Pastor's Blog

February 2014

February Coordinating Board Wrapup

At our February Coordinating Board we heard informative reports, discussed pressing issues of the congregation, and made positive steps toward closing the income gap.

The Board approved using the services of member Ryan Bogenschneider to help move the congregation's strategic plan forward and offer suggestions for improvement. Mr. Bogenschneider comes with a wealth of expertise in this area and a deep desire to serve his Savior and Good Shepherd's.

The trustees are working on cost-saving measures for the grade school. They are replacing many of the light bulbs on the main level of the school building to a lower-wattage bulb that will save $1,000 or more a year on electricity.

The Board of Stewardship has been directed by the Board to implement a 5th Sunday envelope system where members are encouraged to give 5 times a month rather than the typical four. The Board also included in that motion a greater emphasis on electronic giving and encouraging small increases in people's offerings.

The Board approved moving all undesignated funds into the Joash fund. Undesignated funds are financial gifts given by individuals to the congregation that are not specified for a specific purpose. The Joash fund is a special fund of the congregation earmarked for unexpected expenses. The Board also approved contacting donors of designated funds to see if their intentions are the same or if those funds could be re-designated by the Coordinating Board.

The Board also had a heartfelt discussion on helping all members of the congregation feel that their opinions and concerns are heard and that people are given the opportunity to share them. Many ideas were discussed, including that all members, men and women, take advantage of the regularly scheduled voters' meetings where many things can be discussed.

With that being said, please come, one and all, to the February 23rd voters' meeting, we start at noon. The February voters' meeting is dedicated to hearing news and plans for the upcoming year.

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Our Evangelism Plan: Message, Not Messengers

When it comes to sharing the message of Christ, sometimes we put so much emphasis on the messengers and then we think, “Well, I could never be like that! I could never preach the gospel like so-and-so.” And that’s exactly what happens—we never do. We forget that it’s not the messengers, it’s the message. Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 1, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

God works in ways we never think. Think about how God brought Jesus into the world: a baby boy born to a relatively poor family from the backwater hick town of Nazareth. Not exactly how we would have imagined the Messiah, the Savior of the world, to come. And so it is with each of us. Most of us probably wouldn’t be considered too wise and influential in the world. We aren’t very wealthy, very well-known or very powerful. Yet God uses people like us to share his message? Why? “So that no one may boast before God.” God does this so that we wouldn’t brag about our ability or our strength.

Do you want to be better at sharing your faith? Then stop putting so much emphasis on your abilities. Stop thinking of yourself so much. Evangelism is about being weak. It’s about sharing God’s strength. It’s about sharing God’s ability to change sinners into saints. When it comes to sharing the gospel, we’ve got to get ourselves out of the picture and point people to Christ instead.

In the end, why is it that we belong to Christ? Because of God! Because he chose you to believe! Because he gave you faith. He gave you his Son which made you wise in God’s eyes, righteous in God’s eyes and holy in God’s eyes. All of it is God’s work. So if we’re going to brag about anything, let’s brag about what God has done for us. So when we stop worrying about how well we speak, how much we know about God’s word and just tell people what God has done for us, then God can do his work of making people into believers.

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. ~ 2 TIMOTHY 3:16