This past Lord's Day was an emphatic reminder of the Father's great love for us in sending Jesus and the suffering Jesus endured so that we might be forgiven and reconciled to God. What Jesus faced on the cross is incomprehensible, but worth meditating upon! After the service we discussed the upcoming building move and also opportunities to serve at CBC. I've attached the financial picture for 2019 - email me or call me if you weren't there and have questions.
Using Your Gifts
Many ways that we serve the body don't show up on a formal list. These are vital needs in the church and are carried out behind-the-scenes without an official title, and often secretly without recognition (e.g., prayerfully showing up early on the Lord's Day so you can find someone to encourage before the service, bearing one another's burdens in prayer, writing a note of encouragement or offering a word of admonishment, sharing a resource, meeting a practical need, helping, etc.). These many ways of serving are simply too numerous to list out comprehensively, but each is an opportunity by which God himself works through you by his Spirit for the good of others. It's incredible that God designed the church to function in this way. Namely, that his Spirit ministers to people through people. I see this ministry taking place all the time at CBC. It's a joy to my heart. I'm the blessed recipient of it as well.
If you are a Christian, unless you are infirmed or unable, God calls you to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10-11). This means (quite frankly) that if you aren't serving the body then you are sinning against the one who called you and gifted you for this purpose (1 Corinthians 12:7). A lack of service is typically rooted in self-focus and spiritual immaturity, although there can be other issues as well. Serving always requires sacrifice (i.e., you can't do it without a cost to your own time and comfort) and in our flesh we naturally care more about serving ourselves than others. But this is part of why God asks us to do it, because it's worship! How incredible is that?
To the degree that you neglect serving you withhold something beneficial to others, which weakens the church. Friends, God placed you in a local assembly so that you could contribute uniquely to the work he is doing (Ephesians 4:16). I write this to encourage you if you are already serving, and to exhort you to love and good deeds if you are not (Hebrews 10:24). Serving is a privilege and it will bless your soul to invest in others. It will contribute to your growth in Christ and protect you from self-centeredness (Proverbs 18:1).
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:8-10).
Along with informal ways of serving, there are also other ways of serving the body which are more formalized. These needs require a degree of structure for us to properly meet them. I've listed out many of those areas in the attached document. The purpose of putting this in front of you is so that you can know some of the spiritual and practical ways to serve at CBC. If you see an area of interest on the list, then talk to the person whose name is by that item, or you can contact me. Some of the items could use someone to share the load, some are adequately being filled right now, and some are ready to be handed to someone else (several of the items that I am doing administratively would be wonderful to give to someone).
With each opportunity there is a degree of gifting and ability required. The items at the bottom of the last page are not yet established and require leadership. For example, you might have a heart for children's ministry (if so, I'd like to know), but in order to begin a children's ministry we need a couple of qualified people to take on the responsibly of putting that ministry in place. Part of my job and my joy is equipping you for doing the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Prayerfully consider how you are contributing to your brothers and sisters and the advance of the kingdom. If you need help, let me know. This is an exciting time to see God starting to expand the work at CBC according to his perfect timing.
We have 200 new chairs arriving by the last Sunday in June. In the meantime we have purchased 50 used chairs to provide temporary seating for May and June. If you have extra chairs that you can loan out for those 8 Sundays (or bring with you each week) please email Grant Smith and let him know what you can provide so we can make sure to have adequate seating for our Lord's Day worship services. 50 leaves us a bit short.
Here are a few highlights:
Approved Workman 4/12 - the Attributes of God.
Womens Bible Study Fellowship 4/17 - Biblical vision for women's ministry (Jake teaching)
Good Friday 4/19 - meeting at 6:30 pm at Santiam Place (communion service). We will sing "Precious Blood" that night, if it's not familiar you can learn it here.
Last Sunday at Santiam Place 4/28
May the Lord bless you this week as you seek Him.