-Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.- Genesis 2:2
FBCER has worked hard this last nine months to successfully engage more people in worship attendance and also small group attendance whether that be Sunday morning or Wednesday evening. Wednesday evening ministries to students and children have seen greatly increased involvement of both students and leadership. Our ministries to the community have a consistent, if not enlarging influence in the lives of many. We were blessed to be able to give a great number of shoes and coats to elementary school children which gives us an ever-widening door of ministry to the community at large. Women’s and men’s ministries have worked hard to reach out to the area as well. Our reputation as a church that truly cares is growing and that is to the glory of God alone.
All of this hard work has been blessed by the Lord as we have seen greater numbers of individuals and families visit FBCER and begin the journey of discipleship alongside of the people of God in this place. Jabez’ prayer (found in 1 Chronicles 4:10) has been prayed for the ministry of our church, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God has granted that request in many ways.
Several years ago we made the decision to focus on small groups and the influence those groups could have from day to day in the lives of disciples. We instituted greater emphasis on leadership training, Biblical teaching with discussion among those present, ministry both within and without by the group members, and intentional fellowship. Those continue to be emphases of our small groups.
Over the next three weeks, we are going to rest from our labors. The Biblical principle of rest is expressed in Genesis 2:2 and later in God’s command to mankind to rest on the seventh day. Rest is meant to lead to a re-creation of energy and vitality. Our prayer is that when we return to our regular schedule on Sunday, August 7, each of us will have a renewed enthusiasm for the work of the Lord as we enter the fall. Use this time to pray the three prayers that began 2016 for FBCER: Lord, help me…to see you for who You are, to see me as You see me, and to see others as You see them. Ask the Lord for a renewed vision for your involvement in FBCER. Are you truly engaged in the lives of fellow members? Are you praying with fervor for greater discipleship for yourself and others? Are you praying for lost neighbors and friends? Are you asking for God’s power to enable you to engage those people in a meaningful conversation and relationship?
Our schedule the next three Sundays is rather simple: one worship service at 10:00am! Say that again: one worship service at 10:00am! Say it aloud and let it soak in. Be present as together we seek His face. Then pray that the Lord will use this time of rest to do what only He can do.
Yours in Christ,