“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
The end of a year provides a great time to “remember” all our God has done. As I reflect back on 2017, here are my Top 17 spiritual highlights. Maybe some of these will spark some spiritual highlights for you. It was an amazing year! Praise God!
- Baptisms – Seeing people make this public commitment to Christ will always be at the top of my spiritual highlight list. I’m so thankful to see many being baptized in Christ this year. Parents baptizing their children, friends baptizing friends and Small Group leaders baptizing those they have been discipling. This is truly Matthew 28:18-20. Praise God!
- Belmont Heights – As a church, we have been praying about launching a campus in downtown Nashville, and God did immeasurably more than we could imagine. I’m excited for all the people who will be reached for Christ through Rolling Hills Belmont Heights.
- Lisa going to Moldova – This was Lisa, my amazing wife’s first mission trip to Moldova. It was so awesome to hear about her experience through Justice & Mercy International. Her tears, smiles and stories about the precious children said it all. Our God is awesome!
- Grace baptizing her friend – Baptizing your own daughter is amazing, but then having the opportunity this year to see her, with her Small Group leader, baptize one of her friends was awesome! I pray my kids become witnesses for Christ and lead many to Him!
- Easter – Every year, Easter will make my Top 10 (or Top 17 in this case) spiritual highlight list, but this year was extra special. So many people worshipping, being baptized and celebrating our Risen Savior at Rolling Hills at Easter. Praise be to our great God!
- Men’s Leadership Network – I love seeing men grow stronger in their walk with the Lord because they are the spiritual leaders in their homes, workplaces and community. This year we had such a strong line-up of godly men and awesome spiritual growth. Check out the MLN website to catch up on all the great interviews.
- Moldova’s first Pastor’s Conference – Through Justice & Mercy International, we hosted our first ever Pastor’s Conference in Moldova. We had 27 pastors and their wives. These men and women are amazing servants of Christ. It was so awesome to hear their stories (some were even in prison for Christ under Communism!) and to encourage them in their ministry with the orphans in their own country.
- RH Summer Camp – All of my kids had the opportunity to join hundreds of other elementary, middle school and high school students at Rolling Hills Summer Camp. This is a spiritual highlight as we see the next generation being raised up in Christ! Love it! And, great job to our Rolling Hills Family Ministry Team each and every week!
- Amazon Pastor Conference Team – Every year, we host our JMI Pastor’s Conference in the Amazon. This year’s team was amazing! Mike Minter, David Shedd, Kelly Minter, Angela Thomas Pharr, Jorge Mhondero, Mary Katharine Hunt, Harold & Regina Pinto, Samuel Santos, Wayne Williams and others. Wow! How awesome to serve our God with such incredible servants of Christ and friends.
- Transitional Living Graduation in Moldova – Wow! Being in Moldova and seeing these children, many who grew up in the orphanages, graduating from our Justice & Mercy International Transitional Living Home left me in tears and speechless. These are incredible young men and women of God. Through JMI, they have come to know Christ, be baptized, learn English, further their education and even get jobs. Life-change! Yes!
- Daddy Daughter Ball – I love my girls! I love being their dad. The Daddy Daughter Ball is always a highlight, and I have a date night with them. Dancing with my three girls is a joy, a privilege and helps me to know God more as Father. He loves us so much more!
- Community Group – It is awesome to see people grow in their faith. Our Community Group has been a place where we saw marriages strengthened, parents baptizing their children, and people growing deeper in their faith journey. This is discipleship.
- Nolensville – Our Rolling Hills Nolensville campus is going great. This year, through the leadership of Jason Hale, David Curtis, Mark Ahlberg, Andrew Piland and more, I truly saw God working in a community. So many people now at our Nolensville campus live in Nolensville. God is at work in Nolensville through His church.
- New Men’s Group – Launched a new Men’s Group on Wednesday mornings this year, and wow – how incredible! I’m so thankful for these amazing men and the journey we are on together in Christ. God will use these guys in a mighty way to impact the world!
- Yosemite – I feel so close to God in His creation. When we took the family to Yosemite National Park this year, I was simply in awe. The beauty and glory of God was on display. I am so thankful to know and serve a God who is so creative. Can’t wait for heaven!
- RH Staff Team – This year marked 10 years of serving our God together with Nic Allen, Steve Davis & Laura Chapman! I love these brothers and sister in Christ. Plus, God brought new team members like Eric Rojas and more. Wow! What a Team our God is assembling. I’m so thankful for these gifted, passionate, talented leaders & servants.
- Wrapping Station – Every year our church sets up a Wrapping Station in the Cool Springs mall where we wrap gifts for free. This is a great opportunity to meet people in our community – many who do not know Jesus. I love seeing our people pray with others in the mall, hand out Bibles and have spiritual conversations. God showed up in the mall!
There are so many more spiritual highlights, but these are my top 17. I am so thankful to God for an amazing year, and I am so excited about what is to come. Our God is not finished with any of us yet. We know that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Praise God for what He has done, and just know that the best is still to come!
What are your spiritual highlights for 2017? What did you see God do in your life? I encourage you to write them down. It is important to recognize and remember God’s blessings because it gives you confidence as you go into the New Year. God is with you and for you! Give Him the glory and live your life for Him!
Praise God for 2017, and may 2018 be your best year yet!