Monthly Archives: August 2012

God Wants You!

Dear church family,

Have you ever stopped and thought, ours are the hands with which God blesses those around us.  One of the dangers of any organism, organization, nation or person is that it or they become only consumers. An organism that only takes in becomes bloated and burst. An organization that only takes in and does not produce will go bankrupt. A nation that stops manufacturing and become a consumer nation will soon suffer inflation and lack of resources that is will die and cease to exist. A person who only takes in and never gives out will become proud, boastful and will begin to dwindle in usefulness, effectiveness until they become something no one wants to be around. The Dead Sea is a prime example. The Dead Sea has many contributories, not the least of which is the Jordan River. However the Dead Sea has no outlet and the Dead Sea is dying. It takes and takes and takes but it never gives back and thus it is dying.

Are you a consumer only Christian? Do you come to church and attend everything but never participate, never lead, never teach, never serve? Many of us in our modern church want to only be served. But that is not what Jesus wants from us. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 20:28 and in Mark10:45, For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Annie Johnston Flint said it well when she penned the words,

“Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way. He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died. He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible the careless world will read, We are the sinner’s gospel; we are the scoffer’s creed; We are the Lord’s last message, given in word and deed; What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy with other work than His? What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is? What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn? How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?”

You see, during the last world war, a church in Strasbourg was destroyed. Nothing remained except a heap of rubble and broken glass, or so the people thought till they began clearing away the masonry. Then they found a statue of Christ still standing erect. In spite of all the bombing it was unharmed except that both hands were missing. Eventually rebuilding of the church began.

One day a sculptor saw the figure of Christ, and offered to carve new hands. The church officials met to consider the sculptor’s friendly gesture—and decided not to accept the offer. Why? Because the members of that church said: “Our broken statue touches the spirits of men, but that He has no hands to minister to the needy or feed the hungry or enrich the poor—except our hands. He inspires. We perform.”

How about you? There are needs all around us. Our church needs leaders, teachers in our children’s departments, mission leaders for GA’s who have a heart for missions. Many of us say, “I’m not teaching material or I can’t,” yet if we allow God to use us we are far better than no one doing the job. Don’t you think you could give some from all you have received from the Lord and His Church and His Word? Sure you can. Any of us can, All of us should, but the question still remains, Who Will?

I read this funny but serious story years ago I want to share with you as a reminder that the Lord Needs You!

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done

GOD WANTS YOU!

BIBLE VERSE FOR THIS WEEK:

Matthew 20:28 (KJV) 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:28 (HCSB) 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

 

Lord I know you have all this work to do and you want WHO to do it?

Nehemiah 4:6 (KJV) 6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

 BUILDING BLOCKS FOR FAMILIES:

“They do not love who do not show their love” (Heywood)

Can you accept the fact that your mate will never be able to meet all your needs and aspirations? Seldom does one human being satisfy every longing and hope in another. Both [partners have to settle for human foibles and faults and irritability and fatigue and occasional nighttime “headaches.” (What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women, p.65)

“Your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. Ephesians 6:10 TLB

LAUGHTER DOETH WELL LIKE A MEDICINE:

“I’m getting so absent minded that sometimes in the middle of a sentence I…”

BIBLE TRIVIA:

Where is it said, “Comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love.” (Answer in next week’s Pastor’s Pen.)

(Last Week) What palace had a hand that wrote on the wall?

(Answer: Belshazzar, king of Babylon Daniel 5:5.)

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Preparing for a New Year of Sunday School and Church Growth

Dear church family,

It is hard to believe but it is almost time for a new church year to start in Sunday School and Discipleship Training. The nominating committee is hard at work trying to prayerfully seek out leaders for this new year of adventure, worship, fellowship and growth. I hope you are making yourself available when approached to serve in some capacity and being used of the Lord. We have a great opportunity coming soon to us and that is the Sunday School University Training. You should have been noticing information on this in the bulletin so I will not take the space to repeat it here. However, if you are currently working or planning or even might work next year in our Sunday School, Discipleship Training or other ministry of the church I do hope and pray you will make you plans to attend. As Leaders we are Expected to Train and Prepare to Lead OTHERS!  I wanted to include some information I found on how we can better lead and teach in our Bible Study Groups in Sunday School and Discipleship Training, Children’s and Youth Ministries. If we will put this into practice, it can really make a difference in our Sunday School and also in the lives of those who come to study with us.

What Are Your Sunday School Class Growth Goals? By Darryl Wilson

There are many appropriate Sunday School class growth goals to pray over and seek God’s leadership about. Some already have God’s approval–like making disciples of all nations and loving God and your neighbor as yourself. But even those goals will benefit from His blessing, leadership, and help.

Consider adding these class growth goals this year:

PRAY. One essential goal for your class is to pray. Pray for boldness, compassion, and discernment to set the right goals and to act in the right ways. Pray for patience and persistence in pursuit of the plans He gives you. Pray for unity and success as you fight through discouragement, difficulties, and conflict. Pray for a clear vision of what accomplishing the goals would look like. Pray for His presence and peace along the journey. Pray for your goals. Pray for your members. Pray for your lessons. Pray for your ministry, outreach, and mission. Pray!

REACH OUT. Set goals to make relationships with people in the community: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. Set goals for caring actions. Set goals for ministering efforts. Plan to invite them to your homes, for coffee, and for class fellowships and projects. Plan to ask them how you can pray for them. Plan to invite them to class sessions. Set goals for contact by phone, electronic, mail, and visit. Set goals for guests (people who actually show up from your invitations). Set goals for new members/enrollment. Divide the goals by quarter or month, and track the results. Remind them of the goal. Plan to apprentice another teacher and start another class. Make plans for accomplishing the goals. Reach out!

REACH IN. Don’t forget each other. Notice when someone is absent. Organize to contact and care. Set up care groups. Set goals for contacting every member (regular and absentee) every week. Use name tags to get to know each other’s names (and those of guests). Have regular class fellowships and projects. Seek participation in every lesson. Get to know and care for each other. Give all attenders a job. Enlist a class secretary, care group leaders, greeters, and others. Reach in!

DISCIPLE. Help all attenders make spiritual progress. Get to know them. Ask questions. Listen to them. How are they growing in the fruit of the Spirit? How are they struggling? How are the growing more like Christ? What do they need to know? What do they need to do? What spiritual disciplines need to be strengthened? How could accountability partners help them take growth steps? How could they help each other pursue personal plans for spiritual growth? Expect them to apply the truth of each lesson. Ask next week how they did at living out the truth. Disciple!

EVALUATE. Regularly stop to check on progress toward goals. Evaluate events and ministry. Involve others in the evaluation. Seek their ownership and input. Make adjustment to plans when needed. Remember to pray. Evaluate!

Look through these five goals. Which is most needed by your class? Take steps to lead your class to pray for, set, and pursue these class growth goals this year. Pray, reach out, reach in, disciple, and evaluate! Give God your best effort at making disciples of all nations.

Darryl Wilson serves as the Sunday School & Discipleship Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He served as Minister of Education in five churches in Kentucky and South Carolina. He is also the author of The Sunday School Revolutionary!, a blog about life-changing Sunday School and small groups.

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On The Lighter Side:

 

“Good morning! I’m a new member of your class. I’m Professor Steinbach, and I teach Systematic Theology at the Seminary.”

 

Bible Trivia

Why did God say to Saul, “Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, He has rejected you as King?” (Answer in next week’s Pastor’s Pen.)

(Last Week) What was the one thing Elijah left behind him when God took him to heaven?

(Answer: His Mantle  2 Kings 2:9–13.)

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