NEO Team Update 6-11-20
NEO Report for 2019-20 – Part 2
Last Thursday I began sending you a summary of the work of NEO churches and leaders from May, 2019 thru April, 2020. What a year it has been!! In this report you will receive the introduction of my report and a summary of five areas to focus on in the year ahead.
Intro of the Annual Report of our District Superintendent – June 1, 2020
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
You saw them everywhere this winter – commercials that made us aware that in so many areas of life, “Just Okay is Not Okay”. The commercials highlighted our desire for something better than okay … when riding on an elevator … listening to a boy’s band … skydiving … carnival rides … translating languages. Let me share a couple of my favorites with you:
A nightmare I have is that they will make a commercial about a church I am associated with … doing things half-heartedly, settling for okay … and I hear the line, “Just okay is not okay.” If we are honest, we will confess that we have often seen churches settle for okay instead of striving for excellence or even progress in our worship services, discipleship or outreach.
Karl Vaters writes about and for small churches … like the one he pastors… like most of the Nazarene churches in NEO. Sometimes we give the impression that small is a problem to be solved or that only large churches matter or are healthy. I, like Vaters, am convinced God has a vital role for these churches to play in the mission of Christ!
But Vaters also affirms that being small is not an excuse: “Just because we are small doesn’t give us an excuse to do ministry with anything less than Christ-honoring, people serving, world transforming passion.” Vaters believes it is time for small churches to become great churches (notice he did not say large churches!). This happens as they discover what they do well and do it on purpose, face and overcome barriers to health, and refuse to settle for anything less than great!
Vaters doesn’t mean we should never do anything at less-than-perfect level. The key word for Vaters is “settle”. Hear his words today: “Do what you need to do. Including some things at a less-than-great level when needed. But never, Never, NEVER settle for ‘I guess that’s as good as we’ll ever get.’ Never settle. Always be content with how God made you, but always strive for more of that. That may be the very definition of greatness. … You and your church are great at something – or you can be. Stop trying to be like the church you visited… Be you. And be great at it.”
For NEO Nazarenes in 2020, “Just okay is not okay”. We will not settle! We will strain toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal.
Five Areas of Focus as We Pursue Health and Excellence
In the complete report, I offer five areas of focus as we pursue health and excellence:
- Progress in reading, meditating on, and memorizing God’s word.
- Progress on our use of Digital Technology.
- Progress on our evangelistic fervor and expansion.
- Progress with Peer Learning Offerings.
- Progress in support of SNU
Just okay is not okay. Don’t settle. But don’t forget, “Progress is perfection!” Almond milk commercial
District Superintendent Dave McKellips
District Calendar Updates
Due to COVID-19, we regret to inform you that NEO Youth Camp and NEO Kids Camp have been canceled for summer 2020. Both groups are tentatively planning Fall events.
Ministers and Mates Retreat is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25–27 with a final decision planned by August 1