Michael Smith, Grace Hills’ Church Planting Leader in Residence and adoptive Dad, talking to Heather Napier, an adoptive Mom before our Orphan Sunday service.

This past Sunday marked the second week in our latest teaching series, Game Changers. With week one, we focused in on Jesus as the ultimate game changer who gave His life as a ransom for anyone who would trust in Him for all of eternity. Nothing and no one has ever changed the game for humanity more. And this same Jesus calls us to change the game for others by sharing the good news, telling the world about Jesus, and living as expressions of the gospel in the world around us.

Since part two of our series fell on Orphan Sunday (recognized by many evangelical churches), we spent most of our day talking about the orphan crisis in the world, and I was blessed to watch our church respond. How?

  • You showed up. On a Sunday when we announced in advance we’d be talking about orphan care, you brought friends and had a comparatively high attendance of 178.
  • You listened, intently, and celebrated the story of Michael and Jennifer Smith’s adoption of their twin boys.
  • You supported the Napier family who will be bringing home their adopted child from Uganda in the next few weeks.
  • You affirmed a commitment to develop an ongoing ministry to families interested in foster care and adoption.
  • You took information on organizations such as The CALL, Bethany, and The Global Orphan Initiative as well as printed material offering practical ways to engage in orphan care, and you verbally celebrated the day’s challenge to get involved.

Repeatedly, I’m amazed at how you embrace big challenges. In less than two weeks, 18 of you will travel to the second poorest and most dangerous nation in the western hemisphere to serve people and share Jesus. Tons of you volunteer excitedly in a range of areas, and you do it with gusto! And when we have a community event like Blocktober, you show up and make it rock (about 800 guests came)!


Next week, we’re talking about changing the game by going where others haven’t been yet. I’ll be interviewing B. J. Sanders and Jack Crabtree, both of whom will be going to a completely unengaged people group in Papau New Guinea to plant churches, translate the Bible, and serve the poor. Then on the final week of the series, I’ll be teaching about how we can change the game for northwest Arkansas. We’ll talk about some of the greatest challenges facing our own area.

Then, in 2014, we’re going to a new level of making disciples and multiplying to reach and serve northwest Arkansas. And I know you’ll respond. I’ve loved being your Pastor in your short young life, and we’ve only just begun!

Keep changing the game! And keep worshipping and serving the One who changed the game for all of us – Jesus!

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