As I come up to my two year anniversary at KGF, I continue to stand in amazement at what God is up to! People ask all the time “How are you doing?” and my answer is often, “I’m having so much fun!” Truly, this journey as Senior Pastor has been a steep learning curve, but one I feel so excited to embrace. Part of the reason my experience has been so positive is God has surrounded me and blessed this church with so many incredible people. From our staff to board to volunteers to prayer warriors, I couldn’t ask for a better group to journey through life and ministry with! Thank you.
What We’re About!2010 was the year we began to put feet to our revamped Mission / Vision / Values at KGF. Hopefully by now these statements are very familiar to you, but I will never stop returning to them because they truly are the lens through which we see everything we do at KGF.
We exist to know Jesus and make Him known. How we do that is our vision, to create places of belonging where people discover Jesus and are equipped to follow Him. The core values are the three pillars that hold everything else up; grounded in the Bible, guided by the Spirit and growing in Prayer.
What I love is that people are really grasping this! I believe the clarity we have come to in this area has blessed us this past year, and will in years to come.
As I look back on 2010, what moves me is how excited people are for the local church again. I love when conversations from Sunday spill out onto Facebook and into coffee shops. I love the joy and energy that comes as we gather as a multi-generation family to worship, pray, and open our hearts to God. I love that people are taking steps to say yes to Jesus and His church through baptism and membership. I love the prayer gatherings when it seems the heavy lifting of ministry is done! I love the fact our church is so responsive to partnership projects, from shoeboxes to baby bottles to the Food Bank and the Gleaners. How amazing to be a part of a one day extreme camp makeover with 17 of our own at Gardom Lake Bible Camp. I love the joy as we together celebrated 50 years for KGF. I love the tree planted out front that Thanksgiving morning that reminds us of Deep Roots & New Shoots, and that God is not finished with us yet! God is definitely up to something great, and I hope you catch that excitement!
Message Series from 2010
It’s amazing how much ground you can cover on 52 Sundays a year! Looking back on 2010, these are the series we were able to sink our teeth into. The good news is these messages still have life online, www.kgfchurch.com, and our prayer is they would continue to provide encouragement and challenge.
January – “Ordinary Heroes” – Old Testament Characters
March – “Game of Life” – Family Series
May – “Taking Jesus With You” - Evangelism
June – “I Can’t Hear You” - Discerning the Will of God
July – “Building on the Rock” – Sermon on the Mount
September – “The Life You Were Made For” Mission / Vision / Values
October – “Modern Day Idolatry”
December – “Christmas Surprises”
God has assembled a great group of people to pour into this church family, from Judy at the front desk to Josh in worship, Kristi in kids (although that’ll be changing in the Spring) and Dennis in custodial. Our staff meeting is one of my favorite times of the week, as we laugh, pray, share and plan together. I am also very excited to welcome our new Associate Pastor of Community Life to the team, hopefully starting in April. This is a much needed addition to our church family, and will help shore up the youth / young adult / life group world at KGF.
On Tap in 2011?
So what’s on the horizon? KGF is now a church family of over 500 people, from birth to the mid 90’s, people who speak many languages and who are from all over the world! If God is entrusting us with this many people, and more, then we need to take that responsibility seriously. We can’t drop the ball. Some of our greatest opportunities are at hand, and I believe it will be among our finest hours!
It’s exciting to see the seats filled, and overflow spilling into the Fireside room. Our Sunday services are ranging from 350 – 440 people. That’s packed for the space we have (not to mention 100 parking spots.) Something we are thinking and talking about is the idea of a second Sunday morning service. How we move into that, what it looks like, and when is part of the discussion we’d like to engage you in. We also want to be good stewards of our building, finding ways to maximize ministry in this great space, which is debt free. What might that look like? Whatever we do, we don’t want to lose the very thing that makes KGF special, that sense of belonging and family.
We are adding another full time Associate Pastor, but we also need to relook at our Kids Ministries position with Kristi stepping down. We have gone from less than 10 elementary aged kids to over 125 in two years, with more babies being born every week it seems! How do we steward that gift properly? As these kids grow up, what will that mean with our youth ministry needs? We also recognize a need to shore up our front office and administration support.
This is a big year for us as we begin walking out a financial framework that will help us invest resources in ways that help advance vision. This is not a hard and fast budget but a framework that will help us make decisions according to our mission and plan. Thank you for your continued faithfulness in this area. It’s one more sign of a healthy church family!
We will continue to do everything we can to create places of belonging so people experience life in family. From our youth and young adults to Life Groups, Impact Seniors to Emerging Journey, from Marriage Mentoring to Grief Share, Wednesday morning Women’s Bible Study to guy sports nights, we must never stray from community as the core.
In early January I preached a message entitled “What Makes a Life Great”. I’d really encourage you to catch it online as it summarizes who we are and where we’re going. Out of that message, three things stood out to me.
- Greatness is Closeness with God.
- Greatness is Service to Others.
- Greatness is Faithfulness with what God has given to us.
The next question for us is what makes a church great? The answer is simple. Great churches are places where great lives are nurtured and fanned into flame! A church doesn’t exist in and of itself. . . it is not an end in and of itself. It is a place where people are invited to live lives of greatness from God’s perspective.
May KGF grow more and more into a great church from God’s perspective! May you be inspired and equipped to live a great life in God’s eyes. And may eternity be different because of our time together here! On behalf of Michelle, Mira, Weston & Nate, thank you for letting me be your pastor. Know that you are loved more than you can imagine!
Pastor Mike Penninga
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:22-24