In my younger years, as I was learning and growing in ministry, looking for the place that I belonged, I gathered a whole lot of experience in different contexts and working in different Churches. I worked in a Church with twenty people for free. I worked in megachurches that had anywhere from 1,000 people to 3,000 people. I worked part time. I worked full time. I worked in a Church replant that grew from 30 people to 200 people. I did ministry in rural, suburban and urban New England. I did ministry in suburban and urban Ohio. I helped to plant this Church that we now call Streetlight Community Church and have been here since April of 2016 when we started. I started as a worship leader and secondary pastor at Streetlight, and became the lead pastor in September of 2019. We went through redeveloping a plant that had only been going for three and a half years and then had the original lead guy move on to another Church. Then, right after that, before we could get our feet under us, we went through COVID, racial, political and civil unrest, and the aftermath of 2020 and 2021.
And in all of those years and through all of those experiences, I learned that each context is different. I learned that each culture is different. I learned that each Church body in its context and culture is different. Each has different strengths and weaknesses. Each has different circumstances. Each has different struggles. This is why Paul’s New Testament letters to Corinth are different from his letter to Galatia, Philippi, Ephesus, Collosae, and Thessalonica. It’s an age-old reality that when you get a group of human beings together, even when they all claim to follow a perfect Savior, that a combination of the wonderful and the difficult will inevitably emerge.
So, all that to say, what we’re talking about these next few weeks in January at Streetlight Community Church is unique. It’s the beginning of 2024. The Direction Team recommended to me that we help all of you to understand the “State of Our Church”. This may sound like a more formal and stuffy title to a sermon series than what we normally do, but it’s certainly the best words we can use to describe it. We want you to know how Streetlight is doing logistically, financially, spiritually, and more. We also want to cast a fresh vision out of the scriptures for what we’re asking the Lord for Streetlight to become in the months and years ahead.