Category: Ministries

Midweek – 5.12.17 – Part 2

Mother’s Day Brunch

Calling all men. This Sunday is Mother’s Day Brunch after church. Men, please contact Dawn & Jeff Monroe (716) 870-8937 for more details on helping with setup, cooking and/or clean up. Mother’s and women, please come and enjoy a relaxing brunch, we want to honor all you are and all you do.

Amazing Race Volunteer Meeting

On May 23 at 6:30pm we will be meeting as an entire Amazing Race team to walk through some very important details surrounding the race. If you would like to be a part of this awesome event, please let us know by clicking on this link and filling out the form. Thanks!!

Boot Camp

June 2 & 3 will be our very first annual Boot Camp; Community Group Training. Ian is looking forward to seeing anyone and everyone who is interested in being a part of the future of this church. We believe that God wants us to be a church of Community Groups, and so this event is going to be foundational in continuing to solidify the structure of our future. Please make a point of signing up during this Sunday’s service or speaking to Ian personally (855) 998-9322 ext.701.


Background checks, sponsored families and church sign

What is FBC Inside?

FBC Inside is a weekly or bi-weekly video series that I (Stephen) have started to record. The goal of these videos are to give you some inside information (that’s not typically to be covered on a Sunday morning) about what is going on in the life of the church.

Please feel free to use the form below to share information on what you would like to know more about and I will try to address what you guys send over.

Love Stephen & Nicole

What would you like to know more about?

[contact-form-7 id=”20513″ title=”FBC Insider”]


Elders meetings, simple church and the church basement

FBC Inside is a weekly or bi-weekly video series that I (Stephen) have started to record. The goal of these videos are to give you some inside information (that’s not typically to be covered on a Sunday morning) about what is going on in the life of the church.

Please feel free to use the form below to share information on what you would like to know more about and I will try to address what you guys send over.

Love Stephen & Nicole

I’m interested to know more about…

[contact-form-7 id=”20513″ title=”FBC Insider”]


Elders Vs. Deacons

Even though church was canceled due to the cold weather, here is Stephen with a short video explaining the differences between the roles of Elders and Deacons.

Follow along with Acts 6:1-7

[1] Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. [2] And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. [3] Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. [4] But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” [5] And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. [6] These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. [7] And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.


Thank You!

You Were Awesome!

I just wanted to take a quick minute before my day really gets started to say a massive thank you to everyone who volunteered on Sunday night, I don’t think it could have gone any better than it did.

The music, testimony and message came straight from the Lord and I am positive that He used each element to glorify Himself and draw those who were there to closer to Him. James, Tim and Brian, thank you for being obedient to His call on your life to serve, I am praying that the Lord would bless you for your efforts.

The food. There is only one thing to say about the food, it was out of this world. I am so encouraged by everyone who helped prepare this meal. Your pursuit of excellence to provide the best meal possible was both inspiring and contagious. I heard numerous comments about how good the sauce was, so that extra time you took with the garlic was definitely worth it. Thank you!

Those who served did so with class and efficiency. The food was delivered in no time and I didn’t see anyone waiting to eat. I believe the way you interacted with everyone was done in such a way that Christ was reflected through you. I know that your selflessness knocked down walls in their lives. Nicole and I personally got to minister to and pray for a man (Billy) as a result of your efforts, so thank you.

The youth. You guys rocked! The way you gave up your Sunday night for the sake of the Kingdom was incredible. I guarantee the simple fact that you were there and not afraid to get your hands dirty inspired those who were being blessed by your service. My prayer is that through your selfless acts you would lead and inspire older generations towards Jesus.

A super special thank you goes out to Phil for all of the time that he invested into this outing. You were awesome bro and it’s an honor to minister in His Name with you.

Shaun Smith the Executive Director texted me yesterday, here is what he said,

We are thankful for this! We hope only that you were even more blessed than we, or those we serve were, for it is always more blessed to give than to receive.

Looking ahead

We don’t have an official date yet on when or how frequently we are going to head up there, but I do believe the consensus was that this was something the Lord wanted us to be involved with. More details to come in 2015.

Thank you again church! It’s is a privilege to be one of your pastors and to minister in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with you.

Love one of your Pastors
Stephen


Town Hall Meeting – Notes

[lollum_button text=”Download Notes” url=”http://wilsonfbc.com/download/town-hall-meeting-notes-14-11.pdf” size=”small”]

November 23, 2014

Attended by:  Sally Bishop, Tom, Mimi and Caleb Bach, Tim Bach, Stephen and Nicole Hay,  George and Ida Mae Waters, Lisa Johnston, Phil Sheppard,  Don and Jean Potter,  Dawn and Jeff Monroe,  Rob Reisman,  Ken and Sherrie Twist, Keith and Laura Schessl.  Randy and Kim McNally, Matt and Amanda Vail,  Doug and Lois Farley,  Steve Ornella,  Jack Hanna,  Chris and Sandy Scrufari, Matt Johnson.

The meeting was opened by Stephen Hay who explained the proposed agenda followed by a corporate time of prayer.

Questions, comments and responses;

Lisa Johnston expressed concern about Pulse and the ages that are currently being served on Friday nights…She stated that we are losing some of the older students who are basically the core of strong believers due to the immaturity of the 8th grade students.  Lisa stated that she has heard the students discuss this issue and has also talked with them about it.  Her suggestion was to possibly have 2 rooms segregated by ages.

Rob Reisman then asked as a point of order…if there were notes being taken as per the Constitution.  Though the Church Clerk was not present, Lois Farley stated she was taking notes and would provide them for record.

Jean Potter stated that the Eldership process is in its second year and when it was begun, it was stated that an Evaluation would be part of the process. She then asked, “What is being worked on and when is that going to be shared?” As well as “Is this a tool that the Congregation would have to evaluate the Elders?”

Stephen responded, that indeed there is a tool, it is in its second draft, and the goal is to get this done sooner rather than later.  Stephen also pointed out that the Elders are open to evaluation at any time and that members of the congregation should contact them.  Currently, there are two forms of communication, those being (1) email to the Elders or via the website: wilsonfbc.com,  or (2) write a letter and put it in the box that says Elders upstairs in the sanctuary.  Phone numbers are also listed in the bulletin for each Elder.

Keith Schessl stated he and Laura have been members for 14 years and they love this church and like seeing the ministry grow particularly to youth and community.

  • He stated that he feels that the church is being Elder ruled and not Elder led. Keith listed the scriptural duties of the Elders: settling church disputes, praying for the sick, leading by example, spending time in prayer and teaching the word, leading the church in worship and prayer.  Keith stated that he did not understand the role of the Elder to be so hands on with daily running of the church.  Keith gave examples of issues between himself and Doug Rohring and the Elders in regards to their position as co-chairs of the Maintenance Ministry.
  • The church building itself considering the age of the building and the repairs they have designated such as the cement and bell tower work.
  • As well the parsonage and the work being done and there the bids, concerning specifications, scope, correct licensure, and insurance validation.
  • Also the property recently purchased:  obtaining bids then being told to hold off, the safety issues that Keith has concerning possible injury and vandalism. He feels the area needs to be fenced and posted as soon as possible, if it is not going to be torn down.
  • Keith also listed parking issues, the need for a temporary or permanent lot and how this affects attendance.
  • Keith stated that he does not trust nor have faith in the Eldership.  He brought up the issue of Tim and how the decision made last year was changed after an outcry from the congregation, but the understanding was that they would have 100% agreement yet Tim was leaving and he is the only qualified Elder on board.
  • Keith asked that the Elders search their hearts and meet this week with him and other concerned members to discuss more concerns.

Stephen’s response: Elder Rule versus Elder Led…Stephen stated that the  Elders have recently begun discussing this exact issue…that there is no reference whatsoever to Senior Pastor in Scripture and the desire was for a Scripture based structure of the church.  When the current Elders started the course 3 years ago they thought that the model they were taught was Scriptural and realized within the past 4 months the model is not practical or Scriptural and the Elders have begun discussions as to rectify the discrepancies of the model being used.

One issue they have discussed was George and Tom looking at the Constitution that was put in place with the Eldership program and how it is a key piece to moving the structure from Elder Rule to an Elder Led model.  As well as putting the call out for Godly men to come along side and  work as God leads to Elder Led.

Stephen also responded about the issues Keith had mentioned concerning the Parsonage asking Keith what work he referred to.  Stephen explained that the sign for Kevin Wise was simply some advertising done for Nicole’s brother and the work he did for them was personal; he built a desk for them, which was for them personally.  Stephen stated that the only other work done was a dishwasher was installed and Doug Rohring has been contacted with any changes happening at the parsonage.

Sally Bishop asked for clarification of what was meant by Elder Rule (or Run) versus Elder Led.  Stephen explained that Elder Rule was like a dictatorship with no input or voting from the Congregation that the Elders made all decisions…and the Elder Led model means the church is shepherded, nurtured, guided and decisions are made with the consent of the Congregation.

Stephen stated that one of the issues is how do we engage more of the Congregation in communication.  This forum (the town meeting) was done because it appears the perception is that the Elders were not/are not being transparent and sharing all the information with the Congregation and that to some degree this may be a reality in certain areas.

Tim reiterated, “This is why we are having this meeting,” and that the Congregation is learning as the Elders are learning and the hearts of the Elders is that they lead and not rule.

Nicole brought up the property issue with it being put on hold. Doug and Ken both responded to this.  Ken stated that this may be partly due to his leave from the Elders starting about that time period.  Ken stated that a lack of communication may be at the heart of that issue and Doug stated that with what demolition was going to cost at that time there would not have been enough money to pay for demo and pay current bills. The demolition work was not budgeted so an appeal went out to the church to provide building fund donations to get the demolition done.

Jack Hanna stated there has been a recent rash of break ins in the area and that he felt a swift demo would be warranted, rather than investing money to secure a building that is going to be demolished.

Doug responded that the finances are back in an upswing because of the cycle of church giving and this could be considered, but little or no building fund income has been received yet.

Doug Rohring was not in attendance and Doug Farley stated that he did not speak with Doug Rohring about the demolition and that if he had he would have communicated the financial point.

Stephen spoke at this point about Elder versus Deacon role and the desire to have more men rise up to take active roles in the Ministries. He stated within the last year the Elders have gotten into the bad habit of picking up all the things that need to be done instead of turning it over to particular ministry leaders. He stated that the goal/vision was to raise up Deacons who handle the hands-on daily tasks.

At this point Chris Scrufari suggested a time check to see how many others had issues they wanted to raise and maybe not give answers right now. After a show of hands it was decided to continue in same format.

Tom Bach brought up the issue of the Constitution, wanting to clarify Elders and when they do what they want.

Stephen stated that the goal is not to split and divide but to seek unity.  The Elder’s intention is not to make decisions but come to the Congregation and if they disagree with the Elders recommendations that they would go back to God and continue to pray until a decision could be made in unity.

Nicole stated that with the trust and skepticism issues that it will take time to trust decisions of any leadership.

Lisa brought up the subject of questionnaires’ used in the past to help screen volunteers for youth workers as far as background checks and wanted to know if they are still being used.

Stephen stated that he has spoken with Tammy Rohring about them but they are not widely used right now for any of the youth programs.

George Waters stated that he meets monthly with the current Deacons who are taking care of the ministry to the shut-ins, planning Communion and with flowers and gifts throughout the year.

Rob stated that it is not Biblical to make everyone who serves in a ministry be a Deacon, and that there is only one or two verses that would indicate a difference between Deacon and Elder.  He is concerned with the financial end of things and feels that it is a Deacon responsibility and would take the pressure off the Elders- there should be Deacon run finances. This would leave the Elders to take on spiritual issues inside and outside of the building.

Concerning the Constitution, Rob stated he needed to be ask for forgiveness for not reading the Constitution when he became a member…mentioned that the Constitution does contain a lot of  Scripture references, but felt it was an Elder Rule not Elder-Led.  Rob read the responsibilities of the membership. Rob stated that he has read many Constitutions and there are many on line that could be examined and the fact that the Constitution needs to be rewritten.

As far as the Youth/ Worship Pastor should we bring someone into this disunity and the search should be put on hold because it would not be fair to a candidate or the church.  Rob stated that we already have the most qualified Worship/Youth Leader who knows the youth and is the most Biblically educated pastor.  Rob recommended a solution of putting the search on hold for 6 months.

Rob also shared that he had felt that he was not called to serve as an Elder because he was to serve in this own community but has realized that many of his community, about 30 -35 in number, are presently coming to Wilson FBC.  He is willing to help in the spirit of truly  Elder- Led and not Rule.  He has had experience in getting out from under the brutality of a Constitution.

Tim Bach responded asking,”Is it fair to bring someone into this disunity?”  He cannot answer. Tim stated he has been praying to the Lord for a new staff member – since the Lord has put a huge call to music and eventually to the Philippines.  Tim feels we need prayer and asked if it was disunity or a learning and growing process.

Chris stated that everything that was spoken tonight was a sign of God’s grace.  Also this is an opportunity for the Elders so that we can grow and create unity.

Sally asked how we could pay a salary for new staff with family.

Stephen stated this is certainly not an ideal situation, but that he felt it unwise to go back to a one person staffed church and that Lord has clearly blessed the 2 staff format.   Stephen shared the statistic that regardless of the size of the church-only about 30% of people volunteer in a church but that 15% is a more realistic.  We have to be aware of the calling on Tim’s life and that it would be foolish for us to try to stall God’s call and the timing He has in mind for Tim’s ministry.  He stated that a lot of people are talking and asked that they talk to the Elders.   The Elders are trying to be transparent.  He stated that it was God who opened the church and it is His business to close it.  He stated that there is pain in the birthing or creating process- that we all need grace for the process.

Chris stated that Tim agreed to stay on in an interim basis, so we need to ask God for more provision or ask God to release Tim to stay longer.

George stated that God had given the vision to the church to start the youth program and bring Stephen here and He has continued to confirm this. George also spoke to the property purchase and the funds being there when needed and having faith that God would continue to provide – God pays for what He wants.

Jack Hanna stated concerning the Constitution- that he hoped we would put a committee together to revisit the constitution to be more palatable and Godly. Jack asked the Elder candidates to look in their hearts to examine for prideful debt …that debt can become a god to you if the church is not financially set.

Mimi Bach spoke to the process of the hiring and looking for a new youth pastor and wanted to know who else was included in the process. Her concern is that she wants to be sure that a youth pastor background needs to be looked into- look into everything from their past. Mimi spoke about including some parents of current youth in the search for youth pastor…feeling they would have a better grasp of youth today and the qualities we need in a candidate more so than the Elders on the board.

Don Potter stated the budget was in place before air conditioning was installed and the final cost not being in budget.  He asked if the units need to be covered and also expressed concern about snow plows. Don also wanted to know if he gave money what it would be going toward.

Doug responded the first thing would be the demolition and once costs are estimates are for work on the parsonage and any church work would come to the congregation for approval.

Keith (and Chris) stated that this was the time of year that those who will be graduating from Bible College would be looking for positions and the job posting should go out to college sites.

Sandy asked for Scriptural reference as to how do we faith budget.  God does not go on credit.  She felt the church should budget for what they could afford.

Doug stated that in actuality the entire church budget is a faith budget we have no other income than people’s tithes and offerings, there is no guarantee of meeting a budget…we have to have faith.

Phil Sheppard shared about tithing and stated that we need to use wisdom and discernment in budgeting but have faith.  Phil also stated that it sounds like the engine was sputtering but it is in need of a tune up in regards to the church leadership process.

Rob asked that the Elders have a timeline -a timeframe for the Constitution and that a solution to the parking issue is an important issue since it is one of the top items people look at in a church.

The meeting closed with a time of corporate prayer.

(These are certainly not all the comments and not word for word,   I tried to write key phrases and ideas discussed and I am not a secretary so I ask for grace if you made a comment that was missed in my notes.   Notes were written in the order that the comments were made.)

Respectfully,
Lois Farley


Ten simple ways to love your church

The Bible teaches that for Christians, God is our Father, other Christians are our brothers and sisters, and the church is like a family.

Like every family, the church is made up of imperfect people who need to ask for forgiveness, receive grace, and grow in their love for the other members of the family. With that in mind, I would like to share with you ten practical, simple ways that we as a church family can love one another. This list is by no means comprehensive, but just a “top ten” list that God has put on my heart recently.

1. Pray

One of the most loving things that we can do for each other as a church family is to pray for one another. Great love can be shown not by merely saying “I’ll pray for you,” but by putting a hand on someone’s shoulder right then and there and lifting up the need in prayer.

“Brothers, pray for us.” —1 Thessalonians 5:25

2. Gather

In this age of technology and digital “friendships,” one of the most loving things we can do is gather together in person to worship our King Jesus. When the church gathers together, I like to think of the analogy of the family sitting down for a meal together. The band provides the soundtrack for the party, the preacher is like the cook who serves the meal, the volunteers help set the table, and all the adopted children of God gather around the table to spend time with their Father.

“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some.” —Hebrews 10:25

3. Community

There are approximately 90 “one another” verses in the Bible: greet one another, comfort one another, seek good for one another. It is pretty hard to live out these commands when you don’t actually spend time together. We should want for our Community Groups to be places where these “one another” verses can be lived out in love.

“Live in harmony with one another.” —Romans 12:16

4. Serve together

Serving the church is both corporate and individual, both in large groups and small. We can serve by showing up early on Sunday and helping make the church building welcoming. We can serve by giving money to a friend in need. We can serve by leading a community group. This service is a practical, tangible way to show others the love that God has already shown us.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” —Ecclesiastes 4:9

5. Show honor

In many cultures, honor and respect are huge. American culture is not one of those cultures. In fact, a good argument could be made that our culture actually encourages dishonor and disrespect. God’s children can show love by speaking words of honor where honor is due: for a job well done, for a particular servant-hearted act, for longevity in the faith, etc.

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” —Romans 12:10

6. Encourage

I recently heard from a brother in Christ, how a simple phone call of encouragement meant so much to him and his wife as they faced some challenging circumstances. In this fallen world, trials and hardships are all too frequent. God has put us together as a church family so that we can encourage each other as we face these difficulties.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” —1 Thessalonians 5:11

7. Forgive

People who are looking for a conflict-free life will not find it in following Christ. In fact, there are many verses warning us to expect bumps and bruises as we live out this life together. However, the one thing we cannot do is bail on each other just because we fight. The family of God can love each other by hanging tough even when we disagree.

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” —Colossians 3:13

8. Play

A godly family is one that also knows how to enjoy each other. I think that sometimes we forget that joy is one of the attributes of God. Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding. He was known for going to parties, so much so that he was accused of being a drunkard. Kids loved spending time with Jesus, and if there’s one thing I know about kids, it’s that they love to play. As a family, we can love each other by simply having fun together.

“Everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” —Ecclesiastes 3:13

9. Speak truth

God is a truth-speaking God, and as his image bearers, one of the ways that we show love to each other is by following his example. Speaking truth includes, but is not limited to: doctrinal correction, calling to repentance, teaching the Bible, confessing sin, giving wise counsel, not lying or exaggerating or gossiping, and using our words to build up.

“Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” —Ephesians 4:15

10. Pursue godliness

Flee from sin, leave unrighteousness behind, and seek the Holy Spirit’s help to become more and more godly in your words, your thoughts, and your conduct.

“Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” —2 Peter 1:5–7

May God grow us in our love for one another as we seek to be the family that God wants us to be.

[lollum_button text=”Original Blog” url=”http://theresurgence.com/2014/08/27/ten-ways-a-church-family-can-love-one-another” size=”big”]


Town Hall Meetings

Our church has taken significant strides in the last 3 years. Moving from congregational to elder lead has been something we as a body have needed to adapt to. It hasn’t been easy and it isn’t without it’s faults or mistakes. Typically this is a transition process that takes the average church at least 10 years to complete, so we are far from ironing out the 180 year old tradition of a congregationally lead church (we are only 3 years in).

On that note it’s vital that the church family have ample opportunity to talk and address any comments, concerns, ideas or confusions that they may presently have. That’s why we are introducing Town Hall Meetings.

The term Town Hall Meeting (Started in New England in the late 17th Century) was given to the public meeting, function or event that took place to allow attendees the opportunity to present ideas, opinions, concerns and ask questions. Historically it was where the peoples voice was heard.

We are encouraging the church members to join with us on Sunday, November 23 at 7pm for our very first Town Hall Meeting. We would ask that if you have something to present you would observe the follow steps:

01 Write before you speak

James 1:19-20 says that we need to be people who are quick to listen and slow to speak or to become angry. Within the context of what James is addressing here, we see that he is talking about the importance of listening — not to people, although that is important — but rather to God. Please take time this week to listen to exactly what God would have you say, then write it down. It’s very difficult to articulate thoughts accurately especially when there are emotions attached to them. Make sure that you are prayed up and written out before standing up to speak.

Writing your thoughts also allows you to present a written copy that can be used for accurate prayer and understanding after the meeting.

02 Represent yourself not a group

This is an important point when presenting a concern or complaint. Representing yourself alone allows you to follow along with the Biblical patterns of Matthew 18, where Jesus himself teaches on confronting a brother with an issue you have against them. It is also not fair to try to represent other people on their behalf. Sometimes it’s very difficult to represent ourselves well, never mind other people. If indeed others feel the same as you do, let them say so; give them the opportunity to follow the biblical patterns of Matthew 18 too, don’t speak on their behalf. It’s hard to provide help for those who remain anonymous. If someone asks you to represent them, gently encourage them towards Matthew 18.

03 Don’t expect an immediate answer

It’s fair to say that some or most things that are communicated on the night may require the attention of prayer. It is wiser for the thought to be presented and prayed over than it is for it to be presented and answered right away, without seeking the Lord for wisdom first. There may be certain issues raised or a question asked that truly can be tackled on the night, but to save future frustration, come with the mentality that topics raised and questions asked will only be answered after a time of prayer, examination and seeking the Lord. Thank you for understanding.

04 Build up don’t tear down

Of course there is a great chance that whatever issues are talked about on the night have great potential to tear down and break apart. Remember, we are made in the image and likeness of our God, and we are called to look more like Jesus daily. Understand that Jesus’ ministry was not a ministry of separation, it was a ministry of restoration. Please come with the mind of Christ, not the mind of self. Come with the hope of building and bettering what already exists, not tearing down and starting again. Jesus is the only one who opens and closes churches so let’s be sure that our actions cooperate with the love of Christ as he has called us to work with him in building the church. Christians can be very quick in crucifying others, we seem to be one of the only armies who are known for shooting their wounded.

Please be reminded that Jesus has purchased us at great cost to himself.  The blood of the cross has already covered all of our sins.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brother. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. – 1 John 3:14-15

Lastly, make sure that your heart isn’t just bitterly communicating your concerns with no hope of restoration. Remember, the heart is deceitful above all.

05 Provide a solution not just a problem

Our Lord Jesus Christ never had an issue calling out areas that needed growth or removal in a person’s life. But one thing Jesus never did was point out a problem without providing a solution. It’s very easy to point out things that are wrong. The eye of criticism is much easier to use than the eye of constructive criticism, but that can’t stop us from trying. If you are planning on presenting an area of concern that needs attention, please try to be prayerful in providing a solution and not just the problem. If a solution is something that you don’t currently have, it’s ok to say so, but understand if you are willing to point out the problem then you need to make sure that you are also willing to help towards the solution.

06 Deal with personal issues privately not corporately

This is another encouragement towards Matthew 18:15-17. If the issue or concern you have is with an individual not the leadership or corporate body, the Town Hall Meeting is not the venue for it. Jesus is clear that personal issues must first be dealt with privately, and if that is not successful then there are clear steps to be taken. Between now and the meeting make sure that if you have an issue that needs to be dealt with privately, that it doesn’t become public that night.

If you planned on presenting the issue publicly because you don’t know how to approach the individual, ask for advice, counsel and prayer. Following these 6 steps may be a good place to start too.

 

It is the hope that these Town Hall Meetings would be effective and bring much glory to God, and that the Bride of Christ (whom He purchased with His very own blood) would grow stronger and healthier as a result. Remember we are a family and families truly stick together through the good, bad and the ugly. Yes we might disagree with one another sometimes and discussion can be heated too, but the one thing a family does not do is give up on one another. May we not use this time as foundations for bitterness and hardness but may we seek the Lord through discussion that will build humility and grace with one another.

Remember God is shaping, molding and strengthening His Bride to one day present her pure, holy and blameless before Himself. Jesus loves His church more than we ever will.

Love
Stephen, Tim, Doug & George


Confused Church – Week 15 – Q&A

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Here are the three questions that were asked in light of Sunday mornings sermon on having the authority to rebuke satan. My answers are below in the form of a blog. Hopefully this clears up any confusion that might have been caused on Sunday.

  1. Is this a close handed issue or open handed?
  2. What authority does a believer have?  Jesus says  “all authority is given until Me” and then the Word states that we are joint heirs with Christ, what is you understanding of this?
  3. Does that mean the prayer, “satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus” doesn’t work?

These are some good questions that I personally wrestled with myself as I was preparing for the message. Like I said at beginning of the sermon, when I started studying this, I didn’t realize how in-depth this topic was.

Here are my thoughts on the following questions:

I honestly don’t think this is a matter of either one (open hand or closed hand), I think it’s just a matter of understanding where the authority comes from and not feeling the need to tackle satan head on. The benefit of the Holy Spirit is that He is way more powerful than satan and He is willing to fight for us. I think that’s such a beautiful truth, we as believers, get to rest in. I know of so many people who walk fearful of satan because of his destructive ability, and I think the truth of a Warrior God fighting for us cancels all of those fears. I love the truth of being able to run to God in times of crisis & trust Him to defeat satan for me. (He already has, and will do it again). This leaves us to focus putting on the Armor of God – and getting our perspective right – so that we are able to stand against any cheap shots that satan might try.

Now regarding the prayer, I certainly don’t think that God is going to withdraw His loving care or support from us if we get the wording wrong, as He clearly promises, I will never leave you nor forsake you’.  So I think the prayer, ‘satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus’  still works (maybe I should have made that clearer yesterday), I just don’t think we need to wander down the route of personally confronting satan, especially when scripture never tells us we need to, in fact it tells us that we have a God who will do that for us.

On the point regarding authority. I definitely believe we can walk with all confidence in the authority of God… All I was attempting to do on Sunday (& maybe I didn’t do a good job of it) was communicate that we can never forget the author of that power and authority. It will always belong to God, It’s no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me. The only reason that we can walk with any Kingdom Authority and confidence is because the Holy Spirit is now in us.

I’m not sure if being co-heirs with Christ means that we receive the same authority He has, instead it’s my personal understanding it means we get to enjoy the authority that he has. I come to that conclusion, based on the fact that I don’t believe being co-heirs with Christ means that we share in all the attributes that he has. There has to be certain areas that are uniquely left for Jesus himself. Take Philippians 2:1-11 as an example:

[1] So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, [2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. [3] Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [4] Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [5] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [6] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. [8] And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [9] Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, [10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I don’t think that being co-heirs with Christ means that we are now highly exalted, and at our name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Certain attributes clearly remain unique to Christ, and based on my understanding of Scripture the issue of Authority would be one of them.

The term co-heirs doesn’t mean sharing in all of Jesus’ attributes, it means sharing in all of Jesus’ inheritance (the Kingdom of Heaven, state of perfection etc.).

I have no issue acknowledging the power and authority that we get to enjoy as believers because the Holy dwells inside of us; just so long as we are never claiming it for ourselves; just so long as we are alway pointing back to Jesus as the author of that authority. He is the one that is deserving of all recognition and honor, He is the one that should be given the spot light.

I am always super grateful for the congregation’s questions, I love the we have a body that is open and honest and not afraid to ask important question, church should always be a place where that atmosphere is present. Preaching is one of those jobs that will always challenge me to grow as an effective communicator, especially when you’re not trying to confuse people on ‘non-essential’ or ‘non-dealer-breaker’ questions. This series in particular has presented that challenge in it’s rawest form. It has been a tough but exciting 15 weeks together. I’m looking forward to jumping into the Book of Acts with you all in September.

I hope this blog cleared some things up.