Church, Redeemer Church

New Year Plans

I love the start of a new year because it brings so much hope. It also brings an opportunity to evaluate and make future plans. The best leaders have clarity of direction. The best leaders also carve out time to evaluate the health of their people.

image

The Bible has helpful teachings on making future plans. Naturally the Bible explains that people can make plans out of their flesh…their own selfish desires (2 Corinthians 1:17). God reserves the authority to frustrate our plans (Psalm 33:10). But the Bible also highlights human plans in a supportive light. Nehemiah’s plans to rebuild Jerusalem were honored. We also instructed to get advice when we make plans (Proverbs 15:22). Ultimately the Bible teaches us to devote our plans to Him, but also rely upon Him to fulfill our plans. This is the meaning of “commit” in Proverbs 16:3 (Commit your work to The Lord, and your plans will be established). The Bible encourages making plans that rest upon the soveriegnty of God. But our hope is not in our plans, and not just in God’s soveriegnty. Our hope is in his good soveriegnty. God rules over all things, is good himself, and even works good for us. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Be encouraged, God has plans for your good!

Praying and thinking through 2014 is a thrilling exercise for me. This past Fall we have gathered a faithful group of friends to help us launch Redeemer Church in 2014. We have served together, deepened friendships, and studied the hallmarks of Jesus’ life and ministry. Each week new people joined our group and we ended up with twice the people we thought we would have at this point.

During the Spring of 2014 we will take our second step. In January and February we will hold some fun events, devote a week to prayer, hold a planning week, do a practice worship service, then launch a Sunday evening gathering on February 9th. The goal of these gatherings is to lay out the details of our vision for Redeemer Church. We won’t abandon our focus to be out in the community though. We already have two service projects planned for the Spring.

We have been seeking the wisdom of others. We have gauged our own hearts. We are encouraged knowing that Jesus loves Denton and Redeemer Church more than we ever could. We are seeking to devote our plans to Jesus and rest upon Him to “Grow us into a Church.”

Happy New Year

Micah

Standard
Church, Redeemer Church

Conference and Matching

Kristen and I had the opportunity to attend a church starters conference last week. I always love a conference that lets you see under the hood of another church. We were blessed to see how a great church reaches their neighbors, helps people grow in their spiritual lives, and starts new churches. We were also very encouraged to meet other church starters from all across the country. I learned so much from these faithful brothers and sisters who are giving their lives to share Jesus’ gospel. I was inspired by their commitment and took endless notes as they shared their stories.

20131206-211335.jpg

It was also a blessing for Kristen and I to go through an assessment process. Pastors and their wives evaluated our marriage, finances, and ministry experience. It was a honor to receive their endorsement at the end of the week.

This endoresement opened up an exciting opportunity for our new church. This organization will match the funds we raise by the end of the year. I stink as a salesman, and don’t want to put any pressure on anyone, but in the past I have become a motivated donor when their is a matching option. After praying, if you feel led to support our new church, know that your gift will be doubled! If you feel led, visit RedeemerDenton.com/Support for more information.

Merry Christmas

Micah

Standard
Children, Church, Redeemer Church

Shepherds for Your Children

God has given children two institutions to shepherd their hearts, their home and their church.  Understanding this truth has revolutionized how I parent my kids as well as understand my role as a pastor.

20110416102242

Many parents struggle living in the balance of the poles of church and home.  Some parents rightly understand that they have the primary responsibility of raising up their children in the faith, but go so far as to believe they are their only shepherds.  Some parents rightly try to get their children involved in church, but struggle with their role and responsibilities at home.  Some of these parents can go so far as think that they don’t have much responsibility in fostering their children’s spiritual lives thinking it is the church’s job.  A better understanding of the relationship between the home and church is needed.

Parents are to raise up their children in the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4 says that fathers are to bring their children up in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  I would argue that God desires for parents, not the church, to be the primary shepherds of their children.  But, pastors have the solemn and intimidating task of keeping watch over the souls in their church (Hebrews 13:17).  These souls include the souls of the children in their church.  I would argue that even though parents should be the primary shepherds of their children’s souls, they are not the exclusive shepherds.

Redeemer Church is striving to live within this balance.  We are making our ministry to children a priority.  The pastors of this church are heavily invested in the ministry to children.  We are creating safe and fun environments for our kids, but we aren’t satisfied with just good childcare.  We are working diligently to foster their faith through gospel-centered biblical lessons.  We went so far as to bring in Josh Yen as our Associate Pastor largely based upon his successful experience ministering to children.  We are also working to provide resources to help parents shepherd their kiddos.  Finally, the pastors are striving to create a culture in our church where we encourage men to shepherd the hearts of their children.

All of these efforts drive toward our goal of seeing moms and dads pastor the little guys that God has brought into their lives.  We know that the biggest influencers and heroes in the lives of your kids are you!  Kids will model what their parents do not just want they say.  Studies show that kid’s perception of their heavenly Father is largely based upon their experience with their earthly father.  We know we will never be perfect, but will led our parents to shepherd the hearts of their kids as well as own our responsibility of being a church that ministers the gospel to children.

Standard