The Weekly Epistle 4/20/22

What’s Next?  That was the question and name of our capital campaign three years ago.  April 30th marks the end of that campaign and the financial commitments.  Praise God for the HVAC system in the worship center, the enhancement of our lighting and video for Sunday morning services, the upgrades of the gym floor and replacement of the windows and roof in the gym building, painting of the administration building trim,
and other minor projects around our campus.   Also, we have begun plans to demolish the convent building and enhance landscaping on that house lot.  I thank you for your faithfulness!
 
What’s Next?  What is next for us to grow deeper and have greater impact as a church?  As we come “out of the fog” of the last two years, my hope is that we regain the momentum we were experiencing prior to that time and are energized to press forward for what lies ahead.  
 
What’s Next?  Revisiting our 4-E ministry model for greater effectiveness.  What’s next is to increase the number of community groups, impact our young people through momentum’s fresh start, enhance our worship center for improved hospitality and fellowship, and intentionally continue to equip others for ministry.  What’s next is to look for ways to reach our community for Christ through acts of service and being a visible, positive presence to our neighbors.  
 
The famous Charles Dickens’ line fits here- “It was the best of times and the worst of times.”  In the times we live, foolishness and evil seem to prevail.  But it is also a time of great opportunity.  It really doesn’t take much effort to list all that is wrong.  Anyone can state the obvious.  We can point out all the problems.  But what about solutions?  How can we better engage the world in these times?  How can we sustain a close walk with Jesus?  Is it possible to thrive in a world that seems to have lost its way?
 
What’s Next?  It is to join Jesus in His purpose to build His church.  And since nothing can stop Him, it is a partnership that cannot fail.  We need a church awakening.  Beginning May 8th through a series of 8 messages, I will be leading us through selected passages in the book of 1 Corinthians that should awaken us to the dangers of drifting and excite us for what Jesus wants to build here at EBC.  
 
I am convinced that as we wake up to the reality of our times and remain strong in the long-standing truths of Scripture, we will have a voice.  The world is looking for a voice.  A.W. Tozer put it this way, “The world is waiting to hear an authentic voice, a voice from God- not an echo of what others are doing and saying, but an authentic voice.”
 
Jesus is building the church.  May our God renew our passion for what Jesus is building!
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Jesus’ Prayer
John 17

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

The Five Benefits of Joining the EFCA With Sam Huggard

Sam Huggard, District Superintendent of the Evangelical Free Church of America, will be joining us for a special informational night on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 6pm in the Fellowship Hall.  Sam will present and unpack the five benefits of joining the EFCA.  Pie will be served.  For a preview of the five benefits, please check out this resource: http://laconiachurch.com/together-post/five-benefits.

Baby/Child Dedication

There will be a baby/child dedication on May 22nd.  If you are interested in hearing more on this, attend the informational meeting on May 15 at 10:15 (between services) in the fellowship hall.

Giving and Online Giving

There is the option of online giving.  Go to the website (laconiachurch.com) and click on “give” and proceed from there.  If you have any questions, please contact the church office at 524-2277 or office@ebclaconia.com.

The Weekly Epistle 4/13/22

Here are some actual written absence excuses from parents:
  “Please excuse my daughter from gym class.  Yesterday she fell out of a tree and misplaced her hip.” 
  “Please excuse Sara for being absent.  She was sick and I had her shot.”
  “Please excuse Ray from school.  He has very loose vowels.”  
  “Jennifer missed school yesterday for a good reason.  We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch and when we found it on Monday, we thought it was Sunday.”
  
Probably my favorite one is “Chris will not be in school today because he has an acre in his side.”  Wow!  You talk about growing pains.  
 
Speaking of growing pains, my mind goes to the early church as recorded for us in the Book of Acts.  In Acts 2:41 it says, “So those who received his word (Peter’s message at Pentecost) were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand people.”  Talk about sudden church growth.  In Acts 4:4 it says, “But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of men (in addition to women) came to about five thousand.”  
 
This feels overwhelming to me when I think about pastoral care, feeding the flock, remembering people’s names, coordinating the calendar of events, and the administration needed to manage this growth.  But of course, I am thinking of that from a 21st century American mindset.  And before we get too carried away wishing to be just like the early church, remember Acts 6, where it is obvious that meeting the needs of thousands of people got a little messy.  
 
I mention this because of what is conspicuously absent in this description of the early church in the Book of Acts.  We are not given detailed instructions on how to organize the local church.  Other than some leadership structure of elders and deacons and the priorities of maturing the saints and reaching the lost, there are very few particulars.  
 
This is one reason for various denominations, different styles of worship, many options for programs and varieties of strategies that direct the church towards its mission.  There is much flexibility in the New Testament for how a church organizes and carries out the work of maturing the saints and reaching the lost. 
 
I have been preaching through the essentials of the faith.  These are must-haves.  There is to be no compromising in our beliefs.  Neither are we to compromise the clear directives on how we are to conduct ourselves in the church and in living out the gospel day-to-day.  We are not to, in any way, conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:1-2).  
 
Church, as the world changes around us, causing us to groan, rest assured that my commitment, along with the team of elders, is to submit to the authority of God’s Word and to Jesus Christ, who is the chief shepherd.  I am excited about what is to come for EBC.  I am thrilled about the many new faces attending our services each Sunday.  My heart rejoices in hearing of growing pains taking place in your lives.  
 
I hope to see you tonight for prayer from 7:00-7:30 in the sanctuary and at this Friday night’s Seder Service as we remember Jesus’ last Passover with His disciples.  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

What If
1 Corinthians 15:12-34

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Looking ahead to Passion Week:
Prayer 30 on Wednesday April 13
Seder Service on Friday April 15
Resurrection Sunday on 4/17

Momentum Youth Ministry Is Back

Momentum started last evening from 7-9pm in the gym with a good group of young people.  All students from 6th – 12th grades are welcome

The Five Benefits of Joining the EFCA With Sam Huggard

Sam Huggard, District Superintendent of the Evangelical Free Church of America, will be joining us for a special informational night on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 6pm in the Fellowship Hall.  Sam will present and unpack the five benefits of joining the EFCA.  Pie will be served.  For a preview of the five benefits, please check out this resource: http://laconiachurch.com/together-post/five-benefits.

Giving and Online Giving

There is the option of online giving.  Go to the website (laconiachurch.com) and click on “give” and proceed from there.  If you have any questions, please contact the church office at 524-2277 or office@ebclaconia.com.