COVID finally got to my brain! I am over a month late on the mid-year report article for 2021. To quote Charlie Brown, “Aaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh!” To make things worse, we have been missing out on some remarkably encouraging numbers. Take a look and remember, we didn’t start meeting full-time until March 28th.
Year Attendance Giving (budget)
Jan-June 2017 52 $2240 (2235)
Jan-June 2018 48 $2028 (2059)
Jan-June 2019 56 $2524 (2268)
Jan-June 2020 46 $2397 (2450)
Jan-June 2021 47* $2450 (2891)
North Second Street has been incredibly blessed during this pandemic. We have suffered no split (one couple’s departure was at least partially COVID-related). We went through the most successful eldership process to not install men as elders. Yet, we are growing in spirit and in number. I spoke with an elder this week whose attendance is down 15-percent. His guess was, less than ten percent of churches have seen increase in the past year-and-a-half. Praise God we are maintaining the unity of the Spirit and growing by the power of God!
You might look at the 47 in the chart above and think, “This guy is excited over growing by one?!?!” Well, first of all, “Why not?” But what if I told you the number is closer to 60 in reality. For March 28th (when we returned to services), through the end of June we are averaging 54 per Sunday. The real stunner is this; in the last three-months, we are seeing 58 per Lord’s day service. That is an increase of over 25-percent over Jan-June 2020!
Wait a minute, I am overlooking perhaps the most encouraging figure. Through all the ups and downs, our contribution has increased by 18-percent. There is no doubt the Christians who meet at North Second Street, “gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”-II Corinthians 8:5. We are so blessed. Thank you Lord.
In January and February, we finished a year-long process designed to organize this congregation according to the New Testament pattern. We had two men who were selected by a broad majority of our members (David Muiznieks and Rick Patterson). However, brother Patterson felt he could not serve at the time. It was a big blow to come so close after over 21-years without leadership, but there is much to be happy about. Our group is ready to be lead. We had no split. And we are at peace now more than ever. We will revisit this topic in January and February of 2022, if the Lord wills. May God give us faithful overseers.
We experienced the joy of physical birth. Dee Dee Savage gave us Ace and Kayla Crouch added Ellie to Hollis and Junie. God granted Ethan Bowles to be born again of water and the Spirit.
The Jackson family moved to Joelton and Justin Patterson joined the Air Force and is stationed in North Dakota. Haley Armstrong, Ethan Bowles, and Gwen Griffy all expressed a desire to be identified and work with our flock. Plus, Carly Ford married Logan Cantor, became a vet, and moved to Alabama. So, two out of three ain’t bad.
We have much more to do and much for which to be thankful. May God stir our zeal into a gospel fire. Praise the Lord!
* This is a combination of 38.8 (Jan. 3-Mar. 21) and 53.7 (Mar. 28-Jun. 27).