How Do We Reach Others? | A Challenge from Pastor Chris

Written By: Chris Brooks


June 26, 2024

Every organization has a mission statement, set of values, or slogan that seeks to express its driving passion and purpose. A decade ago, Woodside adopted a slogan that enlivened our mission as a church. It succinctly and powerfully summarized the essence of the Great Commission: “People everywhere desperately need Jesus.” This statement has become the rallying cry of our church family. It motivates our local and global missions and serves as a reminder of why we gather week after week for worship. Our hope across 14 campuses and communities is to grow in our knowledge and love for Jesus so that we can carry the hope of the Gospel to a desperate world. Our hearts are gripped by a vision to make disciples who carry the Gospel to their community and the world.

Our Annual Celebration is an opportunity to reflect on how the Spirit has moved over the past year among His people at Woodside and to reaffirm our Christ-centered commitments for the upcoming year. While numbers alone can’t exhaustively tell the story of Christ’s life-changing work, this past year, we saw nearly 400 people baptized, 677 New Members join the Woodside family, and we had the privilege of serving nearly 96,000 families across Metro Detroit through our various outreach initiatives. To God be the glory!! [If you’d like to see more of the areas we celebrated and other updates from our Annual Celebration, click here].

I am so grateful to be part of a church that loves God and truly believes that the greatest investment of our time, talent, and treasure is to help people everywhere know Jesus. But, as I look at the current crisis in our culture, I am reminded that our mission of reaching our neighbors and the nations with the Gospel has not yet been accomplished. The rising levels of anxiety, depression, despair, and deception among our families can feel overwhelming. At times, Satan appears to be winning.

But the scriptures quickly remind us not to give into the devastating traps of fear and doubt. Jesus wants His followers to maintain their courage in Christ and to remain on mission. He declares in John 16:33, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” Now is not a time for us to waive the white flag in surrender to Satan as he wages war on our children, co-workers, and loved ones. The famed British philosopher Edmund Burkes famously said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

With this in mind, I am inviting you and every member of our Woodside family to make a commitment in four areas for the upcoming year: joining a life Group, participating in a Global missions trip, serving in one of our next-Generation ministries (kids and students), and sacrificially Giving. These are not random activities; they are the keys to a life of impact and fruitfulness in Christ. 

Life Groups provide us with the needed community for cultivating character, enjoying companionship, experiencing spiritual formation, and living out God’s mission for our lives. Mark 6:7 provides a key insight into Jesus’s evangelistic approach: “Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.” The wisdom to send them out as co-laborers is grounded in the power of shared ministry. Our impact for Christ is greatly multiplied when combined with the strengths of other believers.

Likewise, few things arouse God’s pleasure and ignite our spiritual passions, such as global missions. Jesus’s final instruction, during His earthly ministry, to His disciples was the command to carry the Gospel to the nations. This is what we call the Great Commission. Our going into the world for Christ is motivated by His love for those lost in their sins. God desires that men and women from every nation and tribe would worship Him in Christ. But how can they worship a God whom they don’t know? And, how can they know Him unless they hear the message of the Gospel? And, how can they hear unless we go? According to the Joshua Project, nearly 42% of the world’s population is ‘unreached,’ meaning that they live in an area where there is no church. This means that not only do they not have the Gospel, they don’t have access to the Gospel. Each one of us should do our best to identify a mission trip and to go!

It can be argued that there is no greater place for a Christian to serve than in Generational ministry (Kids and Students). As a former stockbroker, I was trained to look for investment opportunities with a high, long-term ROI (Return on Investment). Investing your time, talent, and treasure in our kids and students is the best way to ensure that the church has a multi-generational gospel impact. Woodside is blessed to serve over 1,800 kids per week. With the help of more volunteers, our incredible kids and student ministry leaders can dramatically increase the spread of the Gospel among this important segment of our church.

Scripture challenges us never to forget that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21). This means that giving is far more than a matter of duty; it’s about desire. Over the centuries, many Christians have noted that you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Those who truly love God will consider generosity to the Gospel a joy. This can only happen in the heart of the person who is convinced that God is the true source of all good gifts. We have been blessed abundantly by our generous God. We must remember that we have been blessed so that we might be a blessing. While generosity is not a replacement for the other “4G” commitments, it is a multiplier. When we express our gratitude to God for His grace through our generosity, we multiply the spread of the Gospel.

Our commitment to Groups, Global, Generations, and Generosity will fan the flames of revival and fuel our mission to help people belong to Christ, Grow in Christ, and Reach the world for Christ. By God’s grace, this is how we will stop evil from winning in our homes, church, and world. Obeying the call of Christ in these areas will be our best year yet!! I invite you to launch out in faith and obedience. Pray about these commitments and ask God to guide you as you say yes to the exciting adventure of obedience, knowing that lives will be transformed on the other side of these commitments. Woodside, I truly believe that the best is yet to come!!

To hear more from Pastor Chris, check out the video below ⬇️