Monthly Archives: July 2014

Servant Leadership

jesus-washing-feet

As our church has been going through the book of John on Sunday mornings. We have come to the 13th chapter where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. Every time I read this amazing model of what a true leader looks like, I am humbled by the fact that the King of the universe chose to do this. He took on the lowest servant ministry there was known at that time. Washing someone else’s feet was considered below even the average servant. It was one of those “have to be done” jobs.

Jesus changed the image of service. He actually wants us to serve others in such a way that others are made to feel special. He understood His calling, He led by example, and He finished the task at hand. What a leader we have in Jesus! He commands us to go and do likewise.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

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Let It Be Known

This was one of the songs we were singing last week @ Unique Student Conference in Houston, TX.

Let It Be Known!

Pastor Larry

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Valuable Worship

Psalm 95 6

 

How much Value do you place in your worship of Jesus? How much preparation do you place into your readiness to meet with the Savior? This week I will be preaching about the valuable worship that Mary gave at the feet of Jesus from John 12:1-11.

I wonder how long it took for Mary to prepare for this day when she poured out a fragrance so costly that it set off the group that witnessed this magnificent worship. Instead of viewing it as a great spiritual sacrifice, they viewed it as a waste of money.

All that we give in His name is never wasted. It is honored by Him and He is glorified through it.

Give your all this week as you worship the King!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

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Small Groups

Thom Rainer: 6 Benefits of Healthy Groups

Every pastor wants his congregation to grow spiritually. However, no matter how great of a preacher you are, a 30-minute sermon isn’t enough on its own to foster the type of spiritual growth needed. That’s where group discipleship becomes essential.

Groups, whether they take the form of Sunday school classes, home Bible studies, or discipleship classes, greatly contribute to the spiritual transformation and growth of Christians. The Scriptures teach us that biblical community is essential to the life of the believer and to the body of Christ. Research and observation reveal several areas of influence groups have on the lives of believers and the church. Here are six significant benefits of healthy groups:

Bible engagement. Healthy groups study the Word. LifeWay Research found that people who attend groups spend significantly more time reading and studying the Bible than those not in a group. So what are your groups studying? We found in our Transformational Groups research, that nearly two-thirds of group resources are chosen by the group leaders, many of whom have no input from pastors or staff. And while pastors and staff shouldn’t be curriculum dictators, they should at least be informed and provide input. Church members who dwell in the Word overflow with the fruit of the Spirit. Biblical literacy is critical to healthy church members and, as a result, healthy churches.

Evangelistic accountability. Healthy groups look for opportunities to both show and tell the gospel to both those in and outside the group. When we are dwelling in the Word and it is dwelling in us, we can’t help but tell others the good news of Christ. If a group has true accountability, then evangelistic accountability will be inherent in that group.

Increased retention. In previous research, we found that people who attend groups were five times more likely to stay connected to the church than those who only attend the worship service. People typically stay in a church because of the relationships they develop with others. And these relational connections take place best in groups. The second reason people stay in a church is involvement. A group member is involved, not merely a spectator. Also, people engaged in ministry are more likely to stay in a church. Ministry often takes place in groups. For all of those reasons, retention is extremely high when a person is in a group as opposed to only attending worship services.

Enhanced discipleship. An hour-long worship service once a week is not sufficient time to disciple people. That’s not to say discipleship doesn’t take place in corporate worship or one-on-one with another believer. It does, but a group setting is needed, too. In a group, people are not only receiving biblical content, they also are experiencing biblical influence, which is an important part of discipleship. To see people grow in discipleship, they must be a part of a worship service, belong to a group, and be involved in ministry. Unless all three are happening, discipleship growth will be limited.

Better stewardship. According to LifeWay Research, giving is higher among those in groups than those who only attend worship services. Why? Because people give to things in which they are involved and believe in their purpose. Groups engender both of these.

Multiplied ministry. Ministry to others becomes natural in the context of groups, rather than an assignment within the church. Group members tend to shepherd one another because they’ve come to know and love one another. So when a group member experiences a crisis, the rest of the group steps in to care for and minister to that person.

Churches with healthy, transformational groups will experience each of these benefits and so much more. I believe an intentional and committed groups strategy can be transformational for your church and community.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

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Security

eternal-security

 

Security helps us to believe that all is well with the world. We can live in harmony, we can believe  that the we are safe, and we can rest with peace in our hearts. Doesn’t that sound great? The truth is that nothing the world offers makes us secure. We can have the best gates, locks, cameras, or device that guarantees security, but if we are honest with ourselves we know it isn’t true. Nothing is secure in our world. We are all venerable and susceptible to the sinfulness that permeates our globe.

God has created a way for us to be secure and that is in the hands of the Savior of the universe. His name is Jesus. John 10:27-29 offer us the best security plan available to mankind. Read the the words of Christ: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Are you eternally secure in Jesus?

No Jesus No Peace

Know Jesus Know Peace

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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