Zoe Group Update (July-Aug 2010)

By Matt Dabbs

by Eric Noah-Wilson
July 1, 2010

Dear Friends of the ZOE Group ministries,

What an amazing 13 years of partnership we’ve had with all of you. Together we’ve done over 20 conferences; produced 14 CD’s, published a magazine and offered an innovative program for spiritual formation. God has truly been at work in our midst and we are so thankful to Him and to you.

Even as we celebrate these successes, however, we admit that the last two years have been extremely challenging for ZOE. We announced several months ago that we were canceling our Texas and California conferences in 2010 due to continuing financial difficulties. Like many of you, ZOE has been hit hard by a bad economy. In January the decision was made to incur no more debt until all past and current financial obligations have been met. We are pleased to announce that 80% of that debt has now been eliminated through generous gifts, advertising and ZOE Life Store sales. Thank you for making that financial freedom possible. We still have a ways to go but our progress this year has been very encouraging.

Our team met in Nashville at the end of June and decided that it was time to take a fresh look at ZOE. Much has changed in our world and in our churches since our beginning in 1997. We needed to seriously consider the possibility that ZOE might have run its time and course and that we needed to celebrate what God has done and end the ministry. After a long and passionate discussion we all felt strongly that God was not finished with ZOE yet. We still face some daunting challenges, most notably how to keep things going in a struggling economy. But we’re determined to try.

We did, however, make some important decisions that will impact the entire ZOE family including you. Although we came away from this meeting committed to moving forward, it was our consensus that we needed to take some time to reflect on where ZOE has been and consider where God might be leading us in the future. Like many high school graduates, who choose to sit out a year before going on to college, we thought it would be wise after 13 years to “backpack through Europe” for a while and consider next steps. Most of all, we felt the need to hear from you about how ZOE can best serve the church in the years ahead.

So…we’ve decided not to do an October conference in Nashville this year or to produce a new CD. Instead, we’ll be praying, dreaming and listening – to God and to you. In the months ahead we’ll be reaching out to you for ideas and suggestions on everything from conferences to music choices, from finances to the opportunities presented by new media. We need your help and we hope you’ll be excited to join the conversation. We’ll also be providing more details about the future of Growing Deeper and Wineskins as well as information about changes in the ZOE leadership team.

Our hope is that ZOE will come back refreshed, strong and focused in 2011. In the meantime you’ll have the opportunity to join the ZOE praise team at several events this year. The team will be in Athens, Alabama on Saturday night, July 17, at the 7 Mile Post Road Church of Christ and at the Conroe Church of Christ in Conroe, Texas on September 11 and 12. Additional dates include the North Davis Church of Christ in early October and in Tyler, Texas in November.

Although all of us are disappointed that we won’t be coming together for our yearly time of worship and fellowship in Nashville in October, we’re excited about the future. We invite your prayers as we travel into this new adventure.

May God bless you all.

The ZOE Group

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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