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    Elders' Blog - Entries from November 2012

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    ThuThursdayNovNovember15th2012 Staying Busy
    byDon Whipple Tagged Busyness Evangelism 0 comments Add comment

    I did it again. Yesterday someone greeted me with an enthusiastic, “How are you doing?” and I replied, “Staying busy.” Even if and when I am quite busy, for me it is typically a default response that is slightly better than “couldn’t be better.” I too frequently give in, as you may from time to time, to the pressures swirling around me that say busyness is next to godliness. I reply “crazy busy” and you congratulate me as if I have actually achieved something.

    A growing concern regarding busyness is its impact on our gospel witness. In our current Connection Group study of God-centered witnessing, we are learning that one of our most profound weaknesses very well may be that we are out of time. Our margins are as diminished as our physical and emotional energy. There is no more room on our plates. Our to-do list is overflowing with really good things. We believe that moving our friends, family members, and co-workers closer toward the cross involves time, but we jealously guard any time that we have which is not already taken. How did our choices result in such a fast paced life?

    Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels is a refreshingly helpful book about effectively communicating our faith. In one chapter he writes about the powerful pull of compassion on the life of an unbeliever that many times results in an opportunity to share Christ with them. He points out a number of “compassion busters” as a way to measure your actual love and concern for people. One factor he raises is that of how we live our lives. He states that a “reason some of us end up with low compassion quotients is that we try to maintain an unhealthy pace of life.” Our lives go so fast and are so full that time to build or start friendships, respond meaningfully to hurting people, or even listen well to your neighbor is simply not there.

    A great line in this chapter is when Hybels writes referencing the Bible story of the Good Samaritan: “Knowing the demands and pressures associated with church work, I can almost hear the priest and the Levite whispering to themselves as they passed by the wounded traveler: ‘You think you’ve got problems? I’ve got six more meetings before sundown!’”

    Are you too busy? One way to measure it is to reflect on the time and energy you are currently investing in people around you to move them toward Christ and the transforming power of the cross. The New Testament writers used two words for time. One refers to a point in time such as what hour of the day it is. The other identifies time as an opportunity. Being prepared and eager to take advantage of an opportunity to minister grace and love to a person God brings across your path takes more time than you can usually afford if you measure time by your clock and calendar. The command is clear as the scriptures connect our view of busyness with our privilege toward outsiders: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time: (Col.4:5).

    Here are a few take-aways that may encourage you to some radical slowing down for the purpose of greater gospel satisfaction and joy:

    1. Find and read Hybel’s book. It is full of practical advice on how to become contagious.
    2. Read an outsiders perspective on busyness found here.
    3. Do a study on the life of Christ and busyness – the essay by Charles Hummel “Tyranny of the Urgent” is a helpful guide.
    4. Ask your Care Group to pray with you for God’s help to increase your love for lost people to the point where your pace of life is determined with them in focus.
    5. Plan now to insert some intentional “outsider opportunity” time in your holiday schedule.
    ThuThursdayNovNovember8th2012 This Market Is Always Up
    byDon Whipple Tagged Generosity Missions Money 0 comments Add comment

    Get your checkbook. Look at your accounts online. Do you know the numbers, amounts, or percentages of your financial investments in global missions? Whether it is similar to the widow’s 2 small copper coins (Luke 21:1-4) or the 50%-plus of wealthy Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), we have the incredible opportunity to “make friends” in heaven with our wise and generous financial support of global missions (Luke 16:9).

    It quickens the pulse of a person saved by grace to consider the long-term growth potential of a few dollars invested so that a child can be rescued and told about Jesus, a student that has never touched a Bible can study it and become a God-worshipper or an entire people group can be exposed to a family of Christ-followers. The Bible is clear: a healthy understanding of God’s grace prompts a joyful generosity expressed in our giving to the Lord’s work (2 Cor. 8-9). Jesus is more than clear: his teaching is absolutely unsettling about money, faithfulness, investment, and serving mammon (Luke 16:10-13).

    In our recent ‘Blessed to Bless’ Missions conference we learned that we have 3 options regarding our response to God’s clear commission to make disciples of all nations. We learned that we can go, send, or disobey. While there is far more to sending than giving, let’s focus on that aspect of sending for a few moments. First, let’s think about global gospel investment strategy and then share a few insider tips about some sizzling opportunities with unlimited growth potential.

    What’s your sending investment strategy? Here’s a model that many find both helpful and faithful to biblical principles.

    1. Your first and largest portion is invested in your local church. The local church is the engine that drives the machine. It is the mutual fund of gospel ministry where your dollars are used to advance the gospel in a number of ways from paying the heating bill, to providing groceries for an unemployed family, or paying the health insurance for a missionary in another part of the world. Set a minimum percentage of your income that reflects your appreciation of God’s grace and your commitment to the importance of the local church. 10% is a great place to start – it may be too much if your income is small or you are just starting to give; that may be too little if your income is average or above.

    2. Another portion is invested in missionaries or ministries that God excites your heart about in a more personal way. While all our giving should reflect sacrifice, perhaps this portion comes from a particular or intentional lifestyle sacrifice for you and your family. This is the $10, $50 or larger monthly support that you send to a missionary or ministry that has become a very real global and gospel extension of your life or family.

    3. Start somewhere and determine to grow your investment steadily. Share your strategy with a close friend or your Care Group so they can encourage you.

    Here are 5 insider tips for global gospel investing that will guarantee the rewards of friends meeting you in heaven: (1) Paul & Geri Briggs; (2) Dana & Adela Gottfried; (3) Sarah Menefee; (4) Tonya Small; (5) Ryan and Kristen Vess. While KSBC partners with several missionaries and ministries worthy of your support, these five are currently facing shortages in their financial support. These gospel servants are worth your prayerful and sacrificial consideration. Contact the church office or these individuals directly to see how you can get in on these powerful opportunities.

    What eternal impression will your earthly giving generate in terms of connecting lives with the transforming message of God’s love in Christ Jesus? Look at your numbers. Evaluate your short term stuff. Increase your eternal risk tolerance. Increase your joy and satisfaction in the God who is seeking more global worshippers. Blessed investing!

    ThuThursdayNovNovember1st2012 Looking Back As We Look Forward
    byPaul Briggs Tagged Events Hospitality 0 comments Add comment

    As we look forward to what the Lord will do among us as we gather to worship Him this coming Sunday (I hope this sort of anticipation is part of your weekly routine), there are several “out of the ordinary” things in which I want to encourage your participation:

    a) Move your clock BACK an hour on Saturday. We are rolling our clocks back an hour before going to bed on Saturday evening as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end; if you don’t do this, you will get to church an hour earlier than you should. Of course, you are always welcome to arrive early; I’m just not sure you want to be an hour ahead of time!

    b) Crosswalk Ground Breaking Ceremony, Sunday afternoon at 3pm. Parking is available in the large parking lot just north of Ross-Ade Stadium off of Cherry Lane. There will be shuttle bus service to/from the Crosswalk site from that lot, as there is no parking available at the Crosswalk site (yet!). Please come and celebrate how the Lord has worked to get Crosswalk to this exciting point!

    Recently the KSBC family had the privilege of being challenged through the “Blessed to Bless” conference about our individual participation in the privilege of making the name of Jesus Christ known to those who don’t yet believe. In connection with that, if you haven’t read the KSBC Weekly Update from October 20, please take the time to do so! There is a great article by David Mathis which emphasizes hospitality as a wonderful form of outreach.

    As we turn the corner into November and head down the back stretch of the calendar year toward the holiday season, I want to underline several upcoming opportunities to practice what we are learning in the Connection Group time each Sunday. Tell the Truth encourages a teaching dialogue approach to carrying out the privilege of Gospel communication. Where is one of the best places to have a dialogue? Around a warm meal on a cold day!

    You can imagine my delight and the encouragement received when a KSBC member wrote this email to me in the week following the “Blessed to Bless” conference:

    “[We] have enjoyed having international students in our home. We were wondering if you would know of 4-6 that we could have over on Thanksgiving Day for lunch. We would be able to pick them up and drop them off on that day if they need it.”

    So maybe you are well-positioned to provide a meal for students who would love to learn about this American holiday of Thanksgiving (what better way to point someone to the Living God?!). Or perhaps you would like to get on the list to provide temporary housing for international students who may need a place to stay over Purdue’s Winter Break. Or maybe you would be more comfortable inviting a neighbor or friend into your home with the intent to discuss some aspect of the Gospel. Or you might want to take some other creative approach to the holidays which hasn’t been suggested here. As we approach the holidays, as one who has experienced the mercy and grace of God, be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to use the occasion of the upcoming holidays to utilize the resources God has given to you in reaching out to those who still need Him. You have indeed been blessed to bless!

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