We kicked off a new year of our school year programming at Crestview Bible Church last night, 6:30PM. We use the Gospel Project curriculum. The night looks somewhat like VBS and somewhat like Sunday School. Specifically, we open with a Scripture Memory verse, some singing, and a preview of the lesson (which at this point makes some connections to Jesus out of Old Testament history). We go into classes and study the lesson, then some rec time. Finally, we wrap with a video of today’s story and we’re done. We’re hoping this intentional time of engagement with kids will produce fruit of belief in their hearts and lives. If you’re interested in this, join us next Wednesday at 6:30PM.
I’m writing some weekly emails to my fellow leaders at Crestview. Here’s the email from 4/24:
As we keep working through Dangerous Calling, we are doing so in the hope that God would engage our hearts to make us holy. We want to be servants of Christ who honor Him with our lives. In chapter 6, “The Missing Community,” Tripp begins by explaining a transformation that took place in his heart and life when he understood that Christianity isn’t just Jesus and me but relational community. Here’s his explanation, which is helpful for us seeing how our hearts need to change: “I have now come to understand that I need others in my life. I now know that I need to commit myself to living in intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven, redemptive community. I now know it’s my job to seek this community out, to invite people to interrupt my private conversation, and to say things to me that I couldn’t or wouldn’t say to myself. I have realized how much I need warning, encouragement, rebuke, correction, protection, grace, and love. I now see myself as connected to others, not because I have made the choice but because of the wise design of the one who is the head of the body, the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot allow myself to think that I am smarter than him. I cannot allow myself to think that I am stronger than I am. I cannot assign to myself a level of maturity that I do not have. I cannot begin to believe that I am able to live outside of God’s normal means of spiritual growth and be okay. I cannot allow the level of my spiritual health to be defined by my ministry experience and success or by my theological knowledge. I cannot let myself be lulled to sleep by the congratulatory comments on ministry weekends by people who mean well but really don’t know me. I cannot let myself think that my marriage can be healthy if I live in functional isolation from the body of Christ.” (p.84)
Do you understand these things to be true in your life? Are you aware of the danger of individualized Christianity? Today, let this be a reminder to escape the clutches of rugged American individualism for the amber waves of community that God has allowed to surround you in the church. Let’s embrace this for His glory and our good.
My Wed AM email to leaders at Crestview is based on Paul Tripp’s book, Dangerous Calling:
“Heart Disease? Or Theology Problem?”
This weekend, in my absence at Crestview, Mickey Zimmerman preached a sermon from Romans 3 entitled Justification: Our Greatest Need. Be sure and check it out.
Also, we uploaded the July-August 2011 edition of the church’s newsletter, which features insight into my service at Lincoln Elementary in Hutch.
Gentlemen in and around Hutch: Just a reminder, we will have 7 in ’11 tomorrow, Saturday AM, February 12, at 8AM. Tom Dixon will be teaching on the second of the seven deadly sins (anger) and we will have time for eating, accountability, learning and prayer. Join us…
…will be cancelled on 2/9/11
All Wed PM activities are cancelled tonight at Crestview Bible Church, due to the ice. Thanks.
This weekend had numerous highlights. On Sun AM, I preached on Colossians 2:6-7. The sermon was titled Christ Alone. This overview of Colossians sought to plant us as a church firmly in the Gospel-Centered camp. We want to be defined by the Gospel and be Gospel people.
In the evening, we gathered for a church wide Thanksgiving meal. Good time. Always a highlight thinking of how God has blessed us as a church. Hope you have a great week abounding in thanksgiving because of the amazing truth of the Gospel.
The Men’s Retreat is a wrap.
Last night, we went to Trotman’s Farm and were able to eat some great grilled animal (ok, just hot dogs, brats and hamburgers, but it was still grilled animal). We then watched Mark Driscoll’s sermon Marriage and Men and were greatly challenged. I developed application questions. From there we hung out by the fire.
Today, things got started with breakfast (some good Starbucks’ Espresso Roast, meat, eggs, pancakes, potatoes, etc.) Then, we did a team building activity aiming at showing how much more effective we can be as men when we receive the insight of others. It was a great weekend and really encouraging.
I’ve been doing some thinking lately about our church, vision, purpose, mission, etc. The graphic above represents some doodling about such ideas. Our church’s purpose statement can be found on our website:
Recognizing that all people were created for the glory of God, our purpose is to exhort people to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to encourage Christians to live passionately for God, by glorifying and enjoying Him as the goal of their lives.
While this is a great statement, it is a bit wordy. So, I’ve been thinking about how this can be put in a nutshell. Boil it down to its bare essence. What are we getting at?
glorifying God. (everyone is made for this purpose and is to live to this end)
proclaiming the Gospel. (Jesus has given us an amazing message to spread)
everywhere. (this is where we take the amazing message of the Gospel: to all people everywhere. There is no place that doesn’t need the Gospel.)
or another way…
glorifying God. (our vision)
proclaiming the Gospel. (our mission)
everywhere. (our goal)
putting it in the language of our purpose statement…
glorifying God. (…and to encourage Christians to live passionately for God, by glorifying and enjoying Him as the goal of their lives.)
proclaiming the Gospel. (…our purpose is to exhort people to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…)
everywhere. (Recognizing that all people were created for the glory of God…)
I’m still continuing to think about these things. I do know one thing: God has given us a mission during our days here and it is spreading this message–making disciples of all nations. I realize as a pastor, I need to be stoking the flames that lead in this way. Hopefully, these ideas will be lived out and move from paper to action, not only in my life, but in the life of the church.