The State of Star 2023

Hello, church family! As we wrap up the year, we wanted to give you an update of the last year as well as look into the next.

FINancial Update and year-end giving

Thank you for all you do to support the ministry happening in, at, and through Morning Star. The work we do is made possible by the generous donations of people like you.

 

While we have been consistently under budget for 2023, we are hopefully expectant that the Lord will continue to provide.

If you haven’t yet become a regular giver here at Morning Star, we invite you to join the giving family and start faithfully participating financially in 2024. If you are already a regular giver, would you prayerfully consider increasing your giving to help us close the gap in our budget for this year?

We’ve seen consistent growth across the board in our church this last year. We’ve launched new Life Groups, seen our weekly attendance increase, seen our Student Ministries groups grow, and more.

Attendance numbers can be tricky—we love to see growth, but we know there are many other ways to gauge the health of our church. It’s easy to think more is better. We love that we are not only seeing numbers, but an increase in those in our church experiencing intentional discipleship and real community with other believers.

The number of “Profiles Created” represents individuals who filled out a Connect Card, registered for an event, or gave financially.

STAFF HIGHLIGHT:
MEET OUR MSTAR KIDS TEAM

If you have kids, you know them and love them. If you serve with kids, you know them and love them. If you’ve never met them, prepare to know and love them! Our Morning Star Kids team is incredible! This team of four staff (as well as a ton of volunteers!) Runs our programming for kids from birth to 5th grade. Recently, we brought on Brett to head up Bridge45, our ministry geared for 4th and 5th graders. This team is made up of all part-time employees. They juggle families, other jobs, and school, and still they manage to have one of the best children’s programs in our city! From Sports Camp to Trunk-or-Treat, Bridge 45 Ropes Course Day to Family Movie Night . . . this team is unstoppable! They will be the first to say that this growing and thriving ministry couldn’t happen without the 127 volunteers that run our weekly classes. If you see a member of the MStar Kids Team, give them a high five and a big thank you!

NEW MINISTRY UPDATE:
BIBLICAL COUNSELING

Back in the early part of 2023, Morning Star launched a brand new Biblical Counseling ministry to provide targeted counsel for life’s struggles to people in our community. We have been training leaders for two years through the Biblical Counseling Training Center at Salem Heights Church, who we are so thankful for as they provide continuous support. To get ready for this new adventure we needed to repurpose two spaces on our campus that could accommodate individual and group counseling sessions as well. We are so blessed to have the facilities so that we can provide a safe place for healing and soul care at the most personal levels. We currently have close to 20 trained Biblical Counselors, with six more in training this year. Something that is especially exciting is that God equipped us to be able to accept more male clients than most churches in our area; this is a unique and exciting opportunity for us!

Morning Star is currently providing Biblical Counseling for around 25 individuals and couples and we’re excited to see what God will do. One thing we know: God is greatly impacting all involved with the ministry, and we have been so encouraged by how God is growing our counselors to greater depths of ministry as they rely on the Holy Spirit to provide all that is needed to lead people to pursue a Jesus-first life. 

This year at our Student Ministries summer camp, Great Camp, we started a new tradition. On the last day of camp, where we had 173 middle and high school students, we gave them the opportunity to be baptized. Dozens of parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends drove down to Triangle Lake to watch 27 students publicly declare their desire to live for Jesus. One student accepted Jesus at camp on Tuesday, and was baptized on Thursday. Praise Jesus for the hearts and minds that He changed this year at Great Camp!

NEW CLASS: NEXT STEPS

In October we had 17 people go through our new Next Steps class! We found this new four-week class to be a valuable tool to help attendees become familiar with the foundations of our Christian faith as well as Morning Star’s statement of faith. The ministry staff had a great time interacting with the class, with wonderful discussions about what it looks like to live “Jesus-first” and how we can lead others to pursue it as well. One participant said, 

"I would recommend this class for anyone who is ready to take a next step in their faith! My favorite part was having a space to ask all my questions with no judgement. I loved learning what my spiritual gifts are and getting to know the staff better.”

Join us for our next class this spring!

BUILDING AND LAND UPDATE

At our Family Meeting this last September, we went over some potential options to sell some of our land. We are currently exploring the idea of selling 7.5 acres of land along Kuebler that would allow us to pay off a significant amount of debt. As Pastor John said, it’s “the second inning of a nine inning game”, and we will continue to keep our congregation updated. To get the full scoop, watch the Family Meeting below.

How you can be praying for 2024

We are thankful for 2023 and are eagerly awaiting all the things the Lord has for us in 2024. We want to end this update for how you can be praying for our church and community in the new year. We always want you to be praying that we ALL would continue to anchor our existence to the truth of God’s-word and for our church leadership to make timely and wise decisions that will lead the church to lead people to pursue a Jesus-first life. Here are a few more ways you can be specifically praying in 2024!

1: Prayer for discernment as we continue to explore property development options. We know all property decisions will greatly impact the future opportunities of our ministry.   

2: Pray that the church budget will rebound in 2024 so that we can continue to support our mission.

3: As we are experience population growth close to our church with at least three apartment complexes opening within a mile of Morning Star, pray that we will serve these people well and for the opportunity to build relationships with them and introduce them to Jesus.

Thank you for a wonderful year of growth and ministry. We are honored to serve, live, and pursue a Jesus-first life with you.

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1-14-24

in-person service cancelled! Join us online at 9 & 11 am

Due to weather conditions, we have decided to cancel our in-person services for Sunday, January 14. Please join us online for a special online church experience this Sunday at 9 & 11 am!