The Navigator: 5.9.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 5/12

Preacher:  Jason

Primary Text:  1 John 2:3-11

 

LUNCHEON FOLLOW-UP & COMMENTS

Thank You!  We had tremendous attendance at last week’s assembly.  Thanks to Tami Hines & her team for feeding us well.

  1. Theological Framework:  Hopefully, I was able to clearly communicate the seriousness of your leadership role.  Sure, teaching is both rewarding and fun, but, according to God, this role should be taken very seriously: Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.James 3:1
  2. Shepherding:  For the sake of clarity, the roll sheet I gave to each of you is to serve as a supplement to our present, church-wide system for keeping attendance.  You do not have to use the roll I  distributed if you already have in place an effective strategy for shepherding  your sheep.
  3. Weekly Attendance/Kiosks:  Our present system for keeping careful records where attendance is concerned is making certain everyone registers at a kiosk.  The onus for “banging this drum” falls on our class teachers/leaders to, weekly, make certain/encourage everyone in your class to take the time to check in online.  Help them to understand this is they method we use currently to help us shepherd each individual more responsibly.  If you have folks who are uncomfortable and/or unfamiliar with computers, please assign someone in your class to enter their information for them.  Bottom line: gather their information (somehow) so that we can shepherd them.
  4. Blue Cards:  Please, make certain that you encourage guests to complete a Blue Card.  This allows us to enter them into our system and to begin shepherding them.
  5. Contacting Absentees:  As I visited with a few of our leaders who attended the luncheon, we discussed the task of contacting folks who have been consistently absent.  This is a rudimentary small group leadership skill.  Additionally, it’s a leader’s biblical obligation i.e. shepherd’s care for the sheep to whom they’ve been entrusted.  As I mentioned, I have had conversations with two members, one of whom has moved their membership to another church, who mentioned they had been absent for many months without a single contact from their small group.
  6. Be on Time:  Lastly, as I also mentioned, the very morning of our luncheon, a person showed up for class at 9:15 and found it empty and dark.  I know many classes begin closer to 9:30, but we advertise “9:15.”  We can’t very well tell guests in our worship services “we’ve been expecting you” when our actions tell them otherwise.  So, even if you don’t typically begin until 9:30, please make certain someone is at your door by 9:15.

 


INTER-GENERATIONAL CONNECTIONS

Below you will find to which class you’ve been connected.  To provide some healthy accountability, please find a time to meet with the leadership of the other class by Father’s Day, June 16th. Discuss ideas as to how to connect regarding fellowship, church attendance and service (and however else you may decide will help accomplish our goal.)

Again, as I stated, this will take time.  There is absolutely no need to rush it or to “make it happen.”  Don’t force it.  Just do it. (Thank you, Nike)  What’s important is that we simply start the ball rolling.

Certainly, every combination below involves people connecting with others of different ages, but an additional blessing of this strategy is that it will aid in the de-fragmentation of the local Body known as BHBC.

I have listed the name of the classes as well as their leader.

Contact me with questions for assistance at any time.  I am here to help set you up for complete success and help alleviate any unforeseen difficulties.

Generations (Bruce Cottrell) & Young Adults (Shawn Coleman)

Duncan A  (Glenna Applewhite) & Basecamp (Isaias Martinez)

Ladies’ (Sandy Smith) & Singles (Mike & Susie Harendt)

Agape’ (Gib Weaver) & Travelers (Brad Whitaker/James St. Clair)

Duncan B (Larry Viaille) & Transitions (Michael Dain)

Open Door (Tom Heath) & The Village (Matt Flaniken & Justin Schoepf)

Wellspring (Laura McGrew) & The Mix  (Mel & Dormye Halbrooks)

University (Shawn Coleman) – Young adults will be involved in helping connect with the University ministry.

 

OSCAR NIGHT!

How much do I appreciate all you do?   Make plans to attend our very first Summit Leadership (and spouses) Appreciation Dinner and you’ll find out. 🙂

Date:  Sunday Evening, October 6th; 6pm; FLC

Prepare to be appreciated. 

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

I saw this quote and thought it was very good where marriage conflict is concerned.  (We men can be hard-headed and find difficulty in making changes in our behavior.)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

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GRACE NOTES:  The Old Rugged Cross

This is the first time in six years the exact date of my son’s suicide has fallen on the exact day.  It was Monday, May 13th, 2013.  I penned this blog not too long after I found him.  I hope it brings you peace as it has for me.  Read my blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 5.2.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 5/5

Preacher: Jason

Primary Text:  1 John 1:5-10

 

SUMMIT Group Leaders Luncheon – Sunday, May 5th; we’ll be done by 1pm-ish

***Tami tells me RSVP’s are low.  Please make this a priority.  I’ve told you before I’ll never call a meeting unless I have something vital to share.

DEADLINE for RSVP:   TODAY, Thur., 5/2

Please RSVP to Tami Hines at:   tamihns@yahoo.com

***Spouses are welcome***

Agenda:

  1. The pastor’s vision for inter-generational fellowship & ministry.  Without your ideas and questions this will not be successful.
  2. The critical result of shepherding – and not shepherding – your flock.

 

MAY DAYS: SUNDAY EVENTS

5/5Summit Leaders Lunch – Noon to 1:15-ish

5/12 – Mother’s Day

5/19 – High School Graduate Recognition (both services)

5/26 – Memorial Day Weekend (regular schedule)

5/27 – Offices closed for holiday

 

VBS! June 10-13

Theme:  “In the Wild: Amazing Encounters with Jesus”

Can you help?  Contact Dana Kluzek at dkluzek@baconheights.com

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

Powerful quote about secular leadership.  Let’s translate it to spiritual leadership:

“A Summit Group Teacher has the title.  A Summit Group pastor/shepherd has the people.”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

So true…. 🙂

 

GRACE NOTES:  Stop Trying to be Good Enough

freedom

It’s illogical.  But it’s the gospel.  Read my blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 4.25.19

Believe it, or not – before I send you next week’s Navigator it will be May!

THIS SUNDAY, 4/28

Preacher:  Jason begins a new series from 1 John!

Primary Text:  1 John 1:1-4

 

 

SUMMIT Group Leaders Luncheon – Sunday, May 5th; we’ll be done by 1pm-ish

***Tami tells me RSVP’s are low.  Please make this a priority.  I’ve told you before I’ll never call a meeting unless I have something vital to share.

DEADLINE for RSVP:   Thur., 5/2

Please RSVP to Tami Hines at:   tamihns@yahoo.com

Agenda:

  1. The pastor’s vision for inter-generational fellowship & ministry.  Without your ideas and questions this will not be successful.
  2. The critical result of shepherding – and not shepherding – your flock.

 

HELP US OUT

This is nothing new – I’ve watched it happen all of my 36 years as a pastor.

Would you please encourage your class to wait to leave the worship service until after the invitation/response time?  Certainly, some leaders need to slip out at the end of the early service to get to their class – especially if the service is running long.  And, no doubt, on occasion, some need to slip out for something urgent.  I’m not talking about those people.  I’m referring to those who are in a hurry to beat the Methodists to the restaurants. 🙂

The problem arises when numerous people head for the exits – during the single most important time of the worship service: when Christ is dealing with the hearts of those who are, at that very moment under heavy conviction, considering placing their faith in Christ or, already a Christian, repenting so intimacy can be restored between them and the Lord.

Being a distraction or, worse, an impediment to someone about to respond is rarely, if ever, intentional.  Our people simply need to be reminded of how critical those final moments of the service are.

The pastor is going to mention this from the pulpit.  But you folks are on the “front lines” and have strong relationships with your class, giving you great influence.  Please graciously help them understand how critical this is.  nw

 

MAY DAYS: SUNDAY EVENTS

5/5 – Summit Leaders Lunch

5/12 – Mother’s Day

5/19 – High School Graduate Recognition (both services)

5/26 – Memorial Day Weekend (regular schedule)

5/27 – Offices closed for holiday

 

VBS! June 10-13

Theme:  “In the Wild: Amazing Encounters with Jesus”

Can you help?  Contact Dana Kluzek at dkluzek@baconheights.com

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion.  In practice, it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.” G.K. Chesterton

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Malachi & My Response to the Prosperity Gospel

As we finished up the minor prophets this week during our mid-week study, I camped a little on the familiar passage in Malachi 3 where God accuses Israel of robbing him of tithes and offerings.  In contrast to those who preach the Prosperity Gospel, I have this to say.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 4.19.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 4/21 – EASTER SUNDAY!

Preacher:  Jason; Broken to Restore; Luke 24:13-21

 

ONE MORE TIME:  EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE

***No Saturday evening service as in years past.***

8am – Added Worship Service (choir will not sing in this service; music will be more along the style of the 10:45 service)

9:15am – Regular worship service

10:45am – Regular worship service

***All SUMMIT Groups meet as normal.

 

Summit Group Cancellation Protocol…

I had a good visit with a Summit Group leader this past week regarding this topic and, as a result, thought to myself, “I don’t think I’ve ever made my policy on this topic clear to everyone who leads a Summit Group.”  (Note:  I’m referring here to cancelling your class on a Sunday not already designated for all classes to cancel, as on a holiday weekend or for a special event.)

Let me be clear – this has not been an issue since I’ve taken over the leadership of our biblical teaching/learning ministry a year ago.  This is merely an FYI in the event that you ever need to consider canceling your class on Sunday any time in the future.

This isn’t my first rodeo.  At one former church, I oversaw more youth classes than we have adult classes here at BHBC.   As you would expect, working with that many people forced me a few times to learn some lessons the hard way.  But, experience can be a great teacher.  And, based on those lessons, I developed a policy that has always been well-received and successful.

Three preliminary thoughts:

  1. A “button” of mine is incompetence.  Here’s what I mean: let’s say a guest shows up on a given Sunday only to find that the class they had planned to attend had been cancelled – and I have to say to them, “I had no idea they had cancelled.”  Embarrassment is not a strong enough word for how I would feel as I appear to be completely incompetent, incapable of doing my job.
  2. Every Sunday during the greeting, I tell guests in both worship services we have been expecting them.  Showing up to a dark, empty class communicates just the opposite.
  3. It never fails.  During my years in student ministry,  when we cancelled our mid-week gathering for Spring Break, or were all gone on a mission trip or camp, etc., invariably, the week we were gone that student who hadn’t attended in forever finally showed up.  You just never know.  And because of this, we’ve got to always go above and beyond to be prepared.

Protocol for cancelling a Summit Group (outside of a church-wide cancellation):

  1. Please notify me ahead of time, allowing me to, both, approve the cancellation and begin preparing for your cancellation.
  2. If approved, I will contact another Summit Group that will be able to absorb any members of the cancelled class that may show up that particular Sunday.
  3. Signage will be placed on the cancelled class’s door notifying any class members unaware of the cancellation where they are to meet that particular Sunday.

Two final thoughts…

An axiom of any type of church Small Group ministry is to “shepherd the roll, not the class.” Translation: don’t limit your scope of your flock to only those who regularly attend.  Take note, also, of those who are on your roll but haven’t been in a while.  Because the week you’re not there is the week they may show up.

Lastly, I’m not a legalist.  After serving here at BHBC over ten years, hopefully you know that about me.   Although I don’t believe cancelling your class is ever best, I do realize special circumstance may warrant a consideration to do so.  In effectively planning for this, it’s critical that we’re on the same page. Having a protocol in place allows us to do this.  nw

 

Christianity requires faith.  But it’s not blind faith.

Read this brief, excellently written article on four “minimal facts” regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  You can access the article here.

 

SUMMIT Group Leaders Luncheon – Sunday, May 5th; we’ll be done by 1pm-ish

DEADLINE for RSVP:   Thur., 5/2

Please RSVP to Tami Hines at:   tamihns@yahoo.com

Agenda:

  1. The pastor’s vision for inter-generational fellowship & ministry.  Without your ideas and questions this will not be successful.
  2. The critical result of shepherding – and not shepherding – your flock.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

Colson - resurrection

And a bonus…

“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Good Friday – 20 Centuries Ago

Travel with me back in time to the dusty roads of 1st century, southern Palestine.  A trial is taking place.  And a man is being falsely accused.  Our lives – hang in the balance.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 4.12.19

THIS SUNDAY, 4/11 – nearing Resurrection Sunday…

Preacher: Jason – “Backstabbers”Mark 14:10-21

 

EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE (April 21st)

***No Saturday evening service as in years past.***

8am – Added Worship Service (choir will not sing in this service; music will be more along the “flavor” of the 10:45 service)

9:15am – Regular worship service

10:45am – Regular worship service

All SUMMIT Group times are unchanged.

 

SUMMIT Group Leaders Luncheon – Sunday, May 5th; we’ll be done by 1pm

My friends, let me put it simply:  I need you there.  All of you.

DEADLINE for RSVP:   Thur., 5/2

Please RSVP to Tami Hines at:   tamihns@yahoo.com

Mark it on your calendar now.  Thanks so much, nw

 

APPROACHING RESURRECTION SUNDAY

Lee Strobel asks Dr. Mike Licona (a former professor of mine) to address the best objection to the resurrection of Jesus: “Come on! People don’t rise from the dead!” (only 3 minutes in length)

 

community-connections-FI-1200x630

NOTE:  Wednesday Evening Studies conclude on April 24th and resume on Aug. 21st.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“Some claim that it was on June 17, 1963 that the end began – when prayer was legally removed from public schools. The crisis did not begin when prayer was removed from public schools, but when we stopped praying.” Erwin McManus

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Ah, the innocence of children…

 

GRACE NOTES:  The Resurrection’s Impact on a Brilliant (nor former) Atheist

Only the intellectually weak mock the Christian faith as intellectually weak.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

 

 

The Navigator: 4.4.19

THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 7th!

SCHEDULE:  (Dr. Ross’s 10:45 message will be different from 9:15, so don’t miss out on either.)

9:15 – All adults in the Worship Center with Dr. Ross

10:45 – Combined worship service (overflow seating will be available).

Noon – Special Event luncheon for parents and their teenage children (graces 6-12).

 

SUMMIT Group Leaders Luncheon – Sunday, May 5th

My friends, let me put it simply:  I need you there.  All of you.

Please RSVP to Tami Hines at:  thines@baconheights.com

Noon until 1pm.

Mark it on your calendar now.  Thanks so much, nw

 

RECEIVING THE WORD OF GOD – FOR THE FIRST TIME

In North America, we can’t imagine not having easy access to the Bible everywhere we may go.  But such is not the case in other parts of world.

This video, captured in 2010, show the Kimyal Tribe of Papua, Indonesia, celebrating the arrival of the New Testament in their own language.  It. Is.  Powerful.  Read more of the story here.

 

Like Peter, permit me to “bang the drum.”  I cannot convey to you how important small-group, Christian fellowship is to one’s spiritual growth.  So, in way of reminder…

Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.” The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42,

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia, making it a fundamental component of spiritual growth.

Please, if you don’t already, intentionally invest in regular fellowship with your class. 

No one needs to be told life is busy – we all know that.  But we make time for what’s most important.  So, on occasion (monthly? quarterly? per semester?) – whatever is most effective for your class – schedule time to come together outside of classYou’ll find the Holy Spirit using biblical fellowship to infuse your class with spiritual health and growth.

 

EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE (April 21st)

8am – Added Worship Service (choir will not sing in this service; music will be more along the “flavor” of the 10:45 service)

9:15am – Regular worship service

10:45am – Regular worship service

All SUMMIT Group times are unchanged.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK  (I like this)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

This is sooooo true…

 

GRACE NOTES:  The Sound of Silence

Few things in the Christian faith are more frustrating or painful than the seeming silence of God.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 3.27.19

THIS SUNDAY, 3/24

Preacher:  Jason

Primary Text:  Luke 14:25-35

 

COMING APRIL 7TH…

I cannot express in words how excited I am about this ministry event.

Three times when I was in Youth Ministry I invited Dr. Ross to come speak, minister to, and work with our parents and students.  God has extraordinarily gifted this servant in the area of strengthening families.  Here is the schedule for the day:

SCHEDULE:

9:15 – All adults in the Worship Center with Dr. Ross

10:45 – Combined worship service (overflow seating will be available).

Noon – Special Event luncheon for parents and their teenage children

 

 

Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.” The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42,

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia, making it a fundamental component of spiritual growth.

Please, if you don’t already, intentionally invest in regular fellowship with your class. 

No one needs to be told life is busy – we all know that.  But we make time for what’s most important.  So, on occasion (monthly? quarterly? per semester?) – whatever is most effective for your class – schedule time to come together outside of classYou’ll find the Holy Spirit using biblical fellowship to infuse your class with spiritual health and growth.

Speaking of fundamental components,…

 

PLEASE NEVER FORGET TO MAKE THESE TWO FUNDAMENTALS A WEEKLY PART OF YOUR CLASS:

1 . Brief “welcome” to all guests.  We pray for hurting and searching people to join us.  So, every single week – just as we do in “big church” – we need to devote just a minute to welcoming guests and encouraging them to complete a blue Connect Card (see pic below).  The biblical term “pastor” means “shepherd.”  As a class leader you are also a shepherd of the flock entrusted to you by God. Our staff contacts these guests every single week and then we funnel names to respective class leadership.  Make sure guests know there is no “pressure” to complete a card.  But that it helps us better shepherd them.

2 . The Gospel.   Never assume that, just because a person attends a small group, they’re saved.  Lost people attend church all the time. A simple statement like the following – or something similar – could change someone’s life: “You’ll make no greater decision in your life than to trust Christ as your Savior. If you’ve never done that please talk to me or one of our leaders after class.”

 

Please pray for me this weekend.

As I mentioned Sunday, since this past November the NE suburbs of Dallas, alone, have experienced eighty suicides.  As a result, I have been invited to speak at an upcoming conference, Weekend of Hope, sponsored by The Lakes Church; Sachse, TX.  (You can access their Facebook page here.)

I will speak twice on Saturday, then I will preach on Sunday morning.

99% of those who attempt suicide don’t want to die – they just want the pain to stop.

For Narnia.

Love to you all, nw

 

EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE (April 21st)

8am – Added Worship Service (choir will not sing in this service; music will be more along the “flavor” of the 10:45 service)

9:15am – Regular worship service

10:45am – Regular worship service

All SUMMIT Group times are unchanged.

 

NOTE:  SUMMIT Group Web Page publication is delayed.  New posting date is April 4th.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

For those trying to kick a bad habit…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Suicide & the Bible

In light of me speaking this weekend on this particular topic, I thought I might provide for you a blog I penned just four months after my son, Jordan, took his own life.  It has been viewed over 50,000 times.

For those who foolishly believe suicide is not at epidemic levels, consider this:  The Associated Press published an article last November with the following headline:  Suicide, at 50 Year Peak, Pushes Down U.S. Life Expectancy

Read my blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick