Pastor’s Desk 2016-01-19

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning SCCC Family,
 
40 people participated in the first session of “the Bait of Satan”, the study on dealing with offenses.  So grateful for Steve and Chuck’s facilitation. There’s only 5 weeks left and we meet every Thursday at 6pm at the church, EXCEPT this week, it will be on Wednesday at 6pm since our monthly Church Fellowship (potluck) is on Thursday this week. You don’t want to miss either of these events.

Stopped in to see Ellen Flores yesterday. After her fall, nearly a month ago, she has been in an incredible amount of pain. She said, nothing is broken, but the pain persists. Please pray for Ellen and a way to deal with her pain. Kathy Stoaks leaves for CA to spend some time with her son who has been given a short time to live. He is in need of a liver transplant. Kathy also lost her daughter in December. Please pray for Frank and Kathy and for her son. We are asking God for a miracle for him.

Deacon nominations were closed this weekend and wow, what participation we had this time again. Thank you for participating in the leadership development of our church. More information will follow after the names are reviewed and the interviews completed. All of the names presented were excellent. However, we also know that the Lord calls each of us to serve in different capacities. For some that will mean becoming deacons, for others it will mean faithful service in other areas. For some it is right timing, for others the timing will be different. So we are praying for the Lord’s timing and direction and look forward to offering the congregation a slate of nominees to choose from at our annual meeting on Feb. 25.

Another great update for you. The Deacons and Elders have jointly invited Mayra to begin serving as an Administrative Assistant at the church. She will now serve the church in a full time role and will divide her time between leading the Children’s Ministry and Office Administration. Allowing for some flexibility, she will be working on Mon, Wed and Fridays. She will also be making appointments for myself, preferably on Fridays. Call her at the church 226-0945. She has been so faithful in her service to the church and I’m delighted to have her on the team in a full time capacity.

Our first movie night this winter will happen on Feb. 1 with the “War Room”. It’s a great movie and another great opportunity to bring along an unchurched friend. After the movie, take them for some ice cream or a coffee and listen to their thoughts about the movie. This movie, very Christian in its content, has done extremely well in the American movie market. You will find yourself laughing numerous times during the movie, but you will also find yourself wonderfully challenged to go to “war” so to speak, for people you love! 

An evening of celebrating the work of the Medical Clinic at Art & Brenda’s was a highlight this past week. What an amazing meal and observing those who served it was a huge treat. You couldn’t help but feel loved. Seeing all these folks, Drs, Nurses, Pharmacists, Volunteers and once again – a whole bunch of volunteers from the church. We’ve even got several folks from our church who can translate for the team as the patients are examined. I believe the team alone, under the guidance of Rocky Mountain Ministries, had 34 participants, never mind all the other volunteers involved. Even one of our church’s supported missionaries was on the team this last week, Dr. Ken VanKirk. And he will be back at SCCC in March to share what God is doing through their ministry.

Along with the above, I could never have dreamt of living in such a location. We get to do some great things through our church, but we get to see even more through all the ministries we connect with. They’re all working in “turbo boost” or something. The feeding and play area is now cemented at Devon and Marisol Kehlers. Their new feeding center building is almost “move in” ready. One of Maggie’s expansions is nearing completion. With Bob & Earl’s help, they’ve made some huge progress. The Krahn’s orphanage continues to plan and grow, with a number of children in place. Their new kitchen and feeding area has allowed them to partially reclaim their home. Many of you have been blessed by the freshly squeezed OJ, of which the sales help finance the orphanage. We joined Brandon & Bethany for dinner out at Jesse and Jennie’s last week and caught another glimpse of all that happens in their location. I love hearing Jesse’s testimonies of sharing the Gospel with people and then watching him on Sunday mornings, you will always be helped to find a seat in our once again, almost full house. With a smile, he’ll find you a place to sit! The Dycks have 12 new students this semester, but they’ve also got several aboriginal folks from Venezuela here translating the Bible into their native tongue. Gabriela and team continue to make huge inroads with their weekly ministry in the Guaymas prison. Several ladies have received Christ and are looking forward to baptism, right in the prison. Volunteers continue to go out from the church every week to participate with one of these ministries. There’s another team leaving the church Saturday at 8:30 am to help with the feeding program at Devon and Marisol’s.

I think what got me on this unplanned focus this morning is simply observing the joy in people’s hearts when they serve the Lord in these practical ways. James said it best, “be doers of the Word and not hearers only” and that’s what we continually get to observe in our church, in the missions and in our community.

And that was the focus of last weekend’s 24 hour prayer vigil – that God would continue to have His way in and through our church as we seek to draw close to Him and to be obedient in following Him, whether that’s serving at church, with our missions or in our community. Jeannine and I got to kick off the prayer vigil, praying together with Bob & Catherine and then we stayed to enjoy praying through the first hour. So grateful for Catherine Gibson as her plans came together and provided a means for someone to be praying for the entire 24 hours. I would love to hear back from anyone who felt the Lord shared something or showed you something specific during your time there. 

A few reminders for the coming days:
* Tues, Jan 19 – “What Love Is” Bible Study for ladies (either 10-11:30 or 1-2:30)
* Thurs, Jan 21 – Church (Potluck) Fellowship Meal – 5:30 pm
* Tues, Jan 26 – Mark Mulligan Benefit Concert @ the church – 6:00 pm
* Mon, Feb 1 – Movie Night at the Church with “War Room”.
 
I encourage you to read the article by Chuck Lawless that follows this blog. 
 
Enjoy your journey with Jesus,
Glenn y Jeannine

Eight Characteristics of Evangelistic Church Growth Leaders by Chuck Lawless

This week I’ve been preparing some lectures for my upcoming seminars in the DMin in Church Revitalization and Great Commission Leadership at Southeastern Seminary. For years, I’ve kept a running list of characteristics of pastors who lead effective evangelistic churches (that is, churches that are reaching non-believers rather than simply reaching other church members). Below are several of those characteristics.
  1. They believe the Bible is the Word of God. Consequently, they accept the truth that people who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus are without hope. The Word drives them to want to reach people.
  2. They take the lead in personal evangelism. They model evangelism, but not because they happen to be the pastor; they do it because Jesus is in their heart and evangelism is in their blood. These leaders would evangelize even if they weren’t pastors.
  3. They know the church’s numbers. They’re not idolatrous of those numbers, but they’re certainly aware of them. “A number represents a person” is much more than an adage to them; it’s a reflection of their focus on real people who need Jesus.
  4. They take personally any lack of evangelistic growth. That’s not to suggest, though, that they believe they can somehow create growth. It’s simply that they so long to see lives changed that they want to evaluate why when it doesn’t happen.
  5. They’ve led their churches to get ready for growth. They’re not always fully prepared for what God does, but their churches don’t take lightly their responsibility to disciple new believers God gives them. They have the “nursery” ready for babes in Christ.
  6. They know their community well – and they love that community. They can usually describe the general demographic makeup of their community, not only because they’ve studied the data but also because they’ve walked the streets. They’re glad to live where they live, and they hope to stay there awhile.
  7. They hold their staff accountable for doing evangelism. They may not always require written reports, but they’re intentional about asking for verbal reports during staff meetings. Typically, they’re hesitant to hire anyone who doesn’t have a strong evangelism record.
  8. Increasingly, they are more committed to church planting. Because these pastors want to see people saved, they’ve often joined the forces emphasizing evangelistic church planting today. They aren’t worried that everyone comes to their church, and they’re willing to send out some of their best to start congregations.

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