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Hot weather makes me cranky. But it also makes me introspective. Probably because I spend so much time cooped up inside because I CLEARLY need to be in air conditioning if it’s going to even think about being warmer than 82 degrees.

I had to work sans air conditioning on Monday at the office. Fortunately, I was the only one in the office, so no one had to hear how bitter I was about the lack of climate control. If any of you have been around New Anthem lately, you’ve realized that the air conditioning is an ongoing saga of epic proportions. The building is old; the units are old. And our A/C man seems to enjoy hanging around so he leaves himself extra work each week.

You may be wondering why I’m complaining about trivial things. Or talking about the part of ministry that doesn’t matter. If the lighting isn’t perfect, or it’s too hot, or we don’t have enough toilet paper, will ministry stop in its tracks? Will Pastor Landon stop preaching the gospel?

Short answer: no. These details don’t affect our overall mission (the Great Commission) or our vision (Connecting People to God’s Purpose). BUT as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, I’ve been introspective lately. A lot has happened in the last six months, and at the same time, there’s even more to come.

Here’s what’s happened: we got kicked out of our meeting space. We were told we couldn’t meet corporately as a church for 12 weeks. We lost the ability to meet in person with our small groups. We had good people walk away from New Anthem Church.

You know what else has happened? We found a new meeting space directly north of our current office, allowing us to not have to set-up and tear-down every Sunday. Can I get an AMEN! We hired a new Worship Coordinator, Jeremy Spring (If you haven’t met the guy, take a moment to introduce yourself. The dude is awesome. I’m very excited to work alongside him). We launched home church sites (and we still have 3 locations meeting each week)! Our attendance has grown. We’ve had people attend NEXT, people commit to New Anthem as church members, and many express interest in joining Surge Groups this fall. We donated a HUGE gift to King’s Cross Church in Lyons, KS, the church plant that will launch in October. We’re connecting with more Park City/Valley Center/Wichita people. We’re helping Meals on Wheels in Park City. We’ve offered financial assistance to those in need during the pandemic.

Pastor Landon has been sharing Wednesday Refresh each week, and he asserts that “things will get better. Will you be better when they do?” I firmly believe that New Anthem will be better. Each day is a new day for us to tackle a new problem. Our space isn’t perfect (not even close!), but we are striving for small improvements each week. Online streaming still needs a lot of help- we have a plan in place for that. The facility isn’t in the best shape- we are developing a plan for that too. Each day we explore ways to be more impactful in our ministry, discover how to create deeper connections, and stay focused on the big picture.

YOU GUYS, God is moving New Anthem forward. I am excited for what’s happened just during the month of August, and I am pumped for what’s in store this fall. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned during 2020 is that my timing is not God’s timing, and I just need to be faithful and patient in the process. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”