We have made progress through one-third of the 2021-2 ministry year and a report on ministry outcomes may give some indication of where God is at work and what wins can be celebrated. The following is an initial report on such outcomes.

In the area of SEEK, we measure physical and online attendance at our weekend worship celebrations. It appears we have an average of 417 connecting with us for these weekend services, which includes 290 in physical attendance and 127 in online attendance.

In the area of SERVE, we measure percentage of attendees who engage in service and ministry and the number of service projects in neighborhoods. Such outcomes are not immediately available. However, anecdotal evidence points to decline in these areas.

In the area of SHARE, we measure the number of outreach events and the number of faith commitments and baptisms. We have had 4 outreach events (RidgeFest, Aspen Hollow, Bird is the Word, Christmas Eve) with 11 faith commitments and 6 baptisms (including 4 planned for January, 2022).

Summary

If it is agreed to use online attendance, Aspen Ridge Church is currently reaching declared ministry outcomes in the SEEK and SHARE areas. This despite not insignificant headwinds, described below. Further, certain trends will be acknowledged.

Headwinds

Not a small number have disconnected from physical attendance due to COVID 19 and its variants. Further, a round of such illness has affected attendance in the beginning weekends of 2022. Anxieties related to COVID 19 still abound. It appears this has some influence on the amount of volunteerism in the church, including children’s ministry (weekend and mid-week). It also appears there are fewer service projects in the community. Finally, equal support of small groups for the 9 & 10:30 Sunday morning services is not (yet) in place.

Trends

Online attendance has seen an average of 127 per weekend. This is a new reality for Aspen Ridge Church since initiating internet live-stream in March of 2020.  With modest variations, this is a consistent number for the reach of such online ministry for a given weekend. It is not uncommon to meet “in person” guests on the weekend who have first visited our worship services online.

Strong end-of-the-year giving has led toward increasing strength in our cash position. December giving to the general fund was over $180,000, some 50% higher than numbers realized in the past handful of years. Currently some $360,000 of liquid cash exists (minus $80,000 in designated funds). Despite declines in the number of giving units in the past 22 months from 200 to 150, sacrificial giving remains generous.

Presenting three weekend services has led to stronger weekend attendance. In September we presented two weekend services, and our average attendance was 317 per weekend (227 in physical attendance and 90 in online attendance). However, since October we have presented three weekend services, and our average attendance was 417 per weekend (290 in physical attendance and 127 in online attendance).

As noted in a discussion of headwinds, challenges abound. Among these include providing volunteer support for children’s ministry, which has lagged previous years. It is important for Aspen Ridge Church to invest in families so the generation to come may know the treasures of the gospel. Despite such challenges, the “Plan for Disciple-making” (presented online 2 September 2021) called for outcomes that are being realized in the SEEK and SHARE areas if online attendance is granted.

Warmly,
Pastor Jeff

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