Dear Church Family and Friends of Springs of Grace,
Grace and peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Over the past few years, I have enjoyed and benefited from the preaching of Mika Edmondson, pastor of New Cities Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Each week, Mika begins his sermon by enthusiastically asking: “New Cities, are you ready for the gospel?”
As we approach Commitment Sunday (4/7) where we will seek to take an offering to cover the expenses of our intern ministry and extra summer outreaches, I want to shout to you – Springs of Grace/One Hope – ARE YOU READY FOR THE GOSPEL? What we need over and over again, and what our city needs over and over again – is to hear and see the gospel of God in Jesus Christ lived out by us.
These are exciting times, with the renovation of the Rose Bowl, our pursuit of expanding our leadership team, and God’s faithfulness to bring people week after week to worship together with and to seek to prove out the glory of God in His gospel through the way we love and serve one another. While our nation seems more fiercely divided and argumentative than I can ever remember it being before, and a new election cycle is likely to amp up that hostile rhetoric even more, I am convinced that we, as a church, are in the best place to demonstrably live out the difference the gospel is making in our lives. The gospel brings together people from different races, cultures, social and economic backgrounds to live in unity and peace and joyful love of one another because of what Jesus has done for us.
I want to ask you to pray with us over the next couple of weeks for two things. First, Sunday, April 7th, we will take a special offering that will go towards our summer ministry. We don’t do this often. We hope people will give willingly and joyfully and secretly as each one is led by the Lord. In 2 Corinthians 8:9 we read this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” It is our prayer that the example of the Lord Jesus and what He has done for us will give us hearts of generosity and a desire to give more; not because it is in any way required but because our love demands it.
We want you as our church family and friends to be clear: we will never sell the gospel. We will continue to urge you to give in secret, and we will trust the Lord to supply the needs of His body, including the special efforts of the summer.
Over the past few years, medical caregivers have discovered the tremendous impact that Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Community Environments create on health, education, family life and life expectancy (among other things). Our ministry efforts in our neighborhood have been striving to provide gospel buffers that help shield children from the negative impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and continue to engage our community to develop gospel strategies to change the Adverse Community Environments in our neighborhood. The leadership development program through our internship program is an exciting and important part of those gospel efforts.
We hope to bring in 12-20 college students this summer, giving them the opportunity to grow in their relationship with God as they live alongside other Christians pursuing hard after the Lord and alongside of our staff and church family as we seek to love and serve our community and church. As they work hard and study hard, they will get the opportunities to observe and facilitate ministry to children and families who are experiencing ongoing trauma and to learn about how the gospel brings hope into situations that seem hopeless.
Please spread the word about interning to those you know who might be good candidates. Anyone can begin the process by applying atwww.onehopetulsa.com. We have some incredible applicants but are extending the application deadline a couple of weeks to fill a few more openings. Please pray that God will give us the right people for the summer internship. We are asking you to pray with us for $40,000 to support the summer ministry. This is in addition to our normal budget needs and we understand that can seem like a staggering amount for what is a pretty small group of people, but we believe the Lord has placed these ministries before us and it seems right to pursue Him to supply the means to carry them out.
I want us to give out of a response to the love God has shown us. I have seen the tremendous fruit of the intern ministry, and I am asking the Lord to let my family give towards it. Please ask the Lord what you should give and who you should share this need with. It may well be that the Lord would not have you give to this special offering or share the need with others at all. He may have you express your love for Him and this church in other ways. That’s fine! We just want you to pray with us and give if and as the Lord enables you to give. You can give the Sunday of April 7th (everything that is given that Sunday, unless otherwise noted, will go towards the summer ministry), or you can make a commitment to give over the next few weeks towards this offering. There will be clear directions as to how you can give to the summer ministry online at www.onehopetulsa.com or www.springsofgrace.church. You need to understand that this summer ministry need is in addition to our regular weekly needs for ministry so pray and ask the Lord if He would have you give extra for the summer ministry.
Secondly, over the next eight months we are asking each of you in our Springs of Grace family to join us in a prayer for laborers to join the ministry at Springs. We are very grateful to the Lord for the people and gifts He is using to build His church here and we trust His wise leadership. Would you pray for God to bring additional people who would join us in who and what we believe God has called us to at Springs of Grace? Would you commit or renew your commitment to ask the Lord to enable you to reach at least one family or individual over the next eight months who would come and join in the ministry here?
One part of this is a matter of regular prayer to ask the Lord to send more laborers to this ministry. Many of you are here as a direct answer to this type of prayer by others over the past years! Hopefully, the Lord would see fit to reach more than one family through some of us, but if each family or individual would reach one other family or individual by the start of 2020, this body would be in an even greater position to pursue our vision of being the church God has called us to be – people who have been thrilled by the gospel.
There is much on our heart, and we feel right in asking you to join us in praying for laborers for this mission. It is my desire for you to prayerfully make a commitment before the Lord to pray for laborers. This is no small thing. Perhaps you have made this commitment in the past and it has slipped from your mind. This would be a great time to renew this commitment. On Sunday, April 7th you’ll be given the opportunity to make or renew this commitment.
Please join us in these two great prayers as we continue seeking to be a church that collectively puts on display the perfections of Christ.
Springs of Grace – ARE YOU READY FOR THE GOSPEL?
On behalf of all the elders
Doug Fry, Jared McCoy