How's your March break going? Hope it's been a good one. Not much "break" in it for me this year (Toni and I and the kids will be taking a short break next month), but that's okay. We're in the middle of a pretty awesome season.
Here's what's on my mind as we hit the middle of March.
- Orange Families has been good in so many ways. We've seen many new families show up during this series, largely because you invited them. That's awesome! If you are excited by what God is doing in your life and at Connexus, invite someone this weekend!
- If you are interested in why we are so passionate about Orange, read this short article about the strategy parents use in raising their kids and teens. It made me even more convinced that what our entire family ministry team and congregation is doing is so important and worthwhile.
- It looks like Orange Families will break the record as far as attendance at a series goes at Connexus. Right now at both the Barrie and Orillia campuses we're experiencing strong, steady growth. Which translates into people moving into a growing relationship with Christ! Amazing.
- We told you recently about our podcasts and how to access all of our Sunday messages for free. In the last 30 days, our messages have been listened to or downloaded over 2100 times. Keep telling your friends, and remember that we upload our messages every week to our website and iTunes.
- While attendance and engagement have been moving up, givings have softer so far in 2009. We totally understand the economic times we're in. The good news is that we've kept expenses below projected targets for 2009. The bad news is that givings are still not keeping up with even lower spending. And because we continue to grow, we can't keep expenses down for the entire year.
- There are several things you can do to help. Consider increasing your gift. Even if it's a small amount to you, a small amount multiplied by hundreds of families can bridge the gap. Also, if you are an occasional giver, consider giving weekly.
- As far as what's coming up on the weekends, I've never been more excited about the series/messages coming down the pipes.
- We're doing a series about why we seem to resist the very drama that God wants to bring into our lives, called High Drama (the Bible is high drama!). We've got some Andy Stanley messages lined up in the next few months as well. And I'll be doing a few more series before the summer as well: one on where to find God in tough times and other we're simply calling Chicks and Dudes – all about the tension between the sexes. It's going to be an incredible next few months!
- Really excited about what God has started in Muskoka. 125 people gathered on Sunday March 8th for our 6:00 kick off service. We look forward to what's going to happen at our next gathering on Sunday April 12th at 6 at the Rene Caisse Theater. Know some people in Muskoka? Invite them out!
- The way we're going to be able to move to a weekly service in Muskoka is by adding volunteers and by building a solid enough giving base to support a campus pastor. If you'd like to give to those causes, let us know. Contact us!
- So pumped about our out-of-the-park volunteers. Starting at the end of March, we're going to do a Spring Training campaign which allows you train with our current volunteers and begin serving in a ministry setting at Connexus. Stay tuned!
Could say a lot more, but that will wait. Can't wait for what's ahead!
What's been good for you lately? What's connecting? How can we serve you better? What's God been doing in your life?
Oh – and enjoy the March break with your family. Despite the fact that this is a normal week, we've had some fun with friends and more is coming up in the next few days. Enjoy!