January 3, 2010
TO OUR VISITORS
The family of God here at Dowagiac Church of Christ wishes to extend to you a warm welcome. If you have questions about our worship services and why we do what we do, we will be glad to give you a biblical answer. The uniqueness of the church of Christ is that we are trying to restore to the best of our ability those things that we see the first century church doing. We are also working hard at building the spirit, unity, and love that Jesus taught and prayed for. We have no clergy, but are working together as equal co-workers trying to serve one another and the area in which we live. Come study with us, grow with us, and serve with us as we strive to do God’s will in all things.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May God bless you richly in 2010 with good health, peace, and a closer walk with Jesus!
POTLUCK: We start this new year with our monthly potluck. We encourage you to stay and be a part of this wonderful time of food and fellowship. Start 2010 with your church family and resolve to spend each first Sunday of the month this way. If you did not bring any food, do not worry about it--there is always a surplus.
CHILDREN'S CHURCH STARTS NEXT SUNDAY! We begin a change in our worship next Sunday. Our services will begin with singing, prayer, and the Lord's Supper. We will not have the pre-service children's session that John and Bill have been doing. After the Lord's Supper, all of the children will be dismissed for "Children's Worship." Julie and Karl Marcussen will be in charge of this service, and the children will have a lesson and teaching material at their level while the sermon is presented to the adults. They will stay in the class until the services are completed. The purpose of this program is to allow everyone present to learn--including our children. Parents and or grandparents need to decide which service is appropriate for their child. We want to emphasize this is a teaching/learning situation--not a babysitting service. Everyone needs to leave here on a given Sunday having learned.
HOW HAS GOD'S CALL CHANGED
INTRODUCTION--How do we view a passage like this?
Binding on them, not us?IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME, . . .
Out of date--not possible in today's world?
Can answer by looking at the evidence.
The call--Revelation 3:20-- How has that changed?LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, . . .
Jesus still seeks us today.The choice--Joshua 24:15--how has that changed?
The right is still available to us today.
Hearing the voice of Jesus is still necessary (How?)
We all have a choice--the same choice!The consequences--Mark 16:15-16--how has that changed?
We have many "gods" calling us.
Salvation is not age dependent.
Attitudes--Matthew 26:42--this after asking removal.AND FOLLOW ME.
What is our attitude in tough times?Affections--Matthew 22:36-37--how has that changed?
PhysicallyAmbitions--Philippians 3:10--how has that changed?
What is your number one priority? What was it 20 years ago?
His Word--Psalm 119:9--how has that changed?
Why? What works?His will--Psalm 143:10--how has that changed?
Punty is a choice, but God helps us!
We have to be taught what God's will is.
Level ground--stability--the Spirit leads us there
His Way--Isaiah 56:8.
God is active--not a order barker.
Lead management versus boss managementGod gathers and uses those gathered.
The "Church" is the "called out"--gathered.
This too has not changed.
THE YEAR AHEAD
The past year was a very good year for this congregation. Our facilities have been improved, including the recent refurbishing of our baptistry. We have fixed our water problems in the basement and have brought our basement classrooms up to state standards with the escape window in the basement area. The parking area and lawn have been upgraded and the sign has been refurbished. We implemented our food pantry and have served a large number of people in the area with food and clothing. We have had evangelistic outreaches in the community including our fair exhibit, our summer seminar with Does God Exist? and our personal outreaches to people in the area. We have become visible in the community to the point where the Mayor send a holiday greetings card to the church. We have done this by our outreach and our participation in constructive community programs including the recent holiday parade that we had a float in. We have served one another and brought visitors to our special dinuers and service programs here at the building. Our work with Christians doing ministry to prisoners and orphans has been expanded including the Shults-Lewis Children's Home and the H.O.P.E. Prison Ministry that we supported financially this past year. The Does God Exist? program has had a very good year, and we will have a full report on that work available in a week or two. We are financially stable and have no debt at all. There is a lot to praise this congregation about and we offer all of this to God as a thanksgiving prayer and praise of and to Him.
We want to thank everyone who has been active in all of this--and that has been the whole congregation. We have a lot of people who are not afraid of work and pitch in and serve wonderfully with every project we engage in. As we begin a new decade, there are many opportunities ahead. Implementing the Children's Worship to bring visitors with children is a major project for this new year and this decade. Most of us have had the experience of wrestling with an active two year old during a long adult sermon, and it is not a good memory for most of us. Even more important is the enormous need for children to be taught God's word. We are thankful for this program and the potential that it has.
We plan to continue all of the programs we did in 2009 including the fair exhibit. There are a number of proposals that have been made for an additional evangelistic outreach during 2010. These include a public meeting on a relevant subject, a gospel singing open house, a week-long evangelistic school on apologetics for adults and children, a summer intern, and a gospel meeting. Think and pray about where we need to ask God to lead us in 2010.