Looking Back . . .
2020 was certainly a year we had not expected, but we wanted to spend time sharing God’s faithfulness to us through it. Certainly, many of us found ourselves weary at some point. Even in our own church family, we’ve had people suffer physically from COVID and lose their jobs due to COVID, while others we know or are connected to have even lost their lives.
We came into 2020 with a lot of momentum and, though it was unexpected, upended, and significantly different, we ended 2020 with optimism about what is to come.
Growth out the Gate, then COVID
January to March 2020 began with our average attendance on Sundays at 155. This amount was up from 128 people the same period prior (a 21% increase). We had begun plans on how to increase our kids spaces with a new building and were investigating funding opportunities.
By the end of March, as everyone knows, we had stopped in-person services. Everyone was scrambling to figure out COVID, and we were all trying to make the best decisions we could. After restarting our services in June and quickly pausing again, we’ve been going since September. We ended the year with an average of 80 between our indoor and outdoor options and another, unknown portion watching online.
“The year of 2020 was hard emotionally, mentally and spiritually, but through God’s grace and trusting in Him I found opportunities to become a part of the body of Christ.”—2020 New Member
By the Numbers: Groups, Membership, and Baptisms*
As people switched to Zoom meetings and other groups took time off, it was difficult to know precise engagement. Both Community Groups and Discipleship Groups were affected but D-Groups held a little steadier. Membership class happened in person at the beginning of the year, and then we had a second class over Zoom. We are grateful people continued to join Genesis. Further, we were still able to baptize four people in November 2020.
|Community Groups||70 people connected to 7 groups||80 people connected 6 groups||Ended year with six groups|
|D-Groups||No Groups||23 people connected to 6 groups||43 people connected to 11 groups|
“D-group provided a wonderful atmosphere where I not only got to gain new and closer friendships but also was held accountable in my spiritual disciplines, resulting in a consistently growing walk with the Lord in 2020. Those two aspects, relationships with other men and relationship with God, are what make D-groups such a blessing and benefit!” — 2020 D-Group member
“I don’t know exactly when I believed in Jesus, but I know that I believe in Him. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for us and rose from the dead to take away our sins.”—Baptism testimony
A Flip to Live Streaming
During the spring and into summer we changed our sanctuary around to accommodate regular live streaming. We started with a phone upstairs and now have an entirely new accommodation to keep live streaming going. In fact, several families who first found us online have started attending Genesis. Services are archived on our YouTube Channel.
“Looking back on how 2020 has affected our lives, and relying on the sufficiency of God in all things, one must take pause and appreciate the blessing that comes from a church family like we have at Genesis. We can stand, ready to glorify God come what may.” — 2020 New Member
Grace in Giving**
2020 was the best year of giving that we’ve had. We anticipated a deficit and adjusted our budget mid-year accordingly, but are grateful for the increase. We also made a switch to Planning Center for our giving, which has made contributing easier.
You Might’ve Forgotten . . .
- Missions Survey: At the beginning of the year we asked you to take a survey regarding missions engagement. After debriefing the results of that survey, we did not feel like moving ahead with further congregational changes based off of that survey would be beneficial.
- Building Plans: In a member Zoom call, we shared drawings of a new kids facility. We still want to have a better facility for kids but did not move forward when the pandemic hit and don’t currently have a restart time to consider facility additions.
Looking Ahead in 2021
- 2021 Budget: We approved a 2021 budget of $289,000. It is a 10% increase over 2020’s budget, but for good reason.
- Here to stay: Matt B. spent a portion of the end of last year in prayer over his long-term desires for ministry. During that time he was convinced that he should remain in full-time ministry and the elders gladly agreed with that plan and are happy to have Matt continue to have his full-time focus on Genesis. He’ll be expanding some of his influence into developing our children and youth ministries.
- Refinance: We still intend to refinance our loan and get better terms. We hope to do this in the first six months of 2021.
- D-Groups: We are starting out the year with a new set of D-groups and some new D-group leaders. Pray for fruit in these new gatherings.
- Community Group Leadership: Pray for our new CG leaders to grow into their role and also that others would find connection in our church community.
My first year involved in a D-group at Genesis was a year of massive growth in my faith. Not only was it a 100-fold investment to commit to remain in the Word consistently, and to memorize larger chucks of Scripture than I ever thought I was capable of…but the time spent with other women in this capacity was a true gift. We poured into each other, encouraged and challenged each other, and prayed hard for all our needs and concerns. The Lord blessed our time together and I’m so thankful for it. — 2020 D-Group Member
When we look back on the year, we are grateful. It did not go as planned, there were things we certainly would not have signed up for, but we still recognize that God was and is faithful to us. We enter into 2021 with continued (and, in some ways, renewed) enthusiasm for what is happening at Genesis as we continue to make Jesus know—by his grace, and for his glory.
*Comments on Numbers: Numbers are sometimes a moving target. We do everything we can to report them accurately but know there might be some error. When possible, we report on the conservative side so as not to pad numbers to make us feel better. “Connected” to community groups means that they attended during some point in the year, but might not be regularly attending. (We used this because it helps keep some consistency with the 2020 roller coaster.) 2020 Community Group numbers were harder to measure with groups meeting inconsistently. We had some changes as groups merged and we are starting 2021 with the same number of groups, but new leadership in two of the groups. D-Group numbers for 2021 look similar to 2020 but with more new leaders and co-leaders. Membership numbers jumped in 2019 as we brought many regular attenders who had been here for several years through the member process. The year 2020 brought some membership churn as people joined and others moved to other parts of the city or changed membership.
**Comments on Income: Numbers don’t break out small amounts of event registration expenses received. 2020 general numbers include donated bank transaction fees, Amazon Smile, and interest earned—all totaling $542.27. The 2020 amount does not include the CARES Act funds we received mid-year and should be completely forgiven by mid-year 2021 ($28,100). With the end-of-year increase of donations, we were able to purchase a great-quality soundboard from a sister church in the area that significantly improves the quality and reliability of our sound system. The larger amount of expenditures for 2020 includes not only the soundboard but also support for live stream costs and the Christmas love offering. All in all, 2020 saw $365,767.20 in deposits.