Third Quarter Report

Third Quarter Report: 2017-2018

Dear Linworth,
March - April - May 2018
Last summer, Pastor Nick Carruthers convened a focus group made up of Linworth members to interact on the health of our life groups. The Reveal Survey had exposed pockets of discontentment that we wanted to understand and address.
The group was facilitated by a pastor-friend outside of Linworth who could provide an objective sounding board for our members. Much of what our members shared that evening reinforced life groups as a vital strength in our community. Yet, the facilitator could detect some lack of satisfaction. When he asked about the presence of the Holy Spirit “showing up” in groups, it was, in his words, “like a bomb had gone off.”
That question ignited a lively conversation with engaged dialogue from this cross-section of our church, clearly revealing a hunger and thirst for more. The dissatisfaction was not with our life group leaders, but with a sense that there is a supernatural element missing from our church. 
The pastors took this as from the Lord and, with that feedback in hand, we planned for the new year. We determined a series on the Holy Spirit was needed and what better place to ground it from than the book of Acts. Calling it “Empowered,” we a) described the person and work of the Holy Spirit; b) challenged the naturalistic paradigm that minimizes God even in His church; and c) challenged you to hunger for more and pray with expectation.
The other element we added as a result of this emphasis was an evening of worship called “Encounter.”  These have been incredibly special and Spirit-filled evenings with many of you seeking prayer and physical or emotional healing. At one Encounter, we were led to pray for a man who was on a physically precipitous decline due to cancer. (He is not a member of Linworth, but a friend to many here.) We believe God reveals Himself both in our suffering as well as in the times He chooses to alleviate our suffering. In this case, this friend appears to be on the pathway to full recovery—his cancer has been greatly reduced, and his own doctor is calling it a miracle. 
We are learning together and want to be open to all God has for us. We need all of Him to fulfill our mission and create the kind of community that is marked with kingdom love and kingdom maturity. Our next step is to increase our understanding of spiritual gifts.  
Thanks for your faithful giving so we can continue to “be Jesus” to our community. Your partnership in the gospel means so much to me and the other Pastors. 
At the end of this e-mail is a link to our third quarter financial report. It covers the nine month time period from September to May. For that time period, our giving and income are above our budgeted expenses by 3%. Expenses for that same time period are 3% below projections. We thank God for His faithfulness and generosity as He works through you. If you have yet to participate in this realm of worship and discipleship, we encourage you to prayerfully begin by seeking God and committing to a set offering each month. Your participation in this work will help us extend what we do in our city and will be a great source of joy and growth in your own life.

For His glory,
Pastor Chris