TEAMM Leader Blogs

Say Yes, Unless You Have to Say No

Faith Church Blogs - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:39

It was the end of a very long, hot day.  A friend and I were participating in the annual RAIN ride — a shortened name for “Ride Across Indiana.”  Cyclists start in Illinois at sunrise and ride their bicycles straight east to the Ohio border in one day, a distance of just over 160 miles.

Seasoned participants often talk about the quality of the break stops.  Spread out every 30 miles or so, local volunteers and small communities take great pride in preparing a delightful assortment of iced beverages and high-energy snacks for the riders.  Cyclists’ families and friends also use these designated places to meet their loved ones and cheer them on to the finish line.

The atmosphere is electric because of the convergence of civic pride and athletic accomplishment.  There is nothing quite like getting off your bike and having a complete stranger hand you a cold drink and an energy bar, accompanied with a pat on the back and an encouraging word.  The various stops along the route even have friendly competition between communities to see which can serve the riders best.

On this particular afternoon, as a group of us were coming to one of the final stops, I spotted a beautiful church building with a large parking lot.  As a pastor myself, I wondered if any of the members of that congregation would be joining their friends and neighbors to serve the athletes and their families.  I started making mental connections between a vacant church parking lot on a Saturday afternoon and a host of people needing a place to park for a few minutes to serve and celebrate with the ones they loved.

As the scene came into clearer focus, I saw a man dragging a sawhorse down the church driveway with a homemade sign hastily affixed to one end.  He was on a mission for sure and my first thought was – “I hope that sign does not say what I think it does.”  Sure enough, I reached the spot just as he was erecting his instructions – “no parking allowed here.”

In all fairness, I suppose the church may have been preparing to host a giant event in a few minutes and simply could not spare a few parking spots for these neighbors in need.  But honestly, I highly doubt it.  The more likely explanation is that he had fallen victim to an attitude and philosophy that seems to affect many churches regarding the way they think about sharing what they have with others – “Say no, unless you have to say yes.”

The Scripture suggests otherwise.  Paul told the legalistic Galatians – “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10).  Wise churches look for as many opportunities as possible to share love and resources with those around them.  We ought to be guided by the principle, “Say yes, unless you have to say no.”

I can almost hear the pushback on the part of some who will consider this vignette.  There will be those who object because this mob might leave trash all over the church grounds just before the Lord’s Day.  Is that really that important?  Maybe our worship on Sunday would be sweeter if we had to step over a few empty water bottles that had been distributed in Jesus’ name the day before.  Others might fret because the bathrooms would not be pristine when the church folks came in the next morning.  Would that be that be such an insurmountable problem?  Why not recruit two volunteer teams, one to serve alongside the church’s neighbors to help make the break spot the best one in the state, while the second group came in later to spruce things up for church the next day?

Churches can be incredibly insular and myopic.  The focus so frequently becomes – “how is this going to affect our comfort, our security, and our convenience?”  Perhaps we would all do better to focus on serving and loving others regardless of the price that has to be paid.  Isn’t that what it means to take up our cross and follow Christ?

The ultimate tragedy here is the view of God this ambivalence and apathy gives to a lost and dying world.  Many in our culture have concluded that God does not love and care about them.  Little wonder, when His children are busy crafting “no parking allowed here” signs. It might be time for some and perhaps many of us to try a new approach.  Say yes, unless you have to say no.

Related posts:

  1. Ollies, Kickflips and the Gospel
  2. When your Neighbor Stands Up for You
  3. Four results of right prayers

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Why do I need the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Faith Church Blogs - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 11:14
1. I need the hope of the glory of God in Christ.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NASB)

“Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” John 17:1-5 (NASB)

“For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:20-21 (NASB)

2. I need to be made alive in Christ, otherwise I’m dead.

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ” Colossians 1:23 (NIV)

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:9-11 (NASB)

“If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”Romans 8:10-11

3. I need freedom from my sin to live a new life for God.

“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34-36 (NASB)

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6: 4 (NASB)

4. I need to know I am rescued from the wrath of God.

“For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,  and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NASB)

5. I need the resurrection power of Christ continually to live for God.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:18-22 (NASB)

6. I need to know my preaching and faith in Jesus Christ is not in vain.

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” Romans 15:13-14 (NASB)

7. I need the assurance I will be resurrected to live with God forever in Christ.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:21-26 (NASB)

“For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” Romans 15:21-22 (NASB)

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (NASB)

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7 (NASB)

because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.” 2 Corinthians 4:14 (NASB)

8. I need to know that all the sin, suffering, and death experienced in this life will be overcome and swallowed up in the victory of Christ.

“Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33 (NASB)

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.” Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5 (NASB)

 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (NASB)

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  2. Christ Our Passover
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Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

SERVE ’18 – 4 Videos with Kids

Faith Church Blogs - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 11:37

Before the SERVE ’18 campaign began, we sat down with some of the kids in Children’s Ministries to talk about why people just like you should serve.  You can check out all the funny things they had to say in the videos below.

As SERVE ’18 wraps up, we want to take a moment to let you know where things stand. To date, over 520 individuals have responded to opportunity to invest in the lives of the children and families. That represents 93% of our staffing need. We are praising the Lord for His gracious provision!

If you missed the chance sign-up, we still have openings available for you. Just visit FaithLafayette.org/ServeKids.

Related posts:

  1. Ministry Updates – Summer 2011
  2. SERVE ’14: Anna Walters’ Testimony
  3. Testimony: Lynn & Kathy Heusinger

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

The Unexpected Blessings of Humility

Faith Church Blogs - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 13:05

Sometimes life is really hard. I mean really hard. The difficulty may come in the form of a loved one’s death (recently two individuals associated with our church died very unexpectedly), the loss of a relationship (divorce, wayward children, or dating that comes to an end are all examples), the inability to fulfill a dream (some are longing for a spouse or to have a biological child), or a concern for one’s own physical safety.

One possible response is to believe that you just have to deal with it yourself. You need to be strong. You need to fight. You need to tell the world that you are good. You need to pick yourself up.

I would like to suggest that the Bible speaks to these difficult moments of life by asking us to be humble.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on him, because He cares for you.

From this short section of the Bible we can see a few of the unexpected blessings of humility.

Blessing #1: Exaltation comes at the proper time

Instead of trying to tell others how wonderful we are, how we have been wronged by others, and how we deserve more respect and appreciation, God tells us that he does the exalting at the right time.

Some of us are not very patient. It may be that the Lord will allow us to go through the crucible of difficulty in order to help us understand that exaltation comes from Him. It does not occur when we think we deserve it or have earned it. It comes when He decides.

This make the exaltation, when it comes, particularly wonderful. It causes us to give thanks and appreciate all that the Lord does in our lives because we know that the blessing came from Him.

Dear friends, please do not fight for your space. Please do not try to tell others how wonderful you are and how people just do not see the real you. God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. When one is humble then one is exalted at the right time.

Blessing #2: You unload your burdens

Anxiety is like a weight. It impacts you emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes physically. It makes the life you have even harder. You not only face the difficulties, but when you in pride try to deal with it yourself, you receive no relief.

Sometimes we cannot avoid having a heavy load at different times in our life. That does not mean we have to carry it by ourselves. When we try, we make it even more challenging.

The Lord says that he is willing to take those burdens. He is willing to help you in the midst of those difficulties.

Blessing #3: You know that he cares

The text tells us that you can give your anxiety to him because he cares for you. It is one way you express humility before the Lord. One of the blessings you experience is his faithfulness to that promise. Those who are proud do not experience this blessing. They are too busy trying to figure out how they can bear their burden on their own and then accuse people and God of not caring.

God made it clear from the beginning – either choose the path of humility and experience the blessings associated with humility or experience the full weight of the difficulties on your own. In fact, a refusal to be humble means that God opposes that person. The weight is even heavier.

Action steps

First, I encourage you to read 1 Peter 5:6-7 over and over until you can articulate the truth in this passage.

Second, I encourage you to make a list of the things that most trouble you at this point. What are your greatest anxieties?

Third, I encourage you to pray for each of those items on your list everyday for 3 weeks. In your prayer communicate clearly to the Lord that you do not have the ability to solve these issues and you are asking for God’s grace to endure and his wisdom to know how to respond to each challenge.

 

Related posts:

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  3. Evolved: Our Battles

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

7 Videos

Faith Church Blogs - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:33

Over the past several weeks of our SERVE ’18 campaign, we have shared several videos of individuals in different life situations who have chosen to make Children’s Ministry service a priority.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out these testimonies, you can view them all on our Facebook page.

SERVE ’18 has just a few days to go, and we still have servant positions available. We are encouraging every member of our church to honestly evaluate your present level of service for Christ and prayerfully consider making service in our Children’s Ministries a normal part of your weekly worship. Then, sign up to serve!

Related posts:

  1. Testimony: Mom2Mom
  2. Testimony: Matt Wilburn
  3. Testimony: Lynn & Kathy Heusinger

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Testimony: Kathy Tolbert, Rita Jamison, & Sharon Bagby

Faith Church Blogs - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 13:45

Rita Jamison, Kathy Tolbert, and Sharon Bagby have sacrificed their time while raising families of their own in order serve hundreds of girls in our Wednesday Night Kids of Faith ministry.  They have spent the past 15 years helping young women learn character qualities that teach and guide them as they grow in godliness. God is using this group of “senior saint” ladies and the wisdom He has given them through their life experiences to pour love into the 4th & 5th Grade girls.  To hear more of their testimony, check out the video below.

This is the final week of our SERVE ’18 campaign, and we still have plenty of ways for you to jump in and serve. To make sure each class is fully equipped to effectively teach the Word of God, we are asking every member of Faith to prayerfully consider how God may want you to make service in our Children’s Ministries a regular part of your weekly worship. Sign up to serve at faithlafayette.org/servekids or fill out the form in this Sunday’s bulletin.

Related posts:

  1. Testimony: Lynn & Kathy Heusinger
  2. Bearing Fruit In Our Mission
  3. Testimony: Darrin & Alice Brooks

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Testimony: Lynn & Kathy Heusinger

Faith Church Blogs - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 15:54

Lynn and Kathy Heusinger share, “It would be so easy to say, ‘We’ve got a lot going on right now, and we just can’t do more.’ Yet long ago I heard someone say, ‘You can spend your life however you wish, but you have to live with what you choose.’ Christ told us to ‘lay up treasures in heaven’…that was one reason we chose to invest in the lives of young people for God’s Kingdom.” To hear more of their testimony, check out the video below.

There is only one more week of our SERVE ’18 campaign, and we need your help to ensure each class is prepared to effectively teach children God’s Word.  We are encouraging every member of our church to honestly evaluate your present level of service for Christ and prayerfully consider making service in our Children’s Ministries a normal part of your Sunday morning worship.  Then, sign up to serve at faithlafayette.org/servekids or fill out the form in Sunday’s bulletin.

Related posts:

  1. Testimony: Mom2Mom
  2. Testimony: Matt Wilburn
  3. Testimony: Ken & Micki Stillings

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Testimony: Darrin & Alice Brooks

Faith Church Blogs - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 16:52

Darrin & Alice Brooks did not wait for life to grow easier before volunteering to serve in our Children’s Ministries. Hear why they overcame the obstacles that could have stood in their way in their testimony video below.

There are only 2 weeks left in our SERVE ’18 campaign, and there are still many ways for you to jump in and serve.  We are asking every member of Faith to prayerfully consider how God could use you in reaching the kids and families of our community for Christ.

Related posts:

  1. Ministry Updates – Summer 2011
  2. Testimony: Matt Wilburn
  3. Testimony: Mom2Mom

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Testimony: Matt Wilburn

Faith Church Blogs - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 16:51

Matt & Shauni Wilburn have faithfully served in the 2 year-olds class. As they have grown in their love for the kids, Matt and Shauni have found some pretty unique ways of making them feel welcome and even excited to come to Sunday School. Check out their whole testimony in the video below.

We are almost half way through our SERVE ’18 campaign, and we still have ways for you to jump in and serve! We are encouraging every member of our church to honestly evaluate your present level of service for Christ and prayerfully consider making service in our Children’s Ministries a normal part of your weekly worship. Then, sign up to serve!

Related posts:

  1. Testimony: Mom2Mom
  2. Worship Misnomers Part I: Compartmentalized Worship
  3. Testimony: Ken & Micki Stillings

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Testimony: Mom2Mom

Faith Church Blogs - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 15:43

People who serve in our Wednesday evening Children’s Ministries are allowing young mothers to become better parents through Mom2Mom. Knowing their children are cared for well while they study together is such a blessing to these moms and their families. To hear more of their story, check out the video below.

We are only a week into our SERVE ’18 campaign, and we still have ways for you to join in on the fun! We are encouraging every member of our church to honestly evaluate your present level of service for Christ and prayerfully consider making service in our Children’s Ministries a normal part of your weekly worship.

Sign up to serve at faithlafayette.org/servekids

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  1. Bearing Fruit In Our Mission
  2. A Strategic Window of Opportunity
  3. Testimony: Ken & Micki Stillings

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Testimony: Ken & Micki Stillings

Faith Church Blogs - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:27

Ken & Micki Stillings have witnessed great behavioral growth in their son, in part, because of the help and encouragement of his Sunday School teachers. They serve in children’s Ministries because they see the value of participating in a ministry that has made such a big impact on their family. To see their whole story, watch the video below.

Our SERVE ’18 campaign stretches over the next several weeks. During this time, we are encouraging every member of Faith to consider making regular service in our Children’s Ministries a normal part of your weekly worship.

Sign up to serve at faithlafayette.org/servekids

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Ken & Micki Stillings

"We've chosen to serve in our children's ministries, because we've seen first-hand the impact our servants have on the lives of our kids. Our youngest son Cooper is an example of that…we want to encourage you to join us by signing up to serve [so that] you can make a real difference in the life of a child like our son Cooper."If you'd like to join Ken & Micki Stillings in impacting the next generation for Christ, you can sign up to serve at www.faithlafayette.org/servekids.

Posted by Faith Church of Lafayette Indiana on Sunday, February 18, 2018

Related posts:

  1. Ministry Updates – Summer 2011
  2. Testimony: Nate Malcolm
  3. SERVE ’14: Anna Walters’ Testimony

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Bearing Fruit In Our Mission

Faith Church Blogs - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 20:22

The mission statement of Faith Church is to “seek to glorify God by winning people to Jesus Christ and equipping them to become more faithful disciples.” So everything that happens within Faith Church seeks to accomplish that mission. Faith believes that this mission was given by Christ when He called his disciples to go into the world and make disciples of all nations and to teach them to obey all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). And one of the newest ministry branches of Faith Church is the Hartford Hub. This baby ministry is only a year and a half old but has been slowly growing into maturity.

But Jesus didn’t just call us to go out and start new ministries. He called us to be fruitful in those ministries.

Remember that Jesus told those same disciples, “…I chose you, and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit…” (John 15:16)

So every once in a while, it’s good to check the vitals of a ministry by looking at the fruit being produced. This fruit can come in all different shapes and sizes, but it is always tethered to making new disciples and equipping them to be more faithful.

So how do we know what this fruit can look like?

From Scripture, we can see at least three different ways that God produces fruit in ministries.

One of the first ways is in the spiritual growth of disciples who are doing the work of the ministry. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he expressed a desire for them to grow in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). So Christians can bear fruit by growing spiritually.

Second, fruit can look like disciples doing good works. Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that they would be filled with fruit of righteousness which always results in good works (Philippians 1:9). In another letter, Paul encouraged Titus to pastor the churches in Crete to be faithful to do good works so that they wouldn’t be unfruitful (Titus 3:14). So when we do good works for our fellow believers and for our community, we bear fruit.

Finally, fruit can look like the making of new disciples. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he expressed that his reason for traveling to Rome was to bear fruit in making new disciples among the Gentiles (Romans 1:13).

So when we are trying to grade a ministry, we should be asking these three questions:

  • Is God growing me spiritually?
  • Am I growing in my diligence to do good works?
  • Am I seeing new disciples being made?

The answers to these questions can help determine how fruitful we are at accomplishing the mission that Christ set out for us.

Now the purpose of this blog is not to make the name of Faith Church or of the Hartford Hub great but rather make the name of Jesus great because He is the One responsible for any growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).

This past year and a half have been a whirlwind at the Hartford Hub. It has been an endeavor that has provided unlimited opportunities to be fruitful in accomplishing the mission of Faith Church. And, by God’s grace, it has been encouraging to see fruit from the beginning. I would like to highlight just a few pieces of fruit that we have seen in the infancy of this ministry.

Are we growing spiritually?

Like Paul expressed his desire to the church in Galatia to bear fruit in growing spiritually, we have been challenged to grow to become more faithful disciples since starting the Hartford Hub. I would not say that the majority of the folks who began serving here in the beginning would say they were skilled in this ministry context. I most certainly would not have claimed to be an expert.

But there are a number of folks that have grown in the fruit of the Spirit as a result of serving at the Hartford Hub.

There is a young single man in our church that began serving at the Hartford Hub at the very beginning. And when he first began, he was quiet, timid, and had a difficult time dealing with opposition from youth. If a youth was disrespectful, disobedient, or just hard to lead, he struggled. He had a lot of fear, but over time, the Lord grew a love for the youth that trumped his fear of being rejected. God replaced that fear of being opposed with a love that desired others to see and know Christ. This has led him to become a leader every week, a Bible study leader, and a vision caster for a youth leadership team.

Another example came from an empty nester couple who were nudged by one of the pastors to get involved in the shuttle ministry that takes kids from the Hartford Hub to Wednesday Night Kids of Faith every week. They agreed knowing that it was not something they were experienced in, and week 1 was very difficult for them. It revealed pride in their hearts as they struggled with expecting youth to respond to them the way that they desired. It was not necessarily because the youth were so terrible, but rather, it was a culture to which they were not accustomed. It was very uncomfortable, which revealed pride, anxiety, and frustration because things were not as they expected. But they saw that the issues were with their own heart, and they allowed the Lord to grow them over the next few weeks. Even though it was difficult, they could not help but continue to serve because the Lord was changing their hearts. Over time, they began to see a faithfulness, a patience, and a passion begin to flow from of their hearts. Now, they cannot stop being around these families, and they cannot wait to take another step in their walk with the youth and families in the neighborhood. This fruit in their lives has led to building relationships with one of the moms and closer relationships with some of the Jr. High girls. God turned a couple who was prideful and anxious into a humble, loving, and passionate couple who are thriving in their new ministry.

Are we diligent in good works?

God has also produced good works in many of the servants at the Hartford Hub. In total, the Hartford Hub serving team consists of about 47 servants who come weekly or bi-weekly. These folks are constantly looking for ways to show Christ and make Him known to the Lincoln neighborhood. As a result, these are some of the activities that people are doing.

Every week day, there are college students, retired teachers, current teachers, and homeschool mothers who serve together in using their gifts to work with youth on their homework, reading, and life skills. They view this as an avenue to make new disciples by teaching Gospel-centered values to the next generation.

Purdue Bible Fellowship connection groups take every other week to practice what they study in Scripture by serving at the Hartford Hub and training youth to be good stewards of gifts that have been given to them. Each night a different group comes in and pairs up with a different youth to show them how to clean and take care of the Hartford Hub.

And over the past year, the Lord has brought a neighborhood leadership team together to care for the neighborhood. Over the past few months, they have taken responsibility for planning community neighborhood block parties, classes, and a trash pick-up day. The group is fully dedicated to doing good works out of a love for their neighborhood.

Are disciples being made?

By God’s grace, we have also seen new disciples as a result of the work of the many servants at the Hartford Hub.

Our first new disciple began watching the Hub from a distance over the first couple weeks of its existence, but it wasn’t long before he became an integral part of the Hartford Hub. He had been out of the church for years before he came to the Hub. Just two weeks before he had come to the Hub he was on his deathbed, but the Lord had other plans for him. It has been an eventful year and a half for him as he has struggled to be faithful to Christ, but the Lord has helped him take some major steps of spiritual growth since he first came to the Hub. He went from being a man who was in isolation, out of the Word, and out of church, to a man who serves almost every day, reads the Word, and is a member of the church. The Lord is changing him from being a man who is about himself to a man who loves God and loves others.

Late in 2017, another man walked into the Hartford Hub. He sat in the office and shared his story and talked with us for about two hours. He had been out of jail for a few months but had been living in isolation. For some reason, the Lord made him walk to the Hub and ask for help. He was broken over the way he had lived his life, and he wanted a change. It wasn’t a week after we had met him that he sent in an application to go to Restoration Ministries. Now, he is one of our closest friends and biggest advocates. He has spent almost every minute serving others since the Lord brought him to the Hub or studying the Scriptures, he can’t wait to graduate from Restoration and be a part of serving at the Hub and at the Northend Community Center.

As far as the youth are concerned, we have seen three girls make professions of faith and many others show a desire to know Christ and become like Him. The Lord has used each servant at the Hartford Hub to train them in repentance, obedience, and what it looks like to walk with the Lord faithfully. They are fruit of a community of people loving them and sharing the truth of Christ with them. Now, they are growing and changing to love God and love others.

What Does This Mean For Me?

God has called each of us to be fruitful, and as a member at Faith Church, we should all be fruitful in accomplishing the mission of Faith Church – “to glorify God by winning people to Jesus Christ and equipping them to become more faithful disciples.”

So, if you were to ask the same three questions, what would your answer be?

  • Are you seeing spiritual growth in your own life?
  • Are you growing in faithfulness to do good works?
  • Are you a part of making new disciples?

To God be the glory – great things He is doing in us and through us!

Related posts:

  1. Johnny Kjaer’s Journey to Faith
  2. Spring 2011 Ministry Updates
  3. “GROW”

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Wisdom Prayer 1

LCC Blogs (Jeff Mikels) - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 12:00

God,

So many things I thought I knew, but I will open my heart to you.

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs

Short Term Mission Update from the Dominican Republic 2018

Faith Church Blogs - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:27

Below is an encouraging update by trip leader Jonathan Barrette about the Short Term Missions Team to the Dominican Republic.

“Thus far, we have had amazing success in our work. The team has been highly motivated and remains very energized. I expected more fatigue at this point. We are praising God for the energy and effort of the team, knowing we brought nothing, but empty hands to the process. We also know that we have more days in front of us.

The VBS sessions are going very well! All those extra meetings and the training with Johnny Kjaer and Noelle Haynie, were extremely beneficial. (Thanks to both of you!) Our sessions here with the kids are only proving their counsel more accurate everyday. The team had very well planned and rehearsed lessons. But as we were told, not everything went as planned. Due to our training and practice, the team adjusted quickly and it is proving effective. We are pleased that thus far, sections of the material is sticking with the kids.  Even the younger ones are able, in some instances, to retell the Bible stories back to us.

Josh Aucoin has been leading the music with passion and energy, which is also getting the children engaged. I will say that we Americans, with all our efforts, have NOTHING on these DR children when it comes to energy!!! They are passionate about their music!

The crafts have been a huge success with the kids. Everyone is safe, healthy, and doing fantastic. So far, no major issues with the children or with our immediate team.

As of New Years day. The team wrapped up working with the smaller class of about 40 children, Casitas. The last 2 days have been very busy and have stretched the team quite a bit. We are pleased for the chance to serve hardily and we are making an impact.  We’ve had numerous staff thank us for our work and compliment the team on how organized and effective we have been.

New Year’s Eve was a break from our VBS routine. We started with a day of worship at the church, Iglesia Bautista de la Gracia. We attended along with a second group called “Courts 4 Kids”.  The team enjoyed the service, especially singing worship songs in Spanish.  It was an additional blessing to see the Pastor Newton Pena in the church. Newton commented on our “wisdom” in spending the winter in the DR; seeing the temps back home, I’d have to agree.

After church we went out to lunch at a popular local restaurant, Square One. We then took a bus to visit the local war memorial.  The day was beautiful; you could see mountains around for miles. We snapped fantastic group pictures. It was also a blast watching some of the Dominicans teach the Courts 4 Kids team how to dance. They tried to get a few of us to dance.

After our tour of the monument we came back to prep for New Year’s eve with the kids. Itzel, our host asked our team to run the evening, but wanted us to include the Courts team. We enthusiastically agreed! We were also asked to do a devotional, sing songs, and then run a game night with about 60 kids. I put together a small devotional that I titled “A New Family for a New Year.” My intent was to have a devotional that touched on the theme of adoption, something that would be meaningful to the kids; but also wove into the devo the fact that we were NOT all part of God’s family. I wanted to share a message that would get everyone thinking about their relationship to God.

Our game leader, Brent Rardin, setup 10 games stations with quick games for the kids. We then divided the Courts 4 Kids teams across these workstations (2 per station), and trained them on their games. We set up 10 minute rotations for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours… talk about a lot of energy! Between the foundation’s kids and the teens from the other team…. WOW! The night went better than expected.

Most of us celebrated the final minutes of New Year’s Eve with our faces buried in our pillows. A common comment from our team on this trip…”I can’t remember the last time I slept that hard.”

Related posts:

  1. Hartford Hub Update
  2. On a mission: The Blackwells
  3. The Race for Hope: Another Way to Support God’s Mission in Lafayette and Around the World!

Categories: TEAMM Leader Blogs