2010: the year in review
July 23, 2010 by Pastor Jeremiah
I’m in the middle of our family summer vacation, but I thought I’d take a few moments and reflect upon what was an incredible Annual meeting with our members last Sunday afternoon, the 18th. Most Annual Report meetings are predictable in nature. You go over the financial numbers, report on the various ministries, staff changes, past year accomplishments, etc.
To be honest, I had been hoping for some time now to revamp the meeting into more of a vision sharing time. I wanted to take the opportunity, while we had everyone together, to inspire and motivate people towards fulfilling the mission that Jesus has for our church. Unfortunately, this last week turned out to be a brutal work week at the church. I was preparing to head out of town on vacation for the next couple of weeks. As a result, I wasn’t able to fulfill my expectations and put the maximum amount of effort into this years’ annual meeting.
As we plowed through the numbers, shared our reports, and answered questions Sunday night, I realized that this annual meeting was no different than the last 10 years. We had some good stories, we made improvements, the giving was up, and the church has grown over the last year. All very good news. However, I had a nagging sense of disappointment in myself as I really wanted more for the meeting. That’s when my wife Deborah stood up and told a moving story about a young woman who had found acceptance, love, and most importantly Jesus Christ because of the way God had used a number of people here at Westside to speak into her life. It was at that moment that God gave me a revelation of just how incredible this last year of ministry was for us as a church. The lights went off in my head. It wasn’t just this one woman, but dozens of people who had been impacted because they have been embraced and loved by the family of God at Westside. And so, I stepped up to the microphone and decided to share with everyone what God was clearly laying on my heart. I couldn’t do it. I started getting all-emotional. There was this liquid substance draining out of my eyes and I had to compose myself for a few moments. What’s more, everyone was crying. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
I’m not going to go into the details of what I shared in that moment, but needless to say, it was one of the most powerful annual meetings I’ve ever attended. All I can say is …don’t miss out next year. In the end, God answered my prayer. We had an incredible meeting in spite of the fact that I couldn’t manufacture it. Imagine that!