From Your Lead Pastor – February 2017
A Great Month Behind Us, An Exciting Month Ahead
January started off so well as we welcomed Jim and Dotty Biner into our family of faith, as well as Daniel Nimmo in by believer’s baptism! God has been at work in so many who are seeking out what it means to follow Him completely and committedly. He’s also been raising up other leaders from among our people to help us be and make hopeful, joyful disciples. And thanks to all of you who took time to fill out the Find Your Lane Questionnaire. We received more than 100 of them back and now have a better idea of what everyone’s particular ‘lane’ is. Let me tell you – it is exciting to serve Jesus. We were once destined for hell, but not only did Jesus rescue us from our sins, He rescued us to serve Him and others around us. He has brought us a long way, yes? Let’s give our all to Him (Luke 14:25-33).
We have spent each Sunday in January looking at what God wants from us: to be and make hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus, which fulfills our mission of helping all of Denver and the nations believe Jesus is enough. What you may not have considered regarding discipleship is the role that church membership plays.
We as Southern Baptists have a mechanism in place that we see from the New Testament about people making a covenant commitment to join a local church for a mutual gospel partnership and commitment to the cause of Christ. The moment we join a family of faith, we agree to help each other be and make hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus. Yes, we receive, but we also give of ourselves as Christ gave of Himself to us.
This past month, we posted approximately 130 names of those who are members of our church, yes, but of whom we have no contact information. Many of these members have been on our rolls for decades. We need your help in locating them. Have they moved? Have they joined another church?
You see, those names on the rolls are not just names, but are souls. Are they being discipled in the context of a local church? Are they going to church at all? You see,
the moment they join ARBC, we all become accountable to not just know their whereabouts, but to help them become hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus who are growing in worship, loving each other in Christ-centered relationships, serving our Lord in a ministry, and are living a life of the Great Commission by going and making disciples (Grow-Love-Serve-Go).
To be frank, ARBC has been in this same spot since 1966 (almost 51 years). We haven’t moved. But have those who are on our rolls moved, not just geographically but in their relationship to Jesus? That’s what we need to find out. Will you help us?
See, we are not talking about membership matters in the sense of us talking about the matters of membership, but we are trying to communicate from the Scriptures by the Spirit this: membership matters to God! All through the New Testament, we see the accountability the members were to have to the spiritual leaders of the church (see Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; Hebrews 13:17 and many more). Responsibility, and accountability, and transparency are all keys in being a hopeful, joyful disciple of Jesus!
God is providing many opportunities for us to love Him, love our neighbors, and make disciples. I hope to see you at (1) our Missions Meeting on February 5; (2) our Valentine’s Dinner on February 10; and (3) our Business Blast on February 11. More details on each event is in the Challenger itself.
Keep in mind: February 14 is Valentine’s Day. I proposed to Cindy on Valentine’s Day 1998. I couldn’t cook worth a nickel, but I made hamburger helper, a box of macaroni and cheese, a can of peas, and the sorriest looking chocolate cake anyone ever saw. Thankfully, she saw the love behind it, and said yes when I proposed. I have tears in my eyes now at how grateful I am that God put her in my life and we are on this journey with Jesus together. But that pales in comparison to the love God showed through His Son on the cross for our sins. What a mighty God we serve. Jesus is enough!