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Do you remember your first year in a new job? Remember the new systems, the unfamiliar personalities, the stressful nights, and confusing policies? Some of you have experienced that with me during this last year. I have learned so much about God and how He loves me as I have uncovered what it takes to lead a congregation, care for my family, and stay healthy. I continue to be humbled by the grace He shows me through the church family at Eagle LifeChurch. Thank you for loving the Murphy’s and giving us room to grow and learn in our new assignment here.
During this year, we had some failed experiments and some wild success. Easter 2012 was one of our off-the-chart successes. Through your diligence in inviting people, and God’s work drawing them, we had 150 people at Easter service, the Egg Hunt, art show, and reception. Praise God!
In the area of Music Ministry, we have seen a 400% growth in on-stage participation with various instruments and voices being added. This team of dedicated leaders arrive early each Sunday to practice and encourage each other. We have a lot of fun and enjoy each other very much. We have continued to worship with a variety of timeless hymns, classic refrains, and new favorites. Finding a balance in musical style is our goal, which supports our vision of a multi-generational church that welcomes all ages to the same table.
Our U.S. and World Missions ministry continues to remain strong. We have created greater bonds with our twelve supported missionaries and have increased support for the Tran family to $50/month. We hope to continue this growth in support by raising all our missionaries to $50/month, from $705/month to $860/month total. In addition to these pledges, we continue to give away $1000/month average to special projects or guests. We also hope to get all twelve missionaries adopted by encouragers who will contact them each month and bless them with messages of love. Our final Missions goal is to develop greater relationships with local outreaches that we can support with our time by volunteering.
In August, we hosted the first annual Eagle LifeFest. This outreach party for those in our community featured food, party games, water activities, face painting, a school supply give away, and the Eagle Fire Department. We hit our attendance goal of 30. There were two dozen volunteers and many donations that made LifeFest possible. In the future, we would like to add special guest entertainment and a carnival.
Over the past year, we have transitioned our ministry departments into a LifeGroup ministry model. The goal of this change is to encourage authentic relationships, facilitate growth, and to establish leadership opportunities. Many groups have been doing very well, with regular attendance and solid relationships. We are learning how to balance ministry with fellowship, and what our church and community really need. With nearly 40% of our Sunday attendance participating weekly, we are happy with the progress so far. Our goal is to have 60% participation by this time next year, with three new groups.
Our Men’s Ministry has seen a growth in encouragement, affirmation, and participation. Nine men attended Men’s Retreat in 2012 and we have an average of 16 at Men’s Breakfast, monthly. Our men support and help the church family by helping families move, yard work & home projects for struggling families, work days on the church grounds and facilities, work days at Teen Challenge, and many individual ministries with organizations like the Boise Rescue Mission, Love Inc., Salvation Army and others.
Women’s Ministry has been in continuous transition this past year, with the arrival and then departure of Danette Whitehead as Women’s Ministry Director. However, ministry continued at two Women’s Bible studies, and Ladies Night Out. In 2013, several ladies, led by Pastor Lori Murphy, are forming a Women’s Ministries Leadership Team that will work together to develop a comprehensive Women’s Ministry plan. This team should make it possible for more women to be involved and for many hands to make light work.
We thank the dedicated families who help in the area of Multi-Media on Sunday mornings. Kiel Alloway, Laurie Alloway, and John and MaryAnn Wilkie work hard to keep the words on the screen, the sound in the speakers, and the people on stage happy. We have cleaned up the stage, rearranged the instruments, replaced the sanctuary computer, replaced bulbs, and learned how to work together. We look forward to updating some of our sound equipment and repairing some broken components.
Finally, I would like to thank my family, Pastor Lori Murphy, Naomi, Talia, Kaila, and Ariah for hearing the call of God and making this first year at Eagle LifeChurch a fond memory. They have stood by me as I have been learning, struggling, and loving our new church family. I couldn’t be as happy and healthy as I am without their love, support, encouragement, and forgiveness. Thank you Murphy Girls!
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Looking ahead to 2013, our goal as a church is to find a place for everyone and everyone a place. We cannot let another year go by with unsaved people stepping into eternity while we are confused about what God wants us to do. I pray that through our messages, our LifeGroups, our events, and our ministry, we will see every member of the Eagle LifeChurch family DISCOVER, DEVELOP, and DEPLOY their unique purpose in the church family here and around the world.
God wants to use you, here, now, to do great and wonderful things. Will you Embrace Your Place?
Pastors Brad (and Lori) Murphy