We’re Africa Bound!

Please be praying for Kathy and I as we head to southern Africa for two and a half weeks of ministry and encouragement to three missionaries of Grace.  We will need good connections in travel, strong health during the trip, and wisdom and a full measure of the Spirit in seeking to encourage our workers through teaching and conversation.

Here’s our schedule for those interested:

Sep 14–Leave

Sep 15–19: in Cape Town, South Africa, with the Wolf family and Mountain View Baptist Church.  I will be preaching the church’s anniversary service on Sunday.

Sep 20: Travel from Cape Town, to Livingstone, Zambia

Sep 21-24: with Jim and Rachel Chambers in Choma and Livingstone, Zambia.  We’ll be learning more about their work and meeting Zambian co-workers.

Sep 24: Travel from Livingstone to Durban, South Africa

Sep 25-29: with the Hiles family, preaching at the communion service of the Community Connection, and then speaking at a 3 day retreat with the ABWE and national church planting team for the region.

Sep 30: leave for the USA

Oct 1: Arrive home

We don’t anticipate much opportunity to communicate through blogging during this trip, but trust you will uphold us in your prayers.

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm  Comments (2)  

It’s That Time of Year Again–Choosing Our Servant Leaders!

That would be another way of saying it is time for the members of Grace to take up their responsibility to select those men who will join our Deacons for a three-year term.  They will be replacing men who have served for three years and now step out of their official role to allow others to step in!

Our deacons, along with our pastors, are the biblical officers of the church, but they lead in two different ways.  Pastors (also called elders and bishops) devote themselves primarily to the ministry of the Word and leading/overseeing the congregation (see 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1 for their qualifications and their specific responsibility as teaching leaders).   The deacons are primarily those who assist the pastors and the church by taking responsibility for the ministries of service.  The term “deacon”  meant “one who serves” and was the NT equivalent of  “table waiter” and the responsibilities carried by deacons are all related to serving the needs of the body by various means–skills, administrative gifts, and mercy being chief among them.

We’ve taught on this before, including the specific qualifications that must be present in a man to be considered for this task. You can find the material related to this on the church website here.

What makes this so important is that the quality and faithfulness of our leaders will determine the effectiveness of our fellowship.  That is why your prayerful consideration and nomination of candidates is vital to us.  Just as the first deacons where chosen by the congregation in Acts 6, we ask you to prayerfully choose men who are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom that can be charged with this ministry.

A letter will soon be in the mail to all members describing this process more fully, and containing lists of the names of men who are eligible to be nominated.  Your nominations will be due back to the church offices no later than October 17.  I trust all members will be faithful in praying and choosing in accord with the Spirit’s direction.  If you don’t get the letter before the end of September, let the office know.

And if you are a regular attendee at Grace, but not yet a member, could I encourage you to make your decision to be a part of our fellowship official, so that you can be a part of these kinds of decisions and ministries with us?  Thanks!

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why A Pastor and Church Burning the Quran is a Sin

On my other blog, I have a post on my take concerining the plans of a pastor and church to burn Qurans on September 11th.  You can visit and see what I think, although the title probably gives it away.

The CyberParsonage: Why A Pastor and Church Burning the Quran is a Sin.

By the way, the reason I have maintained 2 blogs is that there are some times when I have opinions or views I would like to write about but am not sure it would be best to do so speaking as a pastor here at Grace.  Maybe that is a silly distinction, but I try to keep my opinions on economic, political, or societal issues on the personal blog, while addressing church related issues here.  If you have any opinion as to the wisdom of this, I’d be glad to hear it.  I do have trouble even keeping up with one blog, let alone two!

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Parchment and Pen » Beware of “Professional Weaker Brethren”

This is an excellent article on the subject of what constitutes “weakness” and when it is a front for seeking to bend others to our own will instead of the Scripture.  I’ve preached on this before, but this says it well.  Enjoy by clicking on the link below:

Parchment and Pen » Beware of “Professional Weaker Brethren”.

Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 11:43 am  Leave a Comment