Dear Coastal,

I hope you’re enjoying this series on “Joy” through the book of Philippians!  For those of you who are fasting, again, you might consider reading through and even memorizing certain verses in Philippians.  This week we’ll be in Philippians 2:1-8.  Paul says, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”  Joy comes from unity.  Yes, we did just get finished with a series on unity, but here again the Bible says that joy coms through unity in relationships.  Don’t miss this Sunday as we talk about how that happens!

Speaking of Sunday, did you notice how many people were in church this past week?  Our attendance was 567!  I think that is our largest “non-special day” (series kick-off, Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day)!  But then again, every Sunday is special at Coastal!  Easter is going to be CRAZY!  Easter Sunday also marks one year since we moved into our new building!  The time is NOW to start planting seeds and inviting friends, family, and co-workers.  Invite them now and then next week you can follow up with some “invite tools” we’ll have – postcards, posters, yard signs.

I know that I regularly ask you guys to consider volunteering to help set-up our chairs each Saturday morning at 9am (yes – we’d love for YOU to join us tomorrow).  Well, on Thursday, April 13th at 7pm, I want to invite you to something a little different.  We’re calling it, “Chairs, Prayers, & Pizza!”  Yes, we will be setting up the chairs in our auditorium.  Actually, we’ll be bringing in and setting up EXTRA chairs from our container – over 500 chairs for Easter!  And then for those who would like to participate, we want to invite you and your family to walk through our building on a little guided prayer walk.  We’ll be praying over our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry, our staff & volunteers, our outreach, the ONE in our lives that we’re all inviting, and not just for our attendance on Easter but for people to get saved and give their life to Jesus.  Some of you might even consider walking up and down the aisles and praying for those who will be in attendance.  Childcare will not be provided, but if your children are old enough to partcipate, we’d love for you to bring your entire family.  And yes, at the end, we will provide pizza!  It’s our hope that it will be a powerful night of prayer and ministry!

On Big Days like Easter Sunday, we make an intentional investment in marketing and advertising – mailings, yard signs, etc.  Yes, we consider marketing & advertising an investment.  In fact, many of you are at Coastal today because of that investment!  There are only 3 groups of people in any given market.  One – the people currently using your product, going to your restaurant, attending your church, etc.  Two – all the people those people know and interact with.  And three – everybody else!  We use mailings, invite cards, billboards, yard signs, posters, and any other form of adverstising basically for two reasons.  First, to provide “ground cover” and help you reach the people you know (Group 2).  And secondly, to plant a seed and try to reach everyone else (Group 3)!

I share all of that “insider information” with you for a few reasons.  As always, never forget that church is not about you or me. It’s about reaching others!  That’s our mission!  That’s our calling!  And we will do anything short of sin to reach people for Christ.  I also want to remind you to pray!  Don’t just pray for all the people YOU will be inviting to church, pray for EVERYONE who will be getting an invitation!  This Easter we will be mailing out a large postcard to over 67,000 homes!  I also, want to challenge you to give generously and sacrifically.  Each Easter we invest around $10,000 on advertising.  I’m asking you to help pay for that investment in the Kingdom.  Leading up to Easter or on Easter Sunday bring a special Easter Offering above and beyond your regular giving.  You can simply designate your gift, “Easter.”  You can even give to the Easter Offering through TEXTing.  Text any amount (space) and then the word Easter to our giving number (843-277-8337).  One of the 28 lights on our ONE sign is for a man who was origninally invited to our church through our Easter Outreach 4 years ago!  How many seeds will we plant and how many lights will we turn on this Easter?

Friday’s 5:

  1. Easter Sunday is April 16th – just one month away!  We’ll be having 3 services – 8am (not exactly a “Sunrise Service” – but pretty early for some of you), 9:30am and 11:15am.  Basically we’re adding the 8am service.  Our mantra is come to which ever service you have guests coming to.  If it doesn’t matter, come to the 8am or 11:15am.  Start inviting now!  Leading up to Easter, we’ll have several tools for you to use to invite people and help us spread the word – yard signs, posters, invite cards!
  2. New to Coastal?  Want to learn more about the church and find out how to get connected?  Join us this Sunday, March 26th, for the next Newcomer’s Reception, immediately following the 11:15am service in the Welcome Center.  Meet other new people and our staff, enjoy a slice of pizza, and discover possible next steps.  Sign up online or respond to this email.
  3. Interested in offically making Coastal your church home?  Our next Membership Class is next Saturday, April 1st (no fooling), 9am-12noon.  Childcare and refreshments provided.  Sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  4. A Missions Trip to Peru is in the planning stages!  Tentative dates are July 31 – August 8.  Please indicate on your Connect Card or respond to this email, if you are interested in going!
  5. Interested in getting Baptized?  Our next Baptism Service will be Sunday, April 23rd (the Sunday after Easter) in both services!  Sign up on your Connect Card or on our website and indicate which service you will attend.   Baptism is a great celebration at Coastal!  Use your Baptism as an opportunity to invite and bring friends, family, neighbors and co-workers!

Filled With JOY!

Pastor Chris