Reflecting back on 2019, can you please share something that happened here at Shepherd that really touched your heart?
There is an 11 year old girl in our church whom I will call "M", as I did not get permission to use her name. "M" is not able to walk without assistance. One weekend after services, she stopped us to take a picture with Pastor Dudley, and tell us she wanted to volunteer.
A few days later, she and her mom showed up at the church offices with a pencil sharpener she had purchased across the street, asking if she could sharpen all the pencils in the church auditorium seats, so folks would be able to take better notes.
I wish everyone could meet "M." Her smile and personality would brighten anyone’s day, and I am so moved by her heart of service.
Our 2019 theme this year was "I Love L.A." As executive pastor, what made this initiative so important and impactful for us as a church to show the love of Christ in our beloved City of Angels?
In 2018, Shepherd went above and beyond in an initiative to touch the 30 largest cities around the world. Several times during that year, I was asked the question: "But what are we doing right here in Los Angeles, our own backyard?" So, 2019 was an incredible year of answering that question as we spent all of our energy loving this city we all call home.
So, in 2019, Los Angeles County faced a number of devastating wild fires. Share why Shepherd Church chose to serve those in our community who suffered some type of loss or displacement.
I believe Jesus meant it when He said to His followers in Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world ... A city on a hill cannot be hidden." We always want to be a light and a beacon of hope to the community around us. In today’s society, many churches are often known more for what they are against rather than what they are for.
We want this community to know that Shepherd Church is "for them." By serving as an evacuation center during the fires — when we ourselves were in the evacuation zone — we wanted our community to know how much this church cares.
We are moving into a new decade in 2020. Why is this so exciting for you personally and for our church as a whole?
As we like to say around Shepherd, "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good … and the BEST is yet to come." I believe the next decade will be the most incredible decade in the history of Shepherd Church.