At the beginning of a new year, it’s customary to look back over our proverbial shoulder at the previous year. I have been particularly grateful for 2018. Some of the things I am grateful for are not so obvious.

Many of us in a congregation only see the “front stage” aspect of ministry. We see the fellowship events on Facebook. We experience worship that has been carefully planned. We hear reports of mission efforts and outcomes.

What is less known is the backstage work of a congregation’s life.

Backstage work includes committee, diaconate, and session meetings. It includes the prayerful work of Sunday School teachers as they prepare their lessons. It includes the work of staff and volunteers in the office.

I find myself grateful for the backstage work of 2018.

Allow me to grant you a backstage pass and share just some of this lesser known work with you!

Here are the TOP TEN, in no particular order:

1. The Christian Education Committee seriously contemplates the over-scheduled lives of our children and youth and how to modify their approach

2. The Outreach Committee spends countless hours carefully reviewing partner applications in order to fund the areas of greatest need in Waco

3. The Administrative Committee evaluates trends and patterns in giving since 2007. They lead the way in gaining financial viability and strength in the next 3 to 5 years.

4. Weaving Science and Faith emerges as the newest Sunday School class for adults. They join all other adult teachers who strive to welcome a broad base of adults into the Sunday School experience.

5. The First Church Foundation reviewed and modified our investments for a greater return and secured a pocket of resources to fund significant capital improvements.

6. Our Children’s Sunday School teachers arrive each week with creativity, joy, and a pastoral presence for our children. They often bring supplies from home and improve on the curriculum they have been given.

7. Our music department continues to innovate. They prioritize the sing-ability of hymns, thematic focus to sermon/season, and the inclusion of musical talent from the congregation.

8. Individuals in the congregation carefully attend to our prayer list and make calls throughout the week to check on one another.

9. The congregation steps up faithfully to a 2019 stewardship campaign and offers an average giving increase of 7% as of December 2018.

10. Individuals arrive with extra energy and resources to the church office. They ask, “Is there a need I can meet?”

As you can see, awareness of the backstage brings an enriched meaning to all that is front and center.

Thanks for holding the back stage in your prayers. It will continue to be important work in 2019!

Our thanks to Rev. Leslie King, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Waco, for sharing her article with us.

We give thanks for the many blessings and hard working behind-the-scenes team members at First Presbyterian.

Would your congregation like to share the good news of its backstage work? Is there a particular mission program or member(s) you would like to highlight?

The presbytery would love to hear from you. Drop us a line with your updates and ideas.