been blessing me beyond my wildest dreams. I have arthritis in my lower back my hips knees and ankles some days I have a lot of pain. On those days I can really feel Christ holding me. Since this has happened to me over the last 8 months I've learned more about living in the grace of God than I did in all my 29 years since giving my life to Christ. God's Grace really is sufficient. Christ always holds me through the pain and He always leads me in my walk Christ is always with me”
The churches in 2012 that have seen new believers result from their prayerful investment in outreach and evangelism in the Heartland are Clarinda, Fairfield, Oskaloosa and Toddville; in Chicagoland are Aurora, the Chapel in Chicago, Evanston, Melrose Park, Oswego and Woodstock; in Team North are Alexandria, Glencoe, Motely; in Three D are Albert Lea, Austin, Bloomington, Fillmore, Mason City, Sioux Falls, Rapid City; in Upstate IL are East Peoria, Freeport, McConnell, Rockford, Wataga; and in Wisconsin are Beloit, Eau Claire, Fitchburg, Emmanuel, LaFarge, Livingston, New Berlin, Platteville and Richland Center.
The number of churches reporting people who are making life change decisions is phenomenal. In every nook and cranny, Christians are being called to deeper devotion, loving outreach and service to their community and world. Free Methodist chaplains like Derin Fowler working hospitals, Randy Waller in long-term care, Ray Leach working in the military, Marie Rose working with the police force and many others are touching lives in crisis everywhere.
God is at work in centenarian churches and infant projects. Souls are being saved in affluent and impoverished, Hispanic, black, Asian and white communities, among young old, in small towns and cities. How is your church fervently praying and seeking God’s power and vision? How are you actively engaging the community? How are you regularly encouraging and challenging growth in Christ? As a team, let’s keep advancing toward being increasingly in line with Jesus and Kingdom values and visions.