I don’t know about you, but for me as we approach the end of another year and enter the Advent season, my mind is always a bit overwhelmed. I have competing thoughts of celebrating this past year, anticipating the coming year, and a desire to slow down and focus on Christ. Thankfully, our work with The Nehemiah Foundation allows these three streams of thought to overlap.
This past year at Nehemiah we made great strides! We persevered in prayer that God would give us a clear vision for the future and He did. It may sound odd to describe spending time in prayer as persevering, but for an A-type personality who likes to get things done, continuing in prayer before making plans and checking things off a list is challenging. That being said, God has been faithful. He has revealed to us that we can best serve Him by playing the role of neutral convener for our local missionaries and churches so the Body of Christ can strategically partner on kingdom initiatives in our area.
Because of this vision, we are excited about the coming year. In 2020 we have several initiatives that we plan to implement to begin assisting the Church in partnering together.
- Regional Pastor Networks– We want to help the break down the walls separating our churches and we believe this starts with the leaders. By establishing regional pastor networks, we want to provide intentional time of support and encouragement through conversation, prayer, and relationship building while simultaneously creating a place to identify opportunities to better serve Springfield as the Body of Christ.
- State of the City Report– We seek to better understand the needs of Springfield, Ohio by collecting resources from in and around our community. From this research we hope to better serve Greater Springfield by identifying the greatest needs and equipping the Church to come together to meet those needs so we might have a more strategic impact in our city.
- State of the City Event – In the Fall of 2020, we hope to host a city gathering that will speak to the issues that are identified through the State of the City Report. This event will inspire and equip people of faith to respond.
- Online Community Platform – Lastly, we plan to provide an online platform that will allow for enhanced communication and partnership among churches, local ministries, and individuals. It will enable event notifications, discussion boards based on community needs and solutions, volunteer opportunities, and synergy for upcoming citywide initiatives. This online platform also gives a voice to ministries and churches enabling them to communicate their needs directly with community members and provide individuals and families with a chance to be the hands and feet of God to Springfield.
I’m excited that we have waited for God’s leading and have plans to respond with the aforementioned initiatives because I’m mindful of the reason underlying these ideas: Jesus.
Our hope is to come alongside the people of faith in Clark county as the tendons and ligaments connecting the Body of Christ so we might work together and have a greater impact for His Kingdom. We want everyone to know the Light of the World that we honor throughout the year!
This is why we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. And as we celebrate I am acutely aware that there are those in our community who don’t know Him. They don’t know the PEACE that comes from having Him as the foundation for their life. They don’t have a sense of PURPOSE because they’re not connected to their Creator. They don’t have a true and abiding inner JOY that comes from knowing the unwavering love of the Father. And this is why we do what we do.
This Christmas at Nehemiah, we will celebrate what God has done this past year and we anticipate what He has planned for us in the coming year. But, most importantly, we are thankful for time we continue to set aside to slow down and focus on our Savior.