Looking back at 2020 with optimism, hope

Looking back at 2020 with optimism, hope

By Russell Klinner
Executive director, Shocco Springs

As I sit here reflecting on the year, to say 2020 was challenging would be a grievous understatement on my part.

Our organization and society as a whole have faced a global pandemic, societal unrest, political division, economic uncertainty, reduced in-person gatherings, school closings and a shortage of toilet paper to name a few.

Without a doubt, 2020 will have a lasting impact on our lives from this point forward. Much like air travel is measured as pre-9/11 and post-9/11, this is a defining moment for us as an organization and for the world around us.

The impact of 2020 on our future has only just begun to reveal itself.

As difficult as 2020 was, I am optimistic about the lasting impact 2020 will have on the ministry of Shocco. Two specific fronts come to mind.

First, I feel there is a renewed desire to physically come together in our general society as a whole, but especially among the body of Christ. As we have all learned, Zoom meetings cannot and will not ever replace the opportunity to sit across the table and break bread with friends and loved ones.

As Hebrews 10:25 reminds us, online gathering is not going to replace in-person worship. God calls us to assemble together, and there is nothing that can replace in-person, corporate worship of Christ our Savior.

Value others

Second, my prayer is that as Christians we continue to grow in our ability to see the world as Christ does, valuing all the opinions, ideals and cultures of others — regardless of race, gender or political affiliation — while keeping the gospel first and foremost. Ephesians 4:1–6 says, “We are one in Christ with no dividing wall of hostility.”

Shocco’s ministry to provide a place for all people to gather in person and experience God in a unique way is now, more than ever, vital to the world around us. Our ministry has a unique opportunity to be an example to the world of what genuine Christlike service looks like rooted in love.

I will emphatically walk away from 2020 with confidence in our guests and supporters and the staff of Shocco. I see Christ’s provision for us as they give selflessly on all fronts to sustain our ministry.

From our staff serving in roles that weren’t specifically assigned to them to financially giving back to this organization, I have watched our stakeholders unify around the ministry of Shocco. This gives me hope and confidence that no matter what lies ahead in the coming months, together with Christ at the helm, Shocco will succeed in the ministry God has for us.

With this in mind, I want to simply say, “Thank you.” The board of trustees and staff are deeply appreciative to Alabama Baptists for using our facilities, praying for us, partnering financially, making contributions of time and talent and especially with gifts through the Cooperative Program.

Although I think we will end the year with a net effect on assets of -$800,000, apart from God’s provisions and plans that number should be -$2 million. God has provided.

As we ready ourselves for 2021, I pray that we let the refining nature of 2020 draw us closer to Christ-likeness, displaying a renewed confidence in God, each other and the ministry of Shocco.