Several weeks ago a family member suggested that I purchase a finger pulse oximeter. This tiny gadget measures your heart rate and the oxygen level in your blood. Both of these are important statistics regarding your physical health.

At the turn of the year we chose to consider a similar measurement of church health. One might consider this taking the church’s pulse and spiritual saturation level.

The objective standard would be the mission Christ left for us as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20. Here Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Within this text are several facets of the overall mission of the church. The first would be making disciples of all nations. This requires the church to extend its activity and impact beyond the church building and even the local community. We are excited for the coming year as our church family is committed to increase our commitment to sending and supporting missionaries both in America and throughout the world.

The second facet is an extension of the first. We are not simply called to evangelism but to then disciple these babes in Christ into mature believers. Each week we see Christians both young and old who love to gather and grow in their faith. We see children learning of the love of God and how to honor Jesus through thoughts, words and actions. We see teens and young adults growing the character qualities of Jesus. And we see older saints continuing to grow in their faith and practice.

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Jesus also mentioned baptism into the church. So many today are reluctant to commit to the regular gathering of believers. Our faith is a personal choice but it was never meant to be practiced in isolation. We love gathering together for worship, teaching and prayer. God is moving in these last days and we need the encouragement and accountability found in the local church.

The final facet of our church pulse is taken from the things Jesus taught us to obey. Jesus came to seek and save the lost but He never turned his back on the tangible needs of people. The church must be a place where the love of Christ is demonstrated through acts of compassion.

We are thrilled each month as dozens of volunteers gather and distribute hundreds of “shares” at the monthly Ruby’s Pantry Food Distribution. Plan to pick up your share on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Distribution typical runs from 3:30-5 p.m.

We are putting the final touches on the wonderful facility God has provided. Perhaps you haven’t found a place to worship and connect. Our community is home to many healthy churches. I’m certain you fit in one of them.

As we enter this new year you might also have noticed a change in our online presence. This past summer our congregation chose to embrace a new name and a renewed vision. We are New Life Community Church, grounded in God’s Word and alive in His Spirit. Consider joining us in person or online.

Have a happy, healthy and blessed new year.

Tim Walker is pastor at New Life Community Church, formerly Faith Assembly of God in Pine River.