A Word From Bro. Joe!

Hey Church Family,

What an exciting time this is for us! We just finished celebrating Resurrection Sunday with a record attendance of 348 since I’ve been your senior pastor, and this past Lord’s Sunday we were well over 300 again! Every week we are seeing new faces as our Bible study classes, youth departments, and worship services grow. Over the past couple of months, we have witnessed individuals, couples, and families placing their membership, and we’re watching our church grow healthier. And, on top of that, I’ve never been in a more harmonious place. There’s a genuine spirit of revival among our people as they invite their unchurched family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers to come and witness what God is doing in this place! All of us have examined our purpose for being here and embraced our common goals of reaching the lost. We’re united in discipling those God has placed within our church body into spiritual maturity.

We’re praying and making plans for an explosion of growth like we’ve never seen before in this location! Adding souls to the Kingdom, before Jesus comes again, is my greatest desire—and I believe a huge number of you share that dream. I want to thank all who are allowing God to use them to make this possible! You are an encouragement. Your enthusiasm and generous financial support testify, loudly, that you are committed to the vision we have placed before you. I’m convinced God has glorious plans for our future!

This past Sunday, I began a new sermon series entitled Balancing Life’s Demands, and we looked at balancing “Truth & Tolerance”. We started with a tough one! I pointed out the pitfalls of truth without tolerance (legalism)—sometimes the church can be caught in this snare. Then, there’s tolerance without truth (liberalism)—usually that’s the world. So, what about tolerance with truth? That’s Jesus Christ, and that’s what the Christian is supposed to seek, tolerance and truth!

There are all sorts of potentially controversial and divisive issues that come in front of a church. We come from many different backgrounds, and we have multiple opinions about numerous things. We like and dislike different things. Many times, what one loves and finds important another will question. It’s easy to have many dozens of conflicting views. And Satan would love to get us bickering over “details” instead of watching God unite us to accomplish a miracle! Through my many years of ministry I’ve often watched churches major in minors. They fight, split, and run people off. That’s sad, and it breaks God’s heart. I’m going to spend the years I have left majoring in majors!

I can promise you we’ll never avoid, or even water down, the truth of God’s Word. We’ll stand firm, but we’ll also be tolerant of one another, and we’ll do “all things in love.” Where the Bible speaks, we’ll speak; and where It’s silent, we’ll be silent. Let’s always remember that we have preferences, and that’s fine, but we need to truthfully admit most are not based on scripture. They are based on our opinions, our likes and dislikes, our culture, our backgrounds, and our political persuasions. I issued a warning Sunday from the pulpit: Be very careful about what part of your thoughts and views you attribute to Jesus! You could find yourself in serious trouble!

Solomon said, “The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.” Jesus did that. He hated sin but loved the sinner. Do you remember how the Apostle John described Jesus? He said that Jesus was “the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and full of truth” (John 1:14). That’s the balance Jesus possessed. To please Him, we can do no less.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing you Sunday morning (at 10 a.m.). We’ll be discussing the balance of “Zeal & Knowledge”. Don’t miss it!

Love you always,
Bro Joe