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So, How's the Church Doing?

"So, how's the church doing?"  This is a question that I get asked many times a week.  Bump into someone at Walmart.  Sit next to someone at a football game.  I know the question is coming.  "So, how's the church?"  It's a fair question.  Churches, including ours, have faced more challenges in the last 18 months than we have faced in my 30 years of ministry.  We faced the challenge of moving to an online ministry for a couple of months.  We faced the challenge of regathering the church for worship and groups in the midst of an active pandemic.  We faced economic uncertainty and national unrest.  In the midst of all of this, How's the church?

Despite all that could have pulled us apart, Parkway has remained united to build relationships that build disciples.  We have shown our unity by caring for one another and sharing the love of Christ with our communities.  As a church, we have distributed food to feed hundreds of people and we have partnered with Christ's Kitchen to feed 1000's each day.  We have done our best to see a need and meet a need.

As life has returned to "normal,"  Parkway has regathered for worship and small group connection.  Since Mother's Day 2020, we have been experiencing God through both in-person and online gatherings and we have baptized 118 people since the pandemic began. We have also seen people step up to serve so that we can have groups for kids, students, and adults.  When it comes to small groups, we have seen 100's reconnect in homes, restaurants, and on-campus.  This fall, we have over 750 people connected to a midweek group with an additional 255 kids and students meeting on Sundays.  We have done our best to stay connected to God and to each other.

Even in the face of personal uncertainty, the church remained generous while we were scattered and is growing in generosity now that we are regathering.  In all of this, we have trusted God together and have seen God provide for us and the church.  God's provision has empowered us to meet the needs of our church family and serve our communities.   The maturity and the sacrificial giving despite personal uncertainty and fear show that we are trusting God despite our circumstances.  We have done our best to worship through faithful living and generous giving.

So, how's the church doing?  We are on mission and reaching people together.   We are gathering in worship and small groups while honoring the convictions and needs of those who continue to worship online.   We are generous beyond our means.  The church is united, loving, healthy, and making a difference.

In the months ahead, I pray that we will stay united to show and share the love of Jesus especially as we partner with Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child to share Christ with over 2750 kids around the globe.  I pray that families who have not reconnected in person will do so.  We all need people and our kids especially need a group where they can grow their faith and take their next steps.  I also pray that we will continue to intentionally and sacrificially give to the Lord.  In all of this, as we finish the year, it is essential that we trust the Lord together, follow His leadership, and do what He says.


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