These thoughts I’m sharing as part of my annual report to the church so I share through this to stimulate thought. You’re getting a sneak peek!
Here goes: the life of the average church, according to church ministry experts is 80 years if they can make it past 7 years (and a lot don’t). We at GBC have been here at this location for over 58 years, 41 years at Eramosa Road and well into the 1800’s in our origin. So even with my poor math abilities I can see we’ve blown past that number. The natural question then is so what does that mean? Well, honestly, we’re not going to be the ‘hot’ church in town since that inevitably comes with newness, something we’re not and we need to stop saying” “remember the days at GBC back when….”(if you can fill in this blank, stop, because those days are gone!)
While the challenges may seem obvious there are advantages to our situation as well. If you’ve ever tried to cook on an open fire you know while flame is great to look at you cook on coals and coals only come with time. We’re in a coals phase. This means we’re not seduced by trends and we have a maturity which is compelling, and needed, in our 21st century context.
So what’s been cooking at GBC?
In 2018 we re-examined our space which led to our interior renovation project. This came out of a desire to use what we have more effectively. Thanks to the work of many we have our new Children’s Ministry wing and a multi-purpose Adult education room. We had the opportunity to celebrate this and also dedicate this renewed space during our September ministry kickoff.
Okay, so that’s nice, but what about ministry? We saw significant growth in our youth ministry through community connections, in the spring we sent a mission teams to Athens to work with some of our supported missionaries and finally we had the chance to enjoy and grow through Alec’s pastoral internship. Besides those new things we also continued to show energy through our regular events such as Oasis Camp, Holy Land Adventure, Oasis Reunion Party and family picnic. Yes, there was a lot of substantial and important ministry that went on in 2018.
All this leads to my point which is this: we need to be looking forward and seeking to understand God desires to continue to use us as shepherds of his church. We’re still here and so that means we have a purpose. With that in mind we need to ask anew: what role do we play and what’s our position within the broader church in Guelph and within the world? Yes, we have both challenges and opportunities so let’s learn and grow through them as we continue to provide vibrant ministry.
So what are the best days for GBC? They’re the ones to come!