Exactly one year ago, a group of 12 key leaders from Ashworth spent a long weekend together strategizing about who we were as a church and where we wanted to go in the future. We reviewed the long and proud history of Ashworth, we identified our strengths and weaknesses, and we dreamed about how we might reach more of our community with the saving message of Jesus. At the end of the process, we created three teams to tackle the most important items we wanted to address: evangelism, discipleship, and generosity.
Over the past year, perhaps you have noticed several small but impactful changes these teams made around Ashworth. We now offer prayer up front after each message. We have a more clearly defined invitation to follow Jesus at the end of most messages. We launched more discipleship groups and mentoring groups, with over 30 people now involved in some discipling relationship in addition to the consistently strong attendance in our Sunday school classes. Soon you will see changes to how we receive the offering and how we discuss the opportunity each of us has to respond to God’s goodness to us through generosity.
All of these steps may seem minor, but I’ll remind you, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Over the past year, we have become better at connecting our outreach events with opportunities to tell others about Jesus. We have connected more people in discipling relationships and are training all of our discipleship leaders to help every person take their next step, whatever that next step may be. And we have even found more creative and effective ways to share with you the stories of how people here at Ashworth are living out the mission for which we all strive.
I can’t wait to see how this church will continue to grow and shift, not for change’s sake, but so we may more effectively minister to the families who call Ashworth home as well as those who don’t yet. While I don’t know everything God has in store for this church, I do know all these small steps taken over the past 12 months will be the beginning of something much greater. Just like how a snowball starts as something very small in one person’s hand, it doesn’t take long before it requires a group of kids to move the huge snowball. In the same way, we know the efforts of all those who have participated in these teams are just the beginning of helping this church introduce more people to Jesus and develop them into mature and generous followers of Jesus.
So to everyone who participated in the StratOp process for 30 hours last February, Thank You! To everyone who participated in one of our WIN teams to help us improve our processes as a church, Thank You! And to everyone who cares about this church and our goal to see more and more people’s lives’ changed, Contact Us and let us know you want to get involved. We’ll never see the impact we desire to see without everyone taking their next step towards Jesus, growing in their faith and their generosity, serving through their gifts, and getting behind the mission of this church to help us push forward.
Special Thanks go out to:
Our Strategic Team: Noel Turk, Jerry Chapman, Shirley Andre, Dave Richards, Josiah Carter, Janine Maynes, Tiffani Brown, Donnie Moran, Suki Joseph, Ryan Lenerz, and Brent Clark
Our Evangelism Team: Suki Joseph (Lead), Jerry Chapman, Hannah Clark, Amanda Murphy, Scott Oswald, and Amy Becker
Our Discipleship Team: Ryan Lenerz (Lead), Ann Chapman, Donnie Moran, Noel Turk, Trisha Wheelock, Stephen Jacob, Tiffani Brown, and Matthew Becker
Our Generosity Team: Josiah Carter (Lead), Aaron Turk, Luke McDonald, Ryan Brown, Jen Ballard, Lynn Oswald, Tim Schoepf, and Jude Ashwanth