Senior pastor Dr. Brent Van Hook presented this annual report to Church of the Nazarene general superintendent Dr. J.K. Warrick and Kansas district superintendent Rev. Jim Bond at the 2016 Church of the Nazarene Kansas District Assembly on Tuesday, July 12.
It’s been an exciting year of ministry at Wichita First Church of the Nazarene. The points of victory honored God and advanced His Kingdom.
Faith Promise was indeed a faith-filled experience. We far surpassed our goal of $190,000 and received $222,000. As part of our Faith Promise, we set up a display of water jars, each representing $5,000. As the pledges came during worship services we would fill the appropriate jars to show progress toward the goal. On our final Sunday the congregation applauded as jar after jar filled up including jars that were not part of our original display – an overflow of generosity!
The Living Waters ministry continues to bear fruit. Many church members serve through a weekly food pantry, a weekly Wednesday night worship service, and other creative ministries. This year Living Waters gave away 100,000 pounds of food to over 3,000 people. Most importantly, over 70 people were saved through Living Waters’ Wednesday night worship services.
These are not just cold institutional programs but instead people with stories finding service and purpose. Troy Bruns is one such person. For years he’s faithfully trained his body while deep down knowing God wanted to use his physical training method for creative ministry. In January he founded the “Temple FitCamp” ministry in our church gym that now meets four times a week. Attenders bring a can of food or a financial donation that, among other things, supports Living Waters Ministries. We honored Temple FitCamp ministry during a recent Sunday morning service and saw over a dozen unchurched people attend.
I expect great things in the coming months. After returning from an upcoming Sabbatical I look forward to preaching a sermon series in which I’ll use a baseball theme. To launch this series we’re hosting former Major League Baseball legend and now preacher Darryl Strawberry for a Sunday morning service in which we’ll invite local teams to hear him speak and serve hot dogs and popcorn following the service.
But more than anything I’m thrilled with the spiritual vitality of this church. There is no place I’d rather shepherd a flock and raise a family than Wichita First Church of the Nazarene.
Dr. Brent Van Hook