In the second year of the Director of Connections Ministry position, the High Five Ministry Team has both expanded and grown deeper. Our team is “well oiled”, welcoming everyone from the time they drive onto the LGCC campus, through crossing the street, to a warm welcome in the Entranceway, and beyond. Coffee service is offered every Sunday, new visitors are identified and warmly welcomed, and information is collected at the red WELCOME table. This ministry has grown in number as LGCC volunteers faithfully serve throughout each month. Couples, singles, and full families serve alongside each other regularly. I am truly grateful to those who have served over the past two years and those who have just joined the team recently.

The High Five Ministry is one that truly embodies Loving God and Others which serves as one of our values. A big point to note is that this ministry is active through more than just Sunday Morning Worship. This also leads us to Living Life in Relationship with others. Anytime there is a special service or gathering, High Five is there! Christmas Eve, Songs by the Fire, Trunk or Treat, Sunrise Service on Easter morning, special Worship Services during the week, meals on Sundays, etc., the High Five Ministry is always working hard to make all feel welcome and cared for.

The information that is received from first-time visitors by the High Five Ministry Team is used to further welcome them with personal phone calls, handwritten notes of welcome from the Staff and Pastors, and invitations to regularly planned Welcome Receptions. All these communications and assimilations starts with the information that the High Five Ministry Team collects.

Other Connections Ministry Responsibilities beyond the High Five Ministry Team include Fest Parking Ministry and hospitality. The LGCC Fest Parking Ministry had over 70 LGCC volunteers working this year as we welcomed thousands of visitors. In 2023 we were blessed to have new Ministry Leaders…The O’Connells and Tom Pusateri stepped up to lead these huge outreach events. Hospitality is a big piece of the Connections Ministry during events such as NextSteps, Welcome Receptions, and other Outreach Ministry events. A big shout out to the LGCC Meal Train Volunteers and Elaine Harrington for blessing our luncheons with beautiful homemade desserts.

A Glance Back at 2023

• Just shy of 100 new visitors were greeted, made to feel at home during their visit, filled out a Connection Card, and were added to our LGCC database!

• Visitors received Swag Bags, personal phone calls, handwritten notes from the Staff, invitations to meet the LGCC Staff at Welcome Reception Lunches, and more.

• We saw visitors who joined us for the first time in 2023 move from spectators to participants in the AV Ministry, Music Ministry, and High Five Ministry. Many families that you might consider “Regular Attenders” actually came through the High Five Ministry process in 2023!

• Over 100 of our own LGCC members and friends engaged and volunteered in new events and expanded ministry. High Five Ministry gives an easy onboard path for volunteering and meeting other members of the LGCC community.

• It is also with great joy that I am able to report that the LGCC Fest Parking Ministry returned to full speed in 2023. Our Fest Parking Ministry Leaders Patrick and Taryn O’Connell, and Tom Pusateri were a huge blessing as they lead this ministry through the 2023 Fest Parking Season. Fest Parking Ministry is our largest on-site outreach to area visitors, with an outreach in the thousands throughout the course of the 3 fests.

• Outdoor Church Services, Fest Parking Ministry, Long Grove Downtown Worship Services, all these and more are cared for by the High Five Ministry, making clear where we are, what we are doing, all the while warmly welcoming visitors.

A Look ahead

High Five Ministry and the High Five Ministry Team began in 2022, but in 2023 it flourished and became a vibrant, cohesive team. 2022’s goal of filling the High Five Ministry with many volunteers was met! Most on the team have been a part of High Five Ministry for over a year now. This is a huge blessing! We have also been able to bring on new volunteers as they graduate from the LGCC Next Steps Class. High Five is a precious and important ministry and is ready to be lead by a volunteer, someone who is truly ready to Give their time and attention away to this critical ministry. The bones are in place… there is the Planning Center app to manage a weekly team, we have in place a well-thought-out placement of volunteers and their responsibilities, and we have the equipment and tools needed for clear signage to welcome all. In 2024, it is my goal and the goal of Pastor Dell to hand over this young ministry to someone who will take care of it well and love these great volunteers.

We do so much here at LGCC! There are many current Connections Ministry roles that are ready to be moved from Staff Lead to Volunteer Lead. I hope these blessed ministry managers will step forward to help. It is my hope to move to more of an oversight role to allow increased opportunity for others to be blessed as I have through serving.  

I truly believe that these ministry positions allow us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Do you have a heart for hospitality? Do you have a heart for prayer? Do you have the heart to Go to the Lost, the organizational skills, and the energy to head up our Fest Parking Ministry, which is just a 9-day ministry in 2024? Do you have a kind smile for Sunday morning greeting?  We have a place for you! There are all kinds of opportunities for ministry and many places to serve.

I thank God for richly blessing LGCC in 2023. I stand amazed! May God richly bless you and our continued efforts and ministries here at Long Grove Community Church as we boldly step into 2024. Let us follow Him and care for the precious church that He has entrusted us.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


Matthew 22:37-40