I love what we do here on Sunday mornings!  I do!  I love the music.  I love watching people come to faith.  Coastal is an exciting place to be.  I don’t understand how you would ever want to miss it.  I love attracting a crowd and sharing the Good News of the Gospel with as many people as possible.  Jesus attracted a crowd.  There’s nothing wrong with large numbers of people.  The early church grew very large, very fast.

But. . . there is one weakness with a crowd.  It’s hard to grow in a crowd.  You don’t live out/walk out your faith in a crowd.  You need community.  You and I were created for community.  Now, at Coastal, what do we use to live out that community?  What do we call them?  LIFE Groups!  And this coming Sunday is LIFE GROUP SUNDAY!  What does that mean?  It means that we will be unveiling our 2021 Fall Semester LIFE Group Catalog and you can start signing up for a Group!

I love our LIFE Groups.  I love the community I’ve experienced over the years in our LIFE Groups.  I love that I have 3 o’clock in the morning friends because of a LIFE Group I’ve been a part of.  I love that I know many of your stories and you know mine because we’ve been in a LIFE Group together over the years.  I love that the first call many people here at Coastal make when they’re in need is their LIFE Group members and leaders – not me.

Notice what the Bible says in Romans 12:5, “Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other and each of us needs all the others.”  We need each other!  So let me just be as straight forward as I can and tell you exactly what I want you to do.  I want everyone here at Coastal to join a LIFE Group!  It’s as simple as that.  I want to challenge you to make the time, re-prioritize your life, and get in a LIFE Group for one semester, one semester, not for life, 10-12 weeks.

I can already hear some of your excuses.  And here is the biggest one of all.  “But Pastor Chris, I just don’t have the time.  I’m too busy.”  Hear this with all the love I can muster.  You have time to do whatever it is you value – tv, social media, sports, hobbies.  It’s just not that important to you yet.

Or here’s another excuse, “But I don’t know those people.”  First of all, no one bites.  But listen, every relationship you currently have, you have because you got out of your comfort zone and met someone.  I’m not saying that everyone in your group will overnight become your best friend.  But it will provide you an opportunity to meet people and put you in the atmosphere where you can develop friends.  After all, that’s what we’re all looking for anyway.  People don’t just want a friendly church, they want friends.

Here’s another excuse, “But people are weird and they have issues.”  Listen, they’re thinking the same thing about you!  Everyone’s got issues.  Everyone’s a wackjob.  And if you think no one’s got issues in your group and no one is a little weird – guess what?  You’re the weird one – haha!

Bottom line, you need it, and it’s worth it.  You can not grow to become the person God intended you to become on your own.  You need other people.  Once you learn something, you have to live it out.  You can learn about love all week, but it gets fleshed out in the context of community, with people.  Patience, kindness, generosity, faith are all lived out in community, in relationships.  At Coastal, LIFE Groups are the primary vehicle of the church being the church – of living out your faith, of care, fellowship, love, prayer, discipleship.  

As always, there are multiple ways to sign up for a LIFE Group, but you only have to sign up one time/one way.  You can sign up online from our website, on your Connect Card (in-person or online), or at the LIFE Group Tables/Sign-up sheets in the Welcome Center.  And this semester, we have the most Groups we’ve ever had – 29 different LIFE Groups – online and/or in-person Groups, activity Groups, study Groups, support Groups, and more!  There is something for EVERYONE!  Unless otherwise indicated, most of Groups begin the week of September 19th and last 8-12 weeks.  Make sure you check out our catalog and start signing up today!

Pastor Chris 

    Don’t forget that on Sunday, September 5th (Labor Day Weekend), there will only be ONE in-person service – the 9:30am service.  There will be NO 11:15am service in-person.
  2. Have you signed up for a LIFE Team yet?  Our LIFE Teams are the volunteers who carry out the mission of Coastal.  Several of our LIFE Teams are having Interest & Information Meetings as we head into the Fall and the opening of our new facility.  The First Impressions Team is having a meeting on Monday, August 30 at 7pm, at the church.  For more information on our First Impressions Team, reach out to Chris Ranew at chrisranew@gmail.com, or call/text him at 706-941-2044.  (For information about serving in Coastal Kidz, see below.)  To see a complete list of our LIFE Teams go to our website and sign up today!
    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, TODAY Friday, August 27th, 10am-12noon. Meet at 1850 Truxton Ave in North Charleston.
    Tricounty Family Ministries –  We will be assisting with their Emergency Grocery Distribution, Wednesday, September 1st, 9am-1pm.  Meet at: 2105 Cosgrove Ave. North Charleston.
    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 4th.  We meet in the Welcome Center/Cafe at 8:30am, project leaders make a “pitch” for their serving opportunity, and then we serve!  Make plans NOW to be there!
    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.
  4. Building Update:  I don’t know if you realize this or not, but it was almost a year ago that demolition began on our old building in preparation for construction!  It’s been one year of setting up and breaking down Coastal Kidz across the street, one year of being reminded of just how flexible our Staff truly is, one year of seeng miracles because of your generosity!  Coastal we’re getting close.  Right now we’re hoping to open our new facility sometime between mid and late September.  Trust me, as soon as we know, you will know!  AND we will celebrate!  We’ll have an Open House and a Grand Opening.  Until then, keep praying, keep giving, keep inviting, keep loving, and keep serving!  And if you’d like a behind the scenes tour, drop by the church any time!
  5. Interested in serving in our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry (Birth-5th Grade)?  Go to our website, check out all the different volunteer positions, and sign up today!  It’s that easy!   There will be a Training on Sunday, September 12th, 5pm-6:30pm.  We will meet in the worship auditorium, but we will not have childcare because we don’t have a place for it yet.  This will be a great time for us to pray, plan, and prepare for all that God has in store for Coastal KIdz as we move into our new facility hopefully in September. Plus you can get a sneek peek at our new facility! This is also a great time for returning or new volunteers to get connected in Children’s Ministry at Coastal.  If you have any questions or to RSVP for a Training time, please reach out to Janet Rollins at janet@coastalcommunitychurch.org or 843-442-8299.
  6. Waves Student Ministry (6th-12th Grade) is back and kicking off its Fall semester on Wednesday, September 8th!  Doors will open at 6pm and all students 6th-12th grade are invited to come out and join in a night of fellowship and growth from 6pm-8pm.  Food, games, worship, a Biblical message and small groups are all part of a Wednesday night at Waves Student Ministry, so invite and bring a friend!  For any questions, reach out to Pastor Ryan Spell at ryan@coastalcommunitychurch.org.

    P.S. Fall LIFE Group Leader Training!  Attention all LIFE Group Leaders, Assistants, and Hosts:  If you did not already attend the earlier Training Session this week, make sure you’re at the Training on Saturday (TOMORROW), August 28th, 9am-10:30am (online or in-person).  Fall LIFE Groups kick off the week of September 19th.  If you have any questions you can also reach out to Pastor Scott Huff at scotth@coastalcommunitychurch.org.