Pastor’s Desk 2017-01-10

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Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* Ah, the sun is mostly shining this week and its so nice and warm as it edges its way back into prominence. To our friends in the North, we’re so sorry for what you are going through! But you are always welcome to come visit. We’ve seen a number of mission teams in the area over the last while. We’re already referring to one section in the church as the Manitoba section! Such a treat to see new folks being inspired by the many local ministries.
 
* We heard from Earl and Sonya (who many of you have been praying for)  yesterday and after facing so many challenges this fall, they are on the road to SC this morning. As Earl so eloquently stated in his email, “Lock up your valuables and stay off the roads. The Harris’ are headed south in the morning!” Drive safely folks. We look forward to your return.
 
* Well more exciting news! The “under 5’s” continue to be unpleasantly crushed in the former “where we did everything. other than church, room” in the old building. We have been seeing up to 20 children in this age group, meeting there while the adult service is on. The Deacons have found a very financially viable way to create an expanded location under the patio roof which connects the two buildings. It will provide approximately 500 square feet of safe space for these little guys. Over the next few weeks, the guys will be enclosing this space, installing double doors with no center post as an entrance, putting in an insulated drop ceiling, tiling the floor and preparing this room for service. It will also provide us with a much needed larger meeting area for other events. The cost of enclosing this area is estimated to be around 3500 USD plus the cost of an AC. We are so pleased that we can create this venue for our little ones and we are equally as grateful for the trust God has given us in ministering to them.
 
* 24 Couples have already registered for our Jan 30, Fusion 2.0. We can now announce that a noon meal will be included in the cost of the event. We are delighted that we can provide this very special ministry to our church families at this time. Just 500 pesos per couple, which will include a great lunch and some excellent teaching on enhancing your marriage skills for the second half of marriage. If you’ve been married 20 years or more or are in a second marriage, this is designed just for you. Our speaker will also be providing some leadership sessions for the elders and deacons and he will bring the message on Sunday morning. We think we can guarantee that you won’t go home disappointed. We’ve signed up and we hope you will too!
 
* DEACON NOMINATIONS have been closed and we are now in the process of connecting with those nominated to see how they feel about serving in this role. We will keep you informed on “next steps” as they come together. On behalf of the deacons and elders, we thank you for your participation and support in this nomination process.
 
* The house was full on Sunday, even the balcony is filling up. What a great time we had. So grateful for Cookie Sundays, thanks to all of you who make this happen. This so much more than coffee and cookies. I watch people engaging each other, laughing, having fun, meeting new people and just generally making everyone feel welcome. I call it an “extended service” and after that, we found ourselves at Tequila’s with another group of friends from the church for brunch, Jerry Lebo being one of them – 89 years young, missing his dear Flo, but still such a positive friend to spend time with as were the rest of the folks who were there. Gotta love it!
 
* Its ironic, but you never hear much about money in our church. I was thinking about that as I writing this newsletter this morning. Usually you hear about “Money” in church when the church is in need of it. But allow me to do it today as well. Our church has absolutely no debt, no debt on the buildings, no large outstanding payments down the pike, just regular expenditures. As Bob Gibson shared the financial report at the last deacon meeting, I once again realized how the Lord has provided this past year through your generous giving and investment in our church and its ministries. It appears that we will once again have given 25% or more of our general funds to missions and benevolence. We came through our summer crunch with reasonable funds in the bank. No one’s talking about money. I guess that’s a good thing, huh? But as a side note – thank you for believing in what God is doing at SCCC!
 
* Please continue to pray for John & Deirdre New –They are hoping to get on the road back to SC asap, but John’s bronchial issues have been very difficult.  
 
* Last Sunday, we reviewed some of the intellectual reasons why the Word of God can be trusted as a reliable source document for our daily living. We also realized that sometimes, people’s excuses for failing to follow Christ are not nearly as intellectually related as we may want to believe. Rather people come to understand that if they believe the Bible, they are made accountable to its truths. And while that accountability deals with the darkest corners of our hearts, it also reveals a God who loves us deeply in spite of our “dark corners” and He invites us into relationship with Him, even while knowing all about our dark corners. Only Jesus accepts the “real you” and then offers to help you deal with the dark corners and bring you to that great freedom He speaks of. That’s abundant living!
 
* This Sunday, you’re in for a special treat as David Long shares his testimony with us.
 
Praying you are anticipating a great week with Jesus,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

A little more Thom Rainer for you today: 

Six Statements That Can Kill a Church by Thom Rainer, January, 2017

Words can kill.

Words can kill churches because they often have deadly actions behind them. As we begin this new year, please allow me to share six statements that I have heard from church members whose churches have died.

Please hear that last statement again: These are statements from church members whose churches have already closed their doors. I am convinced these statements were major contributors to the churches’ demise.

  1. “We pay our pastor to do evangelism.” The common meaning behind this statement is that the members have no intentions of sharing their faith. A church with non-evangelistic members is a dying church.
  2. “Without our money, this church would be in trouble.” Ouch! The key word here is “our.” Members with this attitude do not give with an open hand; they perceive the money they give to the church is their money, not God’s money. This tight-fisted non-stewardship, if prevalent in the church, is a sure sign of sickness or death.
  3. “This church is not meeting my needs.” For certain, members’ needs should be met. But have you noticed that, often times, the most needy members are the first to complain and the first to leave? We should certainly care for the needs of the flock, but the attitude of the members should be that of serving instead of being served.
  4. “We pay the salary of the pastor and staff, so they should listen to us.” This deadly statement has two major inflictors of pain. First, the money is treated with a tight fist, as I noted above. Second, the money is used to control leaders. I served in a church where a member made that statement to me frequently. Years after I left, I learned he never gave a dollar to the church.
  5. “We will let the next generation deal with change.” When older generations make this statement, they are resolutely refusing to make necessary and immediate changes. Sadly, the next generations won’t stick around in such a church to make the changes.
  6. “I was here years before the pastor came; I’ll be here years after he’s gone.” This statement is one of power and control rather than service and giving. It’s about out-lasting each pastor to keep the church just the way the member wants it. It’s a statement that was commonly heard in churches that have closed their doors.

I remain an obnoxious optimist about our local congregations. But, sadly, many will die in this year and the next. Most of them will have had members who made these six deadly statements, I pray your church is not among them.

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