Before we close out 2020, I want to talk about faith. Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” At some point or other in our lives, we have probably all wrestled with how it is possible to have assurance about something we can’t see. It is amazing to watch my little son Nygel start trying to wrap his head around this topic. Recently, he told me, “Dad, I wish I could see God.” I responded that I often feel the same way. I also told him that even though we can’t physically see the Lord, we can tangibly see everything God has done (ex: creation, provision, love, etc.). Our assurance of the “unseen” elements of our faith gets built up as we reflect upon the “seen” work of the Lord.
To boost your faith, here are six things we saw the Lord accomplish at City Church in 2020.
- The Lord provided the finances and the time for us to resolve major problems on our campus. God blessed City Church with a couple significant large financial gifts in the end of 2019 and in the early part of 2020 that helped us resolve some critical infrastructure issues that have plagued the church. We put a new (insulated) roof on the sanctuary. We installed brand new HVAC in there, solving the constant “too cold or too hot” problem. We re-painted the front of the church and are still in the process of doing more. We modernized the courtyard with sail shades and twinkly lights. 2020 has been a landmark year for City Church in terms of ticking some big items off of our list.
- The Lord provided the finances for us to endure the pandemic operationally. In addition to solving issues on our campus, we also prayed for God to provide for the rest of the ministry’s needs in a tough year. God did just that, providing funds for us to continue to be able to pay all of our bills despite massive uncertainty in the world.
- The Lord guided us through the expansion of our ministry to become a virtual church in a very short period of time. City Church was already streaming our services online before Covid; but the pandemic challenged us to do this in an even deeper way. When the pandemic first struck, City Church was even considered a leader in online church within our network of churches. We continue to innovate towards the future.
- The Lord opened doors for us to do multiple successful outreaches to “be the church” in a time when the needs of the community have been sky high. We partnered with Love Anaheim, Saddleback Church, and Anaheim High School to do food distribution, to serve first responders, and to bless our community. We plan to strengthen this arm of the church in 2021 to continue to meet tangible needs.
- The Lord allowed this to be City Church’s most generous year ever. To date, City Church has given away more money this year than we ever have. We are near the top mission-supporters of our network of churches Transformation Ministries. In doing so, we are continuing to invest in both church planting as well as the resourcing of current churches so the Gospel can grow despite the trying times we face.
- The Lord allowed this to be City Church’s widest-reaching year ever. In the earliest part of the pandemic, our online services were drawing views into the thousands. Since then, we (like most churches) have seen online views taper off as “zoom fatigue” hit the world. Despite that, we are still averaging between 300-500 views weekly between Facebook and YouTube combined. Factoring in that people watch in homes with others, that’s a lot of folks! That’s also more people than used to participate before Covid! Christmas saw over 1000 views, arguably making it our highest attended service to date. City Church’s YouTube subscriber base has grown dramatically this year. Just in May, we had around 400… today it’s over 600! Oddly, even though 80-90% of the church has not been coming to the physical building, more people are engaging in worship with us than ever before.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS: the Word of God is being preached and the Good News of Jesus Christ is being proclaimed in a fresh way to meet today’s needs. For that we can all say thank you LORD!
So here’s our “big ask.” Would you prayerfully consider closing 2020 with an act of faith by making a year-end financial gift to City Church?
Many of us have had to tighten our belts this year. Others among us might be doing just fine or may even be blessed. Whatever your situation is, all we ask is that you would pray to the Lord and ask Him what He would have you do. We know the Lord will continue to provide for His Church. That being the case, we also know that the people of the church are the Lord’s primary vessels of provision. God blesses His people with physical work, rewarding us with provision so we can empower KINGDOM WORK. It’s a sacrifice. No doubt about it. It’s also the calling of every Christian.
You can securely and swiftly make a financial gift to City Church’s year-end giving campaign here (it’s labeled as the “Christmas Offering” on our drop-down menu here) or you can do so on the Church Center App. You can also bring a check by in person if you’d like. Just email us so we don’t miss that you’re coming at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to closing 2020 with faith and praying for a brighter 2021!