Saturday, February 2, 2013

Will Your Church Challenge Me?

Hello Friends,

The frequently asked question that we’re dealing with Sunday is, “Will your church challenge me?” So this week on our church Facebook page we asked people to complete this sentence: “I think a church should challenge people to…” Here are some of the responses we received:

… see people the way Jesus sees them
… reach out and show people Jesus’ love in genuine ways
… read the (whole) Bible for themselves
… get together in small group settings
… step outside their comfort zones and discuss Jesus with others
… serve others
recognize our limitations as sinful human beings, repent, and believe the gospel

Clearly there are many challenges that people feel are implied in Christ’s call, “Come, follow me.”

This Sunday in my sermon I’ll be addressing this whole idea of being challenged as we look at how not a one of us has what it takes on our own, yet we all have Jesus on our team who says, “Don’t be afraid.”

• This week I had a great meeting with Cassy (our Children’s Ministry Director), Mark (our Volunteer Coordinator), and Ryan (Operation Jesus Cares Team Leader) where we discussed and set forth our plans to get more people connected and serving in our church using their individual God-given gifts. Stay tuned!

• Last Sunday a first time visitor to our church introduced herself to me after the service. It turns out she had received multiple postcards over a couple years from our church. Just recently she went online and discovered she could watch the live stream of our service which prompted her to feel comfortable enough to want to come and worship with us in person. She said she had a wonderful first experience and would “definitely be back.” She also expressed interest in taking Bible 101 class. This is why I love being the pastor of a church like VotL!

• Vicar Joe and I have been going over the feedback we received from the think tank sessions at Applebees. We really appreciate it. I want to actually share it with you when I get Joe’s notes compiled with mine. Next week Vicar Joe will have more info about an upcoming Sheep Squads session to begin yet in February. This Fall is when we hope to have in place a more comprehensive strategy for our small group ministry. I think we’re well on our way to doing that with the input we got from you so thanks!

• Forward in Christ magazine contacted me about doing a story on our Operation Jesus Cares project this past Christmas with Christ-St. Peter school. Keep your eyes peeled next month for that article. Also, see Ryan's Operation Jesus Cares update in the announcement section of the service folder Sunday.

Sharing Christ’s victory,

Pastor Ben

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