Happy New Year everyone – well almost!  2022 is just about here!  But guess what?  Jesus is still on the throne, God is still in control, and our mission is still the same – “to share and experience the LIFE and LOVE of Jesus with Charleston and the world!” 

I sincerely hope you and your family have had a wonderful Christmas!  And let me say how awesome Christmas Eve was at Coastal, both in-person and online!  I want to thank all of our volunteers who served so joyfully!  We could not do what we do without you!  I especially want to thank all of our Tech Team & Worship Team who came very early and were here for all 3 services!  There is just something special about lighting candles and worshipping together.

For those of you who have had some time off from work this week, I hope you’ve been able to rest, refresh and enjoy spending time with family.  This is a great time of the year to reflect on 2021 (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and dream about 2022.  One great way to do that is to ask questions.  Dorothy Grooms (author, motivational speaker) once said, “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself.”  Here’s a few to get you started:

1. Am I closer to God today than I was on Jan 1, 2021?
2. What is my spiritual growth plan for 2022?
3. What drained me emotionally in 2021? 
4. What fills me emotionally?
5. Is there anyone whose forgiveness I need to seek or forgiveness I need to give?
6. Where is the clutter in my life?
7. Would I rate my marriage a 10? Would my spouse (you might want to ask over a nice dinner)? If it’s not a 10 ask this question, “What would it take in 2022 to make it a 10?”
8. Have I scheduled my date nights for January?
9. How much do I weigh? Is that OK?
10. Do I have a Physical/Mammogram scheduled between now and March 31?
11. What’s my major physical focus area for 2022?
12. Are my finances in order?
13. Do I have debt beyond my mortgage?
14. What’s my next step in my giving?
15. How am I growing as a leader?
16. What are my reading goals for 2022?
17. What caused me the most stress in 2021?
18. How am I going to fix that in 2022?
19. What am I pretending NOT to know?
20. What is my calling?  

You see, at some point in all of our lives, we’ve all heard or said this widely accepted saying, “Experience is the best teacher.”  But guess what?  It’s a myth!  It’s just not true.  Experience is not the best teacher.  EVALUATED experience is the best teacher!  And one way to evaluate and learn from your experiences is to ask and answer the right questions.  I’m sure many of you have a love/hate relationships with resolutions.  I get it.  I prefer the word goals.  Over the next several days, I would encourage you to evaluate this past year and set some goals for 2022.  There is tremendous power in simply writing them down and then sharing them with someone else.  I truly believe that 2022 is going to be a great year at Coastal!  

And as you’re praying about goals and changes you want to make in 2022, can I encourage you to include making Coastal a priority?  Jesus called the church His Body, His Bride.  Jesus died for the church.  Jesus started the church.  The church is the Family of God and the only thing that will last on into eternity.  The church is the hope of the world, and when done right, there is nothing greater or more powerful than the local church.  However, there is no perfect church – because the church is made up of people, you and me, and there are no perfect people.  Church attendance/involvement is just like any other habit – it’s easy to make excuses and get out of the habit (especially if you’re trying to stay engaged online).  So, my advice, make a commitment and push through.  If it’s been a while, get back in the habit this year.  If you already attend regularly, maybe it’s time you started serving.  Maybe this is the semester that you join a LIFE Group.  How does your giving reflect your commitment to the church?  Is it consistent?  Generous?  Maybe this is the year you officially become a Member of Coastal.  Our next Membership Class is Monday night, January 24th, 6-8:30pm.  And how about this – invite and bring someone with you to church (again, in-person OR online)!  You never know the power of a simple invitation.

Don’t forget that we’re only having ONE IN-PERSON SERVICE this Sunday, January 2nd at 9:30am (no 11:15am in-person service)!  However, as always, you can watch all of our services (9:30am, 11:15am, and 6pm) on our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, or at https://coastalcommchurch.churchonline.org.  

Happy New Year!
Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

    Saturday Serve –  There will be NO Saturday Serve on New Year’s Day, Saturday, January 1st.
    Neighbors Together Grocery Distribution –  We will be assisting with their Emergency Grocery Distribution, Wednesday, January 5th, 9:45am-12:30pm.  Meet at: 2105 Cosgrove Ave. North Charleston.
    PINK House –  The PINK House is a community center in the Ardmore subdivision in West Ashley.  We are going to be putting on a community Tailgate Party, Clothing Distribution, on Saturday, January 8th, 10am-1pm. Meet at the church at 10:00AM.
    Soldier’s Angels – We’ll be helping with the Veteran’s Mobile Food Distribution, Tuesday, January 11th, 8am-1pm.  Meet at 1113 Sam Rittenburg Blvd. (The Elks Lodge).
    Clothing Team –  Our Coastal Clothing Team will be organizing and sorting clothes Friday, January 14th, 9:30am-11:30am.  Meet at 2952 Old Pond Road on Johns Island.
    If you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday or sign up now on our website.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613.
  2. Only 2 weeks left to give toward our 9th Annual Christmas Offering!   Our goal is $125,000!  Now through the second Sunday of the New Year, January 9th (2 more weeks), we are encouraging our entire Coastal family to give above and beyond their regular tithes and offering to this year’s Christmas Offering.  To give, all you have to do is designate your gift “Christmas” on your check, offering envelope, card swiping “description”, online through Paypal, or TEXTing (843-277-8337).  You can give your gift during these 2 weeks at any of our regular Sunday morning services or anytime through TEXTing, our website, or our App.    With this year’s offering we are purchasing a second box truck and remodeling our old auditorium (turning it into a Chapel). 
  3. We’re excited to announce that starting January 1st, 2022 we’re going to be reading through the Bible together this year at Coastal!  We’ll be following the One Year Bible reading plan (a daily reading of the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms & Proverbs).  We’ll have a limited number of One Year Bibles for purchase at the church ($10) if you’d like a hard copy, or you can purchase them online.  You can also simply choose the One Year Bible reading plan through the YouVersion app or Bible.com.  You can sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday, and we’ll add you to an email list for regular encouragement and Study notes throughout the year!  If you’ve never read through the Bible, this would be a great way to get started! 
  4. SPRING LIFE GROUP LEADERS! If you are interested in Leading, Co-Leading, or Hosting a Spring 2022 LIFE Group in-person or online, sign up on your Connect Card.  For more details or to answer any of your questions, please reach out to Pastor Scott Huff at scotth@coastalcommunitychurch.org.  There is a LIFE Group Leader Training on Saturday, January 8th at 9am or Monday, January 10th at 6:30pm.
  5. Interested in officially making the Coastal church family, your church family? Our next Membership Class is Monday night, January 24th, 6-8:30pm. You can respond to this email, sign up on our website, or sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday.  You can join us either in-person or online through Zoom.

    P.S. Our WAVES Student Ministry (6th-12th Grade) resumes on Wednesday night, January 12th, 6pm-8pm.  Make sure your Student is there for a night of Food, Games, Groups, Worship, & a Message!  As always, invite and bring friends!  Also, if you would like to help pay for a scholarship for one of our Students to go to the Winter Retreat (January 15th-17th in Pigeon Forge, TN), the full cost is $225.  You can pay any amount using the keyword “winter retreat.”  You can use Venmo @coastalcommunitychurchchs or texting any amount to 843-277-8337 (ex. “225.00 winter retreat”) and following the prompts. If you have any questions about Student Ministry, reach out to Pastor Scott Huff, 859-230-5129.