Pastor's Blog: Reaching Our Community
I have enjoyed being on vacation this week. Sunday, we visited First Baptist Church, Hilton Head Island, and the pastor and youth pastor shared a model for discipleship with the church. They made several good points and challenged each church member to consider where they were personally in the process of following the Lord.
The message caused me to think about the confusing concept of encouraging people to “make a decision to accept Jesus.” The Great Commission gives us our marching orders and it clearly commands us to “make disciples who follow Jesus.” Some would argue there is no difference. I admit that sometimes people who use the first phrase mean the latter. But words are important. My mentor in ministry, Dr. Sam Cathey, said, “Decisional regeneration is as wicked as baptismal regeneration.”
The point is the we are not saved by anything we do. We are not saved by a prayer or a performance, we are saved by a Person, and His name is Jesus. When Jesus saves us, it comes in the process of our crying out to God in prayer and submitting to His authority, which changes our performance!
The starting point of discipleship is evangelism. Our evangelism should be focused on encouraging people to surrender to the Lordship of Christ over their lives. When they do it is then our joyous task to help them grow in their walk with the Lord, which is discipleship.
God has placed Tabernacle Baptist Church in a community that needs the Lord. We must be committed to reaching our community with the Gospel. We will be going out door-to-door this Sunday afternoon, September 29. Your participation is critical. If you cannot physically go you can come to the church and pray for those who are going. It’s a team effort!
My Dad once said that the value of a church could be summed up thusly, “If the church ceased to exist would it actually be missed?” In other words, would the people in the community wonder what happened to the church or would they just go about their business not missing the church’s presence at all? Let’s make sure that TBC would be missed if our presence in the community ended!
In addition to going door-to-door to reach our community we are changing our times for Sunday morning. I appeal to you for your support for this change as the purpose is to make us more effective at reaching our community. On Sunday October 6 the start times change to 9:15 for Sunday School and 10:30 for Worship.
On Wednesdays, we are continuing our very important study on prayer. We are using the book, “How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life,” by Dr. Gregory Frizzell. Prayer is the key to turning around our church – please join me for this great study. You can pick up a book from the church office if you need one.
Looking forward to what God will do at Tabernacle this coming Sunday. Please be present with your Bibles in hand as we worship the Lord together.
Blessings, YFJS, Bro Tom