Dear supporters and friends of Mountainside Community Church,
Yesterday was Pentecost, where the Church was born. God did that with great fanfare and fire and boldness, and 3000 were added to the Church that day. We remember that as we press on well over 2000 years later as we continue the work of birthing Churches. As you all know, this is our second time, and I am only more confirmed in how critical the Church is to the Kingdom’s work in a city. This really matters!
Mountainside is 10 weeks old and this is what we know about this beautiful newborn.
She endures and overcomes. She was born on March 25th, the Sunday with the worst weather yet in Boone as snow and ice covered the roads. 100 people came anyway. We were amazed!
She is really thirsty and hungry. Right now the thirst seems to be for community, worship, and friendship. We are gently beginning to answer that thirst with the healthy formula of ‘following Jesus’. We are praying every week that she will develop a taste for this because we know it is all that will truly satisfy. Every week we remind her that coming to a building and sitting in a gathering of Christ Followers is a beginning place, but the destination is Jesus.
Some in our little body of Christ are mature and strongin their walk with Jesus. They have walked with him a long time and have been tested through many, many storms and are still clinging to the vine. They are flanking Shannon and I and are like trained strong horses ready to pull a lot of weight. We are so thankful for each of them as they endure and serve faithfully every week. Among these we have had intense battles with health; pre-eclampsia, cancer, and possible stroke or heart disease. We have had many reasons to pray with each other and for each other already.
Some are just beginning to choose Jesus! Several college students from App State and several young couples have not had the rhythm of Church, spiritual growth, or pursuit of Jesus in their lives at all. They are trying to come, learning how to save room for pursuit of Jesus in their crazy crowded lives. We love each of them so much and greatly value every time they are able to come and worship with us.
So far we have 7 teenagers, and Elec (our 17 year old son) is serving as our Student Ministry Intern with Sherri as his coach. 2 of the 7 have had Youth Group Experience before, but the other 5 have not. They are wonderful students with soft hearts and very little to no Bible knowledge. They are pressing in and seem willing to begin. They each one serve so faithfully with us each Sunday; making coffee, setting up the nursery, running sound, and loving on the the little ones.
Right now we are really small- 60 in total if they all come, so some Sundays we will have under 45. We have made a 1 year commitment to Regal Cinema’s and so sometimes the larger theatre can feel like a giant crib for a tiny, tiny infant. But this is where Mountainside chose to take her stand in Boone, so we will remain there as God provides the way.
Her vision is BIG and her prayers are fervent and passionate. We are already pressing into Boone to serve her and love her and the desire of our little Church is alive and real. We are praying that God will enable us with the strength and the people to love Boone well. We serve Boone every 5thSunday. We were able to do that April 29th- it was awesome. We were able to come alongside some local efforts and add our strength to their projects and service. We long to do more of that.
One year ago, 7 McCready’s arrived in Boone and in that one year God has nearly multiplied us 10 times over. We are no longer strangers in a new town. God has established us in that time. Shannon serves as a chaplain to the local police force, and is a faithful member of the Rotary club, as well as a city wide men’s bible study. Shannon is currently the only full time staffmember and we are so thankful for that. Isaac is the only other paid staff, serving as the part time worship leader and works a couple other jobs as well. Sherri is a volunteer and the Lord has blessed her with a local house cleaning business that allows her to keep her evenings and weekends open for ministry, she is currently wearing 3 hats; Children’s Ministry Director, Student Ministry Coach, and Community Engagement Director. Elisa has been serving as our web designer and social media intern and Elec serves as the Student Ministry intern as well as playing in the worship band. Zach Hoffman is volunteering as our Small Group Director and Lori Whitmire is volunteering in Administration work. Scott Whitmire volunteers as Operations Director managing all the logistics of Sunday morning. We’re so thankful for these people and their help!