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I learned how to juggle once… I was about 15. We were at a conference and one of the older teenagers picked up three tennis balls and started to juggle. It seemed cool. At least it attracted some attention (by that I mean 14-year old girls…) Later that night, the other five guys on our trip all took turns trying to get our juggle on. I was not the best, but I was far from the worst. One ball was easy. Two, took just a few minutes to master. But adding the third ball into the mix… almost 40 years later, I am still working on it. As we look ahead into 2018, I am reminded that at MCC we have committed ourselves to three core biblical purposes. We have three mandates from God to accomplish; we make God known, we develop disciples, and we have a strategic go. What we do is intentionally build around those themes. If you see other church signs and websites, there are millions of Christian activities that we could do. But we have chosen to do these three things well. These are the three balls we juggle. These are the three purposes that God has asked of us. So, I want to take just a few minutes and give you a preview of what is coming this year and how they fit into these categories.

Making God Known. We know that God has asked us to take what we know of Him and to tell others. We need to speak about God. In the end, it is a relationship with Him that is our saving grace, not just a bunch of facts or actions. So, we will talk about Him:

  • Sermon series in January – “I Want to Believe, But” in this series, we will talk about people’s misconceptions of God and how they keep them from engaging with Him more.

  • Worship every Sunday. As a part of our worship, we teach songs about God. They remind people of His greatness and His love. They describe Jesus and His act of sacrifice.

  • Night of Worship. Ash Wednesday, February 14. A time to lift the name of our God as we spend time that night in extended worship and prayer.

  • Easter, April 1. We will invite our community and declare the reality of Jesus and the resurrection. It’s a big deal. The entirety of our faith and reward hang in the balance of what Jesus did that day.

Developing Disciples. We know God has commissioned us to help people become followers of Jesus. This is the practicality of our faith. How do we live this truth? In the next months:

  • LIFE Groups. On January 7, our groups start back up after the holidays. These are small groups of adults meeting to learn, pray and talk about how to live life.

  • Men’s No Regret Conference, February 3. A time for men to gather here at the church to learn and grow together with other men.

  • Sermon series: “Making Change” talking about accepting God’s perspective on money. It is more than just learning about giving. We will learn how God asks us to use money.

  • Financial Peace University class. Beginning near the end of February, we will offer a weekly class that will cover in-depth more of the day to day wisdom of handling money correctly.

  • Sermon series: “Faith that Works”. In May and into the summer, we will look at the book of James and some very practical ways that God calls us to live. Our faith needs to work in this life. It needs to make sense.

Strategic Go. We know that God has called our church to get into our community: to strategically serve and be the presence of God with good works. Together, as a church, here are some things we are doing:

  • Football Sunday, February 4. On this day, we will open our doors and invite people to wear their jerseys and hear a message of faith from some professional football payers. Real faith works in people no matter how talented, famous or unknown.

  • MCREST. In March, we are housing 30 homeless men at MCC. We’ll show them love and compassion, and meet their needs at a time in their life when they cannot.

  • Easter Family Outreach. March 24, the weekend before our Easter Celebration, we invite people into our campus to enjoy time as a family, have fun and share some truth about God. Our interaction with people, and the way we show our love and attention, is one of the ways that God reaches people.

  • Sermon series: “Everybody Needs a Little Help” In April, we will learn how much we really have to offer those around us. They need help and hope and love and Jesus. And it’s the right mixture of those things that God uses in amazing ways.

  • Serve Day. In May, we will continue our partnership with the City of Sterling Heights to serve the needs of our community. It’s simple acts of service for those who have not been able to do it for themselves.

It seems like a lot, but it is spread over five months. This is how we are juggling these three purposes God has given us. Keep your eyes on Facebook, our website and The Memo for more details and ways to get involved. I am looking forward to this year… (And I might even get the hang of juggling the third ball.)

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