Greeters Get It

Our church has been advocating that we all, as members, take seriously the command to “make disciples” by becoming better disciples ourselves and then helping others start their own journey. In the recent past it has been so exciting to see several begin their journey, but just as exciting has been seeing adult Christians progressing in their Discipleship Path.

On any given Sunday one would be greeted, perhaps in the parking lot, but most certainly at the door and in the foyer of the building as he/she comes to worship. This is not new for any of our family, but understanding the motivation behind the Greeter Ministry might give one food for thought.

GREETING 1Those in the Greeter Ministry have been called to do several things. Those serving in this ministry do more than open doors and hand out bulletins. They are called to be a friendly face, a helpful servant and an obedient disciple.

First, the very term “greeter” indicates a friendly attitude, a smile, a handshake, a hug, a high five or just a “welcome to Clear Creek.”  Everyone wants to be noticed and acknowledged. It is amazing to me how many people God sends through our doors because they are “seeking” Him and hope to find Him here. The simple act of smiling, saying “hello” or “welcome” can make all the difference to a person who is coming because they decided to “give God one more chance.” What a tragedy it would be if there was no one who cared enough to say “Hi, we’re glad you’re here.” We should never underestimate the power of a smile.

But the Greeters job doesn’t stop there. If the “seeker” is obviously searching for something, the volunteer would gladly drop everything else and serve him/her in any way they can as was demonstrated in such a great way a few weeks ago. A woman who was looking for a church home walked in and a greeter immediately knew that she had not seen her before. Susan greeted her, engaged her in conversation, obtained her contact info and then introduced her to others. By the end of the morning, the “seeker” had been invited to several small groups and had new friends to sit with during worship where she connected with God.

Finally, something not everyone knows about the Greeters Ministry is that at 9:00 am each Sunday morning, everyone who will be attending that day is prayed over. The Team Leaders also pray for the Holy Spirit to direct and guide each volunteer that day to be in tune and do His bidding. Because Susan listened to His bidding, a newcomer was welcomed, connected to others, learned more about Jesus and, hopefully, began or moved forward on her Discipleship Path. Now that’s a win! Perhaps you’d like to be a part of a ministry that helps make disciples while helping you go deeper in your discipleship as well?

 

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AnCharlene Davis’s Story

CaptureWhen I am asked “Where are you now?”, I inevitably reflect upon “Who am I now?” I serve as an assistant district attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

At times, I cannot help but think about the journey that led me here today and wonder how (and why) I came to be here in this city and at this time. It is then that I am reminded of Mordecai’s encouragement to Esther. “Who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Just over thirty-one years ago, God presented a handful of people with just such a time. A young woman approached the doors of AGAPE to help find a home for her unborn daughter. Kind and caring people like Diana Crawford helped search for people that would be willing to love a stranger. Not long after, a preacher and his wife agreed to open their home and their hearts to a one-month-old baby girl.

Because of all of these people, I can answer “Who am I?” I am the daughter of a young woman who knew that love sometimes means selflessness and sacrifice. I hope that, one day, I have the courage and the words to tell her just how much I love and appreciate the decisions that she had to make.

I am the daughter of Charles Davis, a man that taught me that God is my Father first. Yet, it was always clear that he proudly accepted the role of Daddy for each of his days here on earth. He taught me about who a Christian should be.

I am the daughter of Lucy Davis, the strongest woman that I know. I truly believe that she prayed for me before she ever met me and continues to do so every day.

I am the sister of Robert, my big brother that quickly joined our family after I was adopted. I am the sister-in-law to Baillie and the proud aunt of Lyra, my niece. I am a friend. I am an advocate.

So, where am I now? If those people had not answered their call thirty-one years ago, I’m not certain where I would be. Surely, God would have a plan for my life, but I am grateful that they acted upon the opportunities placed in front of them. Today, if I turn my head and look out my office window, I am surrounded by the beautiful, scenic city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. I spend my days fighting for justice, advocating for those vulnerable victims, providing opportunities to those individuals that truly desire rehabilitation and recovery. And so, like AGAPE and my family, I hope to realize that my time is now. Maybe when my journey here ends, just one person will have seen God’s light and know that there is hope in this city, even on the darkest of days.

 

Financial Peace University

Did you know that the Bible has over 800 verses concerning money? Using the principles found in God’s Word concerning money, Financial Peace University helps participants discern the way which God would have you steward the assets with which He blesses you. At Clear Creek, we have hosted two Financial Peace University classes, attended by 28 households.  In these two classes, we have seen:

  • $58,999 worth of debt paid off
  • $68,045 saved for emergencies
  • 69 credit cards closed or cut up
  • Giving levels substantially raised by five families

While these are impressive numbers, the following testimonies from our class show the true impact it has had on families:

“After this class, I am a better disciple because I am now able to give – to tithe – something which I felt I couldn’t do before. I can now take pride and ownership in my church, its activities and plans for serving the community.” – a single college student

 

“Prior to the class, we could never figure out what happened to all of our money and lived the reality of having more month than money…  No matter where you are in your financial journey, this class adds value to your life.” – a typical family

 

“Financial Peace has helped us to be more responsible stewards of the blessings God has given us.  We worry less, are able to be more generous, and don’t have to be stressed out wondering if we will make it to the next paycheck … Even though we are retired, it is never too late to get on the right path.” – a retired couple

 

“We started this class with $68 in our accounts and lots of non-mortgage debt. In just nine weeks of class, we paid off $5,000 in debt and put $1,300 in our savings account. If we work our financial plan, we will pay off our non-mortgage debt in 20 months and owe less than $100,000 on our house.” – a young married couple

All who wish to put “financial” and “peace” together in their lives are invited to our next Financial Peace University class beginning May 31st.

Friends & Family Day

“What’s going on over there?” “What’s with all the cars tonight?” “Oh, it’s Clear Creek they always have something happening.” Such was the conversation at our neighbor, Food City, one evening last October.

We encouraged Clear Creek to invite people they know. Our children invited their friends, teammates, and neighbors. Their parents invited co-workers, relatives, and acquaintances. Jana and Phil were excited to see neighbors they had met on their daily walks. A Kindergartner and his 2nd grade sister made sure their parents got in on the fun.

We dream big, but God dreams bigger. Our plans for a little fun at the end of Friends and Family Day turned into a neighborhood extravaganza. Who can resist a petting zoo and pony rides? Or face painting? Or food trucks? Or just hanging with friends on a beautiful Fall evening.

300-400 new and old friends filled the area to create a festive atmosphere. The Upward Football players and their families played on the football field. Sunset was met with a devotional and giant sized movie screen showing Finding Dory. Several shared a similar sentiment, “This is my favorite event of the year.”

Many of our new friends joined us the next Sunday for worship. We always look forward to inviting others to our activities. Friends and Family Day 2016 may be behind us but Journey Through Jerusalem and Summer Jam are just around the corner.  Keep inviting, we want to meet more of your friends!