The past year has brought about significant change in our world and for me and my family personally. Last March 2020, in the midst of global pandemic, we accepted an offer to become the GenNow Pastor for the Oregon Ministry Network. We are excited to step into this ministry and are grateful for the opportunities God has in store in the days and years to come.
Confidence over Certainty
Our culture is obsessed with quick quips and one-liners; we ‘sticker-ize’ ‘style-ize’, and glamorize quick statements made by famous people both past and present. At its surface, this is not necessarily a bad thing, however, it has crept into the realm of Scripture and when we forego context, unintentionally or not, we can miss out on the power and potency of what is recorded in our Sacred Writings.
In Philippians 1:3-11, the Apostle Paul is writing to a group of young Followers who have partnered with him during many of the ups and downs of ministry and missionary work. Paul writes from a Roman prison cell, with joy and gratitude toward his brother and sisters. At this point in history, tension and resistance toward the rapidly growing Christian movement is amping up and becoming more severe—sound familiar? Pagan worship, government overstepping their boundaries, over-taxation, law suits and fines for Jesus Followers, private properties taken away, and so much more yet, Paul writes: ‘6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.’
Wait…’sure’? Some translations use the word ‘confident’ instead, which is an action word anchored in something beyond human reason or ability; to be confident denotes assurance in something bigger than oneself! In other words, just because we have great uncertainty in the current and future state of our world, does not mean we are not confident!
Khalil Burton Albany
Jeff Gowing Florence
Harvey & Donna Walls Hood River
Many children and youth pastors, like Harvey Walls in Hood River, Jeff Gowing in Florence, Sheryl McLean in Coos Bay, Ashley Sentes in Pendleton, and Kylee Coon in Grants Pass, invaded YouTube and social media to digitally disciple our younger generations. Weekly digital kids church, Zoom small groups, virtual water baptisms, worship and game nights, and after school tutoring; the list goes on with the creative ideas. Some youth and children ministries actually grew in numbers and saw many come to faith and grow in their relationship with Jesus.
STL & BGMC
Speed the Light
Early in the year COVID-19 caused us to move many of our in-person gatherings to digital formats. We continued to create resources for kids and youth ministries across Oregon.
We created a live digital experience broadcast on Facebook & YouTube
We created a digital kit for our children's ministries and hosted one-day events for youth.
We created a one-night digital experience with hosted sites around Oregon for fall youth convention.
Churches: 26 Attendees: 490
We hosted an in-person conference for kids at Peoples Church in Salem.
Churches: 12 Attendees: 163
Advancing with Confidence
If anything could be said about 2020, it is how uncertain life has gotten. The future will continue to be a lot of the same but…this does not mean we idly await something to shift or change in our favor, hoping things will get back to ‘normal’. No, we advance with confidence. As we embark on 2021, there will be shifts and changes and adjustments we need to make to further advance the mission and gospel of Jesus our King. Let us be prepared to do so.
Grace and peace, Sean Silverii
2020 was not a year of defeat, but truly a year of dreams for our Network. In the midst of what was called a “disastrous year,” we can testify that our all-sufficient God demonstrated His power and faithfulness.