On our Pastor’s mind (9-21-14)

Who is responsible?

Answer: We are!

peopleLook around our church. Think about the homes you passed on your way to church. In a 2-mile radius of this church, a tremendous number of unchurched people exists.

I think you would have to admit that we are not doing a great job reaching our community with the Gospel. The problem is that we think it is someone else’s job.

In your opinion, who should reach children?

You may be tempted to say the children’s Sunday School and TeamKID teachers.

So, who should reach teenagers?

Again, you may be tempted to point to the Minister of Students and those that work with youth.

So, then who should reach the young married couples and young singles in our community?

You may be tempted to say the pastor. But you are only part right.

Who is responsible?

We are!

We all have the responsibility to reach people. Children must learn to invite senior adults and college students as well as their friends. Youth must think about teachers and coaches as well as their peers. Median adults must think young singles and other families in their neighborhoods. Senior adults must pray for and invite children and teenagers.

It is not up to a few people. We must all reach people who don’t look and act like us. We all need to love the broken and unlovely people of our community. Jesus associated with tax collectors and prostitutes. Jesus loved sinners. And so should we.

  • Make it your goal to speak-up and invite people to church.
  • Invite the FedEx person that drops off a package.
  • Invite the person working on the street in front of your house.
  • Invite the lady with tattoos sitting next to you at McDonalds.
  • Invite the mother you encounter at the local Kinkos.
  • Invite the child who comes by to sell you this year’s new school coupon book.

Then, greet and love anyone who comes to church or Sunday School. And invite them to lunch.

On our Pastor’s mind (9-14-14)

Coming to a church near you…

Mark your calendars and plan to be involved in the following:

Night of Worship at the Pavilion

Next Sunday evening, September 21, we are going to meet in the Pavilion for our time of worship. This will be an opportunity to take our worship into the neighborhood; and while we worship, we will pray for God to use us to make an impact for the Kingdom of God – raising a canopy of prayer over the community.

Thinking about Missions

I just returned from a vision trip to Cincinnati, OH, and met several of our North American Mission Board missionaries. My hope for this summer is that several families will take to the road and go to Cincinnati to work with these missionaries for a week. Look for more details coming soon.

Also on Sunday, September 28, we will hear from one of our new International Mission Board appointees about how we can be involved in spreading the Good News internationally.

An Evening with Sacred Calling

Sunday evening, September 28, we will host Sacred Calling, a trio of Christian young ladies who sing for God’s glory. They will be leading us in a wonderful time of worship.

Trunk-or-Treat

In October, we will have an opportunity for you and your family to Love Loud, as we engage with our community in a Trunk-or-Treat event on Wednesday evening, October 29, 6 p.m. We want to let people know that we love them. Note: Please help as we get ready by donating candy for this event. You can leave the candy at the iCare Table.

Remember to ask yourself

What is the most loving thing I can do at this moment?

On our Pastor’s mind

Full of Grace and Truth

As believers, we all want to be like Jesus. That is what it means to be a Christian. So what was He like? The Apostle John gives us that answer in John 1:14:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (NKJV).

Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” So as believers and as Christians, we too should be full of grace and truth. We are not just to exemplify grace and truth; we are to overflow with grace and truth.

The problem is that some of us believers overdo truth, or maybe we just underdo grace. Either way, we begin to think that just because we happen to excel at one point in our Christian walk that means we are experts and should dictate to others how to live. We reason that if others would listen to truth and obey it then they too will become great Christians like us. So we forget about humility, and we forget about the grace that God poured out on us. And instead, we pursue them with the “standard of truth.” And here is that crux of the problem: without grace, truth becomes perverted. Without grace, our “standard of truth” is simply just legalism. It is a form of intolerance.

Others of us underdo truth. We attempt to show grace to others without pointing them back to God’s truth. But grace without truth is not really grace; it is just a different kind of perversion. It is a mutant-grace which our world prefers. Grace without truth is really just tolerance.

Jesus was full of both grace and truth. That is 100% grace and 100% truth. We must deliver both, maybe not at the same time, but definitely both. By displaying the grace of Christ, we can provide an opportunity for the truth of God’s Word to sink in and for the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction.

Jesus was full of grace and truth. We too must be full of both grace and truth.

On our Pastor’s mind

Love Loud

This next year the Tennessee Baptist community outreach theme is Love Loud. They encourage the TN churches to make a focused effort sometime during the 3 weeks leading to Easter. We will join them in this effort, but I plan to champion this theme through the year.

Love Loud!

Sunday, I challenged us to love people. I want us to ask ourselves the following question:

What is the most loving thing I can do right now?

People are everywhere. They need love. So I want us asking ourselves this question. This question consistently demands that we take action and points us toward taking the right action. The idea is that these acts of kindness may open the door for us to share, maybe not immediately, but if we consistently show people the love of Christ, then eventually we will have opportunities to say something about our hope in Christ Jesus.

Random Acts of Kindness

Our society speaks of “random acts of kindness.” I guess the randomness could be seen from the receiver’s point of view, but I don’t believe the love of Christ is shown randomly. I believe we must be purposeful.

Ideas: Demonstrate the love of Christ

At first, it may be hard to think of ways you can demonstrate the love of Christ. Here are two ideas for this week:

umbrella
Idea 1: Umbrella Escort – next time it rains, go to one of the local grocery stores, to Target, or to Walmart, and walk people out to their cars under a huge umbrella. You might want to have on a church T-shirt and hand out a church business card. Note: Perhaps, someone in our church would donate some money to have some umbrellas made with our church name on them.

Mentor

 

Idea 2: Mentor for Elementary School Student – Belle Morris Elementary School sent word this week that they need mentors. They are having a meeting on Wednesday, September 3, 8 to 9 a.m. Being a mentor means committing to 1 hour a week during school hours. The commitment is weekly, but the pay-off is huge.

What is the most loving thing you can do right now?

LOVE LOUD!

Children’s SS Campout

Help!

Our Sunday School Children’s Department is planning a camp-out on the playground Friday, September 26.

We need some camping equipment, especially sleeping bags.

campout

Please help!

If you have any items we may borrow, please see Linda B. or Sherry C.

This will be a new adventure for some of them.