Dear Church Family,

During my “State of the Church” address on January 27th, I told you about the children who regularly attend on Wednesday nights but are not connected with our church. There are 43 children in that category. They represent 14 different addresses. Here is the breakdown of those addresses:

There is one home with one child.

There are three homes with two children.

There are five homes with three children.

There are five homes with four children.

Now, keep in mind, these figures do not necessarily indicate how many total children are living in the home. These simply represent the number of regularly attending children we have from these homes. In some cases, both parents are the the home. In other cases, only one parent is in the home. Or, they may be cared for by relatives other than their parents. All this is to say, the concept of 43 children is really just the tip of the iceberg when we think about the number of family members and friends connected to these children.

I encouraged those who were there that Sunday night as I encourage all of you now reading this, to pray and consider how you personally might seek to impact these children and their families for the sake of Jesus Christ. One stat I mentioned in that address was that our average attendance on Sunday mornings during 2018 was 69 members. I also mentioned that our 65% of our members who came more than half of the time are over 70 years old. When we couple the amount of regularly attending members with our average age, 43 children—not to mention their families—can seem overwhelming.

Please hear me when I say that I have no desire to overwhelm you. Rather, I want to encourage you with the opportunity God in His providence has given to our church in the lives of these children and their families. My prayer is that we would take responsibility for the families represented here insofar as we are able to make a kingdom impact. The way I envision this being carried out is through “adopting” these families so to speak. In actuality it will be adopting homes which may contain more than one family. However, for the sake of being manageable, more than one member or couple is welcome to invest in the same home. It may even be that your Sunday school class would like to commit to one home together. I would obviously like to see all 14 homes engaged, but any homes are better than no homes starting off.

Adopting a family means intentionally seeking to build relationships with and invest in the members of that household. It will look like regularly praying for them and personally inviting them to our church services and community meals. It may look like giving time, skills, affirmation, and material goods. It may look like attending the activities they are involved in. It may look like giving them a ride to church. It can look like any number of things, but the heart behind whatever this looks like is to love these families by sharing your life, your home, and the Gospel. We want to so be used by God in the lives of these families and our community that we make a lasting—an eternal—difference.

For now, I want you to pray and ask the Lord to show you how you could be involved in serving in this way. On March 10th during our regular Sunday evening gathering, we will have a forum spelling out more of the details and seeking to answer questions. By all means, please approach me before then to express your interest in being a part of this or to ask any questions or for more information. May we seek the Lord in this with expectancy because He can do all things.

Gentry