We Give Thanks

(This blog was originally posted at aletheia.org. It's an update on our progress in 2013 at Aletheia) Thankfulness is a discipline. In a society that conditions coolness to mean cynicism, honest thankfulness and hopeful praise is as rare as hens’ teeth (to use a southern expression). But around here, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

In 2013, God helped our growing church plant in some amazing ways. Here are a few of them…

Dozens Met Jesus In our services, in our groups, and in our normal relationships, God is saving many. Watching people who’ve never followed Christ repent of their sins and trust him is the reason we planted this church.

Discipleship is Happening We set out a goal to have a community group for every 15 attendees at Aletheia. While we haven’t quite hit that mark, the number people regularly engaging the Scriptures in a group has increased greatly this year.

We’ve Given Away Around 20% of Our Budget to Missions, Mercy, and Church Planting It may sound crazy, but we fundamentally believe that we are given resources to give them to Kingdom causes. This year, we as a church gave away over 20% of all funds we raised to missions, mercy, and church planting. Praise God for such an opportunity.

One Service to Three Services This year, we’ve given our city three different opportunities to join us to worship Jesus. That’s up from just 1 at the beginning of 2013.

One Location to Two Locations This year, we’ve planted a new congregation in downtown Boston. It’s started well and we are expecting 2014 to be a year of breakthrough for this new site.

More Leaders are Leading The group of men and women who lead (Ministry Team leaders, assistants, Community Group leaders, interns, etc.) has increased in the last 12 months.

New Staff are Joining In 2013 we set out a goal to see a few new staff members join our team. First, a campus minister to help us reach and disciple college and high school students. Then, an administrator to help us keep all the plates spinning with excellence. By God’s grace, we’ve added both those staff members!

We’ve Doubled in Size Each year we expect to grow. But to double in size is an amazing grace. The average American church plant does not pass 100 attendees after 4 years. In three quarters of that time we’ve seen 5 times the average. That’s all from Jesus and a great grace to celebrate.

Here’s what this does not mean: we’re awesome. This very clearly means that God is gracious and kind. He loves Boston so much that he’s happy to work with flawed people like us to accomplish something greater than we could ever bring about.

And of course, these are just the church metrics. None of this speaks to the countless stories of breakthrough, life change, miracle healing, provision, and grace in all our people. Those stories are too many for a little blog post.

So, we give thanks to Jesus for these graces in 2013. And, we look forward with eager expectation to see all the graces that are available in 2014. It’s an awesome adventure. We’d love you to join in.