From Brian, a disciple of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the church of
Christ that is at Glossbrenner with all the saints who are throughout Mount
Joy: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus
Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in affliction.
Did you recognize that introduction? It is a paraphrase of the beginning
of Paul’s second letter to Corinth. God calls us all to comfort the afflicted.
That is a pretty simple job description. It is easy to say, but living in a world
of hurt, how do we live it out? Friends and neighbors may tell you when
they are physically sick or hurt, but people have a way of hiding their spiritual afflictions.
That affliction is the one with eternal consequences! Soul is
everything. How do you go about nurturing, reaching out to and witnessing to a sin sick
soul? If you were a business, how would you rate your performance? Do you
need to change anything? Are you right on target? There is a saying in business that “Your business plan is perfectly suited for the results you are getting.” In other words, “What you are doing
is getting you what you get.” Are you happy with your business plan?
The 2020 census for Mount Joy showed a growth rate of .89% per year.
That comes out to about seventy-five people a year coming to Mount
Joy. What are you doing to get new “customers”? I can already hear
some of the objections: “We are not a business. We are a church”. That
may be true, but the head of your church, your CEO, has told you that
your first priority was to make disciples of Jesus Christ. How would the boss
rate your annual performance review?
2023 looks like the year that Glossbrenner steps out of the old way of doing things. You haven’t determined what new system you want to step
into. I believe that you will have to make a choice this year. One of the
choices makes this a priority: Evangelism and church planting. Do you like
that idea? Another priority is: the work of the local church and robust accountability. Are you ready to be accountable for your evangelism?
New years bring new opportunities. This is the time to take a good assessment of where you are and where you want to be. Will it be a new name
and business as usual? Will you take this opportunity to test your faith in
the unknown? It appears to be a decisive year for Glossbrenner. May
God give you absolute peace with your decision. Happy New Year.
Greetings in the name of our wonderful God and savior. The angels declared “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among the men and women with whom he is pleased.” My prayer is the you may always respond “Yes, Lord Jesus.
Today, I am pondering about traps. So many people casually fall into the trap that we are starting the Christmas Season. Surrounded by the advertisers who push sales and great deals, one might think that Christmas season was the time to buy “stuff”, lots of “stuff”. I think it is ironic that the people who started the celebration (Christians) have been replaced by the people who reject the concept; hence the Holiday Season. But, that’s ok.
In our group prayer meeting last week, we talked about how God is spirit and truth, and
that those who worship him must do so in spirit and in truth. We must still worship God in spirit and in truth, through this season of shopping, etc. God knows your heart. Please be mindful that your shopping, baking, eating, get togethers, are all a privileged gift from God. In the epistle to Philippi, Paul encouraged his flock to “do everything without grumbling or arguing” (Phil. 2:14) So,… let the person cut in front of you without complaining. Prices are high. Buy it or don’t, but do so without grumbling. Smile and control your spirit as your obnoxious relative shares his insights, without arguing. In that same epistle, Paul wrote “Whatever is true,… honorable,…right,…pure,…lovely,…of good repute,… excellent,… worthy of praise, dwell on these things. That’s a good
place to dwell.
We are entering Advent Season. We prepare once more to celebrate the first appearance of Jesus on earth and we anticipate His second coming. Through all the hype and pressure of the culture around us, I pray that we make a sincere effort to keep our eyes on Jesus. Discipline your mind to the greater things in life. May your smile be sincere and your heart be glad. Then we all can truly celebrate a Merry Christmas!
In His Service – Pastor Brian
Greetings once again, in the name of my master, to all my brothers and sisters at Glossbrenner. With so much going on in this world and so much at stake in November, I just thought I’d give you a little food for thought on Thanksgiving… from people wiser than me.
If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going
to get. – Frank A. Clark
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has. – Epictetus
Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns;
I am thankful that thorns have roses. – Alphonse Karr
Gratitude is a currency that we can mint ourselves, and spend
without fear of bankruptcy. – Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
The way to develop the best in a person is by appreciation and
encouragement. – Charles Schwab
Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. – Doris Day
When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in
his or her humanity. – Elie Wiesel
Whatever comes your way this season, may God grant you the contentment of gratitude. May we truly be grateful that we can have a place in eternity with God. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas or whatever; we are Easter People!
In His Service… Pastor Brian
Last month I mentioned something about leadership. As Glossbrenner moves into its
new era among other churches, we will need to do more than change our name.
There will have to be a renewed focus on sharing our faith, finding followers and turning them into disciples. That has been our primary task since Jesus spoke it. With this coming Charge Conference will come another change of leadership. We will need to find willing workers to do
the tasks we already have. Also, unless I am gravely mistaken, that we will need new leaders emerging to take on new roles. The operative word is LEADERSHIP.
Last month I quoted a church growth author who cited four essential qualities of a leader. A church leader should attend regularly to the worship of God. A church leader should engage in the ministry within the church. A church leader should engage in ministry outside the
church. And finally, a church leader should tithe. If you are new to leadership, this may be something you have to build up to, but if you have been a leader for any length of time, this should be obvious.
Here are some other thoughts on leadership: *Keep growing. God is not so much interested in your perfection as a leader, as he is in your direction as a servant of Christ. *God tends to use those closest to him. *Everybody wants a harvest, but few want to plow. * Pray for a good harvest, but continue to hoe. *Performance speaks louder than words.
We need willing workers. We need leaders and we need to cultivate leaders. I implore you, for the sake of your church, ask God how you can be used for his glory. Someone said that most of God’s trouble with laborers in his vineyard is absenteeism.
As your current Pastor, I lead the committee that finds workers for the coming years. I pray that you would be wiling to say yes if you are called on. He is your king. Will you work for him? The church is his bride. Will you work for her? I continue…
… In His Service, Pastor Brian
Greetings to you all in the name of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus the
Christ! I don’t know how hot it actually got last month, but it was hot! How
hot was it? Well, one day I saw my neighbor’s swimming pool was boiling.
It was so hot that the ice cream truck man changed the sign to just
cream. It was so hot on the farm that the hens were picking up worms
with a potholder. OK, so I’m not even talking about the heat today.
Maybe the sanctuary issue got the best of me.
I want to talk about ministry. Within the church and at Ad Board, there
has been a lot of talk about our ministry footprint in the community. How
do we expand our ministry? What direction do we take? How and when
should we get out of the church building and into the world for Jesus?
Well, years ago, a father and son team, Warren and David Wiersbe wrote
a book titled Making Sense of Ministry. I’m going to share ten key aspects
of ministry. Please read these slowly. They deserve some serious prayer
and consideration as we move forward.
- The foundation of ministry is character.
- The nature of ministry is service.
- The motive of ministry is love.
- The measure of ministry is sacrifice.
- The authority of ministry is submission.
- The purpose of ministry is glory to God.
- The tools of ministry are the Word of God and prayer.
- The privilege of ministry is growth.
- The power of ministry is the Holy Spirit.
- The model of ministry is Jesus Christ.
The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing. We need to give
glory to God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, modeling Jesus, with a character built on service, love,
sacrifice and submission, using the Word of God
steeped in prayer… and we can expect growth.
I’m going to let it go at that for now. Please take
some more time to reflect on those ten items. I think
the Wiersbes have hit on something important. May
it bless you…
…In His Service – Pastor Brian