Jan 25, 2010

Monday Morning Clarity

Wow! It was a rainy day at church yesterday. When I left the church Sunday, I got absolutely drenched running to my car. I also got a good sight at the drainage at our new house. I haven't seen rain that hard, that much in a long time. However, it was a wonderful spirit inside the church building. Alison and I continued to feel blessed each Sunday by the honor to serve the Lord here.
  • We had a spirit-filled time of music and worship. It was tangible from the opening song. I am thankful for Kevin and the choir and band and their leadership. The choir gave us a wonderful reminder of Christ with Jesus Saves.
  • The music really gave me some freedom to preach yesterday. I had a great time researching and preparing the message on the gospel as the message of the church this week. I firmly believe that we need to constantly be focusing on the gospel. Lots of churches and church leaders talk about the gospel when what they really mean is "seeing people saved" with little about the truth of the gospel as revealed in Scripture. My hope is that we will all see life through a gospel lens and what impact the gospel has on my everyday life.
  • We had a great Great Church Council meeting yesterday. We are mining down and having some great conversations about making disciples and the purpose of the church. My hope is that real soon we will have a process for making disciples and a vision that shows that to introduce to the church.
  • The rain yesterday reminded me even more about the need to beef up our Guest Services. I have had some really great conversations the past couple of weeks with some men who want to see us create a helpful and welcoming environment for guests. Days like yesterday show me that we need about 5 guys in the parking lot with umbrellas. We need to be intentionally seating people. We can't wait until we have lots of guests to start doing better. I believe that we won't have lots of guests until we do better. Nelson Searcy says that a guest makes their impression of the church within the first seven minutes. People decide whether your church is worth coming back to before the pastor's greeting and long before the sermon. Pray about your involvement in creating welcoming environments for guests.
  • What a blessing to see Eric Sapp and Grayson Walls both coming forward to announce that they have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord. It's amazing to see real-life stories and how God changes lives. Eric's a young man with a son; Grayson is a young boy, but both are new Christians that God has given us the responsibility to disciple. Commit to pray for both of these guys as they begin the adventure of life with Christ.
  • I met with a friend of mine last week who is working on a new logo for our church. I hope in the next couple of months to be able to show it to you.
  • The Church Council decided yesterday to not have evening services on February 7. We have a couple of classes that will be meeting that night, but we will not have evening worship. I know that some will say "Why do we let the culture and television control the Church"? However, that is not what is happening. Simply put, the Super Bowl is the most-watched event every year. I know that most of the people of Sixth Street will be watching it anyway and not at a worship service. My hope is that we can leverage events like the Super Bowl to give our people something to help build community around. There is nothing unbiblical about gathering around the community enjoying food and laughing at the silly commercials. That actually sounds kinda like Acts 2:42-48 (with the exemption of the apostle's doctrine). If people are going to watch the event instead of coming to church, it's better to do it with other believers than by ourselves or in some other environments. We have some people working on showing the game in the gym. We also encourage the SS classes to get together and watch it as a class fellowship.
  • If you haven't picked up information on the Children's and Youth Camps this summer, call Eric Miller. I highly encourage you to make time and money to get your kids to one of these events. When I served as a youth pastor, I saw how God used these events in a mighty way. Youth Camp is July 5-9 and Children's Camp is July 19-22.
Verse of the week - "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes." Romans 1:16


Larry E. said...

Brother Matt,

I appreciate so much this medium in more ways than one. Due to my work schedule, sometimes I am not able to be physically at the church building. This medium allows me to be with the congregation and feel the presence of God even though I am not there. I have so much been moved by the Holy Spirit especially since you started this new series "Ekklesia". The spirit of God has re-entered this stale Christian body of mine with a renewed vigor that had left me somewhat. Your great "study" and the way you present these messages to all of us, is awe-inspiring to say the least. I have been inspired to begin writing again and sharing my poetry with all. I don't have many talents, but I believe God gave me the ability to rhyme words at a very young age and for me not to use this talent to His glory, I may as well forget about being an example to others on what a Christian is. Thank you again for placing these tools here for those of us who really need them.

I leave you with a poem I wrote recently.

By: Larry A. Eakin

Your love will see me better in time,
Even keeping dark weather in mind.
You’re the trendsetter that I’m
Truly honored to follow behind.
Through Your scripture defined,
Making life’s picture refined,
With this empowerment I’m primed,
To strengthen the character of mine.

I struggle with where to begin,
About how I’ve faired with sin.
When no worthiness of Grace fits in,
And my faith’s been thin.
With each verse I release with my pen,
I find my peace from within;
That whoever shall believeth in him,
Shall not die, but live again.

My lyrics stand as a testament,
That after accepting truth there’s no besting it,
And faith is strongest when you’re testing it.
This is simply my way of expressing it.
The Gospel is meant to be infectious,
Touching others who accept this,
And always staying connected,
To the statute of life perfected.

Larry A. Eakin