West Franklin Family,
The phrase “Hindsight is 2020” means when we look back on a situation or circumstance, we can see clearly how we would have handled it differently. Looking back on things, in other words, we have “2020 Vision.” It means we, hopefully, learned lessons and will approach things differently. Hindsight really is 2020.
I’m sure I’ve learned a lot this year. I’m sure I would have approached many things differently had I known how 2020 would unfold (like, buy stock in Angel Soft for starters). I am certain the hindsight gleaned from this year will unfold for months and years to come. It was, to put it mildly, a hard and difficult and strange year. One I hope we don’t just have hindsight for. . . it’s a year I hope we look at in our rearview mirror as we drive far, far away.
Looking back, however, 2020 has also been a remarkable year for West Franklin. Consider. . .
- We hired Jessica Weidlich and Brett Buckland.
- Our Sunday AM worship attendance jumped by a third! (For instance, December 8, 2019 – 376 in worship. December 6th, 2020 – 606!!!)
- We had never live-streamed our services on-line prior to 2020.
- 100% of our mission efforts focused on the lost, searching, and hurting in Franklin (ministries with Franklin PD, Franklin FD, Williamson County Homeless Alliance, Natchez Street, Teachers, etc.).
- Our Christmas Concert was a Drive-In movie event for our community.
- We baptized men and women of all ages – children, teenagers, and adults.
- We started a twice weekly podcast called West Franklin Talks and recorded 76 episodes!
- We learned how truly remarkable the West Franklin staff team is and what a great preacher we have in Dave Kruse.
- You got a renewed and refreshed pastor coming off of sabbatical in November.
- You seized opportunities to share the Gospel with family members, friends, coworkers, and neighbors while being quarantined. (Just ask Nina how she led her sister to the Lord days before she passed. Or, ask Kiersten how she made a new friend exercising and eventually led her to the Lord.)
- You experienced God’s faithfulness amidst one of the most trying years of this generation.
Do we wish things would have been different? Of course. But God, nor His Gospel, has ever been restrained. There is no “socially distanced” God. There is no quarantined Gospel. God has been faithful. You have proved yourself steadfast and strong. Countless stories emerged that may have lied dormant had 2020 not unfolded like it did.
Will 2021 be better? One can only hope. Only God knows. To be sure, opinions abound. There are thoughts it will get better (vaccine). There are thoughts things will get worse before they get better (3rd wave). There are thoughts the Russians are going to take over (morons). There are thoughts that if Reagan doesn’t rise from the dead, America is doomed (I don’t have a word for these people). And, there are thoughts that Tennessee Volunteer football might one day return to glory (dreamers). We can speculate all day. Two of our own, Justin and Megan, are tying the knot in Kentucky today. So that’s a great way to kick off the new year.
Regardless of what 2021 holds, there are two things I know for certain: One, I want to experience it with you. I love the Church at West Franklin. I love growing in Jesus with you. I love figuring out how to do life in this crazy season with you. Two, people in our city are hurting. They are lonely. They are scared. Their mental health is frightening them. Their future is full of question marks. They don’t know if their marriage can make it much longer. In short, they need know someone cares. They need someone to be present with them. They need Jesus, yes, but they need to see Him before they hear His name. West Franklin, you do this better than anyone I have ever seen. So this is what I know for sure: This year, we get to walk with Jesus together and the Father has perfectly positioned us to love those around us in His name.
I don’t know what it will look like. I don’t know how it will all play out. Regardless, we will get to walk with Jesus together – and while we do – we get to love those around us in His name. Bring on 2021. Jesus is already in it. Let’s join Him.
Who’s with me?
Tomorrow we will be on-line only. You can tune in Facebook here or YouTube here at 9 am or 11 am. God willing, we will be meeting in person again soon. Until then, don’t forget that the camera adds 10 pounds (grin).