SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH!  I want you to mark that day on your calendar!  It’s going to be a BIG DAY at Coastal!  What is a BIG DAY you ask?  While every Sunday and every series is an opportunity to invite people, a Big Day at Coastal is a strategic all-out congregational push toward a single Sunday for the purpose of breaking the next growth barrier and/or setting an attendance record, in order to reach as many people as possible for Jesus!  We usually have 4-6 Big Days a year: Christmas Eve, Easter, Fall Series Kick-Off, At the Movies Summer Kick-Off, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, New Year Series just to name a few.  

What can I do?  Start praying now.  Take a few minutes every day and pray for your “ONE.”  Pray for the people you and our whole church will be inviting.  You might consider joining me over the next 4 Fridays in a “Friday Fast” where we give up food for 24 hours and focus our thoughts and prayers on lost people in our community and our Big Day.  Start thinking about who you’re going to bring and invite them.  We’ll have specific series Invite Cards available soon, but you can use our “You’re Invited” business cards now.  I’d also like to ask you to give me the names of 1-5 people that you will be personally inviting to church for September 18th.  Respond to this email and give me their names.  Our Pastors, Staff, and Prayer Team will be sent those names to lift them and you up in prayer.  Also, I’d love to receive any updates as you reach out to them and make the “BIG ASK.”  I’ll be asking our entire church to do the same thing over the next several weeks on their Connect Card!

I’m real excited about the new series I’ll be kicking off on September 18th (I know, I say that all the time – but it’s true).  We’re calling it, “A Revolution of Faith!”  It’s a series on the book of Romans!  While I’ve preached many messages over the years FROM the book of Romans, I’ve never preached a series THROUGH the ENTIRE book of Romans.  Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, “Pastor Chris, Romans is LONG, 16 chapters.  It’s going to take FOREVER to get through Romans.”  You’re right, it is long, but that’s why we’re not going to do it all at once.  This Fall we’ll make our way through Romans 1-7.  We’ll take a break during the holidays and the beginning of the new year.  And then our Easter series this coming year will be on Romans 8.  We’ll take another break during the Summer with, “At the Movies” and “Summer Reading” and then some time next year we’ll make our way through chapters 9-11, take another break, and then finish up with chapters 12-16.  So, yes, we will eventually make our way through the entire letter, chapter by chapter, section by section.  It will probably take us a year and a half to two years.

The real question is WHY?  Why the book of Romans?  Well, the book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul is considered by many people to be the greatest letter ever written.  Study of this one letter has been behind almost every major revival/awakening in Christian history (“A Revolution of Faith”).  It was the year 386 A.D. when Aurelius Augustine, one of the great theologians of the early church, was converted while reading Romans. 1200 years later Martin Luther recovered the doctrine of justification by faith from reading Romans, and went on to lead the Protestant Reformation.  While listening to the reading of Luther’s Preface to Romans, a discouraged and distraught man named John Wesley trusted Christ for salvation.  He went on to lead the great evangelical revival of the 18th century.  A tinker named John Bunyan was so inspired by reading Romans as he sat in the Bedford jail that he wrote the immortal Pilgrim’s Progress.  There are many other examples of the power of this remarkable book.  

I also believe that no portion of God’s word is more appropriate for the times in which we live. What times are those? Times of uncertainty and unparalleled moral confusion. Times of recession and financial unrest. Times of international upheaval and spiritual hunger.  People are looking for God, but they don’t know where to find him.  And that’s where the book of Romans comes in. It tells us who God is and how you can find him. It describes in clear and certain terms, the moral dilemma of mankind, and how God moved to meet that need in Jesus.  It lays out the good news that God loves sinners so much that he sent his only Son to die for them.  And it spells out the radical difference Jesus can make in your daily life.  It is the clearest statement of the gospel in the New Testament.  Nowhere is God’s plan of salvation made so plain as in Romans.  

Another reason to tackle Romans is that we’ve grown so much and added so many new people in the last few years, that we need to ground everyone in the great truths of the Bible.  We need deeper roots if we’re going to keep growing bigger.  If you try to grow big without also growing deep, you’ll be like the tree that was blown away in the storm. It looked good in the sunshine, but it wouldn’t last when the rains came.  My goal, however, is not merely to increase your knowledge.  Knowledge is important, but it is never the final purpose of Bible study.  My ultimate goal is that your life, our church, and as a result our community, might be transformed as a result of studying God’s Word.  So . . .start praying, start inviting, and join the REVOLUTION!

Pastor Chris 

    Coffee & Doughnuts with the Vets at Patriot Villas –  TODAYFriday, August 19th, 8:30am-11am.  Meet at Coastal.
    Chair Set-Up
     – Come help set up all the chairs in the auditorium this Saturday (tomorrow), August 20th, at 8am (and then stay for the Extending Branches Emergency Tailgate).
    Extending Branches Emergency Tailgate – Coastal is partnering with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office as they host a community resource fair in West Ashley, on Saturday, August 20th. The resource fair brings together multiple supportive agencies for those who are at-risk for homelessness. Coastal will provide a Tailgate-style lunch to anyone in the community who may be hungry. We meet at Coastal at 9:00 a.m. and we’ll wrap the project up by noon.
    VA Hospitality Project – This team serves at the VA Hospital in Charleston by providing a hospitality cart, greets incoming patients and employees, visits patients, and helps Volunteer Services with small sorting projects.  Tuesday, August 23rd, 8:30am-12noon.  Meet at Coastal.
    Patriot Villas Veterans Tailgate & Game Night –  We will be putting on a Tailgate for the Veterans at Patriot Villas on Thursday, August 25th, 6-8pm.  Meet at Coastal. 
    Lowcountry Orphan Relief –  Lowcountry Orphan Relief provides support services and aid to meet the needs of Lowcountry children identified as at-risk or suffering from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect. Coastal will be serving there, Friday, August 26th, 9:30am-11:30am. Meet at 1850 Truxton Ave in North Charleston.
    Clothing Team –  Our Coastal Clothing Team will be organizing and sorting clothes, Friday, September 2nd, 9am-11am.  Meet at 2952 Old Pond Road on Johns Island.
    Saturday Serve –  The foundation of all of our serving opportunities at Coastal really starts with Saturday Serve – the first Saturday of every month.  The next Saturday Serve is Saturday, September 3rd.  We meet in the Welcome Center/Cafe at 8:30am, project leaders make a “pitch” for their serving opportunity, and then we serve!

    As always, 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. We are GROWING!  As a result of that growth, I need you to help me with 4 things, especially as we prepare for Sunday, September 18th and the Fall.  Here are the 4:  parking, seating, service choice, and volunteering.  Parking– leave our small parking lot out front for guests and new people.  And then truthfully, park as far away as possible.  Park in Oakland’s parking lot (take a right immediately past the Greenway, before you get to Orange Grove).  We’ll be glad to send the Golf Carts that way.  We’ve still got some space available in the field behind the church as well.  That’s a great option for early, first service volunteers.  Seating – sit to the front and center of each section of chairs (come sit on the front rows – I promise we don’t bite).  This makes it so much easier for those with 1st Impressions who are ushering.  Service Choice – our 9:30am service is over 80% capacity.  We can bring in a few more chairs, but not many.  What we really need is for about 50 people to move to the 11:15am service.  We’re not quite ready to add a 3rd service, but all of these measures will help us in the transition.  Which leads me to Volunteering – to meet the needs of a growing church, requires a large and growing number of volunteers (especially Coastal Kidz).  So, if you’re not serving on Sunday mornings, start serving.  One person, one service, once a month, makes a huge IMPACT!  By the way, these are GREAT problems to have!  Keep praying, keep inviting, keep serving and together let’s “make more room for Jesus!”
  3. New to Coastal? Join us in the Chapel or online THIS Sunday, August 21st immediately following the 11:15am service for our next Newcomer’s Reception. Learn more about Coastal, meet staff and key volunteers, and get plugged in. Lunch & childcare (and some fun giveaways) provided. RSVP online or on your Connect Card on Sunday!!
  4. Student Ministry kicks off soon!  On Wednesday, August 24, our Students will come together for food, fellowship, worship, and small groups!  Doors open at 6pm and service is from 6:30-8pm. Our hope is that students are pointed to Jesus in every aspect of our service each and every week. Don’t forget to tell your student to invite friends!
  5. Have you signed up for a LIFE Team yet?  Our LIFE Teams are the volunteers who carry out the mission of Coastal (Coastal Kidz, 1st Impressions, Cafe, Security, Tech, Worship, Prayer, Office, Students, Online Engagement, CARE Team).  If you call Coastal your home, ask yourself this question – what is my ministry and where am I serving on Sunday mornings?  For the month of August, as we move into the Fall, we’re focusing on everyone who calls Coastal home, finding a place to serve on Sunday mornings.  Simply put – there is a place for you at Coastal!  Sunday morning is still the primary way in which new guests get connected to our church.  And to create an environment where those people feel like our welcomed, expected guests in our home, it requires a large and growing volunteer army.  Are you in that army?  This Sunday, you’ll get a LIFE Team Catalog with all the different opportunities to serve.  There will also be signs and sign up lists on our Kiosk for you to check out and sign up.  But why wait?  You can go to our website, check out all the different opportunities to serve, and sign up today! 

    P.S. Interested in officially making the Coastal church family, your church family? Our next Membership Class is Saturday morning, August 27th, 9-11:30am. 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.