Letters to the Church
A selection of letters by Lead Pastor, Sam Pepper for the church.
A Look Back at 2019
As I look back at 2019 I keep thinking about how good God is. The Psalmist was right when he declared, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:3). I hope that verse describes your life, no matter the challenges you faced last year. As I look back at 2019, I believe we can declare as a church the very same thing: The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!
As our church continues to rebuild and grow I want to highlight a few good things we should be joyful about from 2019. Beginning Christmas Eve 2018 and ending Easter 2019, our church raised about $40,000 outside the budget to upgrade our facilities. We used this to make major upgrades to our interior. This included building out and recarpeting the stage. We also added new carpet and paint in the lobby, auditorium, and office suites. We also built a new welcome wall in the lobby and added new chairs. We have plans to replace the worn leather couches with new seating, install a new bar-height table in the lobby, refurbish the welcome center kiosk, and add new
potted plants using the remaining funds. We thank you for your generosity in giving and helping us to replace what was worn.
In 2019, we have record of 202 guests who came to Adventure (filled out a connection card). I am so glad Adventure is a place so many come to visit. With so many coming to our church for the first time on Sundays, each of us should be looking for someone new to welcome. Will you make this your personal mission each Sunday in 2020?
We held three Discover Adventure Luncheons in 2019 with a total of 68 guests. Of those guests, 39 became members. Several who did not join still attend our worship services on a regular basis. Each of us should find ways to build relationships and connect with new members. Will you commit to doing this in 2020?
We celebrated 11 baptisms in 2019. Praise God! Jesus said, “Go and make disciples…baptizing them…” As a follower of Jesus, is there someone in your life you are discipling and connecting to Jesus? If not, I encourage you to recommit to Jesus’ Great Commission in the year ahead.
In September we launched our Bible Fellowship time on Sunday mornings, shifting our two worship services to accommodate. Our Bible Fellowship has two options for adults, a new youth ministry class, and, of course, children’s ministry and nursery. We have averaged 76. My prayer is for this time to grow and expand with new people and new study options. If you’re not already studying God’s Word with another group of believers, why not? Consider joining a Bible Fellowship group in 2020.
We hired a new Bible teacher for the Academy, Jonathan Bowman, a recent graduate of Johnson University Florida. His ministry there has helped strengthen our Academy Bible program and has led to powerful chapel services and even a student baptism! Jon is a member of our church and helps behind the scenes each Sunday.
Michael Wood joined us this summer as an intern. He proved himself to be a hard worker, responsible, and passionate about ministry in the church. Because he was such an asset, the leadership asked Michael to continue with us on weekends through the end of 2019. We then asked Michael to join the Adventure family full-time beginning 2020. Michael now serves as part time Bible teacher at the Academy and part time associate pastor at our church.
In 2019 our church gave a total of $43,800 through budgeted giving to missionaries and mission organizations who serve locally and internationally. In addition, our members gave a total of $5,058 in special offering to International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES) to help in Hurricane Dorian relief to the Bahamas. Our church ended the financial year healthy; the staff and leadership work to use funds resourcefully – spending less than we take in. We are responsible to use the funds you have entrusted to the Lord wisely. In 2019 total income was $428,503. We spent $409,685. This is a $18,818 difference! Praise God for all the Kingdom work that happened because of your
generosity and God’s goodness. If you don’t already give regularly, generously, and sacrificially to God’s Church, will you commit to this in 2020?
In addition to each of these notable blessings there were countless others! Many of you continue to serve in your ministries faithfully. Many of you continue to lead studies and groups as you have for many years. Some of you began serving in 2019 for the first time. Some of you began teaching and leading for the first time. Worship Ministry involvement has increased. Children’s Ministry has grown. We have started a youth ministry. We praise God for these things!
Looking back at 2019, the LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!
Sam Pepper, Senior Pastor