Dear Church Family,
Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ.
On March 14, we will begin a new series of messages at church. The new series is called How Do We Make Sense of this World?And I’ll be honest with you, this series is going to present a real challenge for me. I’m not the kind of teaching pastor who has messages all worked out far in advance. I like to serve up fresh bread each week right out of the oven. Even though I have been collecting a lot of material, the real work begins every Monday.
Early in my ministry I adopted some mottos that help me stay focused, and motivated. One of my mottos is: To Make God Real, To See Lives Changed. The other motto is: The Preacher Preaches to the Church so that the Church Can Preach to the World.
Maybe my mottos can help us focus on our mission and motivate us during the next few weeks. When it comes to our mission of reaching people with the good news about Jesus, the burden is on us to make the connections. We have to earn the right to be heard. We don’t love people for the sake of conversion. We love people because they need to be loved.
This new series is aimed at both the believer and the non-believer, the connected and the disconnected, the servants of God and the skeptical. In my experience, the needs of people inside the church are pretty much the same as those outside, and the questions we struggle with, they struggle with too.
Now, we are doing a bit more with this series than we usually do.
First of all, we are printing up some simple pocket-sized invitations that you can use to invite people you know. Remember, the place to start is with their need. You are not inviting them to become a part of our church forever. You are inviting them to hear some teaching that can help them in their daily life. You are inviting them to take one step in a new direction. That first step can be pretty overwhelming, so be patient and flexible.
Spend a great deal of time in prayer before you invite someone. Keep in mind what Paul says in Colossians 4:5-6: “Be tactful with those who are not Christians and be sure you make the best use of your time with them. Talk to them agreeably and with a flavor of wit and try to fit your answers to the needs of each one.” (Jerusalem Bible)
Your invitation can be mailed, retyped into a personal email from you, or posted on your Facebook page. Of course, the best way is face to face.
The second thing we are doing involves small groups. We are calling them M68 groups. M68 stands for Micah 6:8. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Each M68 group will meet once a week during the series and go deeper into the word using the questions I will supply each week. I think you will find yourself engaging with Christ and the Bible in fresh ways as you listen to the message with the questions in hand and then discuss them in your group during the week.
In each M68 group we want to practice the empty chair strategy. We need to pray and expect friends to come to both the services and the group. So, each group needs to keep an empty chair and ask God to fill it with just the right person. If you are doing this as a Zoom group, then think of it as an empty rectangle on the screen.
There is godly strength when we are all moving in unity in the same direction. M68 groups are for this series so that we are all making the same commitments in the same direction. If after the 7 weeks your group wants to continue, go for it. Or, if you like being a part of a group, but want to try a different group, go for it. The church needs a spirit of flexibility and experimentation without fear.
The third thing we are emphasizing is prayer. I want to ask all of you to spend every Monday beginning now, and every Monday through this series, in prayer. Pick a time each Monday to pray or pray several times a day as you think of it. Imagine the power of our entire church praying every Monday for weeks. Pray that as invitations are shared people will be responsive. Ask God to bless us with visitors. Pray that many lives will be changed. Pray for the M68 groups. And please pray for me as I prepare each message.
In Philippians 1:3-6 Paul says,
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.…”
He took the words right out of my mouth. Actually, he put the words right into my mouth. I am thankful for you and I remember you in all my prayers.
Warm regards in the Lamb of God, Pastor Gary
-Use pocket size invitations as a tool but keep their needs in mind when inviting them to this series. Spend a great deal of time in prayer before you invite someone.
-M68 small groups, each M68 group will meet once a week during the series and go deeper into the word using the questions I will supply each week.
-We are emphasizing prayer. I want to ask all of you to spend every Monday beginning now, and every Monday through this series, in prayer. Pick a time each Monday to pray or pray several times a day as you think of it.
December 2, 2020
With the latest state wide freeze coming to an end today, our plan is to hold services once again starting Sunday December 6. As before the shut down, masks will be required and we will maintain social distance. Pastor Joseph will host a combined live and zoom adult Sunday school class starting at 9:00
December 2, 2020
With the latest state wide freeze coming to an end today, our plan is to hold services once again starting Sunday December 6. As before the shut down, masks will be required and we will maintain social distance. Pastor Joseph will host a combined live and zoom adult Sunday school class starting at 9:00 a.m. and the main service will start at 10:30. The message will also be posted on YouTube and Facebook Sunday afternoon
As of this afternoon the governor has not officially told us what the restrictions will entail for the next two weeks, but the guidelines she has previously posted suggest that we will be able to open. It looks like we can have a minimum of 50 people in the building, so we should be able to meet without needing reservations. This Sunday we won’t have any child care, though we hope to provide it in the future if we find there is a need.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday. If you can’t join us then, enjoy the online presentation.
Stay safe and God bless you.
About four years ago churches were given the opportunity to "adopt" a school. The objective was to show our appreciation for all they do for our children. We adopted Desert View Elementary where our very own Rachel Goller works. Before Halloween we delivered post-a-notes, FCC pen, and a large candy bar to Desert View. With winter ar
About four years ago churches were given the opportunity to "adopt" a school. The objective was to show our appreciation for all they do for our children. We adopted Desert View Elementary where our very own Rachel Goller works. Before Halloween we delivered post-a-notes, FCC pen, and a large candy bar to Desert View. With winter around the corner, this month we delivered knit hats with sign "our hats are off to you!" Showing appreciation for others is such a blessing for all involved.
Operation Christmas Child is coming to a close. First Christian Church collected 33 shoe boxes filled with wonderful gifts for children around the world. These same children will be invited to 12 sessions to learn about Jesus Christ after the holidays.
Lisa and Dene collected and delivered the boxes to the Hub at New Hope this week.
Our board voted on a one-time special window replacement offering. The money raised in that offering will go exclusively to repair the windows. Any surplus will go into the general fund. Mark you checks as "windows" in the memo field if you plan to send in an offering.
**Total Raised so far $3400.00**
We are here, allow us to pray with you or for you. Privacy is very important so please note if this is an unspoken request.