“’…build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,’ says the Lord.” Haggai 1:8

The theme for our 2016 Winter Workshop to kick-off the New Year is simply, “The Call to Build the House of the Lord.”Our key text is the book of Haggai, a prophet who’s preaching and leadership inspired and motivated the remnant of Israel to finish the temple reconstruction in only four years! Excitingly, at our Bible Talk Leaders Meeting on Friday night, we studied passages in both the books of Haggai and Ezra, to prepare our hearts for Bible Talk Leadership in 2017! God will always use just one faithful man or woman to make a profound impact of change for his glory!

Haggai’s message to the people is simple: “It’s time to build God’s house!” In Haggai 1:4 & 9, he prophesies, “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin? You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why? declares the Lord Almighty. Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house,”

warning the Jews to not neglect the temple of God! It is remarkable how the Old Testament physicalities parallel the New Testament spiritualties! Although, we don’t build a physical building in God’s honor today, we definitely build a spiritual temple by making disciples of all nations! Haggai’s message transcends his time and rings loud and clear for all disciples today, “Stop being too busy with your own house, and start getting busy building God’s house!”

Excitingly, today at the concision of the service and the Winter Workshop, four new Bible Talks will be planted! The Annapolis Bible Talk lead by the Mathis’s; The Fort Totten Bible Talk lead by the Johnson’s; The Chinatown Bible Talk lead by Bryan Williams and Cheryl Holmes; and the College Park Bible Talk lead by Elizabeth and myself! All of these incredible disciples are stepping up to be the leaders needed to build God’s temple in the DMV area, and to answer God’s call through the prophet Haggai! Also inspiring is the appointments of valiant men and women in the church to lead! Ben and Melanie Eisenschmidt will be appointed the new Virginia House Church Leaders and as well as new Shepherds-in-training! Joe and Dr. Jannette Nelson will be appointed as Shepherds-in-training! Mike and Alicia will be appointed as the DC House Church Leaders! Dale and Santana will be appointed as the Maryland House Church Leaders! We are honored to have these great men and women serve the church. Faithful leadership is always God’s solution to any opportunity or challenge! Let us embrace and honor these men and women who are taking up the charge to build God’s kingdom in a powerful way!

Beginning the New Year, we need vision and direction of where we desire to go! If we’re going to build the Lord’s house in 2017, we need some bold goals to push us to do even greater things than 2016! The following are the WDCICC goals for the 2017 year: 1) Appoint new house church leaders 2) Plant new Bible Talks with new Bible Talk Leaders 3) Collect over 100% of our Special Missions Contribution 4) Appoint two new shepherding couples 5) Raise the weekly contribution 6) 200 in church membership 7) Decrease fall-away percentage through shepherding, creating family within Bible Talks, Life Talks, follow-up studies and raising up new leadership. 8) Every member get a kingdom dream and continually pray for it 9) At least 20 disciples go to the 2017 GLC in Manila, Philippines! 10) Open the WDCICC ICCM campus 11) Every member influences at least one person to be baptized 12) Contribute to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale planting by sending disciples on the mission team.

Elizabeth and I are excited for a whole new year together! Let’s heed Haggai’s admonition to never be too busy with our own lives to stop us from building God’s temple in the 21st century! I believe 2017 will bring many miracles and incredible victories! “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Richie McDonnell

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