Over the past few weeks, I have been asked by friends from across South Georgia and beyond about how our church seems to be growing and thriving when others are struggling. Again and again, they ask what our secret is and I want to share with you what I’m telling them:

Hi friends,

2023 has been an incredible year at Pittman Park! We have seen our church grow in every area (community, discipleship, worship, service, missions, and more). Each week, new faces join us for community, discipleship, and worship as we engage in making disciples of Jesus Christ and transforming the world. I am proud to serve a church that is so open and welcoming to all and a community that genuinely desires to grow its reach and commitment to Christ. There are a few areas in particular that are helping us grow and reach our community.

First, we are becoming better at telling our story. The addition of Megan Hopkins as our communications director last year has helped us create brand and name recognition in our community. We are intentionally present at community gatherings (First Fridays, Tormenta Soccer, Farmers Market, etc.) so that people know who we are and how they can become a part of the community of faith at Pittman Park.

Second, our emphasis on community has helped us welcome new people to our church. We are training our congregation to invite guests who join us for worship and members of the Statesboro community to join us for Open Table–our free dinner–on Wednesday nights. This has not only helped to engage our members but also created an atmosphere of invitation and welcome at Pittman Park.

Third, we have a great staff. Our team works together to help our church grow as disciples who transform the world and assist each other in equipping the church for ministry. We are blessed to have Wendy and Jodi leading our office and administrative areas, Bekah and Megan leading our children and youth, and Stephanie connecting parents and ministries together. Our team is strong!

Fourth, our church has a positive attitude that supports creativity and innovation. We are not only open to new ideas but have committed to supporting those ideas and opportunities through our GROW Grant program. The GROW Grant allows church members and staff to bring ideas to grow our church and receive funding quickly.

Fifth and finally, we are committed to our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ and transforming the world. We have done a good job of keeping the main thing the main thing. Pittman Park has a single point of focus on becoming the church and the community that God has created and called us to be. That’s powerful and transformative and that’s the kind of church people want to be a part of.

As I have said before, Pittman Park UMC is the best appointment in our Annual Conference, and I am proud to serve this church! I can’t wait to see how God will use us for his Kingdom, Name, and Renown as we go and grow in Jesus’ name!

God bless,
Jonathan Smith
For Jesus. For People. For Community.