Saturday, February 28, 2015

Victory News


Is there a grand scheme of things?

Is there a plan?

Are we all like chess pieces, worse yet like pawns?

If you’re like me and you’ve ever thought, “I’m not so sure…” join me tomorrow as we continue our series People of the Passion and find a surprising answer to those questions.

Bible Quest Team—Whether you want to work directly with kids, greet or work behind the scenes, Bible Quest has an opportunity for you to serve! In case you missed it last week, here’s a short video we showed that teaches how God can use all of us. Also here’s the yellow handout we distributed with more information. Simply fill out the yellow card and return it to the BQ table Sunday or directly to Cassy, our Children’s Ministry Director.

Hospitality Team –As a church family we want to excel in creating a friendly, comfortable place where all our guests feel welcome. The next couple weeks in the back of the worship folder you’ll find an outline of our plan to include a greater number of volunteers in welcoming guests as part of a new Hospitality Team. Our goal is to have our hospitality plan in place for welcoming guests on April 5th for Easter. This will also give us plenty of time to be prepared for the opening of our new building next winter.

So take a look at the different positions we’re creating. Let Christie or Lauren know if you’re interested. Then after church on March 15th we’ll have a short presentation at the end of the service followed by a meeting of everyone interested in helping out afterwards as part of the team. Over the last two weeks of March, you’ll have a couple more opportunities to learn exactly what’s expected for the areas you’ll be involved in and receive some training so everyone’s on the same page. On March 29th you’ll pick up your Hospitality Team T-shirts. God willing then, we’ll be ready to go on Easter!

Things Moving and Shaking—The last two weeks have been full of numerous meetings figuring out the nitty gritty details of our overall site development. Considerable progress has been made and there are some very exciting developments in the works! Conversations are ongoing as far as various parking lot configurations, drives, and access points that will be of the greatest benefit for everyone. Right now everything’s still on track for us to break ground in April even as some of these final details get wrapped up. Most of the details being worked out involve site development but don’t impact building construction. Thanks for your ongoing prayers!

Circuit Study—Tuesday morning I led a Bible study for a group of about 20 area pastors on the Day of Atonement. I learned a lot and I’ll get to incorporate my study also into the preaching class I’m taking right now in preparation for a sermon that I’ll be preaching on March 11 at St Paul’s Muskego for their Wednesday Lent service.

Lent Worship Opportunities— We don’t have midweek Lenten services, but a lot of area WELS churches do. I encourage you to visit one nearest to you as you have the opportunity in these weeks leading up to Easter. Here’s a menu of options…
  • St. Jacobi in Greenfield (8605 W Forest Home Ave, Greenfield) Wednesday worship at 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm
  • St. Paul’s in Muskego (Janesville Rd and Tess Corners) Wednesday worship at 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm (I’ll actually be preaching there on Wed. March 11th)
  • St. Paul’s in Franklin (51st and Rawson) Wednesday worship at 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm
  • St. John’s in Oak Creek  (10302 S 27th St, Oak Creek)  Wednesday worship at 6:30 pm
  • Star of Bethlehem in New Berlin (3700 S. Casper Drive) Wednesday worship at 6:30 pm
  • Living Water in Wind Lake (6525 N. Milwaukee Ave. / Hwy. 36) Wednesday worship at 6:30 pm
Last Sunday’s sermon resources can be found here on our website.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, February 20, 2015

Victory News - People of the Passion


Two thousand years after Jesus’ life and death we may feel so far removed from the individuals who played a role in those events that we can’t imagine we share anything in common with them. Yet, a closer look reveals that their struggles, their questions, their fears, and their temptations really are incredibly contemporary.

The People of the Passion: what can we learn about them? What can we learn from them? What do they teach us about ourselves and our own faith struggles? During the 40 days leading up to Easter we are going to take a closer look at the people of the passion, examining their faith struggles and our own.

In this new series, we’re going to learn that we are more alike than we realize, not only in our faults and failings, but also in our need for a Savior and the redemption only he can bring.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

Lent Worship Opportunities— We don’t have midweek Lenten services since we currently meet in the movie theater, but a lot of area WELS churches do. I encourage you to visit one nearest to you as you have the opportunity in these weeks leading up to Easter. Here’s a menu of options…
  • St. Jacobi in Greenfield (8605 W Forest Home Ave, Greenfield) Wednesday worship at 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm
  • St. Paul’s in Muskego (Janesville Rd and Tess Corners) Wednesday worship at 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm (I’ll actually be preaching there on Wed. March 11th)
  • St. Paul’s in Franklin (51st and Rawson) Wednesday worship at 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm
  • St. John’s in Oak Creek  (10302 S 27th St, Oak Creek)  Wednesday worship at 6:30 pm
  • Star of Bethlehem in New Berlin (3700 S. Casper Drive) Wednesday worship at 6:30 pm
  • Living Water in Wind Lake (6525 N. Milwaukee Ave. / Hwy. 36) Wednesday worship at 6:30 pm
Lent Bible Reading—Lent is a great time to start reading a portion of the Bible. Here’s one plan through the Bible app specially designed for helping you journey alongside Christ in the gospels during Lent.

WELS Church Extension Fund—We are blessed as a mission church to be able to take advantage of the loan and matching grant program available to us through the Church Extension Fund (CEF). Also in case you didn’t know this, your personal investments through CEF go towards helping build new churches like ours. Check out CEF’s new promotional video which actually features Victory of the Lamb! Visit their website to learn about individual investment opportunities.

Last Sunday’s sermon resources can be found here on our website.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, February 13, 2015

Victory News - Profile Sharing


I first saw it happen while sitting in the bleachers at my daughter’s basketball game. Two moms bumped their phones together. On purpose! What were they doing? They were sharing contact information. It’s pretty cool. With a smartphone and a special app you can quickly and easily share all sorts of things actually when your phone comes in close proximity to another one—once you’ve identified it as one you want to share stuff with anyway.

Of course sharing sometimes isn’t quite as simple when it comes to human interactions (sharing anything beyond a friendly fist bump that is!). Relationships are often complicated. And yet as we wrap up our Profile series this Sunday, we’re going to learn how God wants us to live out our own new spiritual profile that we’ve received through Jesus Christ in relationship with other people. We’ll see how we can share the status we’ve received as children of God with others.

What does this look like? Join me this Sunday as we study Colossians 3:18-4:6.

Things Moving and Shaking – Final tweaks were being made to our construction documents this week as our architects were getting them ready to send off to Catalyst Construction and the State of WI.  Meanwhile meetings and multiple conversations are ongoing as we wait for and work together with Kayla’s Krew, the City of Franklin, MMSD, the DOT, and the DNR to iron out all the details that are involved in the building process for our little corner in southwest Franklin. Please continue to keep the entire project in your prayers as we seek to be a church that can be a long-term blessing to our community! Even more, let’s always be a church that’s praying regularly for our local community leaders—mayor, aldermen and alderwomen, planners, engineers, attorneys…and (even though they’re not involved in our building project) the local school board members. God bless all those who work diligently to make our Franklin community a great place to live, work, and worship!

Leadership Team meeting – Had a great meeting this week. We’re continuing to work on building the healthy organizational structure needed to be a growing church soon to move into our own building. We want to stay focused on our mission long-term to reach those outside the church with the gospel while being effective in how we carry out our vision so that more members are equipped to serve and our community is served as we share Christ’s victory with more people.

Hospitality Team – This week I met with Christie and Lauren. Over the last couple months we’ve begun to put together a comprehensive plan to include a greater number of volunteers in welcoming guests on Sunday mornings and following up with them during the week. Stay tuned for more info soon as we polish some of the details and invite you to be a part of the team in March. Our goal is to have our hospitality plan in place for welcoming guests on April 5th which is Easter so that we have plenty of time to be prepared for the launch of our new building in winter.

Last Sunday’s sermon resources can be found here on our website.

To view this email on the web just visit my blog.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, February 6, 2015

Victory News - Be Loved and Love


Next Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Don’t worry, I’m not saying you should start panicking. But the ads would have you think, “Time's running out to find that perfect gift to give your special someone this Valentine's Day, something that really makes them feel loved and valued.” At least that’s what the internet wanted to remind me of this morning. Sounds like a lot of pressure, doesn’t it?

Well the good news is that whether you find a nice gift for that special someone in your life or not, or whether you have a special someone in your life or not (that’s ok too), God has already given each of us the perfect gift that guarantees we are loved and valued! He has given us Jesus Christ, his Son, to be our perfect, all-sufficient Savior. So much does God love us! Because God has given us his dearest and his best, we can have the assurance that there is no good thing that God will ever withhold from us that we need. He loves us! This we know.

Join me again this Sunday as we continue our Profile series studying Colossians where we’ll talk about what this wonderful truth means in our lives. It’s a fitting time to come hear about how we are loved by God and inspired to reflect God’s love to others. Take a peek at the verses we’ll be studying this Sunday as we continue in Colossians 3:1-17.

Bible App Reading Plans – Do you have the YouVersion Bible app yet? It’s free and it’s amazing. I daily use the One Year Bible reading plan. The app is a great way to get God’s Word into your life a little bit each day and it helps guide you and stay on track. Download it and spend some exploring all the different ways to read the Bible. Let me know if you’d like some help. Of interest this Valentine’s Day week I’d also recommend checking out a special one week reading plan of excerpts from a great book on relationships called The Five Love Languages. Note that there are “his” and “hers” versions.

ConquerorsThroughChrist.Net – Get the help you need to escape the guilt, shame, and hurt pornography causes to yourself and others. You don’t have to let porn conquer you another day. Conquer it through Christ. “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

50 Shades – In one week the movie is hitting theaters just in time for Valentine’s Day. As Christians, it’s important that we are able to speak truthfully and lovingly about God’s gift of sexual intimacy. Souls, hearts, lives, and marriages depend on it. Give a quick read to the latest newsletter from Conquerors Through Christ that gives some helpful tips on how to have a conversation about the movie and more importantly about God’s blueprint for loving intimacy.

Building Project – One final reminder: if you know anyone in the trades or someone who might be able to help our building project either with skilled labor or a competitive bid from their company, please contact Matt Burow from Catalyst Construction before February 12th.

More Than Bricks Is the name of our capital campaign to help us build our ministry center and do mission work around the world. For more info please visit our webpage.

Small GroupsHave Fun  - Make Friends - Grow Your Faith. For more information click on this link.

Bible 101Bible 101 is the starting point in our church for anyone who would like to learn more about God, anyone who wants to see for themselves what the Bible says, or anyone who would like to receive the sacrament of holy communion in our fellowship. It’s also a great refresher for anyone who’d like to review the Bible’s basic teachings. Contact me for more info on how to get connected when we start a new group.

Last Sunday’s sermon resources can be found here on our website.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben