No, I’m not planning to make a habit of this. The member family meeting we called for after the service today caused me to trim some things. As promised, here is the way I planned to land the plane had the runway been longer: Let me close this message with these eight principles in mind [...]
This morning I reversed field rather abruptly at the close to my message about discipleship, defined by me this way: mutual investing by Word and Spirit for growth in Christ-likeness to the glory of God. You can listen to the audio of “A Restoration like Many Others (Part Three)” here. Battling the clock, as always, I [...]
In thinking about this month’s Concert of Prayer on Sunday night at 6:00 PM, I got quasi-inspired and wrote the following: You Alone Can Help Us To the tune of “You Alone Can Rescue” Who, O Lord, will pray with me Storm the throne of grace Bring to You our many needs In simple hope [...]
by Matt West on August 8, 2014
Pardon our dust, as we are starting and moving so many things that we know people will get lost in it all. The first thing to know is that we do NOT have classes called infants, walkers, and runners. So, if that nomenclature is important to your survival on where to send your kids, we [...]
Most of the people I work with have negative ages. They are premature, born months before they were “supposed” to be. Thrust from the safe, warm, dark, cozy wombs, they are ill-prepared for the world. Developmentally, I must think of them and work on skills that are fitting for a baby at 6-9 months gestational [...]
Every first Sunday of the month I wrestle with the same question – how to “fence” the Table? By that I mean what precautions do I prescribe for folks who want to take Communion? Clearly this is advisable given the Bible’s warning that to eat and drink unworthily is to invite the severest kind of [...]
I finished my day today with a visit to my atheist friend’s house in our neighborhood. Regretfully his wife is dying. Cancer has overrun her body, particularly her brain. Stupid disease. The extended family has camped out for the duration. Hospice has coached all concerned about what to expect. Her body is shutting down. It’s [...]
by Matt West on July 27, 2014
If you see Children’s workers fluttering about with excessive busy-ness the next month and a half, there is a reason. There are a number of things that we are doing, and I will try to hit on all of them and give some of the reasons. While you may love, hate, or feel indifferent about [...]
The first thing we are doing is we are putting the current “Runners” class and the elementary class in with the Adults during Missionary Month. One of the things we consistently study in these classes is how God uses His saints to take the gospel around the world. We thought it would enable us to convey a consistent message to allow them to meet some of our missionaries who are doing that for God’s church at OGC. This means that from the age of 3 all the way up to adults will be in the sanctuary for the first Sunday in August. We will still have the “Infants” and “Walkers” rooms available for those with younger children.
The very next Sunday, August 10, we are beginning our new divisions for our youngest children. The new divisions will not be based on age, but rather, they will be based on ability. You might also need to check and see which room your child will be in, as some of them (dare I say, most) will be going to new rooms. The class in W4 will be from birth until walking. Once you begin walking, your child will move to F1, where he will stay until he is potty trained. After being potty trained, they will move to F3, where they will stay until they are ready to sit still enough to pay attention to a small age-appropriate lesson. If you are wondering if your child is ready for that jump there are two places you can get the answer. First, you can watch them in the missionary meeting August 3. Second, you can ask the people who have been teaching them in the “Runners” Class for an honest assessment. We are looking for someone who can head each of these classes, and we still need more volunteers. Feel free to talk to Mandi Armand or me if you have any interest in doing this.
When September rolls around, we will have the new Sunday School class for those PreSchool ready to 1st grade (in F2). The 2nd to 5th grade class will also re-open (in W2). Hopefully, you will learn the proper class based on your child’s ability in the month of August, so that all these classes being opened will be an easy transition. Of course, that change is a much smaller change than the other change we are rolling out. After Sunday School, the parents of kids in those two classes will get the opportunity to pick up their children. Those children will get the opportunity to join us for at least the first half of the worship service. At a point in the service, they will be dismissed to go to GraceKids, our very own Children’s Church ministry.
We will have a curriculum for GraceKids and the kids will have a fun, informative, and scheduled time that will point them to Jesus! We invite anyone up through second grade to join us. We also could use more people to make this time less stressful for the workers and more productive for the children. I’d love to have you come talk to me about wanting to help in this! Our intent is to re-introduce all the children (and workers) back into the service during the closing song of the service each week, so that we can once again all worship together.
As a complete dry run for the dismissal and reintroduction elements (though very few of the actual GraceKids elements), Pastor Curt will be dismissing everyone 6th grade and under (and anyone else who would like to be dismissed) during his August 3 sermon, where they will hear an illustration that will be similar to an illustration in the “normal” sermon delivery that will be a little more befitting the younger crowd. After a few minutes, we will rejoin the sermon.
Certainly there will be many things that will come up in the next seven weeks, but I think this is at least an outline of what’s happening. Thanks for sticking with us as we grow into the congregation God would have us be!
The Lord has me camped out of late in Alexander Strauch’s exposition of 1 Corinthians 13 as it applies to the realm of leadership in the local church. All I can say is very convicting. I have a long way to go in living out the law of love in the stewardship that is pastoral ministry. For [...]
Frankly, it’s hard for any pastor, I suspect, to zero in on only one. Lots of things perplex, challenge, disturb, perhaps even dismay a shepherd of God’s sheep. The one I feel the most more than not is trying to shepherd those with whom I can’t seem to make contact. Proverbs 27:23 exhorts, “Know well [...]