As I write this first blog of the new year, I do so having recently read about the most memorable events in the U.S. in 2017. There have been many, from a new president, to an unusually active hurricane season, to the total solar eclipse. At Pathway, we could compile our own list of memorable events, from the opening of the new children’s wing, to dynamic worship experiences, to the many acts of outreach that have taken place. I am so thankful for Pathway Church and the impact it is making in many, many lives, including my own.

It is certainly enjoyable to look back, but what I like even more is looking ahead. I’m fascinated by what’s coming in many different realms. Did you know that you could soon own an air selfie camera? It is essentially a flying camera that you control to get your photos from whatever vantage point you desire. No longer will your solo picture-taking be limited by the reach of your arm. And how cool is the idea of surgery performed by robots or crashless cars? None of that is fantasy. As someone pointed out, “Fantasy is more like suggesting the Pirates will win the World Series.”

There are all sorts of exciting things we can watch for in our world, and the same thing is true in our church. As the year stretches before us, there is one that is clearly on our minds. It is the next phase of the building project. We have achieved a huge milestone with the opening of the new children’s wing, but if you’ve been on the Chippewa Campus, it is pretty obvious that there is more to come.

A trip from the children’s wing to the main lobby travels through the cavernous former administration area that presently features bare stud walls, cement floors and absent ceilings. Someone asked me the other day if that’s how it’s going to stay. I’m pleased to tell you that there is more in store. You also may have noticed some missing walls near the café and missing wing walls and ceiling tiles in the worship lobby. These also are signs of progress. They are the demolition and preparation phase of what will be a renovated lobby and café that will stretch seamlessly from the children’s entrance past the worship entrance and through the café area.

While some of the renovations will be completed in visible areas, others will take place behind closed doors. Examples include the former children’s area that is now being transformed into office spaces and a youth wing. Additional adult classrooms are being constructed as well. The remainder of the project is expected to be completed in the late summer or early fall of this year. We are excited for the enhanced ministry opportunities that will come along with it.

Of course, there are many things to anticipate beyond the building. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the Lord leads in the filling of some important staff positions. He has already blessed us with some new key leadership and, no doubt, He will continue to guide us.

I am also looking forward to launching a brand new sermon series the first weekend of January. I have been feeling pulled in the direction of preaching through 1 John and the timing has lined up perfectly. We’re calling the study “The Real Thing” because it makes it clear how our lives can be just that. It’s easy to get sidetracked or drift off course, but 1 John helps us get centered. I am praying that this series of studies will propel our church forward in ways that will deepen our faith and help us give it away.

For all we know about the future, there are other things we don’t. However, that is far from saying it is uncertain. We know that God has it in His hands and that He will lead us into it as we are faithful in seeking His direction and will for us. Please pray with me as this year begins that we would know the mind of Christ and apply it in all we say and do.