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Archive for the ‘Eastertide’ Category

Ascension Sunday-May 29

25 May

Ascension Sunday reminds us of Christ’s ascent to heaven and is the prelude to Pentecost when the church should be launching its summer evangelistic efforts. Before it starts, the church should be clear on it’s mission. After Jesus rose from the dead and showed Himself to His disciples, He appeared to them in Galilee-Matt. 28: 16-20. He gathered them and told them to go and make disciples of all nations. A disciple is a student who is training to follow his master. We are to seek the lost and lead them to the Lord. Once they receive Christ, we are to baptize them, symbolically illustrating their death and resurrection in Christ. Then we are to teach them to do all that Christ has commanded us. That involves active training, not the passive attendance which is common in many churches today. Every church board should open every meeting with the questions “What can we do to win souls?” and “What can we do to train our members to be better disciples?” Now is a good time to finalize plans for a summer campaign to reach those who do not know Christ.

 

Eastertide-Sixth Sunday-May 22

19 May

Prepare-Too many churches simply wait until a position is open and then try to fill it. The problem with that is the same people continue to serve so there are very few in the church with experience and very few members are involved in the church’s ministry. Many people are afraid to take new positions because they have no experience and those that do accept the position don’t do well, often become frustrated, and soon quit or continue struggling along doing a poor job. It makes better sense to ask someone to train as an assistant under someone more experienced before the need arises. Someone who has never taught before will be more likely to accept an opportunity to learn then to take a class alone with no experience. When a position comes open, there will be people who have experience and can do well. They will often be more likely to take the position if they have worked in a classroom for a while under someone than if they have never helped in a classroom before. It also provides assistants to help the teacher, so they don’t have to do everything themselves.

 

Eastertide-Fifth Sunday-May 15

12 May

Involve New People-It is not enough to just have everyone take a year off. The church must actively seek to involve new people. A full-time search committee should be established that actively meet with members to talk with them about their interests and help them find areas that interest them. Too often search committees are called a couple weeks before the church’s annual conference to fill vacant elected positions and they have little time to seek qualified people. As a result, they often nominate the same people they know well, even though the people may have little interest or experience in that area. As a year-round committee, they can get to know more members and seek to help them find areas that interest them before openings occur.  When openings occur in committees during the year, the search committee can help the committee chairman find suitable replacements. The interest survey previously mentioned is a good way to help members discover where they would like to use their gifts. Before members go off their position after six years, the committee should meet with them again to help them explore other areas to see if there are other areas that interest them. The committee should be familiar with the various functions of the church and how to help members explore their interests. (I deal with it in my book for pastors and church leaders “Rebuilding The Kingdom”). As the committee locates new talents, it can help the church expand its ministry into new areas and involve more people in the church. The committee can also help each committee define its mission and draw up a mission statement to help them focus their work.

 

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide-May 8

04 May

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide-Explore- One of the most important ways to find what our gifts are is to experiment in different areas of the church to find what we enjoy doing and do well. This is one of the most neglected areas of the church today. Most churches are run by a small group of people who have always filled the same positions. While they complain that no one wants to work, they give very little opportunity for new people to become involved. The church must provide opportunities for members to become involved in various areas of the church so they can find their interests and talents. One way is through a requirement that limits everyone to two three-year terms and requires everyone to take a sabbatical every seventh year. This helps prevent workers from becoming burned out and enables new people to become involved. It also gives members on their Sabbatical time to shop around to see if there are other areas that might interest them. Some churches have a Sunday where each church work group has a booth in the fellowship hall and members can wander from booth to booth talking with people who belong to that work group. Some churches even invite Christian community service groups to have a booth for those called to serve beyond the local church. There are also interest surveys available. I have written a booklet, “The Important I” which helps with determining what would be a good career (part-A), but also outlines areas in the church and community that offer opportunities for volunteer work (part-B). It includes an interest survey and can be obtained by E-mailing me at robert.barr34@yahoo.com, requesting the booklets, “The Important I” and put “booklet” in the subject line.

 

Third Sunday of Eastertide-May 1

27 Apr

(Luke 24:49) Wait and Seek-Jesus rose from the dead and He revealed Himself to the disciples. I am sure they wanted to rush right out and tell everyone, but Jesus told them to wait until they received the power from the Holy Spirit. Just as Lent is a time where we purify ourselves to receive Christ. Eastertide is a time when we should begin to seek God’s purpose for our life and begin preparing to serve Christ. Lent involves seeking to remove anything from our life that would hinder our service and Eastertide involves finding where Christ would have us to serve. As a result, during Eastertide, the church should seek to help its members discover their gifts. As the church begins to see what gifts are available, it can begin planning how to use those gifts to further God’s kingdom.

 

Second Sunday of Eastertide-April 24

21 Apr

Our mission– Jesus appeared to His disciples in Galilee-Matt. 28: 16-20 After Jesus rose from the dead and showed Himself to His disciples, He gathered His disciples and told them to go and make disciples of all nations. The church should be clear on it’s mission. A disciple is a student who is training to follow his master. We are to seek the lost and lead them to the Lord. Once they receive Christ, we are to baptize them, symbolically illustrating their death and resurrection in Christ. Then we are to teach them to do all that Christ has commanded us. That involves active training, not the passive attendance which is common in many churches today. Every church board should open every meeting with the questions “What can we do to win souls?” and “What can we do to train our members to be better disciples?” Now is a good time to finalize plans for a summer campaign to reach those who do not know Christ.

 

Eastertide-Apr 18

19 Apr

Eastertide is a time when we celebrate that Christ has freed us from the power of sin and death and begin to prepare to serve Him. Eastertide stretches 50 days from Easter (first day, first Sunday) to Pentecost. Jesus told His disciples to wait until they received the Holy Spirit. We cannot do it in our own strength and without divine guidance, so Eastertide is a time of seeking God’s will for us. It is not done in seclusion, but should be done through prayer with the church gathered to seek God’s will together. Eastertide begins the transition from emphasis on a serious reflection on our personal relationship with God to a joyous celebration of the resurrection of Christ by the body of Christ (His church). The church should spend Eastertide helping members draw together in unity and find their gifts.

 

Ascension Sunday-B

13 May

The seventh Sunday of Eastertide is Ascension Sunday when we celebrate Christ’s return to heaven. When Christ finished giving His disciples their assignment, He ascended into heaven, leaving them to carry on the work until He returns (Acts1:7-11). Many think that Jesus gave the command to make disciples just to the original twelve disciples. However, Jesus makes it clear in the parable of the talents (Math. 25:14-30) that He is talking about all who serve Him. He does not say the master gave his possessions to the head steward or to some of his servants, He says the master gave his possessions to his servants. Apparently, he distributed his possessions among all of them. Jesus was leaving His disciples and entrusted them to carry on His work. He has given everyone talents to help build His kingdom. Some have many talents, some have very few. One day those who are in Christ will stand before Him to give an account of how we used the talents He gave us. How we use those talents will determine our eventual reward. If we use those talents abundantly, He will reward us abundantly but if we squander them, we will receive little or no reward when He returns.

 

Sixth Sunday of Eastertide-May 9

05 May

 Of One Accord As the discipled prayed for power, they were united in one purpose.  They concentrated on the job ahead and focused their attention on what was needed.  Summer is a good time for the church to concentrate its resources on reaching the lost while children are out of school and younger workers have the time. However, many churches have lost interest in Pentecost and no longer focus on reaching the lost during the summer.   As a result, they not do anything during the rest of the year when people are often busy with school and other activities.

 

Fifth Week of Eastertide-May 2

29 Apr

Develop New Ministries

Our society glorifies personal accomplishments, but we are limited as we try to accomplish things alone. The church needs to take this time to help members discover where they can use their gifts in current ministries and survey the community to discover the needs around it so it can develop new ways to minister to those in need and use the gifts of those who don’t fit in current ministries. Many churches continue to put their effort into the same old ministries it has always carried out and fail to take advantage of newly discovered gifts and the changing needs around it.