Dear Coastal,

Okay, bear with me and let me get this out of the way first – how ’bout them TIGERS!  Woohoo!  National Champions – finally!  I’ll be picking up and framing a copy of this week’s Sports Illustrated with Clemson on the cover.  It will join my framed copy of the 1981 Sports Illustrated in my office.  Hopefully, I won’t have to wait another 35 years to add to the collection.

I stayed up way too late Monday night after the game.  I was so amped up, I couldn’t sleep.  I wanted to watch all the celebrations, all the interviews.  I’m glad I did.  I loved a quote from Coach Dabo Swinney.  He said, “And I told the team, I said, ‘You know you guys, we’ve got a great opportunity to hopefully give a lot of people some hope out there, that greatness is for all of us. It’s not just for the Alabamas, the Ohio States, the Notre Dames, it’s for all of us. Nobody is better than us. You’ve got to believe man, you’ve got to believe.’”  Man I like that.  That’ll preach!  Greatness is for all of us.  You’ve got to believe.

If you were at church this past Sunday then you know that I introduced a year long goal at our church called “The Power of ONE” Campaign.  I preached a message from Luke 15, a passage that we’ve looked at many times here at Coastal.  Jesus tells 3 stories back to back to back to explain His mission and to give a look at the heart of God.  It’s the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son or the Prodigal Son.  In each of these stories something of great value is missing.  At Coastal, we believe that people are either dead in their sin or alive in Christ.  Our goal this year is to see 52 people cross the line of faith and give their lives to Jesus.  52 people who once were lost, become found.  52 people who once were dead in their sin, come alive by the resurrection power of Jesus through the ministry of our church!  In other words, over the course of the year, we want to average at least one person each week getting saved.

And to serve as a visual reminder of our goal and our purpose this year, we had this sign built that spells the word ONE!  In the individual letters of the sign are 52 light bulbs.  Each light bulb represents one person.  We’re going to mount it in our building for everyone to see, and each time someone gives their life to Christ this year, we’re going turn on a light.  After all 52 lights are lit, we’re going to have a huge party – just like in Luke 15!

This Sunday, I begin a new series called “I Will” – not “I Could” or “I Might” or “I Should,” but “I Will!”  The idea for the series comes from the little book by the same title by author Thom Ranier.  The tagline of the book is “Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian.”  Each week we’re going to look at a commitment worth making in 2017.  This Sunday starts with, “I Will Reach My Friends For Christ.”  In some ways it’s a continuation of last weeks message.  In fact, we’ll be leaving out our ONE sign completely lit one more week before we mount it.  But here’s the GREAT NEWS – we already have ONE light to turn on as soon as we mount it!!!!  Last week we had one woman give her life to Christ and she’s already signed up to get baptized at our next baptism!  How AWESOME is that!

Make sure you keep all of our Students in your prayers this weekend!  59 (Students & Volunteers) of them just left for the Strength to Stand Youth Conference in Pigeon Forge, TN.  They will return on Monday night!  Pray for their safety, that they have fun, that they grow together as a group, and most importantly that they grow closer to God.  Let’s pray that at least ONE more light gets turned on because one of our Students gives their life to Christ!

Friday’s 5:

  1. Speaking of out ONE Campaign – join our church, praying once a day, for 1 minute, at 1pm, for 1 person – the Power of ONE!
  2. We finalize our LIFE Group catalog this coming week!  All Group details must be turned in to Julie by Tuesday, January 17th.  LIFE Group Training is Saturday, January 28th.  LIFE Group Sunday is January 29th and the new LIFE Group Semester will start the week of February 12th.
  3. New to Coastal?  Want to learn more about the church and find out how to get connected?  Join us for  the next Newcomer’s Reception, Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 immediately following the 11:15am service in the Welcome Center.  Meet other new people and our staff, enjoy some great desserts and coffee, win some prizes and discover possible next steps.  Sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  4. Interested in offically making Coastal your church home?  Our next Membership Class is Monday, January 23rd, 6-9pm.  Childcare and refreshments provided.  Sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  5. Looking for a place to serve at Coastal?  Don’t want to miss a service?  Enjoy technology and fast on your feet (fingers)?  We’re looking for volunteers in our Tech Booth – specifically with computer (slide presentation), lights, and video.  If you’re slightly tech savvy and have the desire, we’d love to train you!  Respond to this email, contact Christopher (, or let us know on your Connect Card.

Go Tigers!

Pastor Chris

P.S.  Chair set-up this Saturday at 9am!  Love for you to join us!  With 6 or more people it only takes 30 minutes or less!  Great exercise, great service, and great fun!