Anticipating God’s Faithfulness
By Kate Berkey - January 4, 2018
Posted in Adult Ministry, Student Ministry, Children's Ministry, Summer Camps, High School Ministry, Middle School Ministry, Stories from NMC
On the last Sunday of 2017, we took time to reflect on all God had done throughout the year. It’s easy to forget how truly remarkable these days have been. In December, it’s easy to forget that earlier this year our pews were delivered to Haiti. When the temperatures drop well below freezing, it’s easy to forget how God showed up and healed hearts during Fanning the Flame in March. It’s easy to forget the countless ways God brought people closer to Himself and lavishly loved on a group of broken people throughout the entire year.
That isn’t to say that every day has been easy or perfect. Some days have been extremely challenging. Some in the NMC family have been through incredible hurts and difficulties in 2017. Yet, even in the midst of difficulties—the diagnosis, the financial loss, the death of a loved one, the broken relationship, the dreams that died—God has been remarkably faithful.
So on Sunday morning, December 31, we celebrated the faithfulness of our Father, and later that night, we rang in the New Year with expectant hearts. We are expectant because we know God’s nature. We know that no matter what crosses our paths—happiness or heartache—He will be faithful again. We carry with us into 2018 the stones that mark this faithfulness. We carry with us hope and anticipation.
For the NMC, there are a few things in particular that spark excited anticipation. So what’s coming up in 2018 at NMC? We don’t know all that God will do, but here are a few things we look forward to.
Wednesday Night Kickoff
Christmas and New Year’s celebrations throw us off rhythm. With so many other activities, it’s good to take a break from regular routines, and for the last two weeks, we have hit the pause button on Wednesday night programming. This all changes on January 10, when normal Wednesday night programming resumes!
This means dinner with family and friends around the table at Table Talk. This means crazy games in Student Ministries. This means Bible stories and crafts and upbeat worship music in KidMin. This means groups for men and women like ESPMen or Oasis Café. This means a bustling Grand Hall, full of noise and life.
On January 10, one particular adult elective will start that we are really excited about—Financial Peace University (FPU). Maybe you’re leaving this holiday season wishing you would have managed your money better. With FPU, you can learn how to handle money God’s way, releasing you from financial burdens and equipping you to be more generous than ever with the resources God has given you. Since FPU was created, thousands have found freedom through biblical financial management. This class will run from January 10 to March 7 and costs $85. For more information and to register, click here.
Fanning the Flame
Fanning the Flame, a four-day event with teaching for all ages, is a highlight every year. Our KidMin, Student Ministries, and Adult Ministries teams are intentional to find speakers who teach on relevant topics for each age group. In years past, our youngest kids have learned about their forever friend Jesus. Our students have sat under incredible people like Jonny Mac and Kory Lantz. The adults have heard from a variety of teachers over the years like Joel DeSelm, Sammy Tippit, Ryan Flemming, and Brad Bullock.
This year, Fanning the Flame will be March 4-7, and it’s shaping up to be one of the best years yet. Adults will have the incredible opportunity to learn from Jeff Manion, senior pastor at Ada Bible Church; Kevin Moore, senior pastor at The Church; and John Avant, director and president of Life Action Ministries. We are so excited to see how God will use each speaker from adults to kids. Over the years, He has used Fanning the Flame to draw people to Himself, sometimes for the first time, and we trust that He will move in remarkable ways in 2018.
With winter fully upon us, it seems slightly cruel to talk about summer—warm weather, sunshine, shorts, and camp. It feels so far away, especially as the thermometer drops to -18 degrees. Nevertheless, summer camps are a huge highlight of the year. Summer camps are the perfect place for kids kindergarten through 12th grade to get away, connect with others, connect with God, and have a ton of fun!
We believe deeply in the spiritual value of camps, so much so that our KidMin and Student Ministries teams are already busy planning for camps. The teaching at each camp seeks to challenge and equip kids to live out their faith. Many of the kids who grow up at NMC point back to summer camps as one of the most influential things in their spiritual formation. We have seen students who were far from God find Him. We have seen students receive callings from God for their lives. We have seen students experience God’s deep love and joy in a new way. We have seen God do remarkable things, and we know that He will do incredible things this year as well.
Have you marked these camp dates on your family calendar?
- K/1 Camp: June 26
- 2/3 Camp: June 15-16
- 4/5 Camp: July 6-9
- Middle School Camp: July 9-12
- High School Camp: July 13-17
God is going to do so much in 2018. While we are confident that He will do many wonderful things in and through the NMC family, we also know He will do many wonderful things all over our world. So if you are entering 2018 with a bit of hesitancy, be reminded His faithfulness. Be reminded that His story is big and grand and beyond our comprehension. Be reminded of His goodness even in the midst of difficulty. And join us in excited anticipation for all He will do.