From the Pastor – Aging Well

On February 12 this congregation will be 147 years old. Happy Birthday!

You don’t look a day over 125. The years have been kind to you. Just the same, you
sure have changed over the years. And you continue to add chapters to the history
book.

Some of you know that Spock’s greeting was (will be?) “Live long and prosper.” That’s a good wish, but we also need to age well. That makes me wonder . . .
As a church, are we aging well? Do we look good for our age? Are we in good shape? It’s good to do selfevaluation. New Years, birthdays and anniversaries are good times to look at how we are doing.

NCLS (National Church Life Survey) Research says there are nine core qualities to measure the vitality of a
church. (http://www.ncls.org.au/)
Alive and growing faith
Vital and nurturing worship
Strong and growing belonging.
Clear and owned vision
Inspiring and empowering leadership
Practical and diverse service
Willing and effective faith-sharing
Intentional and welcoming inclusion
Imaginative and flexible innovation.

Our church history highlights times when these qualities were very evident. How are we doing now? Are these
qualities evident in the life of our church? Do we need to renew our vitality? We’ll know it’s time to close the doors
when we stop asking these questions.

To keep our vitality fresh, we need to focus on the Lord. I’m reminded of the words of the Prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 40:28-31
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I trust that our hope for the future is rooted in the Lord. God will renew our strength. God wants Grace Baptist
to soar into year 148.

Pastor Steve