During the month of February, Clinton FCC will be looking at the Church - at our Church - and why it exists. We will be using the book I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer as a guide and source of encouragement - we have a copy of this book for you! It has become standard in our culture - and especially in America - to challenge and criticize almost anything and anyone for almost any reason, and this "perspective" seems to be alive and well in the local church. One of my close ministry friends shared this honest assessment during a very difficult season of church life, "we have mastered the art of eating our own." Not good and certainly a much different vibe than we seem to read about in the New Testament! February will bring four messages looking at the Church - at our Church - and our CALL:
** This Sunday, February 3 we will study the Church and how Church Membership is really different than being a member of other organizations and clubs. What exactly does Paul mean when he tells the church members at Corinth "You are the BODY of Christ.?"
** Sunday February 10 we will study the Church and why UNITY is a non-negotiable - those are not my words, those are the words of the Apostle Paul himself to various churches in the first century world. I firmly believe this simple truth: UNITY warms the heart of God.
** Sunday February 17 we will study the Church and why the Church should NOT be about ME! Obviously this is quite a challenge considering we live in a consumeristic country and society. How can we pull this off? The answer is right in front us: embrace and live out the attitude of Christ.
** Sunday February 24 we will wrap up this study on the church with a message about Leaving a LEGACY. I can't wait for February!
Yesterday, we looked at Christian COMMUNITY and Acts 2:42-47. This description of the first "church" following the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus is inviting and exciting! These Christ Followers created a COMMUNITY passionate about LEARNING, LOVING and CARING, GATHERING, PRAYING, they allowed people to be VULNERABLE and they were SHARING - both of their personal wealth and blessings, and most important of all, they shared the good news of Jesus! Special thanks to FCC staff Mandi Ries and Lindsey Moody for sharing during the message yesterday!
Also at the end of services yesterday we heard from Jacey Wickenhauser, a 22 year old that grew up in our church and has made an incredible commitment to serve the Lord in Africa for 8 weeks this summer. Jacey was part of ROOTED back in the spring of 2018 and God is doing some really awesome things in her life! She is serving in study ministry at FCC and I asked her to share a little bit about her two month long mission endeavor this summer:
"Hello everyone! I'm in last semester of my senior year of college and recently God had laid it on my heart to go and serve His people in a big way. I had no idea what that would look like or when, but a few months ago he dropped Journey right in my lap. Journey is a 10-week missions and discipleship-based internship in Kenya, Africa. Myself and 10-15 other college age students from all over the US will be joining together to carry God’s love and word to the people of Kenya. It’s very humbling to think that through Journey, God is giving me the opportunity to be a part of carrying out the Great Commission. I'm so excited to see God work in all of His people and witness His amazing love. With Journey, I'll be working with every generation, and traveling to remote places all over East Africa to serve and teach beside so many others. The team I am a part of for Journey will be teaching, discipling, rejoicing with and loving indigenous people of all generations in Kenya. We will be visiting schools, churches, homes and putting on summer-camp like activities, all while being discipled ourselves through the leaders going with us.
The goal of Journey is to leave those indigenous leaders with the tools and support they need to continue to be able to teach God’s word to all who are searching for it. Please be praying for me during this time as I prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for Journey. Pray that God may use me and others on my team to show His love in ways we couldn’t even fathom. And finally, please pray for peace and the clarity I need to listen to God as He helps prepare me as well.This trip is funded 100% by the donations of all of the generous people in my life, so each and everyone one of you will be a part of helping me to live out my calling and to follow where God is sending me. Please reach out to me if you’d like to know more about Journey as I would be happy to discuss it! Thanks, love, and blessings to you all!”
The cost of Jacey's trip is almost $7,000.00 and she is halfway there in fundraising. Would you consider supporting her financially? She is selling t-shirts as fundraiser or you can make a direct contribution to her trip. I'm so excited to see how God is working in her life! On a side note, an almost identical trip in the summer of 2012 is how Samuel Green and Ben Pertl first met - really neat stuff! Go get 'em Jacey!
Several quick reminders:
** WILD GAME Potluck is Monday February 11 at 6pm
** RELOAD for men is this Friday at 6:15am at the Clinton Y
** BSF groups meet at Clinton FCC on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8pm
** If Clinton schools happen to be cancelled due to bad weather, any FIRST KIDS or UNDERGROUND activities will more than likely be cancelled.
** I am blessed to be a part of the Direct Line Radio show with my friend Wayne Kent on 1340AM WSOY in Decatur most Wednesday evenings from 5-7pm. You can listen at 1340AM, 103.3FM or at nowdecatur.com.
Have a great week - see you Sunday!