If you took a snapshot of our church three years ago and one today, you'd find a night and day difference in terms of our effectiveness and impact on three fronts:
- P.E.A.C.E.: We've been doing P.E.A.C.E. long before we called it P.E.A.C.E. For years we talked about being a more outwardly focused church, doing ministries of compassion in our society, but we are now a mobilized church demonstrating the Kingdom of God (doing the whole ministry of Jesus) locally and all around the world. It is a night and day difference. Our outreach ministry under the leadership of Dana Hayden, partnership coordinators, small group P.E.A.C.E. Leaders, on-fire small group leaders and dozens of Five Oakers has transformed our church culture.
- Bringing Lives to Christ: We are more effective in reaching people for Christ than ever before and the greatest evidence is not in the amount of people making first-time decisions (a huge increase this year over previous years) but in the number of leaders serving at Five Oaks who started a personal relationship with Christ through the ministry of our church.
- Multiplication: We have talked about the biblical model of multiplying at every level for years (personal, small group, leadership and the church). But this year we finally multiplied at the church level and became one church in two locations. We have established another beachhead for Christ in Hudson, WI, which is thriving, doing P.E.A.C.E. locally and globally and poised to multiply into other WI towns.
Much of this has come together in the last 12 to 18 months due to our prayerful, strategic focus on these fronts. It has resulted in big changes and sometimes has come at a cost to other ministries and emphases. So that's what I'll address in the next post.