Month: September 2016

People Connected To God, Connect People To God!

We finished a teaching series over the weekend that was all about being “Connected”.   As a church, we believe that God desires every follower of Jesus to find deep, life-changing connection to His church. Part of experiencing that connection is embracing the responsibility we have to help others experience the same kind of connection that we have experienced ourselves. Here’s another way of saying that:

People Connected To God, Connect People To God!

Truth like this is only really valuable to the degree that it is applied and experienced in our daily lives. Transparently, I don’t often struggle with God’s truth; I struggle with the decision to make that truth tangible in my daily experiences. Assuming that I’m not alone in this struggle, I wanted to give you a few simple ideas on how you might flesh out this truth and introduce more people to Jesus.

Pray
Our mission is a supernatural one. Spend time today calling out the names of people whom you know need to encounter Jesus Christ. The work of God, drawing people to himself and empowering our witness, is the ultimate source of power in our mission to reach people. One preacher once said, “Don’t talk to a man about God until you’ve talked to God about that man.”

Hang Out With People That Don’t Know Jesus
For some of you, this already is a part of your daily experiences. To you, I say, don’t miss the divine opportunity God has given you to share your faith with people who need hope.  For many Christians, especially if you were raised in church, a quick evaluation of your relationships would reveal that we’ve insulated our lives in a “Christian” cocoon and we have few (if any) relationships with people who don’t already share our faith. Something has to change. Here are just a few personal examples of how I’m trying to work this out in my own life…..I have a nice office at our Hammond location where I could spend 40 hours a week surrounded by other pastors and church workers. I decided a couple of years ago, I was going to try to work at least a couple days a week in a public place (I’m writing this from Starbucks) where I would have the opportunity to meet and interact with people not exactly like me. In our family, we don’t typically put our kids in some of the neighborhood church sports leagues, but choose community rec leagues so that we and our kids can build friendships with people out of the “church bubble”. The opportunities and ideas are endless (join a gym, become active in your HOA, have a cookout for your neighbors, etc.), and this may look completely different in your life, but be intentional about meeting people that need to hear your faith story.

Invite Someone To Church
Sometimes the easiest things are often overlooked. You may be surprised to discover that people not in church whom you know are likely to respond favorably to an invitation to church. Someone gave me this idea this week….take a quick look at the last 10–15 people you texted or messaged on Facebook. If they’re not connected regularly or at all to a church, shoot them a quick text and ask them to join you this weekend. At Trinity this weekend there is a huge opportunity to invite someone as we kick off a new series for adults and have a back-to-school carnival planned for the kids!

Share Your Story
People are searching for answers. Sometimes with we need to speak with boldness the truth of how Jesus has changed our lives and how He could change theirs. People need to know that God loves them, that they can discover forgiveness, purpose, and meaning in life. Their life doesn’t have to be defined by brokenness. Speak truth to someone.

God has invited us into His awesome mission. Part of understanding our connection to Him is embracing our opportunity to connect others to Him. People Connected To God, Connect People To God!

This is What Happens When You Serve

I have been a member of Trinity Baptist Church since 1992.  I was raised in a Baptist Church and had a wonderful Christian mother who taught me at home.  When my husband and I came to Trinity, we were asked to serve once a month in the nursery.  Our child was in the nursery so we felt this was a good place to develop friends.  Within a year, the three year old department needed to expand.  We had two sons and felt this was where God was leading us to serve.  There were days when the children were a full-time responsibility but we received the blessing just taking care of them.

Since we had no family in Jacksonville, God provided us a place in the infant nursery.  The church was our family.  We served faithfully.  It is not easy to feel connected in a large church.  The children all called my husband and me, Aunt and Uncle. This makes one feel loved.  I Corinthians 12:7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”  By operating these manifestations, we water and feed our spirit and reap the fruit.  By serving in the nursery, I am allowing parents the opportunity to attend the services to receive the gospel.  There have been numerous times a parent was late picking up their child because someone in the church was trying to witness to them.  This is not a problem for me or my husband. We are more interested in seeing people hear the Word of God and get saved.  We are always thanked for staying extra time.

Now that I’m a nursery coordinator, I look back at how I became involved and it is because someone asked me to step forward and fill the need.  I now also serve each Wednesday in Awana.  A worker came to me and told me she would be moving and needed to find a replacement.  I thank God all the time for allowing me to have this blessing.  I love watching the third, fourth and fifth grade girls grow in Christ and learn their verses each week.  God did not bless me with a daughter or any additional children because He already had a plan worked out for me in this wonderful position.  I feel privileged to call these thirty plus girls each year “my girls” and relish the opportunity to watch them receive their awards (badges and trophies) at the end of each year knowing I had a significant part.  I love it when I can tell them I held them as little babies in the nursery.  In summary, a person’s spiritual calling may not be to work in the nursery or Awana, but God commands us in the scriptures to serve and it is expected.  If you pray and ask God to give you an opportunity to be involved, I know He will bless you and you will grow as a Christian.