Pastor’s Desk 2016-01-12

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning SCCC Family,
 
* Another great new day in Paradise! This new year has started off, not with a bang, but with an explosion it seems. The Eye Clinic Team has finished and now the Medical Team is in full swing, setting up in a different community every day. We got to observe them for a while on Friday. Medical Tents are set up, with Drs and translators inside connecting with patients, a pharmacy in another tent, intake areas – volunteers guiding folks to the right location and a table full of Gospel material being presented to interested people, along with some wonderful folks praying for the guests who came by for help. And the “funnest” thing for me was seeing Colleen and Marlene, nurses from the first church I pastored back in MB. And later, seeing Marlene’s husband Ken, working at another site. Love these volunteers who give it their all. And once again, a whole bunch more volunteers from SCCC, who I think were the whip cream of the whole experience. We have volunteers who so wonderfully serve Jesus by serving others. That’s the kind of church I’m honored to pastor today.
 
* Last week, I watched many of the finishing touches go in place (painting, sewing curtains, etc – so fun to see all the church folks helping out) on the new addition to the Bible School next door (CEC). Sunday we met some of the folks who were arriving, either to participate or to attend the school. So thankful for our translation team which allows us to minister to these folks in the Spanish language during our worship services. I believe Howard said, they have 18 students this year, a record for them and this week, they are in the classroom. Pray for the teachers and the students alike.
 
* Many of you either heard or met Matthew Wyka at the Sunday service, but another incredible highlight was the dessert evening in our home on Sunday evening, where the elders, deacons and their spouses gathered to meet Matthew and to hear his heart for youth ministry. Hearing his faith journey, listening to his astute interaction with the leadership and observing his humility through his thoughtful responses was heart-warming. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s guidance for both Matthew and the SCCC leadership. Matthew will be leaving shortly for Peru and will be ministering there until the end of April. He covets your prayers as serves along the Amazon River.
 
* As I got up to the platform on Sunday, I looked up into the balcony and after only opening it a few weeks ago, there was 15-20 people left standing, looking for a seat in the full house. So with a little reworked ushering, we got them places on the main floor. There were a few more open chairs after the kids dismissed, but not many. I thought we just built this place!!! What a great day for the SCCC church family. But beyond the numbers, we are seeing people involved in ministry, volunteering at numerous other locations as well and we’re seeing God touch people’s lives through His Word and our worship times. Pastor Rafael’s (Fatima) sons once again enhanced our worship as they partnered with our worship team and led the Spanish portions. Can you say an Amen, yet?
 
* On a sad note, we discovered early yesterday morning that Janice Crowell passed away late Sunday evening. She was on her way back to Tucson to pursue some medical advice and passed away en route on the Tufesa bus she was travelling in. Janice, a single lady, began attending the church about six months ago. In spite of the fact that she has only one brother in New Hampshire, friends from the church took over dealing with all the ensuing issues which follow someone’s passing. Thank you to each of you for your incredible care.
 
* This Sunday, we will continue in Philippians looking at what it means to be a sold out believer. Paul’s example and model to us is certainly challenging, but its also inspiring. I pray you were challenged, as I was, to determine what is really in our “Box”. You can listen to the message at www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com , by clicking on audio sermons.
 
A few reminders for the coming days:
* Wed, Jan 13 @ 10:30 – “Co-Ed” study on Faith with Sue Marston begins
* Thurs, Jan 14 @ 6-7:30 – “Bait of Satan” Study on dealing with offenses
* Fri, Jan 15 – 24 Hours Prayer Vigil begins at 5:00 pm and continues till Sat, 5:00pm
* Tues, Jan 19 – “What Love Is” Ladies Bible Study (either 10-11:30 or 1-2:30)
* Thurs, Jan 21 – Church (Potluck) Fellowship Meal
* Tues, Jan 26 – Mark Mulligan Benefit Concert @ the church – 6:00 pm
* Mon, Feb 1 – Movie Night at the Church, TBD
 
Enjoy your journey with Jesus,
Glenn y Jeannine
 
A Leadership Article for your enjoyment:

Nine Surprises in Worship Services That Made Guests Return – Thom Rainer

In a recent Twitter survey, I asked respondents to share with me a singular event that impressed them in a church worship service. In fact, most of the respondents said they were “delighted” or “surprised,” and that the one event made them desire to return to the church.
I am appreciative for all the responses. A pattern developed around nine factors. Here are some representative quotes around each of the issues:

  1. “Someone had an umbrella waiting for me in inclement weather.” This comment was made for both snowy and rainy weather. Some of the respondents indicated that someone actually stayed next to them so they would not slip or fall.
  2. “A member actually invited me to lunch.” I admit I was surprised by the frequency of this response. This invitation had a huge impact on guests.
  3. “The kids area had leaders who were friendly and helpful.” This issue was obviously highly important to young families. I realize more than ever you keep or lose young families at the point you check the kids in or take them to a class.
  4. “There was a time of meaningful prayer.” I continue to be gratefully amazed at how important prayer is to guests. They love the times of quiet when people are asked to pray silently. They also love guided prayers.
  5. “Someone walked us where we were supposed to go.” Every place in a church facility is unknown to a first time guest. They love greeters staying with them and taking the fear of the unknown away.
  6. “There was genuine friendliness outside of the stand and greet time.” I have come to the conclusion that church members tend to like the stand and greet time more than guests do. In fact, most guests see the stand and greet time as artificial, especially if members are not friendly outside that time.
  7. “People followed up with my prayer requests the next day.” Many churches have places on guest cards for prayer requests. If leaders in the church emphasize that people will pray for the guests, many are likely to complete the card. The guests are really impressed if they hear from someone the next day.
  8. “I loved having the opportunity to speak with the pastor.” In some churches, this conversation took place in a reception room after the service. In other churches, the pastor called or wrote a personal email that was obviously not a form email. Guests really love hearing from the pastor.
  9. “I received a gift at the end of the service.” Many guests love receiving a gift for their visit. Their favorite gifts are freshly baked cookies or freshly baked bread. But any gift is appreciated.

Keep in mind, those who responded to our survey noted only one of these nine surprises that caused them to return. They considered any of these efforts above and beyond what they expected. What do you think of these nine “delights and surprises”? Do you have experiences you can add to the list? Let me hear from you.

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