Monthly Archives: January 2012

SOCIAL MEDIA or SOCIAL SLUR???

Everybody seems to be on facebook these days. I, yes I, the old church pastor of 50 have my own facebook page. Ha, even our church has a facebook page. But is facebook a great place for socializing and building relationships or is it a place to tear down relationships and reputations? Every time you post something, you risk hurting others (and yourself). So, here are 18 things you want to avoid doing on facebook.

Facebook is a great way for you to build and maintain relationships with people both inside your church and in your community. But facebook is not without its risks. Every time you post something, you risk hurting, offending or distancing yourself from people. So, here are 18 things you want to avoid doing on facebook…

First, the ugly…Don’t…

1. Post something out of frustration in the heat of the moment.  We all get frustrated at times. And if you want to engage people authentically, you need to “keep it real.” But facebooking when angry, frustrated, or hurt is never a good idea. Take a few minutes (or a few hours) to cool down, and then think again if you really want to use facebook to vent.

2. Criticize people.  Even if you don’t use a person’s name.

3. Embarrass yourself.  Expect everyone in your congregation and your community to see everything you post to facebook. So, don’t post anything you wouldn’t be comfortable saying or showing from the front of your church on a Sunday morning.

4. Embarrass your family.  Our spouses and kids say and do funny things all the time. Most of those things can be posted to facebook with no problem, and they help people to see you’re a normal person with a normal family. But be sensitive and when in doubt, ask your spouse and kids if it’s OK to share a quote, happening, or pic online.

5. Criticize other churches in the community.  Every church has a different mission, ministry philosophy, style of worship, and theology. But we all share one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. We should be known for our unity not our division.

The self-absorbed…Don’t…

6. Only talk about your church.  When people become facebook friends with you, it’s because they want to engage with you – a real person – not a spokesperson for your church.

7. Share everything posted to the church FB page.

8 . Just talk about yourself.  Do you like hanging around with people who only talk about themselves and never ask you about you? Don’t be one of those people online either.

The disingenuous…Don’t…

9. Act like your life is perfect.  Nobody is perfect, and everyone knows it. If you do, you’ll be perceived as inauthentic, wearing a mask.

10. Act like you’re always “joyful in the Lord.”  Nobody is happy all the time either.

11. Act like you have all the answers.  Nobody likes a know-it-all. Share insight and advice when asked. Don’t be arrogant.

The offender…Don’t…

12. Act like the language/morality police.  Your facebook friends are not perfect. They are going to share things you don’t agree with. If something is really bad, consider contacting the person privately, but don’t call people out publicly for what is unfortunately common behavior in our culture. And probably you do something similar in your own life.

13. Roll out the fire and brimstone.  I know preaching about sin and hell worked with past generations, but it’s not going to put you in a position to influence people on facebook. People on Facebook respond much more favorably to hope and love.

14. Be overly political.  It’s OK to take stands on key issues, but don’t act as though your thought are the only thoughts on any matter especially politics.

15. Engage people in debates.  Discussion is great, but if things get heated or personal, it’s time to lighten up.

The disengaged…Don’t…

16. Post a lot of theological stuff that’s over the head of your friends.

17. Login once every week or two. Relationships require consistency.  You can take breaks, go on vacation, and don’t need to be on facebook every day, but you’ve got to be regular if you’re going to build relationships in facebook.

18. Fail to respond.  When people send you messages, post to your wall, or post comments to your status updates and links, it’s important to respond. Answer people’s questions. Thank people for their insight and stories.

(Based on Paul Steinbrueck’s 18 Ways to Ruin Your Reputation of Facebook)

As I wrap up this week’s Pastor’s Pen I want to remind you about the first Sunday in February. That Sunday our bulletin will contain a survey. Following is a list of the questions you will be asked to answer. I have included them here again so that you can begin now to prayerfully compose your answers so that we will not be long in completing the survey and so that you can truly pray about your responses and not be taken by surprise.

  1. What do you see as the PURPOSE for HCBC? (Why do you think God raised up a people called Henards Chapel Missionary Baptist Church)
  2. What should our MISSION be? (Please write out a mission statement for HCBC)
  3. What is the one thing you think would really HELP HCBC be the church Christ wants her to be?
  4. How SATISFIED are you with the direction of the church?  (1 – 10, with 1 = not satisfied at all – 10 = completely satisfied)
  5. If you are not satisfied, what changes need to be made so that we will be moving in the right direction to God’s Glory?
  6. What is a SERMON, series of sermons, or BIBLE STUDY would you like to help you meet your spiritual needs and help you grow?
  7. Are you PRAYING for HCBC daily, and if not will you commit to PRAY EVERYDAY for at least one month?

Also, would you join me and many others in CRYING OUT TO GOD for Him to do here in Hawkins County what he did in Clay County Kentucky as witnessed on the DVD, “An Appalachian Dawn?”  PLEASE come to Cherokee High School on Saturday February 4th at 10:00 am and bring everyone you can with you who realizes drugs are a problem, and who want to see God move in our county, and who are willing to help. For more information and to respond to this invitation, please go to www.Expecting-Gods-Help.com  and please keep this effort in your prayers.

Together in Christ’s Service,

Pastor Rick

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Just Some Pastoral Thoughts

It is so hard to believe that the first month of 2012 is almost gone. My grandfather use to say, “Son, you just wait. If you think time is dragging by now, when you get older it will fly.” Wow, he was right.

How are you doing on the things you planned and the goals you set for 2012? Many of you have probably been like the rest and those goals and plans are nothing more than distant memories by now. I hope you will rethink those goals and plans, dig them out and begin to build for your future.

Speaking of futures, I have been thinking and praying a lot lately about the vision of Henards Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. I along with your deacons have been prayerfully discussing the vision of HCB as it relates to pleasing our Lord, fulfilling our mission and reaching our future as God would intend it. Some of you have probably been asked some questions by your deacons about your thoughts on the church and how we can improve our ministry. The first Sunday in February our bulletin will contain a survey. This survey will be asking you questions which we will want you to answer that Sunday morning so that we can collect them and use the answers to prayerfully plan for our carrying out God’s perceived plan for HCBC in Rogersville, Hawkins County, Tennessee and the World. Following is a list of the questions you will be asked to answer. I have included them here so that you can begin now to prayerfully compose your answers so that we will not be long in completing the survey and so that you can truly pray about your responses and not be taken by surprise.

  1. What do you see as the PURPOSE for HCBC? (Why do you think God raised up a people called Henards Chapel Missionary Baptist Church)
  2. What should our MISSION be? (Please write out a mission statement for HCBC)
  3. What is the one thing you think would really HELP HCBC be the church Christ wants her to be?
  4. How SATISFIED are you with the direction of the church?  (1 – 10, with 1 = not satisfied at all – 10 = completely satisfied)
  5. If you are not satisfied, what changes need to be made so that we will be moving in the right direction to God’s Glory?
  6. What is a SERMON, series of sermons, or BIBLE STUDY would you like to help you meet your spiritual needs and help you grow?
  7. Are you PRAYING for HCBC daily, and if not will you commit to PRAY EVERYDAY for at least one month?

As you prayerfully consider these things also pray for those around us in need. Our community is in crisis. Would you join me and many others in CRYING OUT TO GOD for Him to do here in Hawkins County what he did in Clay County Kentucky as witnessed on the DVD, “An Appalachian Dawn?”  Our youth, our families and our county are being destroyed and devastated by drugs; we are clearly helpless without God!

I invite you to join a group of believers who are desperately seeking God to bring healing and restoration to us individually and to our community. And I believe He will –

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Plans are being made and developed for an area wide rally and call to repentance (similar to what is on the DVD). You are VERY much NEEDED, as are your friends,
to be a part of this movement.

PLEASE come to Cherokee High School on Saturday February 4th at 10:00 am and bring everyone you can with you who realizes drugs are a problem, and who want to see God move in our county, and who are willing to help. A plan will be outlined for a – Call Out To God – for Him to help us as we pave the way for Him to take back His people. There will also be an announcement for the date, time and location of the full length showing of the movie, “An Appalachian Dawn.”

For more information and to respond to this invitation, please go to www.Expecting-Gods-Help.com  and please keep this effort in your prayers.

I would like to close this Pastor’s Pen with a couple of words of counsel. When there is a crisis in an individual’s life, the life of a church, or a community don’t talk about it. Airing ones dirty laundry helps no one. Talk to God, PRAY for those who are in crisis. How do I do that? Well here are a few suggestions on How to Pray for Those in Crisis: (B&R vol. 178, No.1; Jan.11, 2012, p.7)

When Praying for those in crisis…

  1. Do so with compassion
  2. Do so with earnest
  3. Do so with persistence
  4. Do so with presence (when at all possible not      offer your prayers, but offer yourself.)
  5. Do so with a listening ear for their pain and      needs as well as for the voice of God.
  6. Do so with a submissive heart to the will of God.
  7. Do so with an awareness that only God knows what      He is doing in the midst of their crisis.
  8. Do so with humility and hope.

Well, we have much to think about and PRAY about. But let’s not just think and Pray, Let’s take action where we can and should.

Together in Christ’s Service,

Pastor Rick

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B I G Numbers – little ones – Sanctity of Life Sunday

To read some of the headlines of our past is very troubling. When we are reminded of the numbers who died at Pearl Harbor, on 9-11, in the War on Terror, those who died in the tsunamis we think, “WOW, those are big numbers. When we read about 1.5 million homeless, that sounds like a big number.

But here’s another number: 60 million. That’s approximately how many have died in America in the holocaust of the ages since 1973 when the Supreme Court made the decision to make abortion legal, placing our official stamp of approval as a nation upon the death of the innocent. That’s a really big number, and they are ALL little ones and God loves them and so should we!

Jeremiah 1:5 (KJV) 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

This is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I’m here to say that life is of immeasurable value to God, and should be to us as well. But as great as the above tragedies are, the greatest one is right under our noses in our homeland, and is approved by the law of the land. We need to pray. Our prayers are more powerful than politicians and judges.

On January 22, 2010 A Massachusetts woman charged in the deaths of her 9-year-old daughter and unborn son has been arraigned on murder and manslaughter charges. Authorities say Fang Chi-Xue of Quincy fatally stabbed her 9-year-old daughter in April and stabbed herself in the abdomen, killing her unborn baby. Really? A murder charge for the child AND the “fetus”? Why should she be tried and not all the others who kill their babies?

…we are supposed to speak out, raise our voices, to protect the innocent!

Proverbs 31:8-9 (KJV) 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

The Bible says that God hates the shedding of innocent blood…  Abel’s blood cried out to God when Cain killed him.  Revelation says the blood of the Christian martyrs cries out to God, How long, O Lord, before you return and take vengeance.”

The victim in an abortion ranks as the most innocent victim ever sentenced to death. The unborn sentenced to die without a trial, no medication to ease the unborn pain, and no one to fight his or her battle against a stronger foe. Who will cry out for them?

I saw a heart moving and compelling commercial the other day of a woman sitting with an aged dog pleading for people to make donations to the Humane Society to help neglected, unwanted, and aging animals to keep them from being “put down.” As a society we seem to care more for unwanted animals, snail darters, baby seals than we do baby humans.

My friend, Life is Sacred. God declares it so. But in America life for the unborn child in the mother’s womb is scary.

Life is sacred…because God made it. Life was created by God, Protected by God, and Valued by God.

Life is sacred . . . no matter what its condition might be. Some studies report that as many as 90% of couples faced with an amniocentesis report of probable Down’s Syndrome will choose to abort. That’s a big number, and they are all little ones! And yet, do you know anyone with a Down’s child that doesn’t tell you that child is the light of their life, an absolute joy, the most loving person they’ve ever known?

Max Lucado tells in his book, The Applause of Heaven, about a sweater that hangs in his closet. He says he seldom wears it — it’s too small, the sleeves are too short, the shoulders too tight, some of the buttons are missing, the thread is frazzled. Logically, he says, he should throw out that sweater since he has no use for it and will never wear it again. It simply takes up space in his closet.

That’s what logic says. But love, he reports, won’t let him.

Why not? What’s unusual about that sweater? To start with, it has no label, no tag telling you “Wash in cold water.” That’s because it wasn’t made in a factory, produced on an assembly line as the product of a nameless employee earning a living. Rather, it was the creation of a devoted mother expressing her love — his mother. That sweater is unique, one of a kind, irreplaceable. Each strand was chosen with care, each thread selected with affection.
And so, even though that sweater has lost all of its use, it has lost none of its value. It is valuable not because of its function, but because of its MAKER. So is each life.

Life is sacred . . . because of its eternal nature.

Life is sacred, but what can we do?

  1. Be informed. We can’t bury our heads in the sand. Ignorance is bliss, right? Well, ignoring the issue doesn’t make it go away.
  2. Work and pray…for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade. It is possible if we will speak up, vote, take our stand!
  3. Teach sexual morality in the home. We need to teach our kids a higher standard than “being safe”.
  4. Have more compassion for the unwed mother. God loves them! And yes, we’ll preach against pre-marital sex. Once the mistake is made, she needs unconditional love right here within these walls!
  5. Speak out clearly w/out apology. Is. 58:1—“Cry aloud, spare not! Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression!”
  6. Refuse to be swayed by the high sounding arguments of liberal politicians, and so-called “experts” in the scientific field who have no moral base to speak from.
  7. Pray for God to have mercy on America, and to give us space to repent…and to bring national revival.

Pastor Rick

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10 Steps to Setting Life Goals

It all comes back to the reticular activating system. Let me explain what it means. At the base of your brainstem lies a cluster of nerve cells called the Reticular Activating System. We are constantly bombarded by countless stimuli vying for our attention, and it is the job of the reticular activating system to determine what gets noticed and what goes unnoticed. Like a mental radar system, the RAS determines what makes a blip.

Here is how it works!

Ever notice when you buy a new car how many of them you begin to see on the road? Ever notice when you buy a new outfit how many others have the same or very similar outfit? There seems to be some special radar that causes us to notice this stuff. If you get an idea to do something, like let’s say open a coffee house, you will probably start to notice coffeehouses. You will probably begin to notice and pay attention to coffeehouse signs, seating in coffeehouses, store layouts, types and brands of coffee. The dream triggers the reticular activating system, and you started collecting ideas.

That is why goal setting is so important. Goals create categories in your reticular activating system. Once you set the goal, you start noticing anything and everything that will help you accomplish the goal. That is the way God has wired us. The brain is a goal-seeking organism. When you set a goal, it creates structural tension in your brain, and the brain will seek to close the gap between you and your goal.

So let’s see how we can set some goals and get our brain in gear to help us reach them in 2012.

1. Start with Prayer: If you set goals in the context of prayer, there is a much higher likelihood that your goals will glorify God, and if they don’t glorify God, then they aren’t worth setting in the first place. So start with prayer.

2. Check your Motives: If you set selfish goals, you’d be better off spiritually if you didn’t accomplish them. That’s why you need to check your motives.

3. Think in Categories: My goals are broken in five categories: 1) family 2) influential 3) experiential 4) physical, and 5) travel. The obvious omission is a category for spiritual goals, but that is by intention. All of my goals have a spiritual dimension to them.

4. Be Specific: If a goal isn’t measurable, you have no way of knowing whether or not you’ve accomplished it. Losing weight isn’t a goal if you don’t have a target weight within a target timeline.

5. Write It Down: I have a saying that I repeat all the time: the shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. If you haven’t written down your goals, you haven’t really set them. There is something powerful that happens when you verbalize a goal, whether that is in a conversation or in a journal.

6. Include Others: I used to have lots of personal goals, but I have replaced most of them with shared goals. Nothing cements a relationship like a shared goal. Goals are relational glue. I’ve discovered that when you go after a goal with another person, it doubles your joy.

7. Celebrate Along the Way: When you accomplish a goal, celebrate it.

8. Dream Big: Your life goal list will include goals that are big and small. It will include goals that are short-term and long-term. But I have one piece of advice: make sure you have a few big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs) on the list.

9. Think Long: The sad truth is that most people spend more time planning their summer vacation than they do planning the rest of their life. Goal setting is good stewardship. Instead of letting things happen, goals help us make things happen. Instead of living out of memory, goals help us live out of imagination. Goals help us stop living in the past and move toward our future.

10. Pray Hard: Dreaming is a form of praying and praying is a form of dreaming. The more you dream, the more you’ll pray. And the more you pray, the more you’ll dream!

(Based on Mark Batterson’s “The Circle Maker.”)

Pastor Rick

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WOW, It Really Is Here! 2012

It really is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Yet today marks the first day of 2012. Many of you have probably been wondering what you can do for the Lord and the Henards Chapel this year to better serve. Can I take this time to make a few suggestions? This past Wednesday night I shared a few things that will help us this year to move forward and fulfill God’s plan for us individually and as a church.

Stop to consider three things:

  1. It is the Lord’s church.
  2. God is calling people to serve Him through his      church.
  3. Christ is to be supreme, “preeminent” as      Paul labels it in Colossians 1:18.

Christ is supreme in all things. Is He supreme in our church? Its worship? Ministries? Attitude? Service?

Also there are several things you can do for your pastor in 2012.

Things you can do for your pastor in the New Year

What can you give your Senior Pastor for Christmas? How about making an effort in the New Year to do five simple things:

1.  Pray for you pastor.   There are many things a pastor needs and could use. But the best thing you can do for your pastor this year is to pray for me. I need God’s help in wisdom, discernment and leadership. Leading God’s people is not an easy or simple task, if you don’t believe me just ask Moses and Joshua. I really do need your prayers.

2. Assume unwanted responsibilities. Look for responsibilities that he dislikes or struggles to accomplish. Look for the things that crowd your pastor’s schedule, drain him or things that he wish he could avoid. Stuff like organizing staff agendas (personnel committee), calling and scheduling all the committee meetings (committee heads), tracking hospital calls (deacons), and recognizing birthdays. Volunteer to help clear his plate some.

3. Be a planner. Most pastors are not planners. Be proactive in mapping future events, creating implementation plans, setting goals, and tracking results. Maintain a calendar and help keep the pastor ahead of the planning curve, so that I am prepared for staff and Boards.

4. Anticipate change and prepare for it. Change is difficult to manage, as evidenced by the 100’s of books written about how to successfully manage it. When a ministry transition is coming– staff, ministry execution, facilities, governance– evaluate the situation and map out steps that will be required for successful transition. Every pastor can use help managing change.

5. Understand your pastor’s vision. One of the challenges in pastoral leadership is getting the staff and congregation to understand and coalesce around the vision. Pastors wonder, “Does anybody get it?” Sit down with your pastor and express your desire to be one of his greatest advocates in casting vision. Get to know how he feels and thinks so that you can accurately support him among staff and church members.

6. Make your pastor successful. That’s going to look different in every situation. How can you help your pastor achieve success? Every leader values someone committed to their success. The role of the second chair is a supportive role. Be loyal to a fault. Make sure the pastor clearly understands that your goal is to insure the successful execution of their vision. Why, because it is not his vision but God’s vision laid on his heart to convey to the people.

7.  Remember, your Pastor is human. It is easy to forget sometimes that pastors are human. We are not perfect. Often we will say something and it can be taken wrong. Remember, your pastor loves you. I would never do anything to intentionally hurt or harm you. If something hurts you or there is even the most remote possibility that you took something the wrong way or I didn’t say something in the correct manner, please talk to me and let’s work it out.

God has a plan for you and this church this New Year of 2012. But stay vigilant because just as sure as God has a plan for us, Satan has a plan of attack.

With heartfelt love and appreciation for you, as well as my prayers for you in this New Year,

God Bless and Happy New Year

Pastor Rick

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