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Anderson Hills UMC: Radical Hospitality

Anderson Hills United Methodist Church
Breakthrough Goal Report: Radical Hospitality
April, 2013

Anderson Hills UMC's mission is to glorify God and make disciples for Jesus Christ. We are intentional about developing Christ followers. If we do a lot of serving, but never share our faith, then what good are we doing?

In 2012, we set a breakthrough goal of 90 professions of faith. These are people coming to know Christ for the first time. We based that number on 10% of our average weekend attendance of 900.We made sure at the end of every sermon there was a message 'If you have accepted Christ for the first time, let us know about it so we can help you with your spiritual journey.' We have 'Commit' cards that people can fill out and indicate whether they are making a first-time commitment or renewing a commitment. Our pastors as well as our Stephen Ministers are available at the end of the service for prayer.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we broke our goal of 90 professions of faith...and had 128! More than half of those, were children and teens who took the step to accept Jesus as their Savior.

We had a several big events in 2012 that led to this large number of people accepting Christ for the first time. The first was at the end of our 'Not a Fan' series in April. We asked people to be followers, not fans of Jesus Christ. We had more than 100 people come to the altar that weekend. Many of those were recommitments, but about 30 were first-time commitments. Another event was our 'Disciple Now' for Jr. and Sr. high in November. We had a 3-day youth retreat where teens came to worship. The retreat was led by speaker Dave Edwards and a local Christian rock band. The focus of the weekend was 'Identity Theft' - how the world tries to steal our identity, when it is only found in Jesus. We had about 25 youth make a first time commitment that weekend. We also had youth who came to Christ through our confirmation class, which lasted throughout the school year.

Family Ministry writes their own curriculum, which is tied to the sermon series. At the end of each sermon series, there is an opportunity for the children to accept Jesus into their lives. We use a little ABC booklet where A stands for admit my sin, B - believe Jesus died to forgive my sins and C - choose to accept Jesus' forgiveness and follow Him. If a child makes that commitment we follow up with a letter to their parents explaining what took place and giving them some guidance in how to help their child grow spiritually. We also have Faith Five Classes several times a year to train parents on how to help their children practice faith acts in the home.