Wednesday, May 30, 2007

WHAT AN AWESOME ORDINATION SERVICE!

Last Sunday our church family had the opportunity to affirm three men’s calling into full-time Christian ministry. What a moving experience it was! Johnny Rumbough, Lexington Baptist Association’s Director of Missions indicated to our people at the close of the service that he had attended many ordination services, but that this was his first experience seeing as many as three ordained in the same service. Our people exploded with applause when he made those comments.

We have much to be grateful for. One of my ongoing prayers is that God will raise up men and women who sense His calling into full-time Christian ministry. We have a number of young men and women who are sensing that tug right now. Let’s pray for them.

Of course, the service was extra meaningful for me in that my oldest son was one of the men being ordained. Most of you know much of his story with years of drug and alcohol addiction. There were times during those years that my prayer was, “Lord, please spare his life and please don’t let him hurt anyone.” My, what a difference now as I kneeled beside him Sunday night and prayed, “Lord, expand his territory. Use him to win many souls to Jesus.” (I know God heard my prayer. I was so emotionally choked up, I don’t know if Kenny deciphered it or not.)

Rick, James, and Kenny are tremendous assets to Chapin Baptist Church and to God’s kingdom. Pray for Rick as he establishes himself in his new career as our Church Administrator/Associate Pastor. Pray for James as he begins the married life and clarifies the specifics of God’s calling. And pray for Kenny as he continues his education next fall and clarifies the specifics of his call. For all three, pray that God’s anointing will be on them and that He will use them to lead many people to faith in Christ and many believers to a deeper walk with Christ.

Some have asked questions about the details of ordination. Who, why, credentials, etc.? I feel another blog coming on to answer these questions.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

OUT OF THE BOAT AND INTO THE BLOGGING WORLD

Congratulations! You’re reading my first ever blog. Many of you have been reading blogs longer than I have. And many of you have probably heard of blogs but have no clue what they are. So let me give you some brief info on what blogs are and why in the world I’ve decided to create my own.

Here is one definition I came across. A blog is “a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.” The term is short for web logs. Basically, a blog is a simple way to write about one’s feelings, ideas, and observations without feeling the pressures and deadlines of meeting editorial standards.

I guess it was about a year ago that I started reading a handful of blogs that fellow pastors and Christian leaders write on a regular basis. Their blogs have opened a brand new way of learning for me. I love to read books and Christian magazines. And I love to attend conferences and seminars that stretch me and provoke new ideas for ministry. The blogging world has added a new dimension to my passion for learning.

So why do I want to start my own blog? Believe me, I have no delusions of grandeur. There are basically two reasons why I’ve decided to blog. First, I enjoy writing. And, second, blogging is a great way to communicate to large numbers of people.

For a number of months, starting a blog has been in the back of my mind. I’ve been praying, “God, should I create my own blog or not? And if I do, would anyone read it?” Well, I believe God has prompted me to start one. And I trust Him if He decides to prompt anyone to read it.

As Chapin Baptist Church continues to increase in size, communication becomes all the more important, yet at the same time more difficult to achieve. Over the last few years our printed newsletter has gone from weekly, to every other week, to monthly. A blog can be written as often as the writer is willing to write. Therefore, as long as recipients are willing to read, a blog can be a very effective means of communication.

Probably the catalyst that prompted me to go ahead and bite the blog bullet was the recent hiring of Rick Jones as our church administrator/associate pastor. The hire created a lot of hall talk. Legitimate questions were raised that deserved thoughtful answers. Why didn’t we post the position? Why did we create the position and hire at the same time? What are the academic credentials for ordination? Did we create the position for Rick? Don’t we have enough pastors already?

All these are great questions. If our folks are willing to read a blog, I can clarify these issues and many others. Not everyone will agree with what I write; nor will everyone accept the explanations I might give. But at least we can all be better informed. In fact, after each blog I welcome you to post a response.

What do I plan to write about? I want to write about what I’m learning, what God is teaching me, issues facing us, prayer needs, and sometimes just stuff. My vision for what God wants to do through us is stronger than ever. Hopefully, blogging will be one way to keep that vision before us. How often will I blog? At least weekly.

I hope you will hit the subscribe link on this page. That way you will be notified by email anytime a new blog has been posted. Also, please help me spread the word to other members. An informed congregation is a healthy congregation. And tell your friends and family outside of Chapin Baptist. I believe others can learn from what God is doing through Chapin Baptist Church.

I’m grateful for Van Cook. He’s done the leg work getting this set up for me. The blogging world is a new concept for him also. He’s learned a lot in a very short period of time. He’s been a wonderful friend and resource for me as I have gotten out of the boat and entered into this new arena. Also, a big thanks to Dale Knight, our webmaster, who has been a great resource in this new endeavor.

So that’s it for blog #1. Thanks for reading.