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

 

 

 

The Navigator: 3.21.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 3/24 – Jason begins a new sermon series…

Preacher:  Jason

Text: Passages from Judges 13 & 14

 

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

 

Discussion & Questions about the 2019-2020 Budget

Sunday evening, March 24th; 5pm; Worship Center

Final Vote on Budget:  3/27; 6:30pm; Rm. 108

 

FYI – We had 24 students attend our first class this past Tuesday evening, all of whom were diving into the deep end of the gospels.  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  When you stop learning, you stop leading.  And, with this opportunity, learning has never been easier (or cheaper.)

 

NEWSWEEK:  CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION WORSE THAN ANY TIME IN HISTORY

I touched on this during this past Sunday’s sermon.

The recent butchering of Nigerian Christians is merely another reminder that Satan is turning up the heat on his futile attempt to destroy our faith in the risen Christ.

“Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,” the report said.

Read the article in its entirety here.

 

WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?

“I’m too tired.” “It’s too cold.” On and on, ad nauseum.

Our North American excuses for not attending a local church are lame and laughable compared to the devotion demonstrated around the globe.

This church in the Philippines flooded – but not even a flood could stop them from coming together to exalt Christ.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Which one are you?  A or B?

 

GRACE NOTES: The Decline of the Bible in North America

I have a burning question.  Read about it here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

The Navigator: 2.28.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 3/3

Preacher:  Jason

Primary Text:  1 Peter 4:12-19; Jason continues his series, Stand Firm

 

WE. ARE. SO. CLOSE.

Still need photos, brief bios & a brief description of current curriculum from:

BASE CAMP – Isaias Martinez

UNIVERSITY/YOUNG ADULTS – Shawn Coleman

I know this has been a pain for some, but I am confident you will be pleased with the end result as this information you’ve submitted will strongly help guests navigate what we are presently offering in our small group ministry.

 

THE MATH OF GOD

World-renowned theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku, stirred up the world of mathematics in recent years when he concluded that the order of the universe proves there is an intelligence behind it all.  This is significant given that Kaku is not a professing Christian.  You can read about his conclusion here in an article published by Science World Report.  (View a related article on this topic here.)

Renowned scientists concluding there’s an intelligence behind the order of the cosmos is nothing new.  It just makes bigger headlines today.

Author, Andrew Miller, once shared:

“I am impressed by the number of scientists who believed in Intelligent Design. Newton, Faraday, Kelvin (physics), Dalton, Ramsey, Pasteur, Agassiz (biology), Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Maunder (astronomy), Pascal (mathematics).”

 

CLASS IS FILLING UP!

We’re having a strong response!  If you’ve not registered yet, please pray about doing so.

When you stop learning, you stop leading.

So, if time permits you to attend, please prayerfully consider this opportunity to study deeply the four gospels. Theological learning has never been easier.  And it’s absolutely free for BHBC members.

Dr. Matt Baird is scheduled to teach New Testament I – The Gospels (SWBLI 5211).

The term ‪begins Tuesday, March 19. Final class is Tuesday, May 7.

Here is the course description: An introduction to the Gospels. These writings will be studied in terms of historical setting, religious background, literary composition, theological message, and interrelationship with the Old Testament.

This is meaty content for equipping pastors, teachers, and lay people.

Textbook:  Should you choose to purchase the textbook you can click here.  The book, new, can be a little pricey.  But Amazon, at least presently, offers several used copies from around $20.  (and the used copies are usually in great shape.)

Dr. Baird has given me the Course Syllabus which explains in detail what will be covered week-to-week.  We are working on getting that document uploaded to our web site so you can  read through it.

Click here to register through BHBC to audit the course.

 

IMPORTANT – FRIENDLY – REMINDER

One of my biblical responsibilities as a pastor is to keep “banging the drum” on vital issues.  Why?  Because human nature dictates we forget the simplest of fundamentals from time to time if we’re not occasionally reminded.  When I played football and baseball in high school not a practice went by that we didn’t begin with the fundamentals.  Of course, this also applied to my training on the piano.

That said, remember to implement the following two fundamentals of small group shepherding each and every week.  (I will most likely simply include this once a month in this publication.)

1 . Briefly welcome 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 – this a “calling” 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.  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 know that myself, or one of our leaders, is available after class and would love to pray with you about this topic.”

 

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

A hauntingly beautiful cover of this Simon & Garfunkel hit from the 70’s.  Listen to Pentatonix render their take on the song – completely a cappella.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“Tell me about the God you don’t believe in. There’s a good chance I don’t believe in that God either.”  Timothy Keller

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Forgive me, ladies!  This was just too good not to share. 🙂

 

GRACE NOTES:  A Lesson We Tend to Miss in the Story of Jonah

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick