Extra Resources for The Story #12

Here are the resources I promised in my sermon this past Sunday.

Here’s the sermon in case you missed it.

GREENHOUSE Kids Worship

Psalm 78:1-8 NIV
1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old– 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors– a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.

I mentioned this passage found in the book of Psalms in a sermon several weeks ago. At ECOB, our children are a top priority. They are the next generation. They are our legacy. They are who we are responsible to pass the truths of Jesus Christ to. It requires our involvement. Regardless if you have children, or your children aren’t home, or  you don’t have children at all. As a church, it is our responsibility for ALL to care for the next generation. Whether we are encouragers and feeders into the lives of teachers, helpers in the classroom who are present for “crowd control”, or maybe God is laying the seeds of a desire to teach, our children are a top priority.

In one meeting with some of the ECOB staff, Pastor Matt, shared the passage above with us in reference to how he sees our roles and responsibilities as a church to care for the generations that follow us (even those yet to be born!). In so many words, Pastor Matt suggested we form an image in our mind of what we desire our children to look like.

Asaph, the author of this Psalm, paints a picture of two generations. One generation taking the responsibility to share the wonders and glory of the LORD. A picture of faithfulness. A picture of a people focused on hope. A generation who trusts and obeys their LORD… and keep his commands! What a beautiful picture of a holy generation!

Then Asaph paints the picture of a different generation. A generation who is consumed with their own hopes and desires. Stubborn, rebellious, disloyal, whose hearts aren’t in it and whose spirits are unfaithful.

Which generation are we hoping for? I believe it is very easy to know which generation we hope for… THE FIRST ONE! We want our children to crave their savior! We want them to make Him their life. But in order for that to happen, we must set the example… we must rise up and fill the needs God has for them (not ours). And we can say we want this holy generation all we want, but the only way we can prepare them to receive Christ as their hope is for us to DO IT.

We have a choice. And the choice is now. We must choose with not only our words, but our lives and our commitment… You, ALL at ECOB (myself included), have an opportunity to hear a little more about GREENHOUSE Kids Worship and how you can be involved. There is a meeting taking place on July 10th at 9am (in room 5), before we have our Communion & Baptism Service. This is our chance to make a difference in the next generation. It’s our chance to find a way to feed into them the truths of the God who created the universe! The One who conquered the grave! The one who brought us life! Are you ready to join us?

 

June 24, 2016

This is the new format for LifeShare. We are soon going to be discontinuing the emails you received before. If you want to continue to receive LifeShare in this new format, you will need to subscribe at http://www.lifeshare.live, where you can see posts about current happenings and posts from Pastor Dan and others.

The StoryThe Story

Before Sunday be sure to read 1 Samuel 16-18; 24; 31; 2 Samuel 6; 22; 1 Chronicles 17; Psalm 59 and/or Chapter 11 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.

Upcoming…

    • One Service with Communion and Baptism – Sunday, July 10, 10am, we will celebrate communion and baptism in a combined church worship service. In breaking the bread and sharing the cup, just as Jesus did with his disciples, we remember the ultimate gift of love – Jesus’ sacrificial death. In baptism we symbolically identify with dying to self, as we are immersed and then raised to life in Jesus Christ as a new creation as we come out of the water. Let us join one another in this meaningful time of remembrance and celebration.
    • Baptism – Sunday, July 10. Have you invited Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, but have never experienced the blessing of water baptism? Contact the office or one of the Pastors no later than Wednesday, July 6.
    • Movie NightFinding Nemo, Friday, July 8, 8pm pre-movie activities, 9:15pm movie with free popcorn. Concession stand available. Invite your family and friends and bring your own seating – a lawn chair or blanket. We will move inside if it rains.
    • Church Picnic Weekend! – August 12-14 at Camden Road. Friday concert and movie, Saturday picnic and Sunday One Service under the tent!
    • RockHouse Lunch– This Sunday in Room 101 following the 10:45am service!
    • Soul Bowl – Sunday, 6-9pm, Richmond 40 Bowl, 75 S. 37th St., Richmond, IN. $5/person, up to 6/lane, 3 hours unlimited bowling including all equipment. Contact Christina, 765-966-2641, for info or to reserve lanes for your group. http://www.Richmond40Bowl.com.
    • Save The Date! – Sr. Adult Banquet is August 20.

A New Ministry, A Not-So-New Calling

I live for the moments when a student’s eyes light up when they realize because of the Resurrection they no longer need to cling to sin. I am moved to tears when a student repents of sin and accepts Jesus as their Savior. There’s nothing quite like it! As a pastor, it’s these reasons and the countless others that have kept me in youth ministry.

And then comes high school graduation…

My mind goes often to the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23). Part of my job is to scatter the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it lands on many different types of surfaces (road, rocky, thorny, good). And I watch in the seasons after graduation as many students show what kind of surface had been cultivated in their lives throughout childhood and high school. And the results aren’t very encouraging.

Students are leaving the church. Even worse, they are leaving the faith altogether. In my experience, to say that half the students in youth ministry stay in church would be generous, and I’m not the only one who is seeing this trend.

The blame can be placed anywhere. “The youth pastor isn’t doing it the right way.” “We need more events to attract students.” “Parents aren’t following through with their responsibility to teach their children about faith.” All of these reasons (and more) have validity to them, and there are elements to each that we must investigate in our own selves and church and see what changes need to be made to correct the problem of young generations leaving the church.

For us all, though, I must echo the challenge once again that Francis Chan provided in the video I showed in my sermon several weeks ago. “Would you [the older generation] set the example for the young people?” By doing this, we are cultivating good soil within the next generations.

Can we LET GO of an Americanized version of Christianity that asks, “What am I getting out of church?” If we approach church that way, then the younger people will as well. We must stop thinking that discipleship is merely dropping our children off to be taught about God, but instead REIMAGINE discipleship as breathing and living God every second of every day with every inch of ourselves. Can we do that? Will we REFLECT the person of Christ as if we were the very mirror image of Him to the world? Are we able to unite as a church, TOGETHER for one common purpose: to PASS ON the truth of the gospel to everyone, praying that their soil has been cultivated and enriched to where roots set in and the hope of Christ blossoms into a beautiful image of Jesus Christ?

At ECOB we are calling ALL: the older, the youth, the middle-aged, the singles, the young married couples, the widows and widowers, the empty nesters, the children… ALL… to begin taking on this NEW (though it’s really not that new) approach to discipleship. We must be willing to embrace the five values mentioned above: LET GO, REIMAGINE, REFLECT, TOGETHER, and PASS ON.

And we are going to be providing an opportunity starting September 7th for this approach to discipleship to take place. Wednesday nights will no longer be focused on just children and youth. Wednesday evenings are now going to be a ministry focused on how each of us can take on the responsibility Christ laid out for us in being his followers (Matthew 16:24).

This new ministry IS NOT an adaptation of Children’s Ministry. It IS NOT a new way to do Youth Ministry. This ministry is DISCIPLESHIP, and ALL are needed to make it happen. We are trying to create an environment to cultivate the soils in the lives of all the members and attenders at Eaton Church of the Brethren.

I promise you, this doesn’t mean we are going to cease Children’s and Youth Ministries. Yes, these ministries will be changing, and looking different than they did before, but we are not deleting them. Our hope is with our approach to discipleship on Wednesday evenings, we will be able to cultivate the kind of soil needed for our Children’s and Youth Ministries to flourish! But not just those two ministries… Men’s and Women’s, One Another Groups, Bible Studies, EMT, Missions, Luke 3:11, 2nd Saturdays, and any other ministry I’m forgetting will benefit from our intentional focus on discipleship.

So are you ready? Are you ready for what God has in store for ECOB? Are you ready to set the example for the younger generation? I know I am!

June 17, 2016

This is the new format for LifeShare. We are soon going to be discontinuing the emails you received before. If you want to continue to receive LifeShare in this new format, you will need to subscribe at http://www.lifeshare.live, where you can see posts about current happenings and posts from Pastor Dan and others.

The StoryThe Story

Before Sunday be sure to read 1 Samuel 1-4; 8-13; 15 and/or Chapter 10 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.

Upcoming…

    • One Service with Communion and Baptism – Sunday, July 10, 10am, we will celebrate communion and baptism in a combined church worship service. In breaking the bread and sharing the cup, just as Jesus did with his disciples, we remember the ultimate gift of love – Jesus’ sacrificial death. In baptism we symbolically identify with dying to self, as we are immersed and then raised to life in Jesus Christ as a new creation as we come out of the water. Let us join one another in this meaningful time of remembrance and celebration.
    • Baptism – Sunday, July 10. Have you invited Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, but have never experienced the blessing of water baptism? Contact the office or one of the Pastors no later than Wednesday, July 6.
    • Movie Night– Friday, July 8!
    • Church Picnic Weekend! – August 12-14 at Camden Road. More info to come!
    • Knights Basketball Camp– Thursday & Friday, July 14 & 15, 6:30-8:30pm and Saturday, July 16, 9:30am-noon in the Great Room. For info and to register click here.

The Fun Days of Summer

This is the new format for LifeShare. We are soon going to be discontinuing the emails you received before. If you want to continue to receive LifeShare in this new format, you will need to subscribe at http://www.lifeshare.live, where you can see posts about current happenings and posts from Pastor Dan and others.

The Fun Days of Summer

I know it’s not technically summer yet, but it is in the air. Schools are on summer break, families and friends are enjoying or preparing for vacations and it’s finally getting warm. These things and so much more mark a wonderful time of the year when people can enjoy the benefits of sunny days and warm temperatures.  Just last week my family and I went to Hueston Woods for the afternoon and enjoyed a picnic. It was great!

While summer has much to offer it can easily become a time of slipping away from the disciplines of our walk with Christ. Since schedules often shift in the summer we can find ourselves having to work harder to set time aside for prayer, reading and study of the Word and even attending Sunday morning worship. Also, since many One Another groups take a break during the summer, this regular accountability can cause us to be less focused on walking with Christ each day.

Proverbs 24:3 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”  I encourage you to continue to build your spiritual house through this season by intentionally seeking God’s wisdom in times of quiet, prayer and study. Use the unique blessings of the summer season to engage God’s purposes in your life and honor him. Here are a few suggestions to make the most of your spiritual summer:

  • Take a prayer walk through your neighborhood and pray for all to know Christ and how you might play a role in their spiritual lives.
  • Host a neighborhood block party to build relationships or simply invite a few neighbors to sit on your porch or patio to get to know them better.
  • While on family vacation plan out family vacation devotions for each day. (Perhaps build some connections with the places you are visiting.)
  • Find a quiet place in a park and meditate on God’s word and then listen.
  • Worship at another church while on vacation.
  • Join in a 2nd Saturday Project to serve others in our community.

Whatever you choose to do, take advantage of this great season and strengthen, not weaken you relationship with God through some creative ways. Don’t take a break from God, even though schedules get busier. God deserves our best and calls us to commit to Him in all seasons. Make this summer a summer of spiritual fun as you seek Him with all your heart!

Praying with you and for you,

Pastor Dan

The StoryThe Story

Before Sunday be sure to read Ruth 1-4 and/or Chapter 9 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.

Upcoming…

    • Spirit Song – Kings Island – Friday, June 24, 8am-11:30pm, open to any attender of ECOB and your friends. $40 each includes the Christian Music Festival and Kings Island Park. Registrations due by Sunday, June 12, at the Youth Kiosk. For more information click here.
    • Ellis Guthrie Golf Scramble – Saturday, June 18, 8:30am at Beechwood Golf Course in Arcanum. $32/person for 18 holes of golf and a cart. Sign up by June 12 at the Info Center. Contact Steve McCloud 937-603-2958 or John Carver 937-733-8604.
    • Baptism – Sunday, July 10. Have you invited Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, but have never experienced the blessing of water baptism? Contact the office or one of the Pastors no later than Wednesday, July 6.
    • Ladies Summer Bible Study – begins next week for those who have registered: Tuesday, June 14, 6:30pm and Wednesday, June 15, 10am. Both sessions will be held in Room 101.
    • Knights Basketball Camp– Thursday & Friday, July 14 & 15, 6:30-8:30pm and Saturday, July 16, 9:30am-noon in the Great Room. For info and to register click here.
    • Soul Bowl – Richmond 40 Bowl is sponsoring a special bowling event with inspirational music on Sunday, June 26, 6-9pm at the Richmond 40 Bowl, 75 S. 37th St., Richmond, IN. $5/person, up to 6/lane, 3 hours unlimited bowling including all equipment. Contact Christina here.

 

June 3, 2016

This is the new format for LifeShare. We are soon going to be discontinuing the emails you received before. If you want to continue to receive LifeShare in this new format, you will need to subscribe at http://www.lifeshare.live, where you can see posts about current happenings and posts from Pastor Dan and others.

The StoryThe Story

Before Sunday be sure to read Judges 2-4; 6-8;13-16 and/or Chapter 8 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.

Upcoming…

  • Ladies Summer Bible Study Looking For Lovely begins June 14. Check out all details here and register now through this Sunday, June 5, at the Info Center or the office.
  • Baby Dedication is Sunday, June 12. Please contact the office by next Wednesday, June 8, if you would like to have a child dedicated.
  • Rockhouse Kickball Cookout – is Wednesday, June 8, 5-8pm at Camden Road for all incoming Jr. and Sr. High students. What’s it about? What to bring? Click here.
  • Spirit Song – Kings Island – Friday, June 24, 8am-11:30pm, open to any attender of ECOB and your friends. $40 each includes the Christian Music Festival and Kings Island Park. Registrations due by June 12 at the Youth Kiosk. For more information click here.
  • Ellis Guthrie Golf Scramble – Saturday, June 18, 8:30am at Beechwood Golf Course in Arcanum. $32/person for 18 holes of golf and a cart. Sign up by June 12 at the Info Center. Contact Steve McCloud 937-603-2958 or John Carver 937-733-8604.
  • Baptism – Sunday, July 10. Have you invited Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, but have never experienced the blessing of water baptism? Contact the office or one of the Pastors no later than Wednesday, July 6.
  • Challenge Conference – Students are looking for work to raise money for this Conference. If you would like having a student work for you, contact Pastor Josh.

May 27, 2016

This is the new format for LifeShare. We are soon going to be discontinuing the emails you received before. If you want to continue to receive LifeShare in this new format, you will need to subscribe at http://www.lifeshare.live, where you can see posts about current happenings and posts from Pastor Dan and others.

The StoryThe Story

Before Sunday be sure to read Joshua 1-2; 6; 8; 10-11; 23-24 and/or Chapter 7 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.

Upcoming…

  • Ladies Summer Bible Study Looking For Lovely begins June 14. Check out all details here and register now through June 5 at the Info Center or the office.
  • Baby Dedication is Sunday, June 12. Please contact the office by Wednesday, June 8 if you would like to have a child dedicated.
  • Storage Facility Project – We are just $7,000 away from our goal, and are extending the deadline for pledges to this coming Sunday. Information sheets and pledge cards are available at the Info Center. Thank you for prayerfully considering your pledge.
  • Challenge Conference – Students are looking for work to raise money for this Conference. If you would like having a student work for you, contact Pastor Josh.
  • Griefshare Support Group has begun, but it’s never too late to come, Wednesdays through August 17, 6:30 pm in Room 101.
  • Office Closed – Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.

Toward a Reimagined Discipleship

Last week in his sermon entitled ‘The Past and the Future’, Pastor Josh challenged us to consider how we can share our story to tell of God’s truth and character.  This challenge is applicable to any and all relationships in our lives with those we know well as well as the stranger.  The key is that we continue to tell these stories and to be focused on sharing them with the next generation.

As we move forward as a church in the coming months we are going to be exploring some different ways of being disciples and making disciples.  Some of these ways will perhaps challenge our preferences and comfort.  What we must be assured of is God’s desire to lead us into stronger relationships with Him.  We cannot forgo our obedience to that call.  We have taken solid, healthy steps over the years to be disciples and make disciples which have led us to this point.  It’s not that those were bad or ineffective.  They served the Kingdom well in their time.  However, in an ever-changing culture we must continue to seek with all of our hearts the best ways to engage in discipleship with the current culture.

In the coming weeks and months you will be hearing more about some changes we will be implementing in our discipleship strategy.  We want you to know that you are an important part of this because it is not simply a program to carry out but rather a way of life of the church.  We are incredibly excited as to how this will strengthen us individually and as a body of believers in our efforts to carry out our God-given mission.

Here’s how you can be a part of this journey at this stage:

  • Pray, Pray, Pray and then Pray some more.
    • Pray for leadership wisdom and discernment.
    • Pray for logistical planning and details.
    • Pray for all hearts to be open to God’s calling individually and collectively to take our next step towards Christ.
    • Pray for how God wants you to share your story.
  • Recognize that all changes require sacrifice from each of us. One of these current sacrifices is pushing ‘pause’ with our Family Camp Ministry for 2016.  We will hit ‘play’ again in 2017.  This ‘pause’ will allow us to focus more intently on this new strategy.
  • Remember that God has and will continue to equip us fully as we seek His plan for this church.
  • Know that we will be sharing much over the next weeks and months about this new strategy. Seek out that info and if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask.

 

Thank you for being a church that wants to impact the current and future generations for Christ.

Praying with you and for you,

Pastor Dan