State of the Church Address
In December 1734, the first revival of historic significance broke out in Northampton, Massachusetts, where a young Jonathan Edwards was pastor. He was a man of prayer. Who prayed constantly for God to move. After months of fruitless labor, he reported five or six people converted. With in six months, three hundred souls were converted-in a town of only 1,100 people!
What’s the point? The point is that every great revival started with just a handful of people who got on their knees and did the work of prayer
New Living Translation (NLT)
This is the verse that the Lord has put on my heart. It’s from and says....
10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
Indeed the Lord rejoices to see the work begin but, the truth is that the work hasn’t begun with me or any of you. It all began with our Lord Jesus Christ. As it says in ...
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
The Lord rejoices when He see’s us building on the foundation He laid.
Indeed my first Sunday here was one of small beginnings with about fifthteen in attendance. But, as we prayed together and worked hard together we’ve seen God start to bless our efforts.
Some of the highlights we’ve had this past year were....
August 13th- we have Calvary’s love come and do a gospel concert for us which was an amazing time of worship
August 19th- We had a community come and meet your neighbor day. Which featured a fish fry and concert with Dogwood Lane. We preached the word outside so all could hear. It had such a great turnout that we ran out of parking and people had to park across the street!
October 15th-We as a church participated in the “Walk for S.A.P.” Substance Abuse Prevention
October 21st- We had a great time of fellowship with a Church-Wide Bonfire
October 31st- We had a Community Trunk or Treat which we seen many from the neighborhood come out for.
Feburary 24th- We had a chili cook-off which was a great time of fellowship
March 20th- We had a Easter Egg hunt which seen many from the community come and be a part of.
Some of the ministries we have either began or continued are...
We packed lunches at the Newton Falls Middle school every Wednesday during the month of March
Carol begin a Card Ministry which blesses people’s hearts
We began a Men’s Ministry that meets monthly
We began a Children’s Sunday school class that Renee leads
We have people who are stepping up to help with our Sunday morning worship service experience
After hearing all that, it doesn’t sound like our small beginnings are that small, does it? All glory to God.
It’s been an honor to be the Pastor Newton Falls Church of the Nazarene this past year. You have made Kim, ian, and I feel like family and I have a feeling like we are going to be here for a very, very, very long time.
I want to thank my wife, Kim for her support and encouragement because I couldn’t do this without her.
I want to thank everyone who served on the Church leadership team.
Thank you Mark Namesnik for leading the music and for everything else you do around the church.
Thank you Renee for you’re heart for children and for organizing the special music.
Thank you Sherry and Kim for all your work with the children, all the dinners, and your faithfulness.
Thank you Liz Murray for your help in the children’s ministry this year.
Thank you Ginger for your work with the NMI and every thing else you do for the church.
Also, thank you to every one else here because you all have contributed in some way to help the church. Thank you for your faithfulness & your Giving.
This year the church leadership developed a mission statement that says....
We are a family of God that people can belong to, that believe in the gospel so we can become disciples of Jesus Christ.
We focus in on the three terms of belong, believe, and become. The term belong focuses on fellowship. The term believe focuses on evangelism and the term become focus on discipleship. So everything we do as a church falls in line with fellowship, evangelism, or discipleship.
Also, the church leadership team came up with some core values that we hold dearly such as....
Family, Acceptance, The Bible, Service, Holiness, Love, Commitment, Prayer
Responsibility and Authenticity.
These are characteristics that we want this church to be.
There is one specifically that I want to challenge you with.
I want to challenge the church to be a praying church.
says....Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
I want to challenge you specifically to pray for me, your pastor. I’m not talking about just praying for the service but, to pray for me personally. I have six ways you can specifically do that.
For protection against Satan
For my own walk with the Lord
For a healthy body
For a strong marriage & family
For meaningful friendships
Why do I want you to pray for me? Because I know revival begins with me. True revival cannot be scheduled on a calander.
Revival has everything to do with life.
There are hearts in every church that are cold, hard, callous, resentful, bitter, guilt ridden, dry, and lifeless. Outside a move of Jesus upon those people, those people will not come to a state of conviction and repentance. This is a problem that can only be fixed by the prayers of intercession and supplication.
The change that revival brings is uncomfortable. Real revival will reach inside you and destroy everything. You will be wrecked with a deeper understanding of the gospel and a more passionate relationship with Jesus. You will be purged of known sin. Your life as you know it will change to become more conformed to the image of Christ. The very act of this change is gut wrenching. When revival punches a person in their soul, it begins to remove layers of pain, baggage, guilt, sin and whatever else it needs to bulldoze to get that person in right standing with God.
When the pastor changes, the church changes.
For a country to be revived, a state has to be revived. For a state to be revived, a city has to be revived. For a city to be revived, a church has to be revived. For our church to be revived, I must be revived.
Revival starts with me. That’s why I ask you to pray for me.