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    Elders' Blog - Entries from June 2012

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    FriFridayJunJune29th2012 Called to relationships
    byDon Whipple Tagged Church Community 0 comments Add comment

    I hope and pray that you are beginning to get the idea. 

    Whether it is in the sermon series from 1 Corinthians, the "Your Walk with God is a Community Project" adult class at 10:45, the leadership class of 20 men meeting each Sunday morning, or the change to one service, our desire is to understand and build a greater network of caring relationships at KSBC. We want to sharpen our thinking and expose independent notions as we grasp our calling with a growing allegiance. That calling is stated in 1Corinthians 1:2: called to be saints together. 

    I encourage you to participate in the Sunday morning sanctuary class. It is not too late to begin attending and learning about the importance of relationships to your faith journey. There are extra copies of the DVDs and some audio CDs available through the church office for your use if you desire to catch up, review, or use because you are unable to attend at 10:45 on Sundays.

    The Leadership class that is meeting is quite exciting. It is genuinely encouraging for me to be a part of a group of men who are wrestling with what it means to lead and guide others in their walk with God. Leading people in a growing relationship with Christ assumes movement and change in those people’s lives. Being connected both to shepherd-like leaders and to other Christ followers is crucial to our growth to maturity in Christ. Godly and skilled leadership is essential to productive community.

    In addition to learning about spiritual leadership, this class is fine-tuning a few structural issues that will allow for our small group ministry and Adult Bible Fellowships (ABF) to connect and align for greater effectiveness. We are looking forward to launching both the small group and ABF ministries at the end of the summer with a few new adjustments that we will share more about as they are clarified by the leadership class in the weeks ahead. Please pray for this class as God brings them to mind.

    All of that to say, our hope is that after the summer vacations are thoroughly enjoyed and we settle back into our carefully thought-through routines that your calling to live and die for Christ with others will be clearly seen in your commitment to relationships and community at KSBC. 

    Remember to contact the church office for copies of the video or audio material that you may have missed from the Sunday morning class. Also, in case you have not had enough about relationships from Paul Tripp, I was really encouraged by this article that you might want to check out. 

    ThuThursdayJunJune21st2012 The active church
    byPaul Briggs Tagged Church Ministry 0 comments Add comment

    On a recent Saturday I was in the home improvement store looking for supplies for a couple of projects on which I was working. My phone rang, and on the other end was a brother in Christ from KSBC who could barely contain himself. He said something like: “Praise God, I just had to call and tell you.”

    In the process of working on a very practical and what could have appeared to be a mundane and time consuming task in reaching out to people who don’t yet believe in Jesus, he had found out that we both knew a person in common. His excitement, it turned out, wasn’t that we both knew the same person, but that now, having this knowledge, we could work together in our relationship with this individual to see him come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who has changed (and is continuing to change) our lives.

    As I have thought about the blessing of that phone call in the days since, I have reflected on the beauty of the active church—the people of God understanding their identity and taking advantage of doors the Lord opens to them. Philippians 1:3-5 says: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” My encouragement about this special phone call grows from the following principles to be practiced by God’s people:

    1. Identity: A clear understanding of who he/she is in Christ Jesus.
    2. Initiative: Desire for others to come to understand what is found in Christ Jesus alone!
    3. Innovation: There is no such thing as a “mundane or time consuming task” when it comes to engaging those who do not know Jesus Christ; it can lead to opportunity for gospel proclamation on many levels!
    4. Interdependence: There is no greater value than working together with God’s people for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
    5. Importance: God, not man, is to be thanked and praised for these opportunities, for he is the one who grants them!

    Feel free to call me or someone else in the church (or share your story in writing with us via Connections) and give glory to God the next time you see him at work in this way! I need to hear stories like this…and so do you! I am extremely encouraged in my walk of faith as I hear of how the Lord is using his people to proclaim his great name! 

    FriFridayJunJune15th2012 The liberating power of a disruptive question
    byDon Whipple Tagged Community Sanctification 0 comments Add comment

    I remember a time early in my teens when I was disobedient and disrespectful to my mother. I said things to her that reflected my foolishness and rebellion. A while later at the trial, my dad began the prosecution’s case against me by appealing to truth. He did so with a convicting and clarifying question. The more I reflect on this (for some reason it has remained quite clear in my memory all these years), I have come to appreciate the disruptive power of a well-placed question. His question was, “Do you have any idea who you were talking to?”

    Even as foolish as I was, I couldn’t reply with the obvious and literal, “Come on Dad, you know who that is—you are married to her!” That response not only would have cut my trial short, but would have missed the point of the question. The question clarified my theology about God and mothers and holiness. There are some things even foolish young teens should not dare to do because of the truth about parents and God. This is the disruptive power of a question.

    I feel similar disruption of heart and mind with the piercing questions found in 1 Corinthians 3:3-4. After describing the behavior and slogans of the Corinthian church members, the questions are asked:

    Are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

    Are you not being merely human?

    These questions force us to identify the ways and working of God in our lives. What gives evidence of the supernatural in our daily grind? The essential point of the questions is to shock us into realization that as God-called, Christ-following, Spirit-indwelt people, we have chosen to behave and think in a manner disconnected from our gospel heritage. 

    So, regarding your response to those who have hurt you, your generosity in unstable times, your humility when challenged, your words when aggravated, your response when provoked, your thoughts when enticed—can you be accused of being merely human? Or as my dad might say, “Do you have any idea who you are choosing to leave out of your life right now?”

    A significant challenge that many of us face is that of allowing people into our lives who will ask us disruptive questions which are totally motivated by truth and love for us. That is one of the benefits of being called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ; we shouldn’t be allowed to live in self-reliant isolation. Over the summer, please join me in asking God to faithfully visit us as we focus in our Sunday 10:45 hour with adults and teenagers on learning to open and connect our lives to other Christ-focused people. And pray for the leadership class of about 20 men who have set aside these summer Sunday mornings to learn to lead and encourage this kind of authentic community in our church family.

    I thank God for disruptive questions from people who love me and love truth. I thank God for my dad, and that by God’s grace I made it alive through that incident to repent and honor my mom.

    FriFridayJunJune1st2012 Renouncing sleepiness
    byDon Whipple Tagged Prayer Sanctification 0 comments Add comment

    Here’s a reason why I have decided to participate in Wednesday evening prayer meeting with a few other KSBC folks each week. It is in fact a mid week “pick me up.” It is a way for me to renounce sleepiness. I am concerned that my routine busyness will cause me to drift into a heightened state of dullness to the work and ways of God.     

    Just like meetings, sermons, big meals, Bible reading, prayer, and busyness tend to cause drowsiness physically, the accumulated exposure to life in this world causes sleepiness toward the work and power of God. Remaining alert, awake, and energized about that which our world mocks, the devil opposes, and our flesh rejects is a huge challenge for each of us.

    This week in our brief Bible study time at our 6:45 pm Wednesday prayer meeting, we tried to encourage each other to stand strong in the Lord’s strength by understanding and applying the two admonitions of Ephesians 6:18. Staying alert to and strong against the evil of our day requires constant dependence (praying per the 4 "alls") and persevering wakefulness. Prayer and alertness are required to stand strong.

    Prayer without alertness to the surrounding dangers, warfare and deception of our world is nothing more than religious consumerism. Prayer without awareness of the unlimited grace, power and wisdom of our heavenly Father is no more than boring routine. The point is that many of us are not satisfied with or embarrassed by our prayer lives because we simply try to pray more or better or longer. The Scriptures teach us that rather than falling asleep while you pray, you should work hard to wake up to the realities of life around you before you pray. Persevere at remaining alert and attentive to who God is and what he is doing. Build into your life ways to be aroused regularly to the needs of people all around you. Make the effort to schedule regular times of exposure to others who are committed to renouncing the spiritual sleepiness of this world, the church, and the community. 

    Remember the instructions of our Lord to those who fell asleep trying to pray (Matt. 26:40-41). Watching, remaining alert to the surrounding war and the unseen works of God is the driving force of dependent and powerful prayer. The wisdom and ways of this world will put you to sleep concerning the ways and works of God. Renounce sleepiness. Watch and pray. Keep alert with all perseverance.

    If you need some help staying awake to your dependence on God and the wonderful ways of God, Wednesday evenings at KSBC may be for you. Staying awake to God takes effort, repeated and increasing effort. Romans 5:11-14 adds some support and perspective. I pray for a blessed season of unusual alertness in our lives and church. 

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