Scott’s Column: Open & Nimble Feb 5, 2024 | News This is the sixth and final in a series of personal reflections on the State of the Church in 2024. 6. Given all of that I want to return to the theme I’ve been trying to hammer home for the last couple of years–that we at First Central should be focused on celebrating how well we’ve done. We made good ministry choices over the last quarter century, and a decade ago we went through a period of growth in members and financial resources. We navigated the Covid crisis about as effectively, faithfully, and well as a congregation could. We came out of Covid with renewed vitality, a bump in fundraising for the Capital Campaign, incredible levels of in person worship attendance and program participation, active responses to the social issues of the moment, a vision for the future, and most significantly vibrant growth in young families with children (the Holy Grail that every church longs for). Along with celebrating, the number two thing we need to do is not screw it up. Let go of control, for there’s almost nothing in this entire picture that we have direct control over, and let the Spirit do the thing she’s obviously doing here. And we should be doing everything we can to foster that Holy Grail of young families with children. The Terrible Twenties pose us new and further challenges. We may not have all the resources we will need to fulfill the visions we had even a couple of years ago. We are going to have to rethink, reprioritize, streamline, and probably let go of some things we have been used to doing. I can’t yet produce a clear to do list, though my brain is working on it. But here’s what I do know: We will need to remain open and nimble, ready and willing (and eager even) to change, adapt, and try new things. We will need the courage and the wisdom to discern what is best, and then be ready to change those ideas and plans more quickly than we have in the past. Given all that is happening in the world, I think church is actually more vital right now than it has been in recent decades. We should be excited to respond to the opportunity before us.