Dear Coker Family, As I look back on 2017 I am overwhelmed by all that God has done in and through our church. 2017 was my first complete calendar year here at Coker and we worked very hard to begin to put in place the ministry infrastructure for our future as church. Even with that being our focus, God is growing our ministry as we reach new people with the good news of Jesus Christ and the community of faith called Coker UMC.
When I talk about “ministry infrastructure” what I mean is that we have been hard at work creating the places for people to connect to God and God’s mission here at Coker. Our new Connecting@Coker experience has morphed and grown and is bearing good fruit. When people start exploring our church Connecting@Coker is a place where they can come and learn about who we are and we can “hold their hand” in helping them to connect in our church.
We have launched two new Sunday school classes this year that are primarily attended by younger families. The campus has been alive on Wednesday nights as people gather for dinner, Bible studies, and more. Our new Wesley Groups are off to an amazing start and the testimonies of what God is doing through these groups in such a short time already is simply amazing. We went international with our ministry through a mission team that went to work at the Methodist Clinic in Cuernavaca, Mexico. All of these things are places where people can connect to God by connecting with other believers who call Coker home. That’s the infrastructure that we have been working for – connection points that draw people into our community.
As we look at 2018 we know that there are more ministries (connection points) on the horizon. Ministries to reach young families, ministries to keep our seasoned members connected, ministries that will continue to push us out beyond our walls into our community and around the world to witness to the grace and love of Jesus Christ. The starting point for all of this is prayer. I invite you to join me in making 2018 a year of prayer. We will be doing some more organized prayer initiatives, however, what is really going to drive our ministry and impact forward is the people of Coker committing to pray each and every day for our church. If we do that I believe that there is no limit on what might be accomplished.
So as we launch into a new year with new possibility, will join me in praying for those people in our community that God wants us to reach. Pray that God gives us what we need to connect with them, pray that God would give us what we need to raise them up in Christ, and pray that God would use us be a light to our city and to the world. For as good as 2017 was, I have a hunch that 2018 is going to be even better. That is because our God is on the move and He is inviting Coker United Methodist Church to join Him in what lies ahead. Here we go!!