Pastor's Blog
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October 9, 2012, 3:06 PM

That Empty Space

This morning I read an old annual Pastor's Report of mine written over a decade ago.  I had forgotten how wonderfully God had blessed our ministry with that congregation.  In that fiscal year, we excelled in nearly every area...most notably in attendance.  Until refreshing my memory this morning by reading the report, I had forgotten much of what we accomplished that year.  What I clearly recalled is the growth came primarily because our congregation began maximizing their opportunities by inviting friends, work associates, and even strangers, to come worship with us.   Our folks began praying for God to not only give them the opportunity to invite others to church, they also prayed for the Lord to make them aware of every opportunity-to-invite-someone, then give them the boldness to speak.  We did not have a radical "jump" in attendance.  Our growth was a steady, incremental increase as those being invited by our congregation positively responded to the invitation extended to them.  To be honest, we did not have outstanding programs, an incredible facility, nor was I the most eloquent preacher in town.  What we had...what God blessed...was people who loved the Lord, involved themselves for souls, desired to build God's Church, and loved those new families when they came through the church doors.

 

Our local church here at West Side, has a rich heritage!  I have stared in amazement at the "record Sunday" photos hanging in our facility.  How they had 1,200+ in Sunday School in the 1930s, less than 20-years from the birth of our local church, is almost beyond belief to me!  I do not know how I would handle a crowd that size, although I would love to give it a try!   I am not nearly as concerned about the past as I am concerned about the future.  I am concerned about "that empty space" in the pews near where you sat last Sunday...or where you would have sat had you been here.  Those "empty spaces" will not be filled simply because a new voice is sharing the messages on Sunday, nor will they fill simply because we add new programs.  What will help fill the seats is each one of us falling on our faces before God in earnest prayer seeking His Holy Spirit's power in our lives...then getting excited at what God wants to do through us...each of us taking The Great Commission personally...and every one of us inviting our unchurched friends, family, work associates, and the strangers we meet, to come worship with us!  Numerical growth will come in response to prayer, our involvement in inviting others, and our loving those new individuals when they come to church! 

 

Will you help us fill "that empty space?"   I encourage you to join us as we answer God's challenge to reach the unreached.  Invite someone to join you in our worship service this coming Sunday at 10:00 a.m.  If you do not have a church you attend each week, we have space for you!




September 27, 2012, 9:33 AM

REVIVAL


It seems every major spiritual advancement I have made across the years happened during a time of "Revival," i.e. during a series of special church services involving a guest speaker whose purpose was to challenge the congregation to renew and revive their relationship with God.  It was during a Revival that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  It was during a Revival that I made a complete surrender of my life to the Lord and was sanctified wholly.  My call-to-preach came during a Revival service.  During a very dark time in my life when I was questioning whether to stay in ministry, God renewed His call as I sat in a Revival service.  Add to this the fact my wife accepted Christ into her life while attending a Youth Camp, which I refer to as a "Revival for teens."  She also consecrated her life completely to Christ and was sanctified wholly during a Revival.  Several of our children first gave their hearts to Christ during Revival services. 

Given that information, I am confident you understand why I believe special, multi-night services challenging the church to greater spiritual growth (Revivals) are so important.  THIS SUNDAY (September 30, 2012), we begin a series of five-services that will call us to move into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ than we now have.  I urge you to be in as many of these services as you possibly can!  God may use one of the messages to speak to you in a way He has never done before.  As I think back to the "spiritual milestones" I have experienced in past Revivals, there was not a single time I anticipated what God did in my life.  I entered the services open, receptive, and willing to obey Him at any cost.  In every instance, my life and soul have been blessed, enriched, and strengthened.  I hope you will avail yourself and alter your schedule in order to attend our Fall 2012 Revival.  The service times are as follows:  Sunday--10:00 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; Monday-Wednesday--6:30 p.m.


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