Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Pastor's Corner

*Article was published in the September edition of The Herald; a monthly publication of Green Hill Baptist Church

Currently, we are studying through Matthew’s account of the Beatitudes. Listen here. As we’ve been discussing, each of the eight Beatitudes describe for us the character of a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ. It’s all about having the right attitude about Jesus and His kingdom. This series is a great lead-in to helping us examine and evaluate who we are as Christians and who we are as God’s people, the church. Scripture teaches that we are to be about Loving GodLoving Others, and Making Disciples. Our staff has adopted that as our Vision Statement for Green Hill. That is who we are as Christians and as a church. The question then becomes, how do we go about doing that? It begins with growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ. We need to make sure that we are growing and maturing in our faith.

I recently heard a quote from Pastor Johnny Hunt who said this, “When you’re full of Jesus, you can serve Him more accidentally than many do purposely.” I believe he’s on to something. When growing in our walk with the Lord becomes the all-consuming focus and passion of our life; when we realize that Jesus has not just given us life, but that He is our life (Colossians 3:4); when we find ourselves hungering and thirsting for righteousness, then we will serve Him faithfully and obediently. We will accomplish more for the kingdom by accident (so-to-speak) than many do on purpose.

I really believe that when growing and maturing in our faith becomes the driving passion of our life, we won’t have to search to find Sunday School teachers, committee workers, and outreach/mission volunteers. In fact, we won’t have to encourage people to faithfully attend worship, tithe to the work of ministry, and use their gifts and talents in service to the Lord. You can’t make people “want to” obey and serve, you just have to pray and ask the Holy Spirit of God to arrest their heart and affections for His purpose and His glory. When that happens, a love for God will result in a desire to grow and mature in faith.

As your pastor, my desire is to lead our church in the pursuit of Loving God, Loving Others, and Making Disciples. This is the foundational purpose of Green Hill University. I want to encourage everyone to participate in up-coming GHU courses; Discover Green Hill and Bible Study Basics which begin Sunday, September 7th. These courses are designed to help us lay a foundation for growing and maturing in our walk with the Lord.

It’s a joy and privilege to serve as your pastor and to grow with you in faith. Let us continue Loving God, Loving Others, and Making Disciples.

Serving and Growing Together,
Pastor Brett

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The GCR Ice Bucket Challenge

There are many great causes that we could support, but no cause is greater than the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). If you are a follower of Jesus, I hope that you will accept my challenge. Soli Deo Gloria.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Pastor's Corner

*Article was published in the August edition of The Herald; a monthly publication of Green Hill Baptist Church

August ushers in a very important time in the life and ministry of our church – the nomination and election of deacons. I’d like to take a moment and discuss what the Bible teaches regarding the office of deacon.

First of all, why do we have deacons? According to Acts 6:1-6 the early church was experiencing tremendous growth. They were growing numerically, but so were the number of needs within the congregation. Eventually needs were being neglected; specifically, the needs of widows. The elders realized that it was physically impossible for them alone to effectively and efficiently tend to every need and care for every person. Therefore, the congregation appointed seven men to assist the elders in ministry. Those chosen were given the responsibility to care for the physical needs of the congregation, which freed up the elders to address spiritual needs through prayer and ministry of the word (v. 4). Elders were responsible for praying and preaching, so they alone could not tend to the vast needs of the flock. Certainly, deacons are vital to the ministry of the church.

Secondly, who may serve as a deacon? 1 Timothy 3:8-13 gives specific qualifications for anyone nominated to serve as a deacon. Let’s briefly look at each one:
  • He “must be a man of dignity” – this refers to reputation. A deacon should be someone who is honored and respected by those who know him well. What would someone say about him (inside or outside the church)?
  • He is “not double-tongued” – this refers to honest speech. A deacon should be trustworthy and credible. He should never say one thing to one person and something else to another.
  • He must be “sound in faith and life” – while a deacon is not responsible for teaching, he does have significant influence on the spiritual formation of others. Therefore, he should always be pointing others toward the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • He must be “tested” – he must have proven character. Specifics are not mentioned here, but reputation, doctrinal convictions, and commitment to the church should be tested at the very least. Observing and evaluating a candidate often takes time, so a church should never nominate or elect a person who has not proven himself to be of good character and repute.
  • He “must be the husband of only one wife” - marriage is not the context of this verse, so Paul is not saying being married is a prerequisite for serving as a deacon; nor is Paul arguing that someone who is divorced is automatically disqualified. However, if married, he must be committed physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually only to his wife.
  • His wife must pursue godliness – the qualifications for a deacon apply also to his wife. Together, they must shoulder the responsibility of parenting and managing the household.

I urge you to begin praying for our deacon nomination and election process. We have a tremendous responsibility before us to choose qualified men who also have a passion to serve. Men, whom we will appoint, will have a vital part in the next chapter of ministry at Green Hill.

Serving Together,
Pastor Brett