Published April 6, 2017
Southside Baptist Church, Sebring, Florida
Praising the Lord for the worship service that the youth led during our missions conference. It was a blessing to see them speak, sing, and provide the leadership throughout the service. To God be the glory.
We had our first “Bridging Generations” event that was designed to bring the varied generations of our church together in a time of fun and fellowship. An older member of our church, who was a previous activity director at Bible camps, led 31 of us ranging from 5 to 81 through activity games that pointed to biblical principles of trust and perseverance. We finished with a picnic style lunch as well as board games and outdoor games.
We officially launched our men’s ministry with a Saturday morning “Men’s Huddle” that focused on God’s Word. We also had an amazing breakfast of biscuits and gravy, sausages, eggs, and hashbrowns. After the message, I was surprised by the transparency of some of the men in a group of 16 who shared the struggle of wayward children. This is our first attempt at a sustainable and vibrant men’s ministry and the men who were there all said that they would invite someone next time. It was a great start to a ministry that we pray the Lord continues to bless and grow.
Our “Forever Friends” monthly gathering saw 126 senior saints join us for a morning of worship led by the Hysongs, a brief message by Pastor Altman, and a great meal. As we rejoice in the Lord bringing these people to us to minister to, we are already looking ahead to next year as we look to plan, prepare, pray, and invest more time and energy into what the Lord is doing in our midst.
Key Prayer Requests
Pastor and I walked down to the city circle where we will be having an Easter Sunrise service. We scoped out where the sun would be rising and determined some of the logistical issues as well. We are planning and praying about a number of events leading up to Easter Sunday. We had 1000 invitations printed and have challenged each member to invite one person. Pastor and I have a challenge to personally hand out 100 each. We are doing a 5 week lead up sermon series entitled “Wonderful Words of Life”, we have a couple of new members joining and a couple of baptisms planned on Palm Sunday, showing an intergenerational movie “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry” on Good Friday, hosting a sunrise service at the downtown circle outside on Easter morning, as well as an Easter breakfast and Easter celebration service. In addition we plan to have a prayer walk or time of prayer down at the circle for all those interested on Good Friday. Praying for the Lord to bring people to Him.
Thankful that Nicole officially starts new position at the hospital on April 16th as a Case Manager.
We are praising the Lord as He adds to our church. We have at least 5 families prepared to join the church on Palm Sunday along with three baptisms (one will be our daughter Alayna)!
With a number of church members dealing with health issues ranging from simple old age to a number with cancer, the Lord has been faithful and we have seen much answered prayer and much comfort and strength given to those who are struggling and battling. What a privilege to be a part of a praying church.
A praise and a prayer for one of the families of our youth group. They were in a car accident and the pregnant mom (they don’t attend a church, just the daughter comes to youth group), is now on bed rest as the accident caused the baby to turn and placenta rupture. She is in the process of losing her job and has 3 children to take care of. There is a boyfriend in the mix, but our young adult class stepped up and decided to be a blessing to this family by bringing meals to them. I was encouraged that they did so very willingly and are responding to a family that they don’t really know, but desire to show the love of Christ.
A couple months ago I gave a ride to a young gentleman to the local laundromat who had come to our church once or twice. I was able to talk a bit with him during our ride and invited him to join our young adult class and to come to church. We exchanged numbers and although I reached out to him via text a couple times, I didn’t hear from him for quite some time. On this past Sunday evening as church was coming to an end, I received a text from him asking if I would call him back. After arriving home I called him back and there was a broken and struggling man on the other side of the line. He told me that he had texted all of his friends and family and I was the only person who had responded to him. He advised of his recent struggles and that he felt totally alone, he was at the end of the line and didn’t know where to turn. As I listened I reminded him of God’s love for him and was able to share the gospel with him. He was very receptive and made a decision to stop trying to fill his life with everything else and surrender to Christ. What a blessing to have this opportunity to share Christ and that he was humbled and confronted with the truth and hope that is found in and through Him. The next day, I met him at his apartment and gave him our discipleship book and he is now beginning to work through those questions and Bible verses. In addition, I drove him to the local food mission where he was able to pick up some food as he had a rough month financially. While there he was able to share his new found faith in Christ with the workers there and was encouraged by another young man that was there who shared the same type of testimony. It was awesome to see the Lord surrounding this young man with love and confidence in his new journey with Christ.
Received a call from an old youth group member of mine who just made it through basic training in the Air Force. He told me that the first week was really difficult and he was just trying to adjust and make sense of everything. In the second week, he started the practice of praying every night for the other men in his barracks and quickly became known as the “preacher.” My heart swelled when I think of how the Lord has prepared this young man to be a source of His light in a pretty dark place. Before they do many of their activities or simply start the day, they ask Jordan to pray. In addition, he has had the opportunity to talk to a number of his peers on a spiritual level and desires to apply for a white rope chaplain assistant, which designates him as one who is a liaison between the students and the chaplains. He advised that in this program, leadership is viewed as more than just leading people — it’s also serving them. This student-led program models excellence by the service of others through its four pillars of spiritual formation, authentic community, leadership, and service opportunities. I’m thankful for the time I was able to invest in this young man and I praise the Lord for all He has done and will continue to do through him.
This month, a number of events got me thinking about the number of “hats” one needs to wear throughout a normal week. Trying to explain to someone outside of the ministry what an average day-to-day life of a pastor is difficult because there are so many different tasks that demand our attention, energy, time, and our involvement. I thought through this past week and came up with some of the various “hats” I wore: preacher, teacher, counselor, leader, financial planner, designer, project manager, supervisor, volunteer, theologian, receptionist, greeter, webmaster, community activist, driver, writer, recruiter, coach, shipping department manager, distributor, strategist, student, media director, visionary, disciplinarian, chaplain, event coordinator, CEO, COO, CMO, CFO, operations manager, sound director, video tech, janitor, facility supervisor, church van salesman, communications specialist, father, husband, son, brother, friend, and pastor. I was reading in 1 Corinthians and came across, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved”(1 Cor 10: 31-33). As many of you know or have experienced, all of these “hats” are important, but we have to keep in perspective that we are primarily involved in matters that impact the lives of the people we minister to for eternity.
Key Goals for the Next Month
Continuing to look to finish well as I now need to finish my two remaining internship projects before graduating!
Our church printed 1,000 personal invitations to hand out leading up to Easter that describes our current series “Wonderful Words of Life”, as well as advising of our Palm Sunday Children’s musical and baptism service, our Good Friday family movie night featuring “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry”, and then our Sunrise service on the “City Circle” followed by our Easter Celebration service at Southside. My goal is to personally hand out 100 invites.
Planning and coordinating a youth group trip to a conference over in Tampa area. The conference is being sponsored by a sister church and is directed at 9-12 graders with the theme “Self-Feeders”, highlighting the importance of individual reading, understanding, applying, and obedience to God’s Word.
Setting up training for youth group to lead VBS this summer. We are looking at doing an outreach event in a low-income area near our church and desire to equip our young people to engage in ministering to this neighborhood.
Planning and preparing for next “Men’s Huddle” in May.
I had a special time with the youth girls as the subject of boys came up (in our small groups) where an opportunity to minister to them arose. The next week, I brought a book to read to them on the subject of purity. What a sweet time.
Handing out Easter Celebration invitations at work!
The girls and I are going over the six psalms that we have memorized in the past. These passages from God’s Word are so dear to my heart.
I was able to minister to some of our church’s homebound members this month again, a real blessing and special time.
Taking meals to a family in need to extend the love of Christ through our young adult class.
Key Prayer Requests
Please pray for those with physical health needs at our church.
I have some great news to share, with the Lord’s help, I have found a new position at the hospital. I applied for a RN Case Manager position, which will change the dynamics of our family schedule for the better. No more call ins or after hours. I will have every Sunday off as well as every Monday. I am overjoyed. Please pray for the transition to a new position and saying goodbye to a great job and staff that I will miss working with everyday.
I was reminded through a study in our young adult class how awesome a gift we have in prayer. How privileged we are to have access to the Throne of Grace of the Almighty One. How can I not take time each day to make intercession for those in need of prayer? We have seen the power of prayer at work in our church. In addition, Scripture prompts us to pray in faith (the key) through Jesus’ name and gives me the motivation to get my prayer book back and to be faithful in using it.
To minister to and encourage a coworker who needs love right now as she recently lost her husband.
To transition into my new position and responsibilities as a RN Case Manager.