Dear Grace Family,

As you are reading this, I’m likely sitting on a screened porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. It is, without a doubt, the most beautiful place on earth. I’d love to tell y’all that I’ve been able to unplug from all things Grace and Starkville, while I’m away to get the maximum benefit of a vacation. I’d be lying, however, if I said that. I’m afraid that’s not how my brain works. I’m enjoying myself, the joy of my wife around her family, and the laughter of my kids on the beach, but I’m also still thinking about the days ahead with you. I have a request for each of you. I hope that you will take it seriously. I need y’all to pray for 2 specific things over the next few months. First, I want you to pray that the Lord would put someone on your heart from our church that you can get to know more personally/committedly over the months ahead. It can be a single person or a whole family unit, but be thinking about that person at Grace you’ve been saying for years you want to know better. Truly ask the Lord to put a name on your mind that you’ll not be able to ignore until you act. I am firmly convinced that if we all commit to this, a great deal of hospitality and camaraderie will develop outside of 525 Academy Road. On top of that, we will be far more likely to pray with someone and share their burdens, if we have a relationship with them that expands beyond gathered worship. Second, I want y’all to pray that the Lord would put someone on your heart who is not actively involved in a biblically faithful church in Starkville, who you will have the strength and courage to engage with the Gospel of Jesus. This person could be an unbeliever or simply someone who has fallen away from involvement with the local church whose faith is barely hanging on. Can you imagine what might happen if we all committed to praying for this, and if we knew that we were even praying for each other concerning this? Please know that this is about so much more than church growth, too. Yes, I’d love it if each of our families brought 1 new family to join Grace. But I’d love it so much more if that many people entered the Kingdom of God. Y’all can handle that, right? It’s not too much homework. 1 request from me for 2 prayers from y’all. I’d love to hear from y’all over the days ahead about how this is going. See you Sunday.

Humbly yours,