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    Elders' Blog - Entries from September 2014

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    ThuThursdaySepSeptember25th2014 Redeeming Your Work
    byAbraham Cremeens Tagged Events Work 0 comments Add comment

    What if the Monday blues became a weekly highlight? What if Friday became a point of celebration, not only because the weekend ahead, but also as a result of the sense of godliness you experienced during the previous days?

    Godliness…just by working my job?

    Yes, that’s exactly it! Work is God’s idea. Not only did he work when he created the world, he even created work as a good act for Adam and Eve to do as they tended the garden and governed the earth in his place. Get this: When you work, you are imitating God; you are being godly. Every creative act you perform is an imitation of our God.

    But you don’t have to walk through too many pages of Scripture before you see that work as a godly pursuit became frustrated and distorted. However, God is too good to let that be the end of the story. In the gospel, God redeems even work. Putting in a hard week to pay the bills and put food on the table is a good desire, but it falls too short of what God intends and what he reshaped in his redemptive work. There is a calling and a mission on each one of us in the work place. And I don’t just mean sharing the gospel with non-Christian coworkers (as important as that is). No, I’m talking about an overhaul of your entire life agenda. In our experience of God and his gospel we not only experience a life-altering relationship with the living God, but our entire purpose and agenda are reformatted according to his will and standard.

    This absolutely includes our professional lives. After a lengthy explanation of gospel truths in Ephesians 1-3, Paul eventually hits on derivative principles that affect how we work. Christian, do what your employer asks, just as you would for Christ, “rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man” (Eph. 6:7, emphasis added). The gospel rewrites how we work.

    Please mark November 14-15 on your calendars. During that weekend the men of Kossuth will come together to discuss the Gospel and its impact on work. I believe this weekend of looking at the gospel will transform how you spend your 50+ weekly work hours. And not only that, I believe it will create a ripple effect that impacts your family and personal walk with God, as well.

    Join us. I promise not only great content as we look into the Scriptures together, but also great fun as we connect as men and get all rowdy and stuff.

    Stay tuned for registration information coming soon!

    ThuThursdaySepSeptember18th2014 What a Great Question!
    byDon Whipple Tagged Church Leaders 0 comments Add comment

    I am writing today to entice, encourage and equip you to participate in the upcoming congregational interviews to examine the four elder candidates in preparation for a vote of appointment in early December.

    You as a church member have a vital role. Who can be a church leader? What does a church leader do? Who is a church leader accountable to? These questions were addressed by our church in a historic way beginning in 2006. A careful and lengthy process of study, teaching, interacting, and prayer resulted in a revised constitution and the appointment of three new elders in 2009. Essentially we shifted toward what we believe is a leadership structure that better reflects the teachings of the Bible. That structure puts the congregation at the center of recognizing and affirming those men who both meet the biblical qualifications and evidence the hand of God on their lives. It is quite exciting to participate together in the evaluation and examination process as we search for the men God has provided as gifts to protect, feed and lead our church for the future.

    There are two congregational interview opportunities coming in the next few weeks. The first will be during the 10:45 hour on Sunday morning September 28. The second Q&A will be at the October 5 Family Gathering at 6:00 pm. All four elder candidates will be responding at both of the scheduled interviews. In an effort to use our time well and get the most out of these interviews we are asking that questions from the congregation be submitted before the interviews. Please email your questions to an elder or to the office at   by the end of the day Friday September 26. Some of you are exceptional question askers, and we hope you will serve the church well by submitting questions that will help bring clarity to the key issues of recognizing and affirming church leaders. We will receive written questions at the interviews as well.

    Just a few tips on what makes a good question for an elder appointee interview. While even the most pious among us love to see a candidate squirm, turn colors and sweat profusely, the best questions are not always the hardest questions. Consider these as you form your questions:

    • Remember the objective: is he biblically qualified and is there evidence that God has called him to leadership at Kossuth at this time? So use the Timothy and Titus passages along with others to stimulate your thoughtful questions. Remember there are multiple issues to address; character, doctrine, and competency.
    • Review the questionnaires that each candidate has completed. These will not only provide answers to a lot of your questions but also may bring something up you would like clarified.
    • Ask process questions more than correct questions. Sometimes you miss a lot by limiting your questions to getting the correct answer. For example, a candidate could give a correct answer about his practices regarding divorce and remarriage but the greater value for determining character and competency is how he arrived at that answer. A good question like “How did you arrive at your position on the identity of the Anti-Christ?” may make them sweat as well as provide a great deal of insight into their heart. A question like “When was the last time you asked a person for forgiveness and how did you do it?” sounds like a winner too.

    So my question for you is: When are you planning to set aside some time to carefully draft and prayerfully submit a few questions that will help our congregation succeed in recognizing and appointing God’s men for pastoral leadership?

    ThuThursdaySepSeptember11th2014 Elders Update
    byDon Whipple Tagged Church Leaders News 0 comments Add comment

    What are the KSBC elders up to these days? 

    The Elders met this Tuesday evening for one of their two scheduled monthly meetings. Bill, Tom, Paul, and Don along with staff ministers Drew and Abraham met to share shepherding updates about our church family, pray for our church family, and then move through an agenda of issues and initiatives related to the oversight and spiritual care of our church. Last evening we also enjoyed having elder candidates Mikel Berger and Dan Dillon sit in with us to observe an elder meeting and catch up with some of the agenda items as a part of the process of discerning God’s direction in their possibly becoming elders.

    Take a brief look with me at five agenda items from last evening’s meeting. 

    Global Missions. The Missions Team has done a fantastic job over the last year or longer putting together some guiding policy documents to position KSBC for greater effectiveness in identifying and sending missionaries around the world. The elders are currently working through the core proposed "Career Missionary Policy" document. It is really good and we look forward to releasing it soon to the church family for review. 

    By-Laws Revision. At Family Gathering this past Sunday, the congregation voted almost unanimously in support of the recommended constitutional revisions. The elders reflected on the process and vote to tie up any loose ends and make the revised constitution accessible.

    Elder Appointment. We reviewed the remaining steps and dates in the process of appointing new elders. The next step involves two opportunities for the congregation to ask questions of the four candidates scheduled for 9/28 and 10/5. We are asking for questions to be submitted before the meetings by email to ksbc@ksbc.net or given to an elder or the church office by September 21. We are still on target for a 12/7 congregational vote to affirm new elders.

    2014 Year End Offering. The theme of our 2014 year end over and above offering will be "Overflow." It will be designated toward some global missions projects close to home as well as a compassion ministry and funding an internship. We hope to have more details and directions out to the church family in October. 

    Strategic Planning. The leadership team continues to spend time defining and shaping a long-range plan for Kossuth. We are excited as our discussions and prayer seem to be coming together based on the core commitments and vision meetings from last spring to share some firmer details with the church family in the next few months.

    Thanks so much for your prayer support, encouragement, and participation that make our service of leadership such a joy. Please continue to pray for God’s hand to rest on our church in great ways. Please let us know how we can be of help or service to you.  

    ThuThursdaySepSeptember4th2014 I Lift Up My Hands
    byDan Dillon Tagged Prayer Worship 5 comments Add comment

    [Guest post by current elder candidate Dan Dillon]

    I’d like to share a bit of how God has convicted and is encouraging me in hopes that it encourages you.

    Psalms 120-134 are some of my favorite Psalms. They are labeled as “Songs of Ascents” and seem to be written for the worshiper who is traveling to the temple in Jerusalem, perhaps for one of the annual feasts. They follow a general pattern as the worshipper approaches Jerusalem, starting with distress and despair and ending with petitions, rejoicing, and praise. A few weeks ago, I read Psalm 134, the last (and shortest!) of the set:

    Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
    who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
    Lift up your hands to the holy place
    and bless the Lord!
    May the Lord bless you from Zion,
    he who made heaven and earth!

    So, after the long journey to Jerusalem, what are we to do in the temple? What does it all boil down to? Two things: bless the Lord and lift up your hands.

    No, no, no! I can bless the Lord, but “lift up your hands”? Couldn’t the Psalmist have picked something else for the second one? Maybe “praise him”? I can do that. Couldn’t the Psalmist have made the list longer, say five or ten items, so that I could conveniently ignore “lift up your hands” as I worked on the other items on the list?

    Oh, how the Spirit exposes and convicts! I was convicted that I needed to lift up my hands in worship: it’s commanded, not suggested, as one of the two things to do when you arrive at worship. In fact, “lifting up hands” shows up in Psalms 28, 63, 119, and 141, and several other places in the Bible (Lev. 9:22; Neh. 8:6; Lam. 2:19, 3:41; Hab. 3:10; 1 Tim. 2:8).  

    How often should we lift up our hands? I don't know. I don’t think we need to do it every second of singing and praying. But given that five of the 150 Psalms mention it, somehow “I lifted up my hands once, a few years ago, when the worship leader asked all of us to do it” doesn’t quite seem like a claim to full obedience.

    And, of course, “lifting hands” can turn into a rote act of obedience or a way of showing off. So, let’s counteract those trends by considering what “lifting hands” symbolizes:

    • We lift up our hands when we want to call attention to something: “Look up there!”
    • We lift up our hands when we, as a child, give something up: “Father, please take this.”
    • We lift up our hands when we, as a child, need something or someone: “Please, Father, can you help me?”
    • We lift up our hands when we, as a child, want someone’s attention: “Please, Father, love me.”

    “Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven” (Lamentations 3:41).

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