Pastor’s Desk 2016-11-01

Chuck Sheridan Avatar
Good Morning SCCC Family,        

* November 1 – Wow, for our friends back home in MB – its time to get the snow scoops out and everything else sharpened up for what’s coming and for the folks down here in Mexico, its getting comfortable. No more AC at night. Love it. People are once again venturing outside. Others are returning from the North for the new season. This is such a great time of the year. “Welcome Home” is the word of the day. We’ve missed you.

* Jeannine and I returned several weeks ago from our daughter’s wedding in Australia. A Perfect day for a beautiful young lady and for all of us. Ashley married James Gee on Friday, Oct 14th and they will make their home in Perth. Unusual feelings as I gave our daughter to James and as I thought about the “finality” of this experience. Until now she was simply living in Australia, but now Australia will be her home. That somehow made it different in my mind. What tempered those feelings was spending time with James family and their friends and seeing the Christian community they were a part of. We are so grateful for that.

* So, here we are, looking forward to another winter of friendships and ministry opportunities in San Carlos. Great to hear Mark Mulligan share about his upcoming mission trip to Guatemala on Sunday. He’s taking a team of 25 to a very despairing part of that country in January. And in preparation for that, we are hosting another joint SC/Mark Mulligan Music night at the church – Tuesday, Nov 15 @ 6pm. Admission is by donation and the proceeds will once again be divided between our local benevolence program and the water purification systems Mark’s team is providing for the Guatemalan’s. Hope you will all come and enjoy a wonderful night of entertainment and get a chance to hear a little about Mark’s adventures in missions.

* First Sunday back at church and WOW, we get blessed by the great effort of the kids from our Children’s Church. Under Tiffiny, Mayra and the team’s guidance, the kids cooked up a meal of pancakes, quiche and a fresh fruit salad. We were served by some amazing little helpers who are learning that their faith has an outflow element, an element of serving which makes their faith journey fulfilling. And for a little desert, we were treated to some of the kid’s worship. Hat’s off to you all. Thanks for taking the time to care for us as well as you did!

* Rob and Sherry Kehler are back and have a team planning to leave for the Copper Canyon early next week. There has been some reports of cartel issues recently with the main road they travel on being closed at one point. So please be praying for safe travels and for effective ministry for them. They plan to leave next Monday if they feel the situation is safe for them to do so.

* We had our staff meeting yesterday and we’re so glad that Matt was able to return to be with us. His sister Beth is presently on a chemo regime in a pill format. After a period of time, the Doctors will review and determine next steps. Trust you will continue to pray for Beth, Matt and their family. We are asking God for a healing miracle.

* Coming up in the next few weeks, we will be introducing details of the vision we (the elders) believe God has given us for the coming season, opportunities for you to serve and to receive both in the church and outside of the church. We are looking forward to a meaningful time of growing together.

* Last Sunday, we looked at a story Jesus told where he contrasted an “unjust judge” with our loving “heavenly Father” in Luke 18:1-8. The second contrast He made was between a needy widow and us, God’s children. Jesus point is really quite simple – if an unjust judge will give in and respond to a person who has nothing to offer in return, how much more do you think a loving heavenly Father will respond to those who are His children? The reality of life is that, for a variety of reasons, we lose our persistence in coming to Him and we find a way to deal with our own situations. Jesus taught this parable/story to remind us to be as tenacious as that widow in coming to Him with our stories. I found myself challenged once again to pray expectantly (frequently, fervantly and faithfully) and I hope you were challenged in the same way. Don’t give up.

Praying you have a great week!
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

I’ve attached another leadership article from Thom Rainer. I hope you will be encouraged by it as I was. Its a podcast which you can click on to and listen to, but just reading the outline of the podcast reveals our need to be aware of the kinds of trends which cause us to “drift” from a God centered focus.  

Why Churches Move from Growth to Maintenance – Rainer on Leadership

Podcast Episode #273

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Maintenance mode can take over in any church regardless of its age or its size. Today, we discuss how to combat it and how to stay focused on the mission.
Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Regardless of the age or size of a church, the natural tendency is to turn inwardly focused.
  • Reversing the natural tendency of a church requires a supernatural response.
  • Churches often have too many activities because they won’t get rid of the ones that need to go.
  • Almost any time you try to stop doing something in a church you will meet resistance.
  • When you do something different that how a church has always done it, you will have conflict.
  • Strategy is implicit and explicit throughout Scripture.
  • There are very few times when culture is amenable to the church.
  • A church’s attitude has to turn around before the actions of the church will turn around.

The 11 reasons churches move from growth to maintenance are:

  1. It is a natural tendency.
  2. Too many activities (keeping the plates spinning).
  3. Failure to kill programs and activities
  4. Conflict
  5. Lack of strategic leadership
  6. Pet programs and preferences
  7. Biblical drift
  8. Excuses
  9. Lack of faith
  10. Lack of courage
  11. Comfort

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