We were also blessed by the presence of staff and 180 youth from Camp Ray Bird, a Christian Ministry Camp that shares the gospel of Jesus Christ with “at risk” youth all across Michiana. Camp Director, Mike Houghtaling and I have met for food and fellowship on occasion and a spiritual bond has been formed between our church and the camp with many ministry opportunities forthcoming. Every year, at least once, we are favored with a visit from this remarkable group of campers, so we have grown accustomed to their being a part of our church fellowship. We continue to marvel at the manner in which the children behaved and were blessed to see them take an active role in worship. I am scheduled to visit Camp Ray Bird on Tuesday, and look forward to further involvement with this ministry as we explore ways to collectively advance God’s Kingdom together. Please keep this Ministry in your prayers and feel free to visit them on the web @raybird.org.
This Sunday was also “Big Day” for our Sunday School Department. Each year efforts are made by our School membership to invite and encourage people within our church and possibly the unchurched who don’t normally attend Sunday school. It’s amazing how many people responded just because you asked. We praise God for the fruit of everyone's labor of love.
During the 11am service, I preached a sermon entitled “The Church That Advances God’s Kingdom,” taken from Matthew 28:18-20 which reads:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)
The Lord moved in a Mighty way as HIS Word went forth. I felt real good about preaching this message because I’ve always challenged our church to never lose sight of our true purpose. We exist for the express purpose and the specific intent of glorifying God through the living out of His biblical agenda. There were several present who rededicated their lives to Jesus and have vowed to not just be members of the church but rather disciples of Christ. I certainly pray that God would impress upon others the urgency to do the same. Here is a brief outline of the message.
The Church That Advances God’s Kingdom
I. Functions Under the Authority of Christ
a) All power is given unto Me - v.18
II. Faithful to the Assignments of Christ
a) Evangelize ; Go (as you are going) v.19a
b) Enlist ; teaching all nations , make disciples; Baptize - v.19b
c) Equip ; Teaching them to observe all things – v.19c
III. Fortified by the Assurance of Christ
a) Lo I am with you always - v.20
Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we will do the same. Peace!!!