Here’s my quarterly update for next Sunday’s business meeting…
Last month’s election was very eye-opening. We saw two states legalize marijuana, several more states redefine marriage, and a President be re-elected who openly supports homosexuality, mandatory abortifacients, vast government expansion, and a liberal Supreme Court. The results of the election were like an x-ray revealing a body full of cancer.
The days are increasingly evil (Eph. 5:16), but God has raised up our church for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). In a nation plagued by spiritual disease, we have the remedy – the healing power of the gospel. Let’s stay focused on our mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ by reaching and teaching everyone.” As we love God and love others, we can help many more people find hope in Jesus.
God is faithful and mighty. He is not bound by the government, by the media, by terrorists, or by the economy. He is sovereign over these things. In fact, since the “Great Recession” began in December 2007, our church’s weekly attendance has nearly doubled (from 44 to 83) and our financial situation has dramatically improved. We have watched God do the impossible, and all glory goes to Him.
But I pray this is only the beginning. As a tree becomes strong and healthy, its fruit should multiply. This next year, we hope to expand our missions support, community outreach, youth ministry, music ministry, Spanish ministry, and leadership development. As you will see later in our business meeting, our 2013 budget changes reflect many of these emphases.
On a different note, I asked everyone at our last business meeting to pray about what you can give to support our ministry. I am pleased to report that September and October were very strong months, though November was down a bit. As we approach a new year, let’s all take time to review our budgets and ask how we can increase our offerings to the Lord.
Finally, I would ask your prayers for me as I plan next year’s California Southern Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference. It will be on Oct. 21-22, 2013 in El Cajon, CA. Our theme is “Betrothed: a Call to Sanctification for Christ’s Bride.” My goal is to encourage pastors to persevere. Ministry includes many trials and setbacks along the way. But we must always keep in mind the ‘big picture’ of what Christ is doing. He is daily sanctifying His Bride through the water of the Word. This is a gradual work often measured in years and even decades. Like the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 11:2, ordinary pastors have the joy of serving Christ by preparing His bride for a glorious reunion. I currently have Dr. Russell Moore and Dr. Walter Price as keynote speakers, and have a request in with Dr. David Jeremiah. Please pray for God’s wisdom and provision, and that many pastors will be encouraged.