Time seems to move faster and faster. Another year has passed in our church’s history. Let’s take a minute to look back over this past year and to look forward to what God may do in our future.
2016 was a good year for our church. Most ministries of our church have continued or expanded. Sunday School now has up to 5 groups meeting for different ages on a given Sunday. The Mothers of Preschoolers group has grown and moved to a larger facility at the Akaska Community Center. The Mall, Ladies Aid and other ministries have continued to show the love of Christ. We’ve had some special events like the SonRise concert, Walleye Classic service, Lowry picnic, Gumbo Gopher and Sunday Evening Worship service to name just a few.
This has been a year of “new”. Another new baby to the Heges. New members in the Chris and Crystal Olson. New missionaries, along with committing to regular support for the Jason and Tahran Olson, and Trails End Ranch. It is really wonderful to be able to support two different ministries on a regular basis, partnering with them for the spread of the Gospel! We have a new choir in our church. They are young, cute and love to praise God in song! I have a new focus on my time and ministry which is discipleship and accountability groups. I am meeting with 6 guys total in 3 groups. It is helping me grow in my walk with Christ, along with helping to build into men’s lives so that they may better husbands, fathers and church members and leaders.
I have continued involvement in the community by being on the Ministerial, Good Sam and Library boards. MathCounts and subbing connects me with the local school and other community involvement. The Good Samaritan Home is a great opportunity for me to show some love to those in our community who are often forgotten.
As we look forward to what God may want to do in the future through our church, I think we should start with what we know the Lord wants to do. We know the Lord wants us to grow in faith and love for the Lord. We know the Lord wants us to love our brother and sisters in Christ. And we know God wants us to love and proclaim Christ to all peoples starting with those who are near.
I see something building at our church. I see an active church with many giving, many serving, much unity and many children. While seeing ministries continue and see good works done by our church is a good thing, I’m also seeing something else much more important. This more important thing can’t be measured by numbers, statistics or regular human measurements. I see people growing in faith. I see families growing stronger. I see leaders developing and future leaders being developed. I see eyes looking a little more beyond our church walls to how to reach this world for Christ. I see the Holy Spirit working in the future to shine a great light and greatly proclaim the Gospel in this area and throughout the world!
I want to thank you all for allowing me to be your pastor for another year. It is blessing to be supported by you to serve this church and community. You have taught me much more than I can express or even realize. I hope you have grown closer to the Lord and learned more from his Word during my time so far. Thank you for also showing kindness to our family in a variety of ways. I look forward to what God will continue to teach me here and being able to serve such a wonderful community as you all. I also excitedly look forward to how God will use this church in mighty ways going forward. Jesus changed the world through a small group of his disciples and followers. I know He can do it with us!
Mark Underkofler, Pastor