Resources

 

Pastor's Bible Study

Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.

 

Pastor's Column

 

six words for times of change

may 22, 2018


 

Minister to Students Search Process Begins

As your Student Minister Search Committee seeks the next person to come and work with our parents, families and students, keep them in your prayers.  Sunday evening, Becky White led a well-attended conversation between the search committee and our parents to understand the needs and challenges of our youth today. The committee will bring regular updates on their progress. Meanwhile, we are thankful to have two excellent youth interns who will work under Mike McBrayer to carry on during this time.

Six Words for a Changing Time

For many years I have presented stability and long-tenure of staff as a hallmark of our congregation. It is a wonderful gift to have stability, but change inevitably comes. Since last May, we have seen a Minister of Music leave, an interim and a search and finally a call to a new minister of music. Thankfully, Marty and Karyn Watts are moving this week and will arrive in town and settle in the next little while.

At the beginning of this year, Dr. Dennis Anderson announced his retirement sometime after the first of next year. The Personnel Committee has worked long and hard on a recommendation that they will soon bring to the church. Then, we said goodbye to Andy and Emily Farmer after five years of ministry among us and we launched that search.

We are changing (for the better!) our Fellowship Hall this summer, but, as in any family home, when the kitchen and dining room undergo an upgrade, there is temporary chaos!

Here are six important words for us as we go through a time of rapid changes in our church. I shared them with the parents on Sunday evening at the close of the meeting.  They actually apply to an entire congregation and its life.

1. Trust.  This may seem obvious, but in times of change and disruption of routines, anxiety goes up. If anything, we have to respond against our natural inclination. Rather than ramping up, getting into a spin, and reacting, we are called to “wait on the Lord.” This includes having confidence in each other, in our church, in our committees and leaders, and in ourselves. Change is negotiable if trust is high. That doesn’t mean rubber-stamping or always agreeing. It means speaking up without checking out. Hang in there, and we’ll find the way through change!

2. Connect.  That is, use “in-between times” as opportunities to deepen ties. Get to know each other better. Join a group, get more involved, join hands and hearts to serve the Lord together. A spirit of “we can do it” always trumps “what’s going to happen NOW?”. But this can also be as simple as signing up for great opportunities like our recent Shrimp Boil or social events. Walk up to someone you don’t know in the church and say hello.  Relationships don't improve on their own. It takes effort.

3. Pray. I encouraged the parents to pray for the group, for the search, and for each other. While we would assume that as a church this is going on, it is easy for prayer to be shoved to the side in our busy lives. When you call another in prayer, it becomes harder to criticize them or to write them off. Prayer is deepening our ties by refusing to dismiss one another. I am sending a list of our parents and their students to all of our student families to undertake this together. Use your directory as a prayer guide along with our weekly prayer needs. You don’t have to know about someone’s problems to pray for them.

4. Help.  I apologize for the obvious!  Pitch in. Help. Ask what you can do, and mean it. Give faithfully and generously, especially in the summer when cash flow is tight and expeditures are high. Volunteer to go along. No help is too small to matter in times of change.

5. Advocate.  By this I mean “Have the back of one another.” Be an advocate for our young people, for our elders, for our babies. Speak positively for and about one another. Bless endlessly. Find positive affirmations to replace negative attitudes. I find that when I go into negativity, it is due in part to a kind of spiritual laziness on my part. Negativity is refusing to know the whole truth about someone. Be positive PR for our church in the community.

6. Commit. Who we are, what we become, is wholly connected to what God does in us, but also to what we are willing to let God do. The church will become whatever you and I are becoming. Let’s be a fellowship of confident believers growing closer to one another in every way by their common love of Christ.

       Gary