Monday, September 26, 2011

Reasons to Rejoice

I have shared with our church before that, each Monday one of the first things we do as a staff is discuss “evidences of grace” going on in our fellowship. This not only allows us to rejoice in what the Lord is doing in the lives of our church family, but it also reminds us to look for ways that God is working around us. Each year on our Deacon’s Retreat, I have an opportunity to discuss the “Scoreboard” of Trinity. We, as Baptist pastors, have so many people confused as to what success is in the body of Christ, and what should we look for when trying to determine if a church is successful. In short, success is faithfulness! If we are faithful stewards of the gifts, opportunities and time God has given us for His Kingdom work, then that is success. If we are faithful in preaching the Word of God, if we are faithful in carrying forth the Great Commission, if we are faithful in loving one another, we will be successful as a church. Recently, in preparing for a meeting, we began to discuss the “scoreboards” at Trinity and, to be honest, it was a great time of sharing evidences of God’s amazing grace on Trinity. I thought it would be a blessing for our fellowship to see a few of the things that we mentioned (of course time and space will not allow for everything).

• We are involved in, or in the initial stages of getting involved with, a total of 20 different local, national and international mission projects. Of these, we were only involved in 2 three years ago. This ranges from dealing with reaching an “unreached” people group in Africa, to help in planting a church in Vancouver, to helping provide supplies and minister to those in our local Care Pregnancy Center. The passion of the people of God to carry out the Great Commission, not just with our money but with our actions is a great “scoreboard” to look at.

• Spiritual Growth and increased accountability: We have over 60 men in our Men’s Bible Study on Thursday mornings at 6 am. Of these men, there are multiple mentoring/discipleship relationships that have taken root and are meeting throughout the month. We have several senior adult ladies mentoring some younger ladies and we know of at least 4 young ladies who have a total of 8 other ladies they are mentoring. We have over 20 people involved in a Systematic Theology class each Sunday afternoon because they are committed to studying the theology that undergirds our faith.  Each staff member has a minimum of 3 other people in church leadership with whom they have a discipleship relationship, and we currently have 24 students involved in evangelistic training. In our Parents meeting earlier this year we had as many as 50 parents coming together to walk through “The Heart Of Anger” and encourage one another in their calling to disciple their children. We have more children involved in AWANA this year than last year! When we had VBS this year, it was the first year (at least since I have been here) that we had all our volunteers in place several weeks out; they were signed up, attended training and were faithful to this outreach.

• We had 109 visitors register since January and we had a total of 77 join our fellowship.  
Now, we have no way of knowing how many actual visitors we have had come in our church, but 109 filled out a card, and this means that over 70% of those that we have registered actually come to join our fellowship. This means they come in desiring membership and go through a six week New Member’s Class. Of the new members that have joined, 80% of them are involved in a ministry and are giving.

All of this to say, that these are things that God is doing through our people. These are things that matter! What KINGDOM work is going on? Are we more accountable? Is there real discipleship going on? THIS is what we, as a church, are called to do. Thank you for your love for Christ, and thank God for His wonderful grace!