Blog
March 7, 2017, 12:30 PM

BUT WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?

The world is more tumultuous than I have ever seen it in my life time. Our own nation is in societal upheaval. Demands are made for rights and space. Tolerance is passé. Peace seems lost forever. Therapy, puppies and crayons are not the true answers for peace. Declaring safe zones won’t bring lasting peace. We know that even in the midst of chaos and upheaval real peace can only truly be found through a genuine relationship in Jesus Christ.   

I confess that I find myself frustrated with the continual unrest, the growing hatred towards the church, and disdain for spiritual truth. I find that I must intentionally seek God to stay focused on His truth and experience the peace He can bring into my life. This is critical for the church if we are going to effectively share the gospel with those around us.

At a time when Jesus’ world was growing intolerant towards Him and His teachings, and He knew that His crucifixion was drawing near, He had the following conversation with His disciples.

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ 15He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ 17And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18’And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.’” Matthew 16:13-20 NAS

Two things stand out to me concerning this conversation:

  • First, the church is to proclaim Christ to a lost and chaotic world. Christ directly asks the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” He makes them forget those things that they have been hearing in the world about who Jesus is and to declare who they have experienced Jesus to be. Peter’s response was, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The church must make this same proclamation to the world today. The resurrected Christ is the only hope for true peace.
     
  • Also, the church must remember that Christ has empowered the church. With 70% of our churches in regression we have relegated ourselves to survival mode. We wag our heads and blame the world for our failure to be empowered by our living Savior. Jesus encourages us by saying, “the gates of Hades shall not overpower the church.” Jesus empowers us and has given us a message of hope to share with those who have no hope.  In faith, we must rise up and move into our communities in His strength and power and proclaim Christ the risen Lord as the answer to all that is broken and in chaos. 

Are you effectively proclaiming the risen Christ to the world around you? Who do you say Jesus is? Not in just words, but in attitude and actions as well. 

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February 23, 2017, 1:59 PM

Revive Conference


With more than 900 SBC churches closing their doors and only about 15% of SBC churches showing growth, church revitalization is a concern.  Sacramento Region Baptist Network will be hosting a Revive Conference on March 30, 2017, at El Camino Baptist Church.  I encourage our pastors to register their leaders and take advantage of the conference.  The conference will be led by Richard Blackaby and Mark Clifton.

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February 16, 2017, 10:12 AM

UNLEASH THE POWER OF PRAYER IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Prayer empowers your ministry because you invite God to get involved.  Ask God to get involved in your community! 

Come learn how to effectively prayerwalk your community.   Pastor Jerry McCullah walks the talk!  He leads his own church to prayer walk their community.  Pastor bring your members  to this seminar and impact your community for Christ.

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February 2, 2017, 1:47 PM

Prayerwalking Seminar


If you have a real burden for your community you won't want to miss a special seminar on Prayerwalking led by Pastor Jerry McCullah. 

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February 2, 2017, 7:00 AM

Greeters: An Important First Impression

Greeters: An Important First Impression
from Dennis Fredricks, Director of Missions SRBN

Thom Rainer touched on a critical topic in one of his recent posts. I often hear the question, “How do we get them (guests) to come back?” There are many veins that could be explored in answering the question, but let’s focus on Thom’s insight - Why Greeters Are Important in Getting Guests to Return.

Greeters are important to the first impression your church makes with guests. So, today, we talk about where greeters should be, what they should do, and how to train them.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Every church may think they have greeters, but many actually don’t.
  • If I led a church, I would have greeters in the parking lot.
  • Door greeters are an extension of your church security because they are the first line of defense.
  • Greeters should be able to recognize guests and help them find their way when they arrive.
  • Consistency of greeters helps them to know members and recognize guests.
  • The worship center greeter may be the most important one because typically guests sit down, and no one talks to them.
  • Greeters need training. They need more than just to say hello and shake a hand.
  • Greeters are a part of your church’s outreach, hospitality, and evangelism efforts.
    (Growing Healthy Churches - Why Greeters Are Important in Getting Guests to Return – Rainer on Leadership #298)

As members of the church we are familiar with the grounds and buildings. In our familiarity, we forget that when our guests arrive on campus they are usually very unfamiliar and don’t have a clue where to go. It’s surprising how difficult we can make it for them to find their way. Well trained greeters can remove the confusion, mystery and fear that guests might be facing.

The first step in a successful greeter ministry is enlisting members who have a sense that greeting is a ministry. The Greeters Ministry is not the “lesser” ministry, but a critical ministry to encourage people to come back. A warm smile and welcoming voice creates and atmosphere of acceptance and diminishes hesitation.

Brother Rainer makes it clear that your greeters need to be visible. Parking lot greeters bring the first point of contact for guests. Remember first impressions are important and greeters are part of that first impression. When the car door of our guests opens, the experience begins; the question is what kind of experiencing are they experiencing? When the guest quickly peruses the parking lot, do they sense all is well by the way the greeter approaches them? Are they welcomed warmly and do the parking lot greeters know where all age groups meet and what the schedule is? Do they have an information packet to give the guests? Train your greeters.

Every church I have ever been to says they are the friendliest church in town. I wish that were true, but that hasn’t always been my experience. Could we admit that sometimes we are friendliest to those that we know? A greeter in the worship center can help guests not only find a seat, but introduce them to other members. Hopefully members will welcome them to sit with them.

Did you notice Thom Rainer’s last bulleted statement? “Greeters are a part of your church’s outreach, hospitality, and evangelism efforts.” That’s why I encourage you to see the Greeters Ministry as not the least of ministries in your church. They are your church’s ambassador to the guests from their arrival to their departure. Oh, by-the-way, do your greeters give your guests a friendly departure message? One that would make them excited about coming back! 

 

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