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Pastor's Notes

Dear Friends,
How does one evaluate the effectiveness and value of a program of the church.  I believe there are some significant criteria for evaluation.
1. Does it impact and strengthen one’s relationship to the Lord? 2. Does it make a difference in the physical and emotional well-being of individuals who participate? 3. Do the numbers involved in the program indicate the value and quality of the programming? 4. Does the program set the church apart as an organization contributing to the quality of life in our community?
As I begin this series of columns on our programming, the first program I want to lift up is Chi Alpha.  Using the four criteria listed above, let’s do a quick evaluation of the Chi Alpha program.
I am convinced that Chi Alpha (our Wednesday night ministry to children, youth and adults) has a tremendous spiritual impact in the lives of our children, youth and adults.  This program gives us a wonderful opportunity to bring children, youth and adults into a relationship with Jesus.  That is illustrated by the faithful participation of a cross section of our members and friends, as well as bringing a significant number of community members and friends into our children, youth and adult ministries.  We have a unique opportunity to touch many lives for Jesus Christ.  
I have heard the comment “If we didn’t feed some of these children and adults, I don’t know where they would get a meal on Wednesday.”  The food makes a real difference in the physical well-being of many who participate.  The fellowship associated with Chi Alpha gives many community members an opportunity to share a good meal, as well as experience some much-needed socialization.
We have about 60 children involved in Chi Alpha.  Around 30 youth participate each week.  The adult class serves around 10 people.  The staff that plan, prepare and teach includes 15-20 persons.  About a dozen staff members prepare, serve and clean up from the meal.  We have averaged 125 persons at the meal.  Those numbers would indicate a successful program.
Numerous people have commented on the value of the Chi Alpha program in our community.  This program illustrates the value our congregation places on spiritual growth and outreach into the community.  It also makes an important statement to the community about being open and welcoming to all.  Even people from outside our congregation support the ministry financially.  It most certainly enhances the life of our community.
If you are interested in making disciples and making a difference, and want to support a program that makes a difference, Chi Alpha can use your support.  You can offer your support of a unique and powerful program by contributing to the ongoing expenses for staffing, supplies, and food.  Your support would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for helping our church make a difference.
In the Master’s service,  Steve