A Look back at 2022 with Pastor John
In 1994, a small group of people came to the “Westside” to start a church called West Salem Foursquare Church. What began as a Bible study, then a fledgling church plant, has become a regional lighthouse of Jesus’ love, acceptance and forgiveness.
Denise and I are so grateful to serve as the Lead Pastors of this much loved congregation, and look forward to the future together.
I want to take a few moments, both in this communication, as well as during our March 5th worship services, to give honor to the Lord and celebrate a few things He has done in the past year. This includes celebrating the provision of the Lord through your tithes and offerings, as well as a few keys things we accomplished together.
As you may know, many congregations around the world (including ours) are still trying to get “their footing” post-pandemic. Much has changed in terms of attendance, serving patterns, event re-engagement, etc. However, we have much to celebrate and be thankful for. Our church is healthy, alive and well. There are revival-like signs of renewal and restoration, much of which simply cannot be captured in statistics, but rather seen in hearts, heard in testimonies, and felt in our gatherings.
So, as I proceed to present a few stats, remember that every number represents a person, a story, an experience and a transformed life.
In 2022, our church received $1,706,866.31 in tithes and misc. income and offerings. This has been one of the largest giving years in recent memory. Our expenses totaled $1,722,600.77. These expenses are slightly over our income because of intentional investments into our facilities, our city and our ministry partners, all with oversight of our church council. Some of these exciting investments in 2022 included being able to pay down an extra mortgage payment, generously steward our senior associate pastor into retirement, and provide surprise financial blessings to five of our missionaries and five local churches. All this while maintaining more than $550,000 in bank reserves!
Our church gave over $6000 to support the ongoing work in war-torn Ukraine. As well, we disbursed over $14,000 in care and benevolence to those in need within our community. In all we invested over $250,000 into tangible, on-going ministry efforts.
In 2022 we launched the VIP Girls Conference, now in it’s 2nd year, reaching and ministering to hundreds of young girls in our valley. We also hosted two district youth camps for elementary, middle and high school students.
• Our average weekend service attendance is 639 people (and currently growing).
• Alive Youth Church averages 79 young people on Sunday nights.
• On average, 98 children are a part of our Kids Ministry (and growing…have you noticed how many babies are on the way!?!).
• We average 225 video streams a week of our Online Church Service, either live or on demand.
• In 2022 we had the largest number and percentage of people in small groups in recent memory.
• We praise God for the 42 people that were baptized in water. As well, many people have reported being Baptized with the Holy Spirit at one of our gatherings. Lastly, most every weekend, dozens of people commit or recommit their lives to Jesus in salvation! We may not see every hand, but God sees every heart!
Again, these are numbers, facts and figures – but they only tell a part of the story. It’s not possible to capture each testimony (although you can check out our YouTube page for some of them!). It’s hard to quantify the prayer that takes place, the laughter in the lobby, the engagement in serving, the smiles in the sanctuary and the impact being made in our community beyond Sundays.
All of this is worth celebrating. YOU are worth celebrating. JESUS is worth celebrating.
Denise and I have a strong sense of God’s hand upon our congregation in this, and the coming season. We feel it in our gatherings. We hear it in your stories. We know it in our knower.
God is up to something…we are blessed to be on board!
Grace & Peace to you,