Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pastor's Update for Fall 2012

Here's an update I shared at our quarterly business meeting last Sunday, including some praises and upcoming prayer needs for our church...

Fall is here! As the days grow shorter and students head back to school, fall is a good time to stop and review our ministry goals for the coming year. A couple weeks ago, I met with our deacons for our annual prayer and planning retreat. Here are some opportunities we see on the horizon and invite you to pray with us:
  • With Gordon Gill and Dan Bentley stepping down from deacon ministry for health and scheduling reasons, we plan to add one or two new deacons to our ministry team next year. We look forward to presenting these names for consideration as we get closer. 
  • Shepherding and care for the Body of Christ is a high priority for our leaders. We have updated our Care Group Ministry and Prayer Chain, and are encouraging every member to belong to a Small Group at the church (e.g. Life Groups, Wednesday night study, 29 Palms Bible Study, Men’s or Women’s Fellowship). We also hope to add a Young Adults Bible Study to our list of available Bible Studies on Sunday mornings.
  • It seems the Lord may be opening the door for a Spanish Bible Study sometime soon. This is an exciting development that would help us share Christ’s love with an entirely new demographic of our community. 
With Natalie’s improved health, we’ve been able to show more hospitality in our home. We host lunch on the first Sunday of each month for any young adults and singles. We’ve also been hosting several equipping classes in our home, and this seems to be working well. Our Sunday afternoon Baptism Class wraps up next week, then we’ll begin another New Members class in mid-October. Several attenders have already signed up. We’ve also been meeting with several young couples for marital/pre-marital counseling. It’s a joy to connect people together and to equip families in our church in a more relaxed setting.

After our study of the Lord’s Prayer concludes, I plan to preach a series on the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah has been called “The Gospel of the Old Testament.” He is quoted more by Jesus Christ than any other prophet, and is essential to our understanding of the Messiah. I’m excited to dive into this series later this fall and into the Christmas season. On Wednesday nights, we’re wrapping up our study of the Spiritual Disciplines and are beginning a new series on Basic Christian Beliefs. You won’t want to miss it.

Lastly, I encourage you to keep giving generously to the Lord’s work. Though attendance remained strong through the summer, our giving noticeable declined. We have some exciting opportunities for ministry growth and facility improvement. Often, money seems to be the only thing holding us back. As soon as funds are available, we are ready to fix our sanctuary ceiling, patch our Bldg. C roof, improve our sound system, repair bookcases in my study, increase missions giving, and create a permanent line item for internships. The church has also fallen behind several months in paying my family health insurance. If giving could increase by $2,000-3,000 per month, all these goals could be met. Please pray what the Lord would have your family to give. Every dollar makes a difference and brings glory to God.

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