End of Year Report

Dear friends in Christ,

This month, I am using/borrowing a Pastor friend’s  Newsletter (Rev. Dr. Scott Rische, founder and  director of the City Transformation Ministry) as a  template to help me communicate what I feel is an  important message to all friends of Trinity Lutheran Church.  If you are a member, then certainly you are a friend.  If you have ever attended any of our worship services on Sunday or Friday evenings, then you are our friend.  If you have enjoyed listening to our sermons that are posted on our various websites, you are a friend of Trinity.  So as friends, I have three important words for you: Everyone, Everyday, Everywhere.  These words are foundational for the work we are doing here at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Everyone – it has to be about more than just the pastor and the staff that faithfully serves here Monday through Saturday. Yes, the pastor and his  staff are critically important, but the work of the Kingdom is not going to be accomplished if it is only or primarily the pastor and his staff who are  doing the work of the Kingdom. It needs to be all of God’s people together doing the work under the leadership and guidance of pastors and other  leaders.

Everyday – it has to be more than just Sunday mornings. The congregation gathered as a community for worship is crucial to the health and  vitality of a congregation. But God’s design is for His people to be engaged in the work of His Kingdom every day of the week, not just for a couple  hours on Sunday morning. It’s about God’s people living out the Kingdom every day and every hour of the week in every aspect of their lives.  Often Sunday worship services are relied upon to accomplish most if not all of the worship, evangelism, and discipleship of a congregation. God does show up with His people when they are gathered on Sundays around the Word and Sacraments. But He is also with His people ALL of the time, and wants His people to be about the Kingdom twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, not just for a few hours one day a week.

Everywhere – it has to be more than just at our church and school grounds. When the disciples didn’t catch any fish in Luke 5, Jesus  had to remind them to throw their nets WHERE THE FISH WERE! They had been fishing, but not where the fish were. Most churches  and church campuses around the world do not fill up with unbelievers just because the doors are opened on Sundays or because a  program is offered during the week. Jesus didn’t wait for unbelievers to find Him. Jesus went out and found the unbelievers, where  they were. Church facilities are a great gift from God. But if disciples are to be made, and all are to come to know Jesus as Savior, then  all God’s people, everyday, are going to need to get out from their church buildings and into the world where the unbelievers actually  are. People come to faith by hearing the Gospel, but they are never going to hear the Gospel if believers are not connected to them or  building relationships with them.

So it’s Everyone, Everyday, Everywhere.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

What can God do with such a small church membership, and only a few (under paid) staff members?  The answer is: He can do much, because it is His Spirit that empowers the labor.

It is in that spirit that we now operate our ministry here at Trinity Lutheran Church, as we reach out to people of all walks of life; the wealthy, the poor, the  foreigner, the young, and the old. On the whole, our ministry still has that insignificant feel that the widow knew well; by church standards we are small,  often worshiping under 60 at our Sunday morning service, and under 30 at our Friday night service. We constantly preach that although we are few in  number and resources, we should be bold to give all that we have to see the church do her work of bringing many into a relationship with Jesus.

Over the past four years, our small group of forgiven sinners has done significant work in bringing the Gospel into our community of Encanto, Lemon  Grove and parts of Spring Valley. Here are some of the things that we have accomplished over our time here:

  • Some 1,325 families were fed through our pantry this year, which means about 4,655 people were given food and the Word of God, along with the opportunity to be prayed for and over by Deacon Mark.
  • Some 282 unique seniors were given a nutritious breakfast, Monday thru Friday.
  • The average attendance for our weekly Bible study on Wednesday was approximately 25 people, with more than 3/4th being non-members.
  • Our Friday night gospel/jazz service averaged approximately 25 people a week, with more than half of the attendees being non-members.
  • Our Christian Martial Arts ministry’s average biweekly attendance was about 20 people, with the greater majority being nonmembers.
  • Our Tuesday and Friday evenings the average attendance for the Line Dancing ministry was approximately 25.
  • One adult baptism was performed and one adult was welcomed into new membership.
  • In 2012, Trinity has acquired 10 individuals who faithfully attend worship service, but as of yet have not begun work towards membership.
  • Entered into a new relationship with Christian brothers and sisters from American Samoa, who worship here at Trinity on Sunday afternoons at 1:30 p.m.  They are led by Pastor Fale Esera, who has a strong foundation within our Lutheran Confessions (Book of Concord).  Though they are small in number (about 45) they are mighty in spirit, and they are beginning to look at Trinity as their new home.  Pastor Fale and I are in bi-monthly talks towards establishing union and concord.  Please pray for this relationship to grow as God leads.

NOTE: The martial arts ministry, line dancers, neighbors using our pantry, and the neighbors joining us for breakfast all receive the word of God and opportunity for prayer.

As you can see, God is doing some amazing things through our people and our ministry. We may not be seeing these new friends of ours writing the biggest checks or showing up with large groups of friends, but then again neither are we the established membership doing that.  So, together as the body of Christ here at Trinity, we will continue to receive what God brings to us and offer that and so much more as He provides, back to Him, knowing full well that when we give all that we can, He will be pleased, bless our offering and work, and continue to give to us more than we could ever dream of.

We at Trinity pray that we, along with you make an impact in our communities, realizing that we each have our own gifts to significantly contribute to the Kingdom.

“Let none hear you idly saying, “There is nothing I can do,” while a multitude are dying and the master calls for you. Take the task He gives you gladly, let His work your pleasure be; answer quickly when he calls you, “Here am I, send me, send me!”

Pastor Brian

P.S. As God leads you, your financial support helps Trinity make its entire ministry possible and also creates the ability to expand and extend the work even further. Remember, your financial gifts are tax deductible. If you would are unable to attend on Sunday, but would like to give to our ongoing ministry here in our community, please send your checks to:

Trinity Lutheran Church
7210 Lisbon Street
San Diego, CA 92114

Comments are closed.