I just felt like giving an update
of what is happening at our church.
The Lord has been blessing us so much.
We have new families coming,
people are coming to know the Lord,
and ministry is happening.
Let me give some background
for those who are newer here.
It was about three years ago that
the Lord started moving our church
in an interesting direction.
Warren and I, as parents, were having
issues with the whole youth group concept.
I am not categorically opposed to youth
groups but do think that it is a very
tricky path. In our case there was a
lot of emphasis on outreach to troubled
teens and our personal experience was that
this did not have a positive impact on,
I'll just say it, our boys.
Some of these troubled kids were girls
who immediately grabbed onto our boys
and troubles began.
Attitudes, phone calls, etc.
For others in the church, such as our
Pastor, books were being read. One that
impacted him greatly was The Last Christian
Generation by Josh McDowell.
Generation by Josh McDowell.
Others in the church were struggling
with issues with grown children who lived
out the scenario discussed in this book.
Young adults who had been raised in the church
but had walked away as soon as the opportunity
arose. They had no commitment to the church.
It was their parent's church.
So one by one the Lord moved on our hearts that
there might be a better way for our congregation.
Now understand that our congregation size was
just about twenty people. Not exactly an influential
church in the community. But, you know, God was
with us.....even then.
I began to speak with my friend, Mrs. Rabe,
of Creekside Cottage... just friend to friend.
As far as I knew they were happily attending
and serving in another church.
Little did I know that the Lord was preparing
them for a change at the same time.
As I told her that we were moving toward
a worship style that included the children from
start to finish and the elimination of a "youth group"
she informed me that this type of church had a name.
I was shocked.
You would have thought that we would have known
that this was a movement, but frankly the changes
that were happening within our hearts were so consuming
that we were very tuned in to that and weren't really
looking around at that time.
So, armed with this new information we explored the
support that was out there for those who were thinking
so strangely as we were.
This led us to Vision Forum(networking)
and Voddie Baucham(teaching),
Both have proven to be encouraging and
uplifting resources for our itty bitty congregation.
It has not been an easy road.
Some left us.
Remember there were only twenty or so
to begin with. I believe that when we
changed our name and moved into our new
building there were about fifteen regulars.
But soon the Lord sent those that were hungry
for this style of worship.
What is our style of worship?
Well, we have a family Sunday School which
Pastor Mike teaches. It can be a series on
Apologetics, Creation Science, How Jesus Viewed
the World, or what we are studying now, The Missionary
Journeys of Paul. The children are with us and it is amazing
how they listen. We know this because of questions they
ask either then or later.
There is then about a fifteen minute break and we begin
our Worship Service. This runs about an hour and a half.
The children are with us for this as well.
Singing, scripture, prayer and preaching.
Every other week we enjoy a Fellowship Meal together
after the service. This is so very important to our congregation.
Not just because we like to eat....lol...
but because it allows us to really share and get to
know each other. There is little opportunity
in a church such as ours to just come and go
without establishing genuine relationships.
There are a few who choose to stay on the
fringes but in general we are a very close
group. We are aware of the joys and struggles
within our congregation.
This allows us to be in prayer, make a phone call,
send a card or even make a meal or visit someone
who might need that extra care.
So many times in churches we have attended in
the past it was easy to show up, worship and leave.
Never really knowing anyone with whom we worshiped.
That may have been our fault.
I am willing to carry that....
but I don't think it is unusual.
Our Friday evenings are usually reserved for church
events. Sometimes it is a Bible Study in a home,
other times it is a activity for the whole family
and once per month is music night.
We are working with our young people to
involve them in music.
Those who love music or play instruments
have been very receptive to getting involved.
You see, this is not just their parents church.
This is their church.
It is their responsibility and honor to participate...
in cleaning, music, taking the offering and more.
They serve along side the adults in many aspects
of the daily life of the church.
Our young people are hospitable.
They are quick to welcome new young
people who visit.
It is never long before all of them,
and some of the Dads are out in the
yard playing ultimate frisbee.
So, what is exciting me lately?
A woman who has come to the Lord.
Counseling and Ministry to her marriage.
Seeing she and her husband come in
early each week with huge smiles
Blossoming friendships for her
within the congregation.
An unmarried young couple with a new baby
who are attending together
and whom I can't help but believe
will come to seek HIM together.
It brings tears to my eyes to see them walk
in with the baby carrier.
It is just a preview of the joy and healing
that is to come in their lives.
A grandmother who started by bringing her
own grandchildren and ended up bringing
a neighbor boy as well.
This led to prayers of salvation by the children and the
addition of the neighbor boy's Mom and
siblings. She is a very young widow
and we delight in her dedication to do
what is right for her children.
We are praying for her salvation.
A new family who drive for more than an hour
who report that their children begin asking on
Monday if it is time to go to church yet???!!
They love it!
Ministry to a woman who was in an abusive
home situation...not always easy but God
placed her in our lives for a reason.
Bible study with women who are in a
after being recently released from prison.
An upcoming series on the role of the
father within the home.
What does the Bible say about this?
An upcoming Ladies Tea.
Always a fun and time of ministry
during the Christmas season.
A reminder to keep Christ at the center of
our holiday traditions and activities.
Praying and supporting missions at home and abroad.
There is just so much
to Praise the Lord for.
Not everyone would thrive in this
style of worship.
But, for those the Lord has called to it
the benefits are huge.
The past couple of weeks our attendance has
been around sixty.
Not a huge church.
Some would say that we are too small to
make a difference.
I could not disagree more.
Every child, parent and marriage
that is touched is important.
If God knows when a sparrow
We have seen the difference
in our own children.
The young children of the congregation
will never know anything
different...this is THEIR church!
They love it!!!
I chronicle this as much for my
own benefit and encouragement as
to share with you.
But, I do hope that you'll be encouraged
to see God at work
and give HIM all of the glory!
He is good....
all the time!