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I read a very encouraging article this weekend of a church, Pleasant Grove, in Owensboro, Kentucky. This church, PGBC, in the last six months has completed a 2.5 million dollar building project, hired a new pastor, almost doubled their weekly income, baptized dozens, and seen an increase in attendance from 320 to 477. All during the pandemic and unrest in our nation.

How did they do it? By carrying on with the business of The Great Commission. Some of their ventures were simply retooling the ministry opportunities they had previously been involved with, including a t-ball league (yes during the pandemic – in accordance with all guidelines). 2020 gave the church a unique opportunity to tweak this ministry and reach more people for Christ. God is Awesome.

It fills my heart with joy and encouragement as I read and hear of church stories like this during this time of trial and hardships of 2020. These are the churches I desire to be and see throughout our land. God has not given us a timeout to await the pandemic’s demise. Instead, He has given us great opportunities to reach more people than ever for Christ. Each church has opportunities like these for the taking. We need only to be willing and obedient in fulfilling The Great Commission.

Fruitful leading of a church goes beyond the functional interests of numbers and dollars. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day affairs of the church as usual and keeping up with attendance numbers and budget receipts. God’s intent is for the church to reflect the true personality of God. This is done when we empower the people of the church to be Great Commission Christians, providing opportunities to share God’s glorious character and personality.

Think back, did you let some ministry lapse this summer due to the coronavirus? How could you have tweaked and reshaped that ministry to reach people for Christ? Next, look ahead to your Fall ministry events. How can you empower your people to be the church, God’s church moving forward with God’s directive, The Great Commission?

As an individual, what opportunities has God placed in front of you to share His love and character of forgiveness, mercy, and grace? To whom (how many) can you share in the bounty of God’s love and grace to you? Share a meal, pack a goodies basket, mow someone’s yard, carry a vase of flowers, hand someone a gift card (even $5), pay for someone’s meal. The possibilities are endless.

Whatever you do, do all these things as unto God, for His glory, and be sure to shine His light. Share with the person why you are doing this act of kindness. Watch and pray for opportunities to tell of God’s great goodness.

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.

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