Our church membership directory is now accessible online (of course, only accessible by specified member’s email addresses).
Since we now have this resource, I thought this article may give us some encouraging ways on how to make use of it:
For Christians, the Bible is the most precious and important book we possess. In its pages are the divinely inspired words that guide us to know and love our God.
After the Bible, there are a few books that every believer should probably read, reread, and apply. On this short list would be works like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Pilgrim’s Progress,Augustine’s Confessions, Mere Christianity, Knowing God, and Operation World. But even these great works fall behind what I consider the second most important book for every Christian.
What book is that? Your local church’s membership directory.
Now, before you roll your eyes and run off to read something else, give me a moment more of your time.
Christians are not isolated spiritual pilgrims on a journey to heaven. Rather, the Bible says we are all members of His body (1 Corinthians 12:27), children in His family (1 John 3:1-2), and sheep of His flock (John 16:10). These descriptions reflect the reality that God intends Christians to be part of a tight knit community.
One day that community will all be together in heaven with Jesus (Revelation 5:9-14, 7:9-17), but for now we gather together in local churches. These churches are assemblies of believers who regularly come together to worship Jesus through song, prayer, preaching of the Word, and sharing in the ordinances (baptism and Lord’s Supper).
But we don’t just gather for those reasons, we also gather to foster relationships in which we help each other to the heaven. Consider these two verses from the book of Hebrews.
“Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
“Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
These verses highlight the kind of things that flow out of relationships formed in a local church. We are not merely a social club who gets together for sweet tea, chitchat, and a round of golf. We are in the midst of a spiritual battle awaiting our Savior’s return. We are being assaulted with temptations, trials, and hardships of every kind. In light of this, we need each other to help one another not give up, but to keep our hope set on Jesus’ return.
So what in the world does this have to do with a church membership directory?
I believe it is the second most important book you own because it keeps before your eyes the brothers and sisters you are responsible to help to heaven. God has called you to help particular brothers and sisters to fight against sin. He has called you to stir up particular people to love and good works. He has called you to encourage particular people every day until it is no longer called today.
The directory, if designed and used well, can be one of the most practical tools to helping you and your church fulfill the one another commands of the New Testament.
Let me explain a little more…
1. It gives every member a practical tool to aid in prayer and encouragement…
2. This helps pastors better shepherd the flock Jesus entrusts to them…
3. It keeps homebound members on your mind, though they may be out of sight…
4. It helps homebound members continue to invest in the spiritual health of the church…
5. It helps alert church members to people who may be in danger…
Read the full explanation of each of the 5 points above.
Next Sunday evening is the annual Texas Area Association of Reformed Baptist Churches meeting.
It begins at 7pm and is open to the public. It will take place at Heritage Baptist Church, which is located at the following address:
201 E. Broad St.
Mansfield, TX 76063
Our speaker this year will be Brother Pascal Denault. Pascal is a Reformed Baptist pastor from Canada who has recently authored The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology published by Solid Ground Christian Books. We are delighted to have him come and bring the Word of God to our churches.
At 5:30pm is a dinner amongst the churches and we have been invited to join. If you would like to join the dinner please let me know so that I can get a headcount to the host church by this Monday, Jan. 12th.
4pm is a time of prayer amongst the churches, but due to our service time we won’t be able to make that.
Several events that we’ve been talking about during announcements and have added to the church calendar:
Tomorrow, November 23, immediately following the service we welcome all to join us for our annual Thankgiving Potluck. Guest are under no obligation to bring anything, just enjoy the meal and fellowship with us. Members, if you haven’t already, you may sign up to bring food by contacting Shay.
November 30, we will be handing out the proposed budget for 2015.
On December 14 we will have our annual budget meeting (members only) immediately following the service.
On December 7 we will be closing out our worship service with several baptisms.
Also, be on the lookout for an email of each candidates testimony in the coming weeks. As our Constitution state in ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP – Section 3 Procedure for Receiving New Members:
For admission into church membership, applicants shall be recommended by the elders for admission (when the Board of Elders is satisfied that an applicant gives a credible profession of faith and meets the requirements for membership) and then accepted by vote of the members at any regular or special meeting of the church…
Missed it? Here is the audio
Here are some details on the upcoming conference that we have been talking about during announcements:
Dr. Richard Barcellos
Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D., is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA
Dr. James Renihan
James M. Renihan, Ph.D., is an elder at Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Vista, CA, and is the Dean and Professor of Historical Theology at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.
1.SOLID GROUND CHRISTIAN BOOKS will again be represented at our conference this year. Michael Gaydosh will be bringing many wonderful Reformed books for your perusal. Be sure to come prepared to take home some of these great books that will be for sale!
A. Modes: To register for our upcoming conference, please mail the filled out registration form to:
Heritage Baptist Church,
201 East Broad St.,
Mansfield, TX 76063
or visit our website www.reformedbaptist.org and register online.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:11-15
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened. Second London Baptist Confession, Chapter 14, Paragraph 1
Q. 94: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption are His ordinances, especially the Word, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer; all which means are made effectual to the elect for salvation. The Baptist Catechism
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On the last Wednesday of every month there will be a time for Jr. High and Sr. High students to meet and discuss a book that the kids will have read. We will meet at the same time as the Men’s and Women’s Bible study, at the church.
The second book [see first book here] we will be discussing is “The Silver Chair” (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis. We will take four months to go through this book. It is broken down into sections listed below:
If you don’t have access to this book, either through the library or a friend, please let Melinda and Jacek know. We can order one when needed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to talk with Jacek & Melinda.
Pastor Jeff Smith has been a fulltime pastor since 1990 and began ministering in Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, Easley, South Carolina, as a church plant in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Religion from Gardner Webb College and a Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also served on the faculty of Reformed Baptist Seminary and as a contributor to the Reformed Baptist Theological Review. Pastor Smith accepted God’s call and was installed as one of the pastors of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Coconut Creek, Florida on September 13th, 2009. He and his wife Kelly have six children, four boys and two girls.