Top 5 Reasons I'm Thankful in 2020 at Redemption City Church

2020 has been one of the most challenging years that many of us have ever faced. From the COVID-19 pandemic, frustrations with and fears of the responses to it, political challenges, racial problems, education changes, professional curveballs, and more, many have felt something this year of what the Apostle Paul was describing when he says that he was “afflicted in every way” (2 Cor 4:8).

While there are many things to grieve, there is much to be thankful for as well. God has been present, working in the midst of all of this mess. He’s not taken the year off. He hasn’t been put on lockdown. No one can restrict him. He’s the “same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8).

So here in the middle of Thanksgiving week, I wanted share with you my “Top 5 Reasons I’m Thankful in 2020.”

Because of this, I wanted to share a few evidences of God’s grace that I’m particularly thankful for.

I’m thankful that Jesus is still changing lives in the midst of all of this – Jesus didn’t take 2020 off. I’ve heard story after story of people saying “Jesus is teaching me to…” While the particular area of life-change usually changes, I love that a “new step with Jesus” is being taken. One of our students said, “I’ve grown more this year than any other year of my life.” Love it! Another one of my favorite stories from this year comes from Andrew’s life. Andrew is a guy living in the area, far from God. And one day, he saw his neighbor, one of our members, struggling to clean up his yard after a bad storm. He thought he was just going to help a neighbor out in a pandemic, but he ended up receiving Christ as his Savior and Lord! 2020 wanted people to take a step back, but Jesus took a step forward.

I’m thankful that the people of Redemption City have continued to engage at a high level through the pandemic – All of the pressure and momentum in our world was pushing people away from engagement with Christ’s church. The Enemy always wants to cause people to disengage from weekly worship, from daily devotions, from consistent giving, from serving, and from community. And you better believe that he has been working overtime in 2020. Yet, Redemption City is filled with people who overcame that pressure and continued to engage at a high level in these areas in various ways. When we needed to create an online option for worship, you hopped online with us. When we gathered on the farm, you joined us on the farm. When we came back into the building, you gathered in person or online with us. While some needed to step back from serving for a season, others were able to step in. Giving has continued through the ups and downs. New groups were launched. We have much to be thankful for, especially in a season like the one we are in.

I’m thankful that the people of Redemption City loved one another even when they disagreed with one another – We live in a world that is unable to disagree without dividing. Jesus calls his followers to something different. He wants our love for one another to shine like a light in the darkness. Do we all have the same political positions? No. Do we all think the same way about how best to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic? No. We have as many differences as we have people. Yet, the dominant posture of our people has been to disagree without dividing. That’s a huge kingdom win that I don’t take for granted.

I’m thankful that the people of Redemption City launched a new ministry initiative that helps reduce hunger in Mid-TN – For the first time in most of our lives, there were shortages at the grocery store. The food situation for those in more vulnerable positions were even worse. That’s why I’m so thankful that Jesus enabled us to use our church’s property grow and give away over 40,000 lbs of food here in Mid-TN. I’m so thankful for our partner Cul2vate who walked arm and arm with us through the challenging work of creating this new ministry initiative. In a year where hopelessness and hunger were on the rise, I’m grateful to be a part of a church that is providing “Hope for the Hungry.”

I’m thankful for all of the new people that have been engaging with RCC – Early into this pandemic, we wondered if new people wouldn’t engage until the pandemic was over. Thankfully, that has not been our experience. When we launched our online services, we had new people engage there. Several times we have been told by people coming to RCC that they watched online for a few weeks before they came. When we opened up in person gatherings, we continued to see new faces, steadily giving away “Gift Bags” each week. I love seeing new people taking the risk to step into RCC for the first time any year, but this year, I’m especially, thankful.

2020 has been, continues to be, and will be a difficult year. But in the midst of all of the challenges, I wanted to make sure I didn’t ignore or take for granted the evidences of God’s grace. Let me invite you to give thanks for these things and also spend some time coming up with your “Top 5 Reasons I’m Thankful in 2020” list.






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