From the Pastor's Pen
“ALL HANDS ON DECK!” If you were part of the crew on a ship and the captain saw that there was an emergency, he would call out “ALL HANDS ON DECK!” The Oxford Dictionary defines the phrase as “A cry or signal used on board ship, typically in an emergency, to indicate that all crew members are to go on deck.” It also gives the following definition, “Used to indicate that the involvement of all members of a team is required.” This is the meaning of the phrase that I believe describes our situation today at Albion Church of the Nazarene. We are NOT in a dangerous, emergency situation! Our current situation is much more positive! In fact, it is a wonderful situation to be in!
We need all hands on deck because the wind of the Spirit of God is filling the sails of our church moving us along at a rapid pace as we work to fulfill our mission of being and developing disciples of Christ. The sails must be in good repair and in the right position in order to maximize the strength of the wind in order to move us ahead as a church. A strong wind won’t do the ship any good if many of the hands are sleeping in their cabins while the sails are down! It is an exciting time when we need people to be running up on deck crying out, “What can I do? Where do you need me?”
Here is what I see God doing in and through our church:
· Growth in number of people coming to church—(remember, numbers indicate people whose lives can be saved and transformed!) We experienced 20% growth in Worship attendance in our last church year (finished at the end of April) and this past Sunday (Father’s Day) we were 20% above last year’s average! Mother’s Day is traditionally a well-attended Sunday, but not so with Father’s Day.
· The people of the congregation are inviting and bringing their friends with them to church, more and more!
· There is a healthy atmosphere of teamwork.
· We realize that it isn’t about ME and what I like, but is about what GOD wants and what will reach those in need of HIM.
· We have many who are rushing onto the deck to see how they can be a part of what God is doing.
· We had 9 children at district Kids’ Camp last week and 2 teens at Teen Camp this week! Some of those children made a decision to follow Christ! By the way, you paid for each one of them to be able to go to camp!
· Excitement is high and we come to church on Sunday wondering what God is going to do today! AND, it’s not just on Sunday but I wonder what He is doing through you each and every day!
So, how is it that we need ALL HANDS ON DECK? What FOUR things do we need to be praying about?
1. SPIRITUAL: That God will be central to all that is happening and that spiritual transformation (discipleship) will be at the core of everything that we do.
2. THE HANDS (SERVICE): That we will have the people needed to do everything that can be done to maximize this movement of God.
3. FINANCES: That the church will be supported financially so that we do not have to say “NO” to opportunities to minister and grow His kingdom.
4. SPACE (FACILITIES): That we will be able to find the space needed at the church to grow. The nursery is growing (along with the rest of children’s ministries) and we need to start 2 new children’s Sunday School classes. We have an adult class that is outgrowing the largest classroom in the building! We need to maximize storage space for supplies that we need to keep on hand. We also need to keep up with the maintenance of the facilities that God has blessed us with. (See #3).
This is NOT the time to be saying, “I’ll start tithing someday.” TODAY is that day! It is NOT the time to be saying, “I’ll get involved someday.” TODAY is that day! This is NOT the time to be saying, “I’ll become a Christian someday.” TODAY is the day of your salvation! This is NOT the time to be saying, “I’ll get serious about my walk with God someday.” TODAY is that day!
ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!
In Christ’s Love,
Tithes & Offerings
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