Thursday, May 3, 2018

THURSDAYS TIDBITS

SPEAKING TO THIS FIRST

I, personally, do not know of any minister who likes to speak of money... giving... financial needs... I admit I don't like it but the Bible speaks of tithes and offerings and the church must follow suit.

Why do I not like to speak on this topic? Because it is a sensitive topic to so many people in the church. Throughout the years, the church has gotten a bad rap on just wanting peoples money. From this Pastor's heart to his people... I think I have proven myself not to make my ministry and ministry plea about money. I will deal with the subject when it comes up in scripture and when the church needs to be reminded... encouraged... challenged... or a few other reasons. Today I have a reason.

This season of transition has put a greater burden on the church in all areas of ministry. Our numbers have decreased by about 1/3, due to the shift from Friday to Saturday. Our ministries have taken a hit due to not having a place we can call our own and schedule our ministries freely and without additional expense. Our giving has dropped due to the number decrease and cost for some to even travel the extra distance just to continue worship with their church.

I want to encourage you to pray about this and seek God in how He wants you to be instrumental in keeping EBCI fiscally strong. God works through His people to keep His church financially strong. Let me thank you in advance for all you have done and all you will do. Remember, summer is coming quickly and due to the holiday structure, numbers will dip for a few months. Please do not forget your church when you are on holiday.

Please note... We are not in a crisis financially but to be fiscally wise, we must be transparent and you must be aware that your church needs you to be a strong and cheerful financial supporter of your church (EBCI).

HUGE CHALLENGE... I know you have heard about the upcoming FREIND DAY (May 26). We have set a goal of 400 persons to be in that weekend service. I want to set a goal of AED 100,000 in giving for that day. Don't hold back... make this day a day you can give normally --- give ahead of your travel --- give cheerfully --- give supportively of the work EBCI is doing for God's kingdom. Be faithful till then. Be extra generous then and be faithful in the days after.


EXPECT A MIRACLE...
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UNDERSTANDING THE PRIORITIES

I am convinced most people in the church know how to DO church. They know how to DO the ministry, They know the language... the traditions... the do's and dont's... They know how to DO church. This, in and of itself is not bad because we want people to know how to DO church... we really do. What I want them to know with this, is... there is a more important part of BEING a follower of Christ, that takes precedence over DOING church. God has first called us to BE the church. 


Being the church rightly leads us to do church correctly.


Do we understand what it means to BE the church? Let me take a few lines to present a simple and biblical principle that undergirds the fact that we are called to BE the church.


Matthew 5:13a, 14a
You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world.

These two statements from Christ are descriptives of what we are to BE. We are to BE salt - We are to BE light. When we are BEING these two things they then DO what they are intended to DO... not before. Salt seasons because it is salt. Light dispels darkness because it is light. 

When we gather this weekend at DECC, we will be worshipping our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope you can join us and experience God with us as we do church. My challenge to each of us is that we make this weekend gathering better for us individually and for us corporately. Let us all find time to go before God and surrender our doing to Him. Asking God to help us make our life about being a follower of Christ and not just a doer for Christ.

Next installment of this theme - Doers vs. Hearers (James 1)
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RIDGECREST BAPTIST CHURCH, DALLAS, TX

When we returned from Nigeria, the Lord opened an opportunity for me to be interim Pastor at RBC. This was for a short period as we were searching for a full-time ministry. The Lord was clear that RBC was not to be that ministry.

As stated in an earlier blog, we love this church. We have a lot of great history at this church and it will forever be a highlight of our life and ministry. After a short time here, God moved us to western PA. To Johnstown, PA... Westmont Baptist Church.

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Hmmmmmm...

I have never seen myself writing a book until the last few years. There are many reasons for this. Some of those reasons are: 1) I do not see myself as a skilled writer... 2) I have too many thoughts of what to write and these thoughts keep changing so I would frustrate myself more than I want to be frustrated... 3) There are too many critics in the world (just a quick look at the many Christian forums prove this) and I have no desire to do something just to be criticized... 4) Even if every church member of every church I have pastored bought two copies, my cost for publishing a minimum requirement would keep me in the red. 5) I am not sure I have the time.

Yet, I have decided that if I ever do write a book, the name of the book will be "Confusion by Jon L. Estes" with the sub-title... For God is not the author of confusion - 1 Cor. 14:33a.


Until then. I will keep posting this stuff to my blog with the hopes that some will find encouragement and blessing along the way.

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