I awoke early one morning this week with a fresh perspective. The Lord is able to minister to us in our sleep! Without a doubt, 2020 has been an “interesting” year, and I do not apologize for looking forward to flipping the page to 2021! To think that two of the main things that have concerned us--the virus and the election--have yet to be reconciled and are still with us (and all the collateral impact that goes with them) is something we, or at least I, would never have guessed.
We have, however, proven that we are up to the challenge and are completely relying on the needed wisdom and the power of the Holy Spirit. 2021 is going to be the year of opportunity.
In February, the team laid hands on me and set me in as the new lead guy on our apostolic team. We had a great time, and I had a clear prophetic word from Larry Stockstill that I have been praying through. Within weeks of that prayer time, the country was at a standstill. This was a unique challenge for me, as computer technology and I have never had a harmonious relationship. Some of the things I liked the least, I had to do the most--numerous Zoom calls, live stream videos, recordings, etc. Of course, I’m the better for it.
Our message during this time was simple: Storms don’t change your destination; only the way that you get there changes. (Acts 27:28) Our team not only hung together, but rose to the opportunity of serving the local church. Our mission didn’t change; only the playing field did.
Constant communication with church pastors and leaders as we navigated legal, medical, financial, and theological questions was a lifeline. I continued our weekly podcast. Angela Shaw continued the monthly worship leaders’ call, with great fruit. We planned a youth leaders’ podcast with Chris Lodriguss, which will start in January. We held our largest Band of Brothers gathering to date, with 457 men in attendance. Pastor Ron Johnston and Living Stones Church were hosts on steroids! We received a mission offering just a few dollars shy of $30,000. Men were highly impacted, and dozens were filled with the Holy Spirit. We were able to help Lynne’s House expand and saw the fruit of changed lives. Pastor Nick Bergeron and the team from Fellowship of the Unashamed led hurricane relief efforts into the Saint Charles, Louisiana, area. We were able to fund that and our fully equipped tool trailer was on site. Bro Rod and Stephen Aguillard led a feeding team there. We started Next Level engagement to help churches pursue the area they most want to get to the next level in. We worked with several churches through successful pastoral changes. We also assisted several of our churches that suffered storm damage.
Mia Celino once again kept our finances in order as we continued our commitment to great stewardship. Pam Kirkwood continues to take care of day-to-day business with a servant’s heart. Angela Shaw has been outstanding, responding to all the curve balls thrown our way. Natalie Heide has been “Johnny-on-the-spot” across the board. They are all part time, but have a full-time heart. Bro Rod and Mary Aguillard are the energizer bunnies continuing to care for and love leaders. Penny Tucci has been the constant voice of wisdom to me and many others.
Several new churches have joined our ranks as covenant members. Several families and businesses have partnered with us to help all this happen. Just around the corner is our Next Level Conference (Feb. 01-03) with special guest, Chris Hodges. We also have our youth pastors training intensive in March and our first ever business roundtable for market place ministers--both in Orlando the same week! This coming year, we will be launching a series of live webinars that deal with pertinent subjects.
Man, are we getting organized! One of the highlights of this year for me is connecting with young leaders that God is raising up and continuing to connect them to each other. We will have a special time to do that at the Next Level Conference.
Indeed, there have been a lot of external distractions and pressures. The Apostle Paul said, “Beside these things, daily comes on me the care of the church.” That is my heart; that is our team’s heart. Our vision is very simple—Healthy Leaders equals Healthy Churches. Covenant relationship and a shared mission are the life to that vision. God is building His Church--that is our focus!
I want to thank you for being part of all of this during the past year. And I want to invite you to join us this year as we go forward. Please consider, if you are not already, becoming an investor in what God is doing through a one-time or monthly gift. And please let us know if there is any way we can serve you. 2021, here we come!
In the Master’s service,
NRP Apostolic Team Leader
You can give electronically HERE or mail a check to PO Box AA; Reserve, LA 70084