Summer is over. It seems like only yesterday that Spring was in full bloom, students were just getting out of school, and we were looking ahead expectantly to all the things that go with Summer. It’s been a great few months. We’ve enjoyed great worship services, picnics, mission trips, and we have continued to see God work in the lives of individuals who make up our church family. We are told to remember the blessings that have come from God. Summer 2011 truly is a season to remember.
It is a season to remember, but it isn’t a season to look back on longingly. We are moving into the Fall of the year and as we do we are eagerly preparing for all God has in store for us over the coming weeks and months. It will not be long before there will be a crisp change in the air, colors in the trees, and fall decorations in the yards. Those of us at FBC Henryville are excited as we head into this new season. We hope you are too, and as we move into the month of September and beyond we want to encourage you to make this season one of determined faithfulness. We want to challenge and encourage you to make a renewed commitment in the following areas:
We hope that this season you will commit yourself to growing in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Spend time with him. Talk with him. Learn more about him. Fall more in love with him. We want your affections for Jesus Christ to increase. Read the Bible. Pray. Cry out to him. Obey him. Do not settle for complacency. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
In times of economic hardships it is easy for us to lock ourselves into a mindset where we view our incomes as our greatest treasure. Sometimes we fall into the habit of desiring to guard our money from any interference. That is especially true as we look toward the end of the year with the upcoming holiday seasons. We want to encourage you, however, to make an increased commitment to give sacrificially to the local church. By consistently giving a portion ofyour income each week and month, you partner with others for the support of missionaries, help meet the needs of people in our community, and help us meet the necessary obligations to keep our church and ministry functioning. Everything belongs to God and he provides for his children. Being assured of that truth, we hope you will give out of the generosity of your hearts for the ongoing work of proclaiming the gospel to Henryville and beyond. (2 Cor. 9)
Third, we want to encourage you to make this season a time of increased commitment to gather weekly with the local church for worship and Bible study. Worship services with other Christians are not extracurricular activities forthe Christian. They are the foundation for your growth and maturity as a believer. They are not optional. They are essential. FBC Henryville regularly offers three worship services each week. On Sunday mornings we meet at 11:00 am for our main service. During that time we will be finishing our series entitled Beholding His Glory: Seeing Jesus in the Gospel of John. During Wednesday Worship we will be beginning a series entitled The Galaxy of the Gospel: Jesus and Joy in the Book of Philippians. That service is held every Wednesday at 6:30 pm. Finally, we are especially excited about our Sunday Evening Worship Services (6:15 pm). Beginning on September 11th our children’s ministry will be kicking off the new year of AWANA. Children will have a great time as they learn more about the Bible, while our Adult worship service will continue our casual and focused time of worship. Last year we spent a year exploring a family and marriage series entitled Gospel Centered Homes: Following Christ for the Life of Your Family. This year we are excited to begin The Dance of Discipleship: Learning the Steps of Growing in Faith. We are going to spend the entire school year tackling the practical nuts and bolts of the Christian life. We hope that you will make plans to gather with us as we worship our great God and Savior each week. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Ultimately those of us at FBC Henryville do not exist for ourselves. We exist for one Person and many peoples. We exist for the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the proclamation of that gospel to people who desperately need to hear it, here in Henryville and around the world. This Fall we hope that the message of the gospel to the peoples of the world will consume your passions. We want to mobilize and motivate you for the cause of missions. This season you will have the opportunity to be involved in service projects, evangelism, Operation Christmas Child, Thanksgiving Food Pantry Ministry, and our upcoming Honduras 2012 mission trip. We do not exist to serve ourselves but exist to spread the gospel to others. Will you make that priority your passion? (Matthew 28:16-20)
We love Fall – Cooler weather, beautiful colors, football games, bon-fires, apple cider, and upcoming holidays. We hope the most important adjective that describes this season for you, however, is faithful. We hope that you are faithful to Jesus Christ and to his church. Then and only then will this Fall be all that it was meant to be.
In the service of the gospel,
Toby, Cade, and Michael