Pastor’s Blog

That None Would Perish

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

That None Would Perish

  1. Hayden 8-25-17

 

It is heartbreaking to see people who are going through disaster events whether nature originated or man-made. It does not seem all that long ago when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans and turned many lives upside down for years following. The last couple of days have been devastating for many residents in Houston as well as many other gulf coast cities in Texas and Louisiana as we have seen the destructive effects and horrific images of Hurricane Harvey.   The reports of people stranded, trapped, and perishing from the rising flood waters, tugs at the hearts of Americans and causes us to want to do our part to help relieve the suffering of our neighbors in their hour of need. It is in these times where suffering is so visible to our senses that we want to reach out with resources to come to the aid of those unfortunate enough to live in the effected areas along the Gulf Coast. If you want to help, look on the website of these organizations that will certainly be mobilized to provide relief: The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, and the Red Cross to name just a few.

 

While these people are in immediate need, we need to also remember that there are many who are perishing in our world each day from the human condition ravaged by the effects of sin. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:13-14 this, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” God’s heart breaks for the lost in this world walking down the road of destruction every day. We know they are there, but because it is not obvious to what we see in our daily walk, unlike the images surrounding Hurricane Harvey, and it is uncomfortable for us to get involved in their rescue from sin, we just ignore it and often act like it is not happening. This pains the heart of our Lord. We read in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” He wants all to be saved. But we must be involved if rescue is to take place.

 

Just like the rescue efforts that we see ongoing to help the residents of Texas, we need to be about rescuing others for Christ. Share your faith with others, invite them and encourage them to come to church and hear the message of God’s love for them and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris


Read more...

A Church, the Unchurched Want to Be At!

A Church, the Unchurched Want to Be At!

  1. Hayden 8-8-17

 

On October 9th of this year, the city of Indianapolis is going to become host to the “Deep and Wide Tour” featuring pastor, teacher, and author, Andy Stanley and a gathering of other like-minded ministers. The theme of this conference is to help individual ministries to expand their reach into their communities and cities, drawing more unchurched people into our congregations. The theme is summed up in one sentence, “Create a Church, Unchurched People Love to Attend.” What a concept! Now I know that everyone in the world has different ideas of what church should be like, but I think I know what the leaders of this conference are trying to convey. We want church to be a place that people are drawn to, not a place they have to go to because of some sense of guilt or requirement. We want church to be a place they come to because it is irresistible!

 

So how do we make church irresistible? That is a good question and after I go to the conference, I plan on telling you exactly what I have learned. I am sure I will have a list of ideas to share. Part of the answer will certainly be to match the ministry style to the culture that the church resides in. That would include music styles, décor styles, and transforming the ministry atmosphere to something more relatable and relevant to multiple generations. In short, becoming real to the unchurched is key. Of course, those that are churched have to buy in to this concept for it to be effective!!

 

In 1 Corinthians 9:22 to read, “To the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save some.” Paul made his ministry relatable and relevant to unbelievers for the sole purpose of reaching them. And in Matthew 7:28-29, Scripture says this, “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Here, Jesus is not concerned with doing things the way they have always been done by the Pharisees. He didn’t try to replicate the ministries of times past. He spoke to the lost in a way that they could relate to and was relevant to them and translated to Him being REAL with them. He spoke in such a way that they knew that He knew what He was talking about and why they should care. It might behoove us to follow these examples so that we also might reach the unchurched. We need to continue to be relatable, relevant and real more and more each day. Individually as well as a church body community, city and worldwide so that we might reach some!

 

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris


Read more...

Unfinished

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

Unfinished

  1. Hayden 7-20-17

 

This past Sunday I read from a book that challenges and motivates the Church for service to the Lord. Richard Stearns’ work both compels and encourages God’ s people to go from a simple church attender to putting all aspects of their lives, our money, our jobs, our possessions, our relationships, and so forth, under His jurisdiction.  Here is am excerpt from Richard’s book, “Unfinished.”

“Now, here is a really important thing to understand. If you lay down all of these things in the service of Christ and His kingdom, He won’t necessarily take them away from you. He doesn’t ask us all to quit our jobs, leave our homes, and have an estate sale to liquidate all our earthly possessions. No, He only asks that we turn all of those decisions over to Him. If you have built a business that can generate great wealth, He may leave you right there so that the business can be used to His glory and to accomplish His purposes. If you are an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, He may want you to stay put and become a kingdom builder right where you are stationed by letting your light shine in a place where a shining light may be desperately needed. If you love your community, He may use you to help transform it and reclaim it for His kingdom. He might even use your addiction as a powerful tool of His restorative power to transform human lives. But he does require that the certificates of title be signed over to Him. He becomes the owner, and we become the stewards, not of our possessions but of the Master’s possessions.”

Colossians 3:16-17 says this, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Everything we do, we do by the authority and will of God the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the grace and name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until we have placed all things at His feet, we are yet, “Unfinished.”

 

Be blessed even more!

 

Pastor Chris

 


Read more...

Works of the Spirit or the Law?

Works of the Spirit or the Law?
C. Hayden 7-10-17
Galatians 3:3-6 says this , ”
Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the
flesh.
4
Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
5
Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
     In this passage Paul makes it clear that we are redeemed and continue to grow by the Spirit through our faith, not by the keeping of the law or any other ritualistic undertakings. In this passage we see Galatian Christians attempting to find approval with God by keeping certain Jewish practices. Paul gives a slight rebuke to those who attempt to do so with a question. “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” The obvious answer the Apostle is looking for is, “of course not.” We are saved by, as well as perfected by, the Spirit and never by keeping Levitical, Old Testament priesthood practices. Just as we no longer must sacrifice animals to cover our sins, we are no longer required to keep various dress styles, religious ordinances, nor dietary restrictions to please Him.
Galatians 5:1-5New King James Version (NKJV)  confirms this point

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

     Circumcision was a requirement of all Jewish males, however, James informs the Church that Gentile believers are not required to join in this practice to follow Christ. And why? Because we have been set free from the law that we might serve Christ in  the Spirit, never to be entangled again by trying to keep the law. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2). We have been set free to serve God according to His Spirit and not by keeping the law.

Be blessed even more!!
Pastor Chris

Read more...

Attached to the Vine

Thriving On The Vine

  1. Hayden 6-25-16

 

Growing up in my neighborhood was an absolute blast at times. We had a ballpark right across the street from my house where all of the neighborhood kids would gather to play and find out how much trouble we could get in to. We also had this huge pear tree right in our front yard which became the focus of many an activity as neighborhood kids would work to pluck one of those juicy pears for their spoil! The tree had grown old and so large that there were no low limbs by which small children could begin to climb. Only the oldest and best climbers were able to get to the hanging fruit. Most of us had to wait until pears fell from the tree. One thing we noticed is that if we waited too long, the fruit that made it to the earth, would begin to rot no longer being attached to the source of sustenance, namely the old pear tree. I can remember often going through the old rotten pears on the ground in the hopes of finding a healthy, eatable, deliciously green pear to munch on. It was hit and miss as I spent time navigating all of those rotten pears in search of one that was good.

 

That is what happens to us when we detach ourselves from the source of our salvation. In the Gospel of John, 15th chapter, we read what it takes to really thrive as a believer in Christ. John 15:1-5 says this, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” By not remaining in the vine, staying in relationship with Christ, our faith becomes stale, stagnant, and stained with decay.

 

The “Good News” is that this need not be a picture of us. We can THRIVE by remaining in the vine. Jesus tells us that if we will remain in the vine, we will produce much fruit. And that fruit will be healthy and delicious for all the world to partake of. Have a wonderful time as you continue in His Word and prayer throughout the week…abiding in the Vine! Detached from the vine…we die; attached to the vine…we THRIVE!

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris


Read more...