Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Committees

Committees


How does the work of the local church get done?  Who plans and who coordinates?  Often the answer to these questions lies in committees.  These groups of people who want to serve the Lord in various ways investigate, plan, coordinate, revise, and improve what was done the time before.  Why?  To bring glory to God by serving God in this small body called the congregation.

Not everything is done in committee, but much is.  Here are the standing committees of this local body.


Worship – In concert with the minister, prepares the order of worship, sanctuary, ushers, banners, and other aspects of corporate worship.  Selecting hymns and arranging for musicians or music from playlists, making sure liturgists know when they are scheduled, and arranging for special music and readings.  Also arranges for the training of acolytes, ushers, and arranges for choir practice.

Building and Grounds—Inspects the property of the church with eyes for maintenance requirements.  Identifies major areas requiring repair or replacement to the session, conducts minor maintenance, proposes and coordinates workdays when needed.

Missions—Connects the body of Christ with the community through events, food, distribution of gospels, and other outreach efforts.  Missions work that you might know—Love Ambush #1 (Easter Egg Hunt), Love Ambush #2 (Trunk or Treat), Backpack Ministry, Chewy Tuesdays, food baskets, Walk A Block for Jesus, and more.  The church was made for mission.  This committee organizes the bulk of our corporate mission work.  Such work can include mission trips near and far away.

Education—In concert with the Sunday School Superintendent, checks curriculum for soundness, coordinates VBS, recruits and vets teachers, and proposes educational events.  Think a workman approved for every good work.  Special attention is given to our children and youth.

Fellowship—Focuses mostly internally on keeping the body of Christ healthy and connected in many ways.  Meals on 5th Sundays, funeral dinners, and just get-togethers that let the people enjoy being God’s children with each other.  Also looks for new faces during worship services, welcomes them, and invites them to other activities of this body. This committee should always be on the lookout for anyone who does not seem to be connecting.  We have no strangers within the body.  Koinonia, inclusion, and family are keywords to this committee.


There is a place for you on one of these groups that plans and organizes and puts you right in the middle of the work of the church.  You do not have to be a member of the church to serve on a committee.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2018, what if...

2018

We look to 2018 and wonder if we should make resolutions or just go on to the next day.  What’s in a New Year anyway?

What if, instead of making lists of things that we may or may not do, we just committed to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.  What if we committed to live right-side up in this upside-down world?  

What if?

What if we became known as people of truth and love?  What if the truth was always in us?  What if love was always the vessel through which truth was delivered?  That’s a lot of what if’s.

Well, here is one more.  What if we called people home like never before?  Not because we had a food basket or Christmas gifts for them, but because they belong in the body of Christ.  Inclusion in the body of Christ is so essential in this disconnected century.  Inclusion is where our connections lead.  Connecting is not the end of the mission.  We must lead people to inclusion in the body of Christ.

Our ministries connect with a lot of people, but we must not be content to leave them where they are.  Think inclusion more than ever this year.

We still reach out to the lost, but so much of our ministry is to call home those who once professed Jesus as Lord but decided—for so many different reasons—not to follow him.  They stopped gathering together.  They stopped serving together.  They stopped growing in grace.

For those of us who have been blessed by God with eyes to see right-side up in and upside-down world, we must not leave people conformed to the patterns of this world.  Most of our ministry is not to those who have never heard the words of life, but to those who did and professed Jesus as their Savior, but don’t live with him as Lord.

This year that is set before us must be the year of our greatest discipleship.  Let us continue to grow in grace and serve the Lord as we bring people back into the family of faith.  Let’s manifest our love for one another by bringing people home.


May God bless you and your discipleship in 2018!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Come Home 4 Christmas

Come Home  4 Christmas
Each of the churches of the Ministerial Alliance have been making efforts to call people home.  Many have received the good news and even claimed Jesus as Lord and Savior but have not taken his easy yoke.  They remain disconnected from the body of Christ and resist responding to this fantastic gift of salvation with discipleship.

Together, every church is making an effort for the next month to call people home.  This does not preclude us bring the good news to someone for the first time.  We are simply making a concerted effort to invite people home.  The following message is being posted in both Burns Flat and Dill City as well as online.

You don’t really need a reason to come home to the place where you once worshiped, but we will make one.  It’s Christmas.  Come worship with your family of faith on Sunday, 24 December 2017.


OBTW—You don’t have to wait until the 24th.  Why not come home now?  The body of Christ awaits your return.  Come and be blessed!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Something borrowed, something new. It's not just for weddings anymore...



I love it when we come up with an original idea of our own.  I also love it when we borrow an idea from someone else.  Living Waters is doing a Reunion Sunday.  Well, we will do one as well.  Brother Jim at the First Baptist Church in Burns Flat said that he would preach blindfolded if they assembled a certain number for Sunday morning worship. They did and he did.   I am all in with that.  We hit 80 to 110 on any given Sunday, so let’s say, if we get 175 on November 5th, then I will preach blindfolded too.

What else?  We do the pie in the face at VBS.  We have done the ice bucket challenge.  Paul said that he became all things to all people so that some might be saved.  Those “all things” may have changed a little in this new millennium, but we are charged to make the most of every opportunity.

We are going to lure in children with candy on the 28th of October and then ambush them with God’s love.  We call it Trunk or Treat.  We didn’t start it, but we use it to reach people with God’s love and God’s word.  That’s right, we have plenty of Gospels once again.

What else are we going to do?  Let’s get creative in taking God’s love and his salvation to this lost world.  Some folks just need to come home.  Some need to really hear the good news for the first time.  I have gospels and wristbands.  Do you have the desire to share them and God’s love?

There is a town birthday celebration on the 28th of October.  Would you want to set up something there?  I won’t run of out Gospels, I promise.

There are opportunities that I never see but that you may be just the right person to share God’s love, give out his word, or just invite people to connect with our church or any church that worships God and does it’s best to follow Jesus.

Someone could walk the square and give out gospels at the Pumpkin Festival.  Someone could stand where people often go to solicit money near the Elk City Walmart and give out wristbands and gospels.  Imagine standing there with a cardboard sign that read:  GOD LOVES YOU, OBTW I don’t need money but want to give you God’s Word.  Trust me.  I won’t run out of gospels.

What else?  I don’t know, but you might.  Find a way to reach people who are trusting too much in this corrupt world.  Bring them good news.  Invite them to know Christ.  Call them home to worship.  Challenge them to serve the God who calls them friend.  Tell them that you know where they can grow in God’s grace and enjoy a truly abundant life.

God is love.  We are his people.  Let us love one another and find new ways to call the disconnected home and reach the lost.

We are his commissioned!  It is time to step into the world as Christ’s ambassadors.


What are you doing this week to share the good news?


Reunion Sunday 29 October 2017

Reunion Sunday
29 October 2017

We have been on a mission to Connect the Disconnected for over two years now.  The message is come home and we are sending it to the Body of Christ, wherever that may be.  If people have become connected with another congregation, we celebrate that and ask that they reinforce that relationship, but if they remain disconnected, let’s invite them to Reunion Sunday on 29 October 2017. 

Sometimes when people have been away from the Body of Christ for an extended period, it becomes more and more difficult to return.  This is not because they won’t be welcomed for the surely will.  It’s that corrupt human nature that is trying to weigh down the new creation that should be living in us—that we are.

Reunion Sunday is a good excuse to set aside any false argument of the enemy and just be here.  If you have only come on Wednesday evenings, use this Reunion Sunday as your reason to come Sunday morning.


You know Jesus Christ as your Savior and you know the word of God admonishes us not to stop gathering in his name.  You belong in a church family.  If you were once a part of this congregation and have not found another home, then it’s time to come home.

If you have only come to the church building here to get help with food or a bill or negotiating some problem of this world, then come in thankful response to the One who provision us to help you.  Come and discover or rediscover the joy of worship.

In baseball parlance, we are lobbing one right down the middle so people can hit it out of the park.  You can’t miss.  If you are disconnected, come.  If you are a part of this body, then invite people to REUNION SUNDAY, 20 October 2017.  Services remain at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  There will be a fellowship meal shortly after noon.


Now is the time to COME HOME!


Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church
205 State Highway 44 (Just north and east of our town's only traffic light)
Sunday, 29 October 2017

  9 am First Light
10 am Christian Education for all ages
11 am Traditional Worship Service

Fellowship meal following the traditional service this Sunday.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pastor Fredrick Simiyu Dome Visit Report

Pastor Fredrick Simiyu Dome
Visit Report

This began for us on 30 May with a call from Pastor Fredrick Simiyu who was in California at that time.  He had attended our Empowering Leaders Conferences in western Kenya in 2013 and 2015 and wanted to know if he could come here.  Following a quick email for session concurrence, we set up a special Wednesday service and meal.

The plan was that each location would host Fredrick and then send him to his next engagement.  That was the extent of the planning for his trip.  The pastor in California provided his transport into this country (round trip ticket) and to Kansas.  I think he used miles.  This pastor had 7 members in his church.   That’s where the provisioning ended.

I received a call from the pastor in Kansas requesting that we pay for his transport here.  He had no provisions and no congregation.  We did.  The pastor in Kansas had no congregation and no other ministry connections; therefore, Fredrick had no ministry engagements.  He also was not able to book any other engagements beyond Burns Flat.

Burns Flat was the first place that he was able to talk with more than a handful of people.  In the course of his time here, it was revealed that there was no pre-trip planning.  Fredrick thought that he knew enough people in this country that he could just arrange visits day by day.  His concept of logistics was minimal. 

We had extended conversations about the parable of the talents with the plane ticket here being the trust, as well as considering the cost before building a tower, with the building being engagements where he could accomplish what he thought the Lord wanted him to do.  He understood the biblical teachings and hopefully, made application in his own ministry.  I assured him that God still loves him as much as ever, but that for the trip to produce more fruit than this one visit, he must embrace the lessons learned.

I commended Fredrick for stepping out in faith but admonished him for not putting the huge trust of a plane ticket to work by ensuring things were in place before leaving Kenya.  I explained how detailed planning and confirmation provide flexibility once on the ground.  We had several hours of discussion which I followed in writing for his consideration.

Fredrick realized that there is a difference between a Facebook friend and a partner in ministry, albeit too late to turn what amounted to mostly an American vacation into a full month of ministry. 

For our part, our congregation was extremely generous in many ways.  We covered all expenses, provisioned him with a computer, website, business cards, camera upgrades, and all transportation to here, from here to his next destination, and all in and around travels needed, and more.  Gifts in kind included lodging, clothing, wristbands, luggage, copies, laundry, and gifts for his family and more.  We completed our generosity by providing him two towels for his use instead of the Kenyan model of one towel for two people. 😊

General and Financial Summaries follow:

General Summary
Arrived Burns Flat – Wednesday 7 June 1:30 am
Meal & Service – Wednesday 7 June 6:30-9:30 pm
Prep for Sunday services and search for next engagement:  8 June -10 June
Sunday services X2, Attended Sunday School, Search for next engagement – 11 June
Searched for next engagements – 12 June
Departed for San Bernadino CA – 12 June 11:45 pm

Financial Summary
Total cash offering:  $1653 (Two love offerings & money given directly to Tom)
Estimated Gifts in Kind:  $645
Expense
1095
Cash gift
558
Gifts in kind
645
Domain established:  www.fathersheartkenya.com

Fredrick’s Email:  fhgospelministries@yahoo.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

Walk a Block for Jesus

Walk a Block for Jesus scheduled for 8 July 2017 – Save the Date

Here is the thing.  You will actually walk more than a block.  We are planning on 100 believers to walk 100 blocks greeting people that they meet, giving out GOD LOVES YOU – LOVE ONE AN0THER wristbands, praying for the entire block or the school or the business or someone who asks for prayer.  Many people will walk the same blocks.  It’s not about metrics.

It is about sharing good news and fellowship and going into the world as we have been commissioned to do.  We have gospels and wristbands to give away, and a new twist for this year as well.

What’s that?

We will invite the people that we meet to walk with us for a block or two or for the entire morning.  Those people get an additional wristband that reads Walk A Block for Jesus 2017.

This is not just for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
This is not just for people in Burns Flat.
This is not just for people who can walk.
This is for everyone who professes Jesus as Lord and Savior.
OK, I’m in.  What do I do?

Meet at the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church (just north of the traffic light).  This is for all who believe in Jesus Christ.  We will go into the world, for these couple of hours that will be Burns Flat, and pray block by block, leave gospels at houses, give out wristbands to everyone we see, invite those that we see to walk a few blocks with us, and then meet back at the church building for lunch by noon.

This is for all believers regardless of the name on the outside of your church building or if you are not connected to a church.  Come, let us walk together.

FAQ
What if I can’t walk very well?
We also have some support positions available such as driving and resupplying walkers with water and gospels, preparing lunch, clean up afterwards.  If you want to participate, there is a place for you.  Also, if you are on a walker or a scooter, you are welcome to participate.  This is not a race!
What if it is very hot?
Expect it to be hot, it is July after all.  Dress accordingly, drink plenty of water before you arrive and while you are walking.  Again, this is not a race.
What should I wear?
Please wear clothing suitable for walking.  If you have a Christian tee shirt or cap, you may want to wear it as well.
What if something happens while I am walking?
Every group will have plenty of phones and a watch will be maintained on the church phone.
What if I can’t make it by 9 am or must leave early?

If you come late, come to the church building and we will connect you with a group already walking.  If you must leave early, please inform your group leader and the person on watch at the church.  We do account for all who come to walk.