Friday’s 5

Dear Coastal,

Don’t you just love Baptism’s at Coastal!  I know I do!  We Baptized another 10 people this past Sunday.  I think that makes 20 so far for 2015!  Our next Baptism will probably be on the Beach!  So be on the lookout for that and let us know if you’d like to participate.

Okay Coastal, I need to “talk shop” with you for a moment.  If you were here this past Sunday, for the 10:15am service, you know what I’m going to talk about.  The service was COMPLETELY FULL!  In fact, we had to bring in chairs.  First of all, that’s a great problem to have.  I’d rather have this problem than the opposite problem any day of the week.  But it is a problem none the less, because people won’t consistently keep coming if they can’t find a seat.  At first it’s exciting, but then it can get annoying, especially for new people.

So here’s what I need you to do.  If it really doesn’t matter to you, please start coming to the 1st or 3rd service (8:45am or 11:45am).  Now, the priority is always come to the service your guests are coming to.  After that, it’s come to the service that enables you to serve/attend.  But if it really doesn’t make any difference whatsoever, “make room for Jesus”, and come to the 1st or 3rd.  Again, this is a great problem to have and one that we are well aware of and are working on.  To quote a line from one of my favorite movies, “I think we’re going to need a bigger boat!”  We do and can’t build it quick enough!

Speaking of our new buidling, I want to thank those of you who continue to give so faithfully to this project!  I hope you’re getting excited!  I also want to challenge those of you who are new to join in.  Pray about it, talk about it with your family, and together make a giving commitment above and beyond your regular giving to the new building.  You can designate your giving with the words, “New Building” or “All In”.  It looks like they will be pouring the concrete foundation next week!  Like I said this past Sunday, the foundation of this new building was laid almost two years ago when a group of people decided to go, “All In” and give sacrificially.  Well it’s not too late to join in the excitement!  We need all of us giving together to see this project to the end!

Here are 5 other things to remember:

  1. Our next Newcomer’s Lunch is Sunday, May 3rd immediately after the 3rd service.  You can sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.  Our Newcomer’s Lunch is a great way for new people to learn more about Coastal, meet other new people and our staff, enjoy a great meal, and discover possible next steps.
  2. On Mother’s Day, May 10th, we are having our next Baby/Child Dedication Service.  If you are interested in participating, please respond to this email or sign up on your Connect Card so we can be prepared.  By the way, we have some really fun stuff planned for Mother’s Day!  You’re not going to want to miss it!
  3. Our LOVE CAN Help A Child Interest/Info Meeting is now scheduled for Saturday, May 16th, 10am-Noon.  This meeting is all about helping to solve the Foster Care problem in Charleston County.  Ther will be discussion/Info concerning adoption, fostering, and support.  Sign up on your Connect Card.
  4. We are now in the process of planning our our 2015 Summer Semester of LIFE Groups!  The Summer Semester is only 4-6 weeks long, between the weeks of June 7th and July 12th.  If you have an idea for a LIFE Group or if you are interested in leading, assisting, or hosting, please let us know soon.  We need all info no later than Friday, May 1st.
  5. Looking for something fun to do for your Elementary Age child (completed 1st-6th grade) this Summer?  Register them for Camp Winshape – the ultimate day camp experience!  June 29th – July 3rd, 7:45am – 5pm, $149 per child.  Register online at winshapecamps.org.

I think that’s it!  Love you Coastal!  This week we continue our LOVE CAN series talking about Patience.  Don’t miss it!  Invite and bring a friend!

Forever and Always All In!

Pastor Chris

Thank You & Other Stuff

Dear Coastal,

WOW!  I feel like we say that a lot around here at Coastal.  And the truth is – we do!  But it’s just that we are amazed at the favor and blessing of God and what He is doing in us and through us these days!  Don’t take that spiritual momentum lightly or for granted – I know I don’t.  Continue to humbly beg God to use you and us together.  Beg Him to draw people to Himself through our ministry.  Invite, love, serve, give, share like it all depended on you.  Pray like it all depends on God.  Walk by faith and trust God for the results!  From Easter Sunday to our 25th Anniversary to 14 people (as of right now) getting baptized this Sunday, it’s all a little overwhelming and amazing!

By the way, speaking of Baptism, if you would like to join in and get baptized this Sunday, we’d love to include you.  Simply respond to this email and let us know.  If you’ve given your life to Jesus, but have not yet been baptized by immersion as a believer, baptism is your next step (you can read more about it here).  It is an outward way of going public with your faith.  Come ready to celebrate!

And speaking of our 25th Anniversary.  I know not all of you are on facebook, so I simply want to paste a thank-you that I posted last week:

“It hasn’t happened very often in my life – I AM SPEECHLESS! I am absolutely humbled and overwhelmed by all of the events of today and this entire week! Coastal, past & present, I love you! I actually leave tomorrow to drive down to Orlando for my Pastor’s Coaching Network meeting. I will be bragging about all of you all week long! They will not be able to shut me up!

“I really don’t know where to begin and I don’t want to leave anyone out – THANK ALL OF YOU! Today was AWESOME! I honestly didn’t know what to expect about today, but it exceeded all of my expectations. I really believe that Jesus was lifted up today, high and clear! I knew in my heart that God was telling me it was time to give thanks for our past, celebrate this milestone, and march forward together. I am so glad we listened to His voice and now I know why it was so important. Today was a real marker. If you’ve been reading with us through the Old Testament, today was a day that we built an altar to God’s faithfulness that will be remembered for generations to come.”

“My face & eyes are literally sore from smiling and crying so much today. I feel like I was nothing but a crying, bawling, ball of emotions all week and especially today. I’m not even sure what I said all day long. And then I came home and just collapsed. Just seeing all the fun, smiling faces, joy, laughter and excitement of today on Facebook and emails from so many is again overwhelming. I can’t thank you enough for how you all loved on me and my family today. The video, the kind words, the surprise visits, the personalized notes, the personalized gifts (I have to single out a couple of quilts), the church gift from all of you, the hugs, oh the hugs – I LOVE YOU!

“Coastal, all of you, all of US, we are all trophies of God’s love, faithfulness and grace. We are all a part of His unfolding plan and story. I hope you saw and heard that loud and clear today. Any thanks or recognition directed toward me and my family, is really just a reflection of Him. The best is truly yet to come and the thought of getting to do what we do together, for His glory, is pure JOY! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! LOVE CAN!”

There is A LOT of activity around here today as we get ready for Student Ministry’s GLOW Weekend!  Pastor Scott tells me that we could have as many as 250 Students and Volunteers representing 8 different churches here tonight & tomorrow.  Tonight’s service is from 8-9pm.  Tomorrow morning the Students leave from our campus at 8:30am to serve Charleston and then come back at 3pm for games (inflatables) and a cookout.  There will be a closing worship service from 6-7pm.  Make sure your 6th-12th Grader is here!

Our next Newcomer’s Lunch is Sunday, May 3rd immediately after the 3rd service.  You can sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.  Our Newcomer’s Lunch is a great way for new people to learn more about Coastal, meet other new people and our staff, enjoy a great meal, and discover possible next steps.

On Mother’s Day, May 10th, we are having our next Baby/Child Dedication Service.  If you are interested in participating, please respond to this email or sign up on your Connect Card so we can be prepared.

I think that’s about it.  Make sure you notice all of the “underground” activity going on for the new building.  We may be pouring the foundation as early as next week!  I can’t thank those of you enough who continue to give so faithfully to the new building and our All In Campaign.  Up to this point you have truly given by faith.  Well, now your faith will soon be made sight!

LOVE CAN!

Pastor Chris

P.S.  It looks like our LOVE CAN Help A Child Interest Meeting (Foster, Adoption, & Support) will be Saturday, May 16th, in the morning.  We will let you know more information as we work out the details.

Coastal Exists To Share & Experience LIFE – the LIFE of Jesus!

Anniversary Sunday!

Dear Coastal,

25 years!  25 YEARS!!  I really can’t believe it!  In some ways, it feels like a long time and such a distant memory.  In other ways, it feels like just yesterday and the blink of eye has passed.  I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been trying to hide it as best I can, but I’ve been an emotional wreck this week – in a good way.  I’ve just been overwhelmed with the faithfulness and goodness of God.  I am the poster child for God using the weak and the foolish.  If He can and will use someone like me, He’ll use anyone!  I think in some Bibles my picture is next to 1 Cor. 1:27, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”  I’ve also had the pleasure to talk to a lot of pepople from “back in the day” this week.  Most of them have moved around the country and won’t be able to come to Charleston this weekend, but it’s been so nice to reconnect.

So bear with me on Sunday.  Give me, Janet, and my family hugs!  Janet and I will probably be crying balls of emotion.  We will have a lot of guests with us on Sunday!  Go out of your way to welcome everyone and make everyone feel at home.  Several different people who have meant a lot to me over the years are speaking on Sunday and then I will speak at the end and wrap things up – no notes, no manuscript, just a few things God has laid on my heart.  My guess is that I will be blubbering through all of it.  In case you don’t hear it loud and clear on Sunday – I LOVE YOU!!  THANK YOU for loving me and my family, putting up with me and my mistakes, following me and my flawed, fumbling leadership, and living the adventure of a lifetime and beyond with me and my family!  I truly believe that I am the most blessed man on the planet!

But hear this loud and clear – the other message that God has impressed so strongly on me these last several weeks and months, and one that I hope to be able to share on Sunday, is that WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED!  He is not finished with me, with you, or with Coastal.  As great as the last 25 years have been, our best days are ahead!  Until He returns or calls me home, I will spend my last breath sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this world!  Let’s lock arms, march forward together, beat down the gates of Hell, and rescue people one life at a time!

Now a few reminders:

  • There will only be one service on Sunday – 10:15am.  Come early.
  • Even though it’s our Anniversary it will be a GREAT opportunity to invite people.  As always at Coastal, the focus will be on God and His love and faithfulness.  We will point people to Jesus!
  • Parking.  Park as far away as possible, leaving the best parking for our guests.  A good place to park will be the New Oakland Elementary School parking lot, just over the greenway take your first right.
  • Seating.  It will probably be crowded.  PLEASE sit as close to the front and close together as possible.
  • Children.  Elementary School children (Coastal Kidz) will be in the service.  We will provide Nursery and Childcare in the building for all other children.  Child Check-in will be just like we did for Easter Sunday.  If your child is in the service, please take responsibility for your child and their behavior.
  • Bugs.  We are treating the fields for ants & mosquitoes, however there is not a lot we can do about gnats.  We will have fans to help keep the air circulating and we will have bug spray.
  • Reception.  Immediately after the service and after you get your children, we will all walk to the ball field out back to another tent for a reception/lunch/party!  There will be great food, fun music, and lots of laughter.  Please stay, have fun, and again, go out of your way to make our guest feel welcome.

I think that’s about it!  I can’t wait to see you, your friends, and some of our old friends this Sunday!  This week’s LOVE CAN theme is LOVE CAN Persevere!  If you look up persevere in the dictionary this is what it says:

“verb:  continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success, persist, continue, carry on, go on, keep on, keep going, struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see/follow something through, keep at it, press on/ahead, not take no for an answer, be tenacious, stand one’s ground, stand fast/firm, hold on, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, stop at nothing, leave no stone unturned, hang on, plug away, stick to one’s guns, stick it out, hang in there.”

I like that!  LOVE CAN Persevere!  LOVE HAS Persevered here at Coastal for 25 years!  And LOVE WILL CONTINUE to Persevere here at Coastal!

LOVE CAN,

Pastor Chris

Come & Celebrate our 25th Anniversary!

Dear Friends & Family of Coastal Community Church,

This Sunday, April 12th, Coastal is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary!  That right – 25 years of serving, loving, and sharing Jesus with our community!  We are having 1 combined service at 10:15am, out front on our campus underneath a huge tent!  We would LOVE for you to come and celebrate with us!  In fact, the theme of our Anniversary Service is LOVE CAN Persevere!

After the service we’re going to have a reception/party on our ball field underneath another tent!  We’ll even have a D.J. & a Dance Floor!  You don’t have to bring a thing!  We’ll have plenty of food for everyone!  Please make plans to come and be a part of our special day!

LOVE CAN!

Pastor Chris

Good Friday & Some Good News!

Dear Coastal,

I’ve got good news on this Good Friday!  If you haven’t already heard, we FINALLY got our full approval from the City of Charleston for our new building plans and were issued our official Building Permit yesterday morning!  Now it’s time to get rolling!  The plumber comes out next week, the electrian after that.  They’ll be working in the ground before we pour concrete.  The steel structure is still on schedule for delivery the very end of April/beginning of May.  There is much to be done between now and then.  Keep the whole process in your prayers.

But the BEST news is that Easter weekend if finally here!  I hope you’re as excited as I am!  You know what to do:

  • Pray!!  Pray for all the people we’re inviting to church.  Pray for me.  Pray for all our volunteers.  Pray for our Worship Team.  Pray for the message.  Pray that people get saved!

  • Invite!!  It’s time.  Have the courage to actually invite some to church with you!  Make the ask!  Use facebook and social media.  Call or send personal invites to people that you know who come to Coastal but you haven’t seen in a while.

  • Warmly Welcome Everyone!!  Everyone is unofficially a part of the First Impressions Team this week!  Smile, talk to people, welcome them, introduce yourself, be helpful and kind. Show people with children where to go.  Our Cafe will be inside as normal.

  • Park!!  Park far away – even at the new Oakland Elementary School parking lot.

  • Volunteer to serve!!  Give Chris Ranew (1st Impressions) 706-941-2044 & Janet Rollins (Children’s Ministry) 843-442-8299 a call and say, “I’m available this service, put me to work!”

  • Seating!!  Under the tent sit close to the front and center of each section.  Make room in the back and on the sides for people as they come in.

Why?  That’s the real important question.  Why pray?  Why invite?  Why reach out?  Why pull out all the stops for Easter Sunday?  Because we believe that people are dead in their sin without Jesus.  Because we believe that LIFE is only found in Jesus.  Because we believe in the power of the resurrection – Easter Sunday, every Sunday, and every day!  Because lost people matter to God and therefore they ought to matter to us!  Because LOVE really CAN change the world – one life at a time!  That’s the why!

I love you!  Can’t wait to see you and your friends on Sunday!

LOVE CAN!

Pastor Chris

P.S.  Consider giving a special “ALL IN” offering on Easter Sunday!  For those of you who are new, “All In” is simply the name of our Giving Campaign for the new buildng.  You can help us build our new building by giving above and beyond your regular giving and designating your gift – “ALL IN” or “new building.”  No gift is too small (or too big for that matter) and every gift counts!  We can’t all give the same amount, but together we can all sacrifice and give something.

Coastal exists to share & experience LIFE – the life of Jesus!

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