Spring Ministry Update
Spring is drawing to a close, and summer will soon be in full swing. This summer will be an important time for our congregation. With that in mind, I wanted to briefly update you about the ministry here at Midtown Baptist.
Any update must begin with God’s grace to our church. It is overwhelming to me that such a young church would be the recipient of so much grace! Let me recount some of the evidences of God’s grace:
Our congregation is marked by a sense of unity and love.People seem to genuinely enjoy one another’s company, and God is in the process of building good relationships that I hope will bear fruit long into the future.
People testify that they are growing in the gospel as God teaches us from his Word and encourages us in the truth.
The church is in a solid financial position that enables us to pursue more ministry opportunities in the future.
We continue to have a good relationship with the group that owns our building.
We are developing good relationships with other like-minded churches in the area.
All in all, the Lord has been very kind to us. Let’s not forget to thank him for his grace.
Staffing Changes Beginning This Summer
Starting in July, there will be some staffing changes at church. I am leaving my teaching position at LRCA and will transition into a full-time pastoral role. This is the right time to make that transition. Lord willing, this will enable MBC to pursue some needed ministry initiatives beginning in the fall. This will also alleviate some of the weekly burden of preparing both school lessons and a sermon. Personally, I cannot express how thankful Laura and I are for the church’s willingness to support our family in this transition.
Jonathan will also be coming on board one day a week. As you might remember, earlier this year, we voted to compensate Jonathan for his time in leading worship. This position will also enable him to focus more on planning and preparing for our worship services each week. Additionally, we hope that this will enable Jonathan more time and opportunity to serve our body in other ways as well.
Upcoming Preaching Schedule
During the summer months, we will be preaching through some selected Psalms. Here is the schedule for the Psalms series:
May 26 - Psalm 1
June 2 - Psalm 73
June 9 - Psalm 19
June 16 - Psalm 130
June 23 - Psalm 67
June 30 - Psalm 34
July 7 - Psalm 103
July 14 - Psalm 115
July 21 - Psalm 96
July 28 - Psalm 145
Lord willing, in August, we will begin a sermon series on the New Testament images for the Church – the Church as the Body of Christ, for example. The goal is to grow in our understanding of what God calls us to be and do as his Church. We also hope to grow in our understanding of what it means to be part of a local church with other believers. At the end of that series, we will offer our Membership Matters class. Our prayer is that the Lord will begin preparing some new families to join our fellowship in covenant membership.
New Ministry Initiatives
Lord willing, this fall we will also launch some new ministry initiatives. We are very excited to see how God will use these initiatives to help us grow spiritually as a church body:
First Wednesday Prayer
During the Core Group phase of our church, we met on the first Wednesday night of every month to pray. We will re-launch that prayer meeting this Fall, beginning in August. Each meeting will include a short devotional, and then a time of open prayer for the church.
Women’s Bible Study
Beginning in September, there will be a women’s Bible study on Wednesday mornings here at MBC. The women will be studying Galatians, Jonah, and James. Each meeting will include a time to work through the lesson/text together and a time of prayer for one another.
There are two more initiatives we are currently praying about, and we ask that you would pray with us as well. These are ministry opportunities we would very much like to pursue, but we are still assessing whether or not we are able to.
Youth Bible Study
We would like to offer a weeknight Bible study for some of the youth in the church, or even youth from other churches who might be interested in attending. It would be a very simple format – Bible study, discussion, and fellowship. This would allow us to connect our students with Scripture and build good relationships as well.
Christianity Explored class
We are considering offering a seven-week study using the Christianity Explored curriculum. This evangelistic study encourages people to investigate the life of Christ through studying the Gospel of Mark. It is a solid, biblically faithful study that exposes people to the truths of the gospel. Please pray that we would have wisdom about this possible initiative.
Here are some ways that you can continue to pray for our church:
Pray that we would be faithful to do what is most important as a church – love God, disciple one another, proclaim the gospel. With new ministry initiatives, it will be easy to get caught up in “activities” while neglecting what is most important. Pray that we would be faithful.
Pray for continued unity and growth in our congregation. Pray that we would learn to disciple one another, so that we all might be built up in the faith.
Pray that we might begin developing good relationships with the neighborhoods around the church. We want to love our neighbors, as Scripture calls us to do. There are many things we could do; pray that we would have wisdom as to what we would be best.
Pray for wisdom and provision concerning our building needs. We are currently in a short-term lease in our current building. We would like to have the security of a long-term lease, but the property owners have not been inclined to do that. Pray that as we move forward, God would give us wisdom regarding this area of the church’s life.
Lastly, I would ask that you pray for Daniel and me as pastors. Pray that we would pursue godliness. Pray that we would love and lead our families well. Pray that we would have wisdom beyond our years and experience. I personally covet your prayers. I feel the weight of pastoring this church; I do not take it lightly. So, pray for me, brothers and sisters!
What a joy it is for me to labor as a shepherd in this church! I do want to do anything but pastor, and I do not want to pastor anywhere but here – in this church, with these people. You are a joy to my soul, and I take great delight in serving this body. May God grant us many years together in the pursuit of Christ.
With gratefulness to God for you all,