A look back... and a look forward >>>

Its harvest time. It is incredibly important for any farmer to do all they can to bring in the entire crop from the field without leaving scraps behind that will be of no use to the herd come winter if they are left in the field rather than stored in the barns. 

One way to be intentional about this is to make certain that the farm machinery, or work horses make as straight passes across the field as possible. In the old days, a farmer needed to pick a stationary object (like a tree) at the end of the field, focus their gaze on that mark and move the equipment towards it as precise as possible. In the modern era, many pieces of equipment are outfitted with GPS auto-pilot type systems that ensure accuracy. Seems like this would really do the job to perfection. But how can you asses whether this has been done effectively? You have to look back. Look back and see what was done well, and what was missed.

At Randall Church, I feel it appropriate to take a quick look back at the first quarter in our church's annual year, beginning June 1st, 2016. Since June, we have welcomed two new guys to the staff team. Bryan Long as full-time staff, and Mario Delgado as part-time staff. In the short time since their arrival, Bryan has made leaps and bounds in our first impressions area, and given oversight to our most effective Fall Festival to date. Mario has re-energized the Randall Youth to early attendance numbers of more than 30, and has gotten the next generation involved in leading our worship gatherings.

Attendance has been trending steadily upward with a high attendance a couple weeks ago of 280, which barring Christmas and Easter is our highest attendance since December of 2014. Of this 280, 78 were in our Kings Kids programming which continues to grow rapidly, indicating numbers of young family coming to gather with our congregation each week.

Our DNA membership sessions have been well attended, with a group of 7 joining the church in August, and more than a dozen enrolled in our current session during the 9am Electives hour on Sunday mornings. We see new faces every week, and continue to all we can to connect people to one another as soon as possible!

Financially, we generated $100,361.29 this quarter which is only 85% of what we anticipated with a budget of $118,750.03 for the quarter. We controlled our spending for the quarter to a total of $100,990.41 which held us to 15% less than anticipated spending for the quarter, and brought us within $600 of the budget. The bottom line is this, we are doing a consistent job of being fiscally responsible with what God has given us to steward. However, if our current income was flat to last year, (even in the midst of a tough season as a church), our net income would have been a plus $19,407.38. Here's where we have to look forward.

Now Randall Church, we don't see any future in the past! It is time to be looking ahead to what God is going to in the coming year. When our Randall Youth continue to add to their numbers at this rate, we will double their size within the next 12 months. Who will be the volunteer leaders to step in and serve in this capacity? When our Kings Kids host a Christmas Pageant in December and we dedicate our entire worship gathering for all of their extended relatives and friends, how well will we do at interacting with first-time guests who have never been in our facility? 

As we develop relationships with the YMCA, and we learn that they have nearly 20,000 members only a stones throw away from our property line, will we be able to leverage our ball fields, our buildings, and our location in a way that shows the love of Christ in a practical way? Will we find ways to give away what God has given us to steward for the gospel to go out?

When we reach April 2017 and our Renewal Church plant reaches its 4 year mark, will we have developed the leaders necessary to begin conversations about starting another work in the WNY region? When we reach budget planning time for next year and we look at our missionaries and the resources allocated to them, will we be in a financial position to increase our influence both locally and globally?

Friends, as we look forward I am very excited about the momentum that God is building in our midst. I pray that as care corridors and ministry teams are coming together, that what you see in motion already motivates you to find your place. To find your place in what God is already up to! That my friends, is our GPS to keep us on track. That is how we make certain we bring in the entire harvest. That is what we are about. And, I truly believe that the best is yet to come!

Thank You!

Pastor Milo


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