To those of you who have been following and supporting the GSAE this year – thank you! Your prayer, as well as financial, support has helped us far beyond what you can imagine. I long for the day in heaven when God shows us the “big picture” of the incredible fruit that resulted from our efforts while here on this earth!
Wednesday November 12 marks six months for me as your Executive Director. Let me tell you, it has been an amazing ride! I am amazed at what God has done in us and through us in these last six months. This seems an appropriate time to give you an update on what your prayer and financial support have accomplished since May 12, when I started here at the GSAE.
In September we laid out for you our 2015 strategy in the blog post ‘GSAE 2015 Strategy Revealed’. To recap, our four areas of focus for 2015 are as follows: 1) Outreach in local schools, 2) Leadership training, 3) Men’s ministry, and 4) Engagement. Praise God, we’re making headway on all four!
Outreach in our local schools:
Our heart here is the calling of God to love children. We as the Body of Christ can do so much more to reach out to kids in the local schools and to show them the love of Christ. Jesus loves kids, and He instructed us to love them as well: “He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’ “~ Mark 9:36-37
We have had two meetings so far to engage the church and the ministry leaders that are already active in this area. We’ve confirmed the need for believers to engage with kids in our local schools, and we’ve begun an assessment of where we are at in our metro area compared to where we want to go. As an example, we’ve identified 18 local grade schools in Mead SD and SD81 that are getting help in some form from the local Body of Christ. These meetings also identified: assets/needs, hurdles, our first-year goals, leadership needs (who should be involved) and tool/communication needs.
The next step for us is to work on our strategy going forward. We plan to come alongside the churches around each of the 18 grade schools to further the work being done there. A missing element in this first phase has been churches in Spokane Valley. If you know of some churches we should connect with in Spokane Valley, please let us know. Also, once we have this moving forward, we will be better equipped to assist additional communities in our area such as Deer Park, Cheney, and others.
We gathered a great team of leaders together who have all done high-level leadership development elsewhere. In this session, we worked on the Biblical Leadership Development piece of our strategic plan. We were able to pin down the need and the vision, what the program should include, and some very loose first-year goals. The next step is to conduct a strategy session and determine what process we’ll use to move this forward. We plan to have an organization in place by fall of 2015!
Our next area of focus is in catalyzing men’s ministry in churches all around our area.
First, we need to face these two difficult facts:
– Men’s ministry is a struggle for most churches. It’s often difficult for the pastor to get this area going, and it’s hard to encourage men to attend regularly and for the long-term.
– Most of society’s problems can be traced straight back to men not being the believers and family leaders that our God has called us to be.
If we allow God to use the GSAE and our churches to change the hearts of men in our town, we will win this community for Christ! As a first step, we are bringing in Herb Reese from New Commandment to show us the men’s ministry model he has developed. We are working on next steps in three areas:
1) Bringing out and showcasing other men’s ministry models in the coming months
2) Pulling together men’s ministry leaders who are already doing this work effectively in their own church bodies
3) Meeting with Men’s Ministry Catalyst this month, with the idea of holding an R3 Men’s Conference in Spokane in May 2015.
Watch for more information!
As we mobilize in the above three areas and move them forward, engagement and unity among churches will prayerfully occur. At the same time, we are also working on developing and enhancing the groups of pastors and ministry leaders that are already naturally occurring and meeting together. Two of our board members, Pastor Cary Peden and Rob Fischer, are working hard on this area of focus to strategize what that will look like in 2015.
If you were in attendance with us at the Spokane Area Prayer Summit in October, you saw the Lord God impact the hearts of everyone there to reach our area for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit imparted on each of us the call to share the Gospel in our town.
I will also be attending the City Impact Roundtable event conducted by Kevin Palau of the Luis Palau association in Portland, OR (many thanks to the generous donor that is making that trip possible).
Our board is so incredibly excited to see God working in our community! He wants to use you and I to change the hearts of men, women, and children in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area like never before. He is pressing and moving among us right now to make this happen.
The GSAE is currently supported much like missionaries to Spokane would be. If you would like to make a monthly (or one-time contribution) to help us as we cooperate and coordinate with churches, leaders, and ministries, we would be humbled, honored, and appreciative.