What a sweet time we had last night. Thank you Gunawan for your leadership and your love for God and His church. Thank you for being a faithful Deacon and Gospel Project Leader. I am trying to get all my thank you's out because you leave the country on Sunday to return to your homeland. Let me say it again... I love EBCI, Her people, and our God. Yet, I hurt deep within for the church when God calls some of his finest out of the country. It leaves avoid. Pray we see God's will and trust Him fully in such times.
One part of your life I love Gunawan is your commitment to the task. You are leaving but I know till the end, you will demonstrate servant leadership. And you will do it well.
Both Pamela and I will miss you and Nane... well we already do (in advance). Take these same leadership and disciple-making gifts to the new body of Christ He places you in. Any church you end up at will be a better church having you and Nane there.
Day 4 Prayer Meeting tonight.
Our focus will be...
Ask God for your daily bread, Personal needs and EBCI needs (finances, a settled place, Ministry)
- Give us this day our daily bread
Deacon Paul will be leading tonights time. Make sure you are with us so you can experience the joy first hand.
How do I know what to write? Hmmm, I guess like many writers when I sit at the keyboard I usually don't have a game plan. If there is not a subject I need to address, I ask God to let me write words that would encourage. Words that will make people think.
The audience, though not large, is made of people so different that it can be difficult to speak to everyone every time... or even most of the time. I also know among those who receive the blog... FB post... or email from the church with the same content, not everyone reads what I write. I'm ok with that. I know they won't know I spoke of them (in general) because they don't read this thing. Someone would have to mention it to them.
Every week, there are certain things that are a part of our lives that I will address. i.e. the coming sermon... this weeks prayer meetings... items the church is facing (the shifting). I have written sections to prompt people to help me make this letter more you friendly. I did this by asking you to submit a question to the Pastor. This offer is still open, so send me your questions. Bottom line, there is no specific method to my madness... just madness.
Let me also suggest this... If what I share encourages you and you think it can encourage others, please feel free to share it, in whole or part.
The two ministries, AWANA and Children's Church are presently on Summer hiatus. Due to the departure of those who were leading these ministries we now need at least two persons to step up and assume the leadership these ministries need. I am praying we can have someone in these places of service within the next 4-5 weeks so they will have time to organize the respective ministries before kickoff when they resume in late September.
If you have questions about the ministry workload, please ask. Both of these ministries take skills of administration and oversight of the different levels that make them up. We have a strong volunteer base, which is needed. The church office can help with communication. If interested, see me soon.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. - 1 Peter 4:10
There is a fad, slowly creeping across the USA where people are deciding to simplify their life and one of the ways they are doing this is by building or buying a "Tiny House". If you notice in the picture, this Tiny House was built on a flatbed trailer you can pull behind your vehicle. Cant, you buy a travel trailer (RV) which is practically the same thing? Pamela and I have been watching some of these shows to see the different designs and styles people are making. Of the many things we have talked about concerning these houses, making such a decision might be easy to make but hard to follow through long term. That figure is not available. I do wonder how many people who chose to make life more simple, rechose to expand back to what most of us would say is a more comfortable and complicated day by day life.
I am not advocating for anyone to simplify their life in such a way. Let me try and draw a spiritual parallel. Would it be fair to say that we, as Christians, have lives that are filled with the complexities of fitting in and gaining temporal stuff that fills our lives and often become a distraction to the most important things in life? This is true for the individual and the church body.
Thom Rainer, President of LifeWay, wrote a book called Simple Church. Here is an excerpt from the book explaining the principle.
A simple church is designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. The leadership and the church are clear about the process (clarity) and are committed to executing it. The process flows logically (movement) and is implemented in each area of the church (alignment). The church abandons everything that is not in the process (focus). (pp. 67-68)
I think the above quote is worth studying if Thom Rainer is right or wrong. If right, see how God wants to organize us. If wrong, toss it aside and thank God for showing us where not to go. Let's remember the following.
He must become greater; I must become less. - John 3:30 NIV
See you tonight