by Michael Guyer
YPSILANTI, MI – We've now lived with Covid for over a year. It feels like two years in Michigan! : ) In all seriousness, we are so thankful for God's sustaining and strengthening grace over this past year. As we approached another Easter in a pandemic, we were determined to view it not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity. Rather than hosting one big event, we decided to mobilize our people to host numerous small outreaches throughout our community. The money we would have spent, we put into the hands of our people for them to use to be a blessing to others and to help them be intentional in sharing the gospel this Easter.
Over the course of this week and this weekend, we will host eight different outreaches. Many people are hosting Easter egg hunts for their neighborhoods, hosting brunch or a game night for friends, and putting together goodie bags for co-workers or neighbors. Through these events, many people were invited to join us for worship on Easter Sunday,
During Holy Week, Emily and I had our neighbors over to our house for an Easter celebration in the driveway and coordinated Easter egg hunts at five different houses on our street. We were encouraged to have 14 adults and 12 kids show up. We have three or four neighbors in particular that we are seeking to serve and share the gospel with this year.
Spring Brings New Hope
As we begin Spring, we are excited about what lies ahead of us. If I am honest, this past year has been challenging, even though we've seen God work in some special ways. On the one hand, we are sharing the gospel, preaching God's Word, raising up new leaders, adding new members, making disciples, reaching and equipping families, and serving real needs in our community. And yet, we have also seen some of our people transition away from TCC or will do so this summer, we have been limited regarding our meeting location, and we still have a lot of caution in our community around Covid. While the challenges are real, we are just as determined to be faithful to our calling to reach our community with the gospel and make disciples.
Below are some highlights from the past few months and some things we are looking forward to in the coming months:
In January, we began meeting weekly on Sunday evening at a church in our community. This has led to a good relationship with their pastor. In fact, we are holding a joint Good Friday service with them this evening.
We just hosted an Equip Class led by Pastor Chris entitled "How Do I Lead Myself Spiritually?" Over the past year, we have focused on equipping our people in sharing the gospel and studying the Bible. Many of our members have expressed how helpful and challenging these Equip Classes have been for them.
Our Men's Discipleship and Women's Discipleship ministries have continued to provide opportunities for discipleship and community. The women recently read through the Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield, and the men are currently reading through Living Life Backward by David Gibson.
Through our Jesus Kids Club ministry, we have been able to invite kids from our neighborhood to participate in some of our monthly activities. We have at least one family from the community that is participating monthly.
By canvassing apartment complexes in the city, a few apartments are now putting TCC Invite Cards in their Welcome packets to new residents.
In February, we were able to serve nearly 20 couples/families with Date Nigh boxes that included meaningful questions, some sweet treats, and a $50 Grubhub card. Over half of these couples were either not believers or not meaningfully connected to a church.
We are preparing for our second Serve A2Y Week from July 21-25. This week allows us to tangibly serve businesses, non-profits, and our city with no strings attached. At the end of the week, we will host a block party and invite those from the community we serve during the week.
We are continuing to pray for a more permanent location that would allow us to meet on Sunday mornings. We have also begun to consider meeting locations that would better position us to reach both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
We are working on various community outreach ideas for this summer that our Summer LINK/GenSend team will help us execute.
How can you pray for us?
Are you wondering how you can shoulder burdens with us during this time? Below are a few ways you can pray:
Pray for gospel fruit. We are seeking to sow the gospel faithfully and trusting God to bear fruit. Pray especially for our ministry to our neighbors in the coming months.
Pray for wisdom. We need wisdom and direction for what things look like as we head into this summer and Fall.
Pray for laborers. We are looking to bring on new residents and two new roles (Worship Leader & Discipleship/Missions Pastor) this Fall. Pray for God to raise up the right people to serve in these ways.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael started following Jesus when he was a teenager. Before starting Treasuring Christ Church, Michael served in various roles within the church, including missions, student ministry and college ministry. Michael is married to Emily, and they have three children Amelia, John, and Caroline. Michael loves serving alongside Emily, who oversees Kids Ministry and Women’s Discipleship for Treasuring Christ Church. In addition to hanging out with his family, Michael loves a good cup of Ethiopian coffee, anything with peanut butter, and just about every sport. His greatest desire is to see Jesus treasured above all things and His church established right here in Ann Arbor and to the ends of the earth.