From the Pastor – Coming Full Circle
On Sunday, leaders from each wing of our church met to propose their budget needs for our 2017 budget. What a joy it was to see the unity around reaching our community and seeing people grow in Christ! Thank you to each of our leaders.
This week, our Stewardship Team will draft a mock budget for 2017 based on our leaders’ requests. This will be available after Thanksgiving. And we will have a special-called business meeting following service on Sunday, Dec. 11 to adopt the budget.
In preparing this writing piece and reflecting on how blessed we are at TVBC, my mind turned to Acts 3:1-17. This passage really speaks to our mission to reach our community. And really speaks about your life as a Christian.
So, here are three quick notes for you and our church as we pray through our budget and consider our mission to be Gospel-centered.
- In the throes of a huge spiritual revival, God is concerned with the hurting person (3:4).
It is easy to forget, I believe, that in the midst of the all the activity and growth we have experienced this year, God is really concerned about individual people all around us. Those in need, both physically and spiritually.
In the midst of our growth at TVBC, may we never take our focus off the individual people who are hurting and in need. Like the man in Acts 3:4, we need to “direct our gaze” and pray that God will help us see the need.
Our mission isn’t to build the biggest church building we can. Rather, it is to, by God’s grace, strength, and Holy Spirit, to reach individuals with the Gospel.
- John and Peter won this man to the Lord in the streets as regular people, not as pastors of a church (3:1-3).
It’s interesting that this isn’t the “big church in Jerusalem” that reach this man. This was done by two individuals that took off the “church leader” shirt and went about the people.
Those in our community won’t be impacted most by the church at large but by you, brother or sister, individually where you are. The church isn’t where God does most of His saving work. It is in the streets. In your neighborhood. On your block. In your workplace. At the places you frequent.
Who can you point to that you are ministering to personally? TVBC is growing in all areas right now—praise the Lord. But is it growing because of God working through you…or simply around you?
- It was normal Christians doing ministry in the streets and byways that amazed the community (Acts 3:10).
Peter and John had a dual-ministry—word and deed. The Holy Spirit, through their words, eternally-changed hearts and, as they worked, amazed the community.
It was when Maple Park, Gracemor, Claycomo, and Randolph sees the power of the Gospel in action that they may, like this man, be open to believing the Gospel. We are to speak powerful, persuasive words in the Gospel and trust God for the result (1 Cor. 3:1-6). And we are to pray that God amazes people through our works to His glory.
How did the early church amaze the community?
–Miraculous answers to prayer (Acts 3:7-9)
–Radical giving one to another (Acts 2:43-47)
–Gospel-joy while being persecuted (Acts 5:41)
–Love one to another (Acts 24:23)
Father, grant us courage to take this step at TVBC like Peter and John here. May we step out in sureness trusting you will take what we offer and use it beyond our wildest dreams. Father, help us to see the value of the Gospel and, from our hearts, rise up bigheartedly to help reach our neighbors and the world with this good news. In Jesus’ name, Amen.