Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where opportunities abound....

Church Family,

I continue to marvel with a thankful heart at your expressions of encouragement to our family and to me personally with everything we’ve had going on and then so many of you expressing birthday wishes on top of it. I’m not sure there is a pastor in the country who is more blessed than I am and I thank God for you.

With Memorial Day in the books by the time you get this newsletter, I’m reminded summer is here. The kids will be out of school shortly but our church summer schedule is already in full swing. Let me share a couple of wonderful opportunities the Lord has provided. We have for several years provided in our budget for a summer intern position for us to utilize a student who wants to learn more about church ministry. After consulting with the staff and personnel committee chairman, Stephen Deason is going to work with us for 10 weeks this summer as our summer intern. These are Addison’s parents and Stephen is studying at the College at Southwestern Seminary and is called to youth ministry. He’s worked as a summer missionary with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention where he spent a week at a time ministering in different churches across Texas. He’ll be working primarily with Wally and our youth ministry but he’s also going to assist Bob Brown on some projects we have for the fall. It will be a wonderful blessing to our church and to this young couple preparing for vocational ministry.

Brother Ken is attempting to lead our grade school aged children in a summer musical called “The Sermon on the Mound”. This baseball themed musical is a great opportunity for our kids to have a ball, learn music and about the Lord. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough kids participating so far. Ken really needs at least 26 kids in order to do this. Our desire would be they’d perform this on Wednesday August 25th but this cannot happen unless parents make a commitment to support this effort. I know kids are all busy with sports and other activities, but those activities will not impact them spiritually or sow seeds the Lord will use to grow them closer to Him. It’s not to late to get involved so let me encourage you to make this a priority for your children and grand children. After the musical practice, they have an hour of sports recreation with Wally and our youth. This runs from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. each Wednesday.

While the young people are doing music and sports, we’ve adjusted our time for worship to 6:15 to 7:10 in the fellowship hall. I know I cannot teach all the Bible you need to know for the 40 minutes I have on Sunday mornings. Wednesday worship is a perfect mid-week encouragement for you spiritually to sing, pray and hear from God’s word.  I’m preaching through Genesis and it’s been well received by those who attend. I’m sad that our Sunday morning attendance average is between 350-400 yet our Wednesday worship average is 35-40, roughly 10 percent. This means 90 percent of our church family does not regularly support mid-week worship. I recognize one of our biggest challenges is the time slot because of work commitments. This is why we’ve moved it back to 6:15 p.m. to try to assist you to get here. God has called me to prepare a hot fresh meal for you from the Word of God and I will be faithful to put it on the table, but I cannot force you to come. It’s an opportunity for spiritual growth missed if you don’t come. Immediately after worship, we’ve got opportunities for more growth. We have a Bible Study class for those serving who cannot attend Bible Study on Sunday morning so your spirit gets fed too. We have a class on the fundamentals of the faith called “What Every Christian Ought to Know” and a deeper study on “What we believe here at Calvary.” Our desire in our disciple making process is that people would work through these studies because it’s important to know what you believe. Religious pluralism abounds in our society and people think it does not matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. Well that sounds great until your believe system is tested by fire and your left without much. The Word of God must be a steady part of our diet both personally and corporately and we’re doing our best to equip you but again I cannot force you to take advantage of it.  

Finally, summer affords the opportunity to go on vacation for some much needed R & R. Go. Rest. Relax. Don’t take a vacation from the Lord, visit a church where you are if possible or have a worship service with your family. Honor the Lord on your vacation and He’ll help your rest and relaxation to be just that.  Remember your church never goes on vacation so our expenses continue while you’re out of town. Let me encourage you to make provision with your tithes and offerings as you go and return. While I’ll definitely miss you as you travel, I’m excited for you to be able to take a break and I’ll look forward to seeing you when you return. I love you and I’m excited about these opportunities that abound, from my little corner of the world to yours….

Ralph Green

Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

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