What’s Happening @ Central
It was so good to see some of you returning to services yesterday! I look forward to seeing more of the church returning over the next few weeks as the pandemic appears to be winding down.
This coming Saturday we will open The Fig Leaf to distribute clothing. I’m not sure how we will organize all of the racks (location, etc.) but I do believe the church is in good enough condition that we can open. We will need volunteers early (around 12:00, noon) in order to set up for the distribution.
I do know that this Easter will be different from last year! While we still cannot have our breakfast or egg hunt, at least we can gather. I do plan on including a time to share communion in our service, and I am looking forward to more of the church family gathering for the service.
We did have some work completed on the church this past week, with sheetrock being replaced where the demolition had to be conducted for drying purposes. I expect that we will see even more (hopefully all) sheetrock being replaced this week, as well as some of the finish work that needs to be done on the new sheetrock. I am also hoping to receive the estimate from the restoration company for all the extra work that we want to have accomplished so that we can make some final decisions about those items. We have given the company a list of items, and associated priorities, for all of this work; once the estimate is in-hand we can decide how much we can afford to have completed during this time of opportunity.
I have been sharing with you about the things I learned at the Minister’s Retreat at the beginning of March; the need to be an inviting church, and the need to share with the members of the church about messages early enough for you to use that information in inviting people. A third aspect of growing churches is the willingness to leverage social media in promoting the church and the ministries of the church. Growing churches are taking advantage of social media by posting good content nearly every day. While many of these churches probably have a part-time (or maybe even a full-time) staff member that is devoted to this, Central doesn’t have that luxury. That doesn’t mean we can’t utilize social media to our advantage. Sharon and I have developed a social media plan that will allow Central to post good content nearly every day. We have even established a new account on Instagram to add to Central’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. What can you do to help in this part of helping Central become a growing church? The best thing you can do, if you have accounts on any of the above-mentioned platforms, is follow Central. Then, check the pages a few times a week and share, retweet, and comment (please make the comments positive). As we continue into this year, I am looking forward to perhaps having a “grand re-opening” once all the restoration and construction work is completed. I think it would be a great outreach to invite the community into the church on a Saturday to see the improvements, perhaps have some free food and giveaways, and then invite those who come out to come back for a Sunday service celebrating the Lord’s goodness.
Thought for the Day
I mentioned yesterday, in my message, that I watched a video of a seminar led by Brad Ransom with the title, The One Thing Your Church Needs to Change in 2021. In the seminar, Brad makes the point that our society, our culture, is no longer the same as it was. The changes are so radical that the one thing the church must change is everything.
Now, Brad was not saying that we must change the message of the gospel. That does not change, regardless of cultural or societal norms. There is One way, One truth, One life; that is Jesus. The Good News that Jesus died for our sins, rose to conquer death, and make a way for our own forgiveness will not change. So, what did Brad mean?
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul makes a statement that is applicable to our current situation. He describes his approach to sharing the gospel. He says that to those who were Jewish, he approached them from that viewpoint. When necessary, he strictly followed the Law so as not to offend and drive people away, even though he knew that the Law had been fulfilled in Jesus. To those who were ignorant of the Law, he didn’t throw the Law into their faces. To those who were weak, Paul exhibited his own weakness, in order to have an audience that would hear him. He concludes, in Verse 22 with this statement, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” Paul isn’t describing becoming a hypocrite. He is describing a willingness to reach people in whatever means is necessary that doesn’t compromise the integrity of the gospel. In other words, if it wasn’t illegal or immoral or unethical Paul was willing to adapt to the people he was trying to reach. He would change anything and everything, except the central message of the gospel, for one purpose, to save some. Are we willing to give up all our preferences and desires in order to be the servant needed to share the gospel with whosoever might come into our circle? Are we willing to pray for whosoever? In Verse 19, Paul tells us the path to winning people to Jesus, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” Are we willing to serve whosoever? Are we willing to change everything in order to win some?