Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Thank You, A Praise and An Encouragement from Pastor Chad Everson

Merely by accident I came across this website that lists the top 50 blogs in Memphis (ok, I was truthfully surfing Memphis sites for restaurant evaluations!) from the information I could find, the listings were in no particular order, but if listed by “present followers” it would put our blog in the top 12 to 15. Now, this is a THANK YOU! Obviously there is no money that this blog produces for Trinity or for me, but if you would like to send a donation to Trinity Baptist Church I know for a fact it wouldn’t be turned away :) No, if you will go back to my very first blog you will find my motivation for blogging, we average about 40 hits a day - which our stats show to be primarily Trinity membership. The encouragement that you give, the posts that you have made and even the corrections some of you have made have been greatly appreciated. This is a wonderful way to communicate to my Trinity family and I pray that it serves not only as a way to share my heart, vision and even announcements to you…but that it also serves as a challenge to you in your walk with Christ. So thank you for reading and thank you for your input!

Now here is a PRAISE! I am so exited to tell you one of the ways the Lord has blessed Trinity that tends to go unnoticed by me and most of you. As I was preparing for our staff retreat I began to do what we have to every year - look at our figures. Now, being in the midst of summer I certainly expected no surprises (the summer slump doesn’t get its name because it is so good for churches) – but let me just share with you what I found to Praise God about! Last year from January-July in 2008 our average Worship attendance was in the high 900’s…this year from January to July our average Worship attendance was over 1000. It is growth, but what excited me most is that the growth has been continuous and steady - we averaged more every single month from April through July. In fact, in the month of June we had 87 more people attending Trinity! Now the praise we give for this belongs to Christ alone: He is growing our body and He is working among us! I was unaware of these signs of growth simply because I do what you probably do - look only from week to week. I have shared with you that I do not believe that numbers are the primary indicator of growth. In fact I don’t believe it is even a secondary indicator. What I tend to look at more carefully is the number of people we have in growing in grace and truth, the number of men we have leading their families in family worship, the number of people we have reading gospel centered books, and various other indicators that are happening right now that we don’t take any kind of inventory on (but we should and, as time goes I hope we will). In fact I have been much more excited by the fact that our attendance on Sunday evening has almost doubled and that I greatly rejoice in! Not for numbers sake but because it is a good thing when God’s people look for opportunities to be under the Word of God. Again, I praise God for this but numbers can not and will not be our “scoreboard,” - the scoreboard is if we are becoming the type of Church the Word of God has called us to be. That type of Church is outlined in a blog entitled “My Vision for Trinity” on this site.

Last but not least I want to encourage you to do two things: (1) Get active in Bible Fellowship Groups (aka Sunday School). Unfortunately, we have not seen any growth here and in some places decline. This area has been a consistent decline for Trinity over the last couple of years and, when I came this was one area of concern for me and many of you. This is the place where accountability is built, Bible discussion takes place, a place where the church can minister to one another. Especially as we face our new “Peace Maker” material, make a commitment to be active in our Bible Fellowship Groups. (2) Give: Many Pastor’s in today’s economic climate would cut out the missions offering - I think we would be less than what God has called us to be if we focus only on what goes on inside the walls at Trinity. In May we had an amazing month financially, but June and July, like every other church I know, money gets low. I want to encourage you to pray about what you should give to our Love Offering for Jesus, and use that as a catalyst to be a tither and a giver. We do not serve the God of America’s economy, we serve a God who owns it all! So, as in all of our lives individually, we have a reason to be thankful for wonderful people around us and we have many reasons to praise the great God we serve! In saying that, let’s remember that we have room for improvement because “He’s still workin’ on me”…and you…and Trinity!

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