Pastoral Reflection on 2020

“It was the best of times…” and it was the craziest of times.

A year ago, we produced a magazine to help communicate our 2020 strategy to our church family. We wanted to share how we planned to advance the Great Commission in the year to come. The tag line was simple, yet hilarious to read in retrospect:

“Celebrating 2019. Anticipating 2020.”

We had grand plans for 2020, but we were unaware of all that was coming before us. As we near the completion of 2020, I look back in bewildered amazement. It wasn’t what we expected, and yet, I believe that God did something even more significant than we could have imagined.

I want to remind you of some of our goals, and notice how God ensured that they happened:

  • Launch local church replant strategy – God allowed us to start a service within the walls of a prison, and we relaunched Cedar Grove. We planned to create the process, and God allowed us to start two new works.
  • Organize thorough counseling ministry – Not only did we start one, but the state of the world caused us to put into motion new ways of resourcing and helping people like never before.
  • Create additional Gospel Groups at non-traditional times – How about in non-traditional ways? We have groups throughout the week at different times and on different platforms.
  • Investigate additional worship service options – Our hands were forced on this one, weren’t they? COVID ensured that we added the service options instead of merely researching the potential.

The list continues.

  • What about improving the online platform?
  • Developing a campus plan to address what Phase 4 would do?
  • Broaden strategy for collegiates and young adults?

God did it again and again and again.

It would be easy to conclude 2020 exhausted and thankful to have endured, but I am simply in awe of all that God did through the life of this local church. It’s not what we expected, but God used it. We are stronger than ever before. I think we have learned how we took the church for granted, and I think it prepares us for what is to come.

We gather on Sunday night for a ministry event we call Waypoint. It’s a reminder that we aren’t there yet, but we are getting there. We will handout another ministry magazine entitled “Expectant.” We really do believe that God is going to do great things in an uncertain 2021 as well.

Everyone anticipated having “2020 vision this year.” I don’t think any of us could because our glassed were fogged up from our COVID masks. We didn’t see any of this coming, but God did. He had been preparing all along the way. And this year was challenging, but it was not a waste.

As I look back over the last year, I’m more overwhelmed at what God did than what we endured.

He didn’t seem to be fazed at all, and he continued to work through our church family.

I can’t wait to see what he does next.