Reflections of 2018

Looking back to 2018

The turn of the year is always a great time to reflect on the previous year.  It is important to realize we are never standing still, but always in motion.  

In a church the size of ALIVE, it is easy to keep moving forward without taking into account the accomplishments of yesterday.  

So why not pause and do a bit of reflecting?

Reflecting on these accomplishments is a daunting task because so much happens at ALIVE, it is difficult for me as Lead Pastor to be aware of all that is going on! That is a good thing!  But there were a few things that happened in the previous year that I think were crucial in big ways to the mission of ALIVE and that is why they made my list of reflections!

This year we launched a ministry focused on strengthening marriages!  We invited some ALIVE couples to pray about being part of the ReEngage team and a number of folks were willing to be trained as leaders in the ReEngage ministry.  At the end of 2018, we completed our first cycle of the ReEngage ministry class.  As I greet people in the lobby on a given Sunday, people share about how ReEngage had strengthened their marriage or encouraged them in their marriage.  A few couples gushed about how ReEngage saved their marriage!  How cool is that?  Having a place for couples to find encouragement, coaching and even improvement in their marriages is a beautiful gift to the ALIVE community. We are going to launch our second run of ReEngage in February and you can sign up below!

As we have pursued the vision to raise up missional leaders ALIVE has become more intentional about discipling people.  In 2018, we designed, wrote and implemented the 4D system of discipleship and this past winter, graduated the first class to complete all 4D’s!  So what are the Four D’s? Discovery tells the story of ALIVE and how to become a member of the ALIVE community.  Deepen instructs how to study scripture and to pray. Define identifies spiritual gifts and personality types.  Decide connects passions, giftings and ministries.  The Four Ds lead a person through a process of self-discovery resulting in missional leadership!  Discipleship will never be the same at ALIVE, much to the credit of the Four Ds. .

We tried something risky, some might even say reckless.  For a church interested in raising missional leaders, getting people on the fields of our mission partners became a priority.  The idea was if we can get people on mission fields, missional hearts would naturally be produced, so ALIVE set aside significant money to help put our people in mission fields.  On average, the costs of mission trips were cut in half for everyone who decided to go!  This year we took trips to Haiti, Africa and India!  One team began exploring a pioneering partnership in Mozambique! Over 60 people took advantage of our trips this year!  Amazing!

4. Hope Grows Here

I couldn’t finish a reflection on 2018 without talking about Hope Grows Here. We opened our brand new children’s wing in November of 2018!  How blessed we are to have 18,000 square feet of brand new children’s space!  The slide and tunnel are used daily.  Brand new playgrounds were added to our campuses as we continued to value the children in our communities! The Growing Place has opened its doors to more families in need of Christian Child development. Sunday mornings have become much more manageable for parents and staff as we have provided more space in which our children can be loved on and taught the wonderful stories of Jesus.  What a gift this area is and what a gift to partner with hundreds of other families in giving towards this project!  Look what God has done with his people!


And here we are already rushing into 2019.  What does this year hold?  I wish I knew!  We continue to focus on raising up missional leaders and this year are launching initiatives to plant churches and build campuses across the upstate.  ALIVE is put here for a reason.  We are strategically located as part of God’s mighty plan.  We are prayerfully looking for where God is leading and working to join him!  God has not given up on anybody, and neither have we! 


Our methods, systems and initiatives change but the mission remains the same at ALIVE. We want to reach spiritually hungry people introduce them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and an active role in Christian community!


I cannot wait to reflect on 2019!  Happy New Year!

See you on Sunday! 
Pastor Tom