Good morning! Seems like forever since I have been at church. I miss my church kids!! Remember we do not meet this Wednesday, Jan. 1. I look forward to seeing all my kids in Sunday school next Sunday & we will be back to our old schedule of children’s church right after the singing is over. Thank you Lauren Ayres for teaching for me yesterday!
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a safe and blessed New Year. We had a great Christmas. I guess like many of you, I look at January as a new fresh start. I challenged those of you not in Sunday school to get into a Sunday school class back in September. I said give it 3 weeks of getting up early, not missing and it would be a habit. I know one family that took that challenge and I think if you asked them they would say they are glad they started Sunday school. If you want to be involved in church, Sunday school is where to start. SS allows you a time to build relationships with others in the church. You learn their needs & situations, they learn yours. Your relationship grows as you learn about Jesus together. You can pray for each other. Even in a child’s SS class, the same is true. Children get to know each other better. The teacher gets to know the child better & pray for specific things that a child might need or be concern or afraid of. Sunday school is where the basic Bible stories are taught & where the foundation is laid. So I am going to send out the challenge again. Start the New Year in Sunday school. You will not regret the decision.
I am also going to challenge you to invite people to church. I was blessed to watch the fruits of a child being invited to VBS this summer. One of our church kids invited a friend to VBS. The girls moved up to youth this school yr. so the original church girl & her friend went to Winter Extreme. The “friends” parents went to Gburg to so they could be in the same town while their daughter was on the trip. So while we were at Ober the parents came up there too. Joey was there and spent almost the entire time while we were at Ober talking to the parents. Not preaching, just talking and getting to know the family. Yall know I am the quiet one so I chimed in just a little bit. When Joey walked off to go do something, the man asked me who he was & how we were related. I explained he was our churches preacher & my brother. He said, “Wow, he just seemed like a regular, old, laid back guy.” I said he is & that is how he preaches. He was very inquisitive about church & so was the wife. I later got to sit at lunch w/ the mans’ daughter and ask her if they go to church somewhere regularly. She said no. The only time she goes to church is at ours w her friend or with a grandmother. Arlo said the parents were so nice & offered to help w/ the next thing the youth does. Now I know none of this is the person actually walking into our church & turning their life over to Jesus but…. I do know that family left knowing the preacher at WBBC and they had a good, growing relationship w/ Arlo and that is a huge start in getting someone to come to visit your church. So what started out as a 5th grade girl inviting a friend to VBS ended up w/ the friend & her sister participating in youth events at Winter Extreme and the girl’s parents developing relationships w our church family. I am not a gambler but I am going to bet that family ends up at WBBC! We have to step out, open our mouths and invite people to church. In most cases they will not just drive down the road and say,”Hey, let’s visit that church.” In most cases they have to know someone at the church before they are going to walk thru the doors. I know it is hard to just cold invite someone to church… believe me I know because being shy it is hard for me. I would struggle just inviting a stranger but if I can find something in common with a person, make some small talk & get to know them better then it is easier for me to invite someone. So I am challenging you to get out & invite those you already have relationships with. You might be the person God uses to lead them to Him.
Most of you know Winter Extreme was this past Fri, Sat. & Sun. I believe Arlo hauled 56 people up there plus there were several other church families up there to hang out with the students during the free time. I know the stress involved in planning church trips and you worry the whole time you are gone if you are going to lose a child or if something is going to happen while you are on the trip, if you are over budget or you worry for your own children who you left at home. Arlo and Jeannie did a great job on this trip. My boys talked nonstop last night about the fun, about the music and about the conference speakers. Thank you to the chaperones who went & to the church family who supports our youth. Without your tithes, fundraiser support & prayers, trips for the youth and children’s groups would not be possible. I am sure the youth will have a Sunday soon to share their stories. Thank you again Arlo & Jeannie! My boys have been blessed to have you as their youth leaders!
I am almost done! I wanted to just ask yall to pray for mom as she has her heart cath Jan. 10 at St.Vincents East. The Gburg trip was a huge struggle for her. Her breathing is so bad. She only left the house to go eat & that was with us letting her out at the front door & her walking w/ her oxygen attached. She is miserable. Keep the Mayos in your prayers to as they depart for Africa in about 9 days. Pray for travel safety and that God places Christians in their path. I hope you have a very blessed New Years and I look forward to a great New Year full of blessings, new faces, hearts saved, baptisms & new members at Whorton Bend Baptist Church!Let's meet right after church Sunday about the Disney World trip... be thingkning of fundraisers!!