The average life of a church is about the same as that of the average human: 70 years. First Church of the Nazarene is now 90 years old. We must be abnormal because each year feels better than the last, bringing new growth and life.
This past year was the first year of an intentional emphasis on living according to the way of Jesus. The most commonly repeated words this past year were ‘if you want the life of Jesus you have to adopt the lifestyle of Jesus’ and we have begun to see that way of life sink into the fabric of our church, creating space for God to transform us in discipleship to Jesus.
As we move forward as a church into the new year, we are extremely grateful for the love and compassion of the Father, and the partnership in the Gospel that we have with each of you. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2019.
ORDINARY PEOPLE TRANSFORMED INTO PASSIONATE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS
Communities are the lifeblood of our church. They are the environment where we are trained and formed as we learn together. There are 3 kinds of communities at LFCN: Community Tables, Sunday Classes, and Groups.
Community Tables exist to form community by extending hospitality over a shared meal. Once a month we gather around tables in communities throughout the region to eat, grow together, make new friends, and speak a word of blessing. Our prayer is that everyone belongs and no one feels alone.
Classes that meet weekly on Sundays are designed to we explore Christian discipleship which enables us to grow mature in both faith and practice.
This year we began a completely new discipleship opportunity for ladies called Gathered Women. The desire was to create space for women to become friends with each other as they learned together how to become more like Jesus.
4 current Community Tables ( +1 from last year, ~75 people) +
5 adult Sunday Classes ( ~52 people) +
3 Gathered Groups ( ~32 people)
While Sunday Gatherings are just one hour, they are one of the most important hours of the week. Sunday gatherings are the primary way we gather as a church to worship God together, learn the Scriptures, pray for one another, and create space to hear from the Spirit.
8 Sermon series +
14 Baptisms +
12 New Members
JOINING GOD IN THE REMAKING OF ALL THINGS
We’re not only about becoming like Jesus; we’re equally interested in doing what Jesus would do. To demonstrate who He is and what God is like, Jesus served people. We do too. This year we saw an increased desire to serve our city and each other. We’re incredibly blessed to be a church full of committed volunteers who desire to glorify God through serving.
1 backpack of food per week for 8 Wyandotte Elementary Students for 36 weeks +
74 children received Christmas For Everyone sponsorship +
a ton of supplies donated to the YWCA +
110+ regular volunteerS +
AND ON AND ON…
2018-19 was a great year for LFCN Kids! We experienced tremendous growth in the number of kids that show up every Sunday, in the number of people that joined our Kids team, and consistency with our families that regularly come on Sundays.
A special highlight of the year was VBS - which was our best VBS in several years.
LFCN Kids is the most volunteer intensive ministry of our church and we are blessed with a great team of volunteers. Nothing we do could happen without them.
We could not be more excited about this past season and we are on the edge of our seats to see what God wants to do with LFCN Kids during 2019-20.
Over the past year our Student Ministry here at LFCN has experienced an incredible amount of growth. Our Sunday night attendance has found a home around an average of 20 attendees each week. However, we have around 35 students who we consider regular attenders. Our Youth Sponsor staff has also grown, adding 3 new members to team, to give us a solid group of 6 sponsors who pour their heart and soul into our students and who I am incredibly grateful for. We were also able to put together great fundraising drives to help fund 4 of our students who will be attending NYC this summer.
While numerically things have been great, we have also grown relationally as well. Over the summer we implemented a small group aspect to our Sunday night gatherings that has helped facilitate conversation and relationship among students who may have never interacted. We’ve begun a tradition of having a meal together the 3rd Wednesday of every month that we call ‘Family Dinner.’
On Sunday Nights, we studied aspects of Scripture that point us towards how we are called to live in community with one another, and what that truly looks like. We had two students experience a personal interaction with Jesus for the first time at RCL. We’ve watched students who were the only ones to attend church begin to bring their families. We’ve then had the joy to watch those families be transformed by Jesus through all the separate ministries of our church.
Overall, God has blessed our ministry over the past year in more ways that I could possible count. His guidance, comfort, and love have shown us a way in times where things seemed utterly dark. He’s helped heal us, and heal a family, that will never be the same. He’s brought new faces to our group who have blended right in. His faithfulness has been absolutely apparent.
This year we saw the Lord move in many beautiful ways through worship. Our team and church is becoming more and more comfortable waiting and worshiping in God’s presence as a family. We’ve grown spiritually as a team. We think that spiritual growth is also reflected in the growth of the church’s engagement.
We began seasonal Worship Nights, where we spend time in prayer and worship with no agenda other than to wait on him.
Looking ahead, we are praying that the Lord would do even more. We’d love to see the team grow numerically. We’re praying for vocalists and musicians to expand what we can do.
Generosity is the heartbeat of God. We dream of being a church marked by radical generosity because God is radically generous to us. Each year, we budget giving away 15.5% of our income for local and global initiatives through our Denomination, local benevolence and other projects.
Everything that we do together - all of the wonderful fruit that we have seen God produce - is done through your giving. We have no other streams of income. We are fully supported by you.
Giving is primarily an act of worship. It is an action that demonstrates who and what we love but it is also a habit that changes and forms us. As we give, we grow to become more like Jesus.
So, next time you give, please know that your giving will be handled with care and that your gift is funding the expansion of God’s kingdom around the world. Among other things:
it’s putting food in a backpack of a local child
it’s creating a great VBS where children’s lives are changed
It’s sending students to camp
It’s creating a space conducive to the worship of God
it’s resulting in more and more people being baptized
it is transforming ordinary people into passionate followers of Jesus.
Figures represent our 2018-19 fiscal year, MAR 2018 – FEB 2019
~5% of every dollar given to our church goes directly to support those in need of the gospel globally. We are honored to support God’s work through the church around the world.
Northwest Indiana + Olivet Nazarene University
~5% of every dollar given to our church goes directly to support the work of the church in Northwest Indiana as well as the work of the church through Olivet Nazarene University.
Operating Expenses include but are not limited to: Facilities, Mortgage, Maintenance, Utilities, Office Supplies, and Insurances.
Staff Wages & Salaries
Wages & Salaries include but are not limited to: Wages and salaries for all staff and benefits for full-time staff.
Ministry Expenses include but are not limited to: Kids, Youth, Adults, Men, Women, Worship, Classes and Communities.