A Crucial Week

 

Hey Church Family

I hope you’ve had a great week! We are now 13 days into our 21 days of prayer and fasting. 136 people are participating! I don’t know about your experience but mine has been transformational.

I’ve been a Christian for close to 30 years. I’ve never fasted like I have in the past 13 days. It’s been a “game changer” in my life and our church. I definitely plan to continue fasting on regular basis in my personal life. God has used it so powerfully over the past two weeks.

If the whole idea of fasting is new to you then I’d encourage you to watch the messages from the past two weeks. I tried to make a biblical case for fasting and why our church is doing one together. You can watch week one here and week two here.

If you haven’t made a commitment about the fast but would like to you can do that here. Even if you only fast for the next seven days leading up to Easter it can still be a very powerful experience and used by God in our corporate life together.

A Crucial Week

This last week of the fast is especially important because of all of the special events we have coming up. That’s the major reason for this email. I’d like to encourage you to commit the following four things to prayer. 

  1. Rise Up Easter Family Event (April 10th)
  2. Good Friday Service (April 15th)
  3. Saturday Outreach Event (April 16th)
  4. Easter Sunday (April 17th)

I want to use this week’s update to spell out the details of each of these four things as well as the specific ways you can pray for God’s blessing.

Rise Up With Jesus

Easter Event for Families

April 10th | 3:00-4:30PM

The first event is the Rise Up Family Event. Our Preschool Ministry and Children’s Ministry have partnered up on this event to create a compelling discipleship experience for newborns to 5th grade. Not only will they enjoy the experience, mom and dad will too!

Families will explore the important details of Jesus’ resurrection. There will be seven captivating “hands-on” stations that allow kids to fully engage with the message of the Gospel. Not only will they discover the meaning of Jesus’ death, they will also discover how his resurrection changes everything!

Here’s how you can pray:

  1. Ask God to open the spiritual eyes of every child who participates. 
  2. For those who are old enough, ask God to use His Word (through these stations) to spark true repentance and faith in their heart resulting in salvation. 
  3. Pray that parents will be able to use this experience as a diving board for “at home” discipleship.

Churches have big events all the time. But we don’t want to just have an event for the sake of entertainment. Everything we do is filtered through the lens of our mission to make disciples. 

Several of these kids do not have a relationship with the Lord. Others are just starting in their relationship with God. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to do what ONLY HE CAN DO. I’m trusting God to produce lasting spiritual fruit.

 

Good Friday Service

April 15th | 6:00PM

The second big event coming up is our Good Friday service on April 15th at 6PM. This year we’re going to look at Jesus’ seven “cries from the cross.” We will have videos that correspond to each of the seven sayings followed by a brief meditation and time of prayer.

**DISCLAIMER **
The videos in the Good Friday service contain clips from the Passion of the Christ. They are violent and bloody portrayals of Jesus’ suffering on the cross. We will have childcare for ages 3 and younger. However, viewer discretion is advised for young children who participate. The videos are around 60 seconds in length. You can just cover their eyes if you’re worried about the impact (audio is just background music. No sound effects.)

This service is unlike any other service we do throughout the year. The mood is somber not celebratory. There will be periods of personal reflection, prayer and corporate thanksgiving. The Good Friday service will be followed by a Saturday outreach the following day.

Here’s how you can pray:

  1. Ask God to really open our eyes to the passion of Jesus on the cross. Pray that we not just be intellectually familiar but spiritually penetrated with the reality of Jesus’ death on the cross.  
  2. Pray for every person to walk away with security in their salvation as well as an unwavering commitment to obey God no matter what. (repentance and faith that bears fruit!) 
  3. Pray that this night creates a true hunger in our hearts to share the Gospel with people the following Saturday morning.  

Saturday Outreach Event

April 16th | 8:30-12:30

The THIRD thing I’d like you to know and pray about is our Saturday Outreach Event this coming April 16th. It’s the Saturday morning before Easter.

We have printed 5,000 flyers and we have over 500 Gospel tracks ready to go.

Bonnie Barlow, our Bless the City Coordinator, has also mapped out the neighborhood around the church and broken it up into mapped sections for each team. We need at least 25 teams to cover all of the ground we want to cover so please RSVP and let us know if you plan to be there.

8:30-9:15AM:
We will meet at the church at 8:30 and have a light breakfast for anybody who wants/needs it. Tanner Clarke will do an evangelism training directly following that to help build your confidence and give everybody the tools they need to effectively engage in spiritual conversations.

9:15-11:45AM:
After the training, we will break into teams, assign maps and start going door to door in the blocks surrounding the church. Each team will have door-hangers, tracks and a recording system to note which houses were visited and any conversations that need follow up. Whatever houses we don’t finish we can come back and do later. We’re developing a master plan to hit every home!

11:45-12:30
Once you’ve finished your section you can come back to the church and join the prayer team until all other teams arrive. At 11:45 we’ll serve a Chick-fil-a lunch and have teams give testimonies (if they have any.) We will close out by praying for our Sunday morning services and the homes we contacted.

PRAYER TEAM:
Even if you’re not comfortable going out and talking to complete strangers, we still need you here for this event. Those who don’t go out will gather in the Sanctuary and pray for each team and the homes they will visit. The more prayer warriors we have the better!

If you aren’t physically able to go door-to-door but you can get to the church and pray then please RSVP. 

If you and/or your family are planning on coming to the Saturday Outreach Event please RSVP so we can make sure we have plenty of food and supplies ready to go.

RSVP NOW

 

Here’s how you can pray:

  1. I believe we will meet people Saturday who don’t know the Lord. Ask God to start preparing their hearts NOW for the conversation they will have. 
  2. Pray that God will raise up 100 people to go out and knock on doors or pray this next Saturday. We need a large turn out to cover the maps. 
  3. Pray that God would give YOU a burden for the lost and a zeal for evangelism. Ask God to give you the courage to be there Saturday to participate at some level. 
  4. Pray for Tanner Clarke as he trains us in evangelism and Bonnie Barlow as she organizes and administrates the event. (If you’d like to help with meals reply to the email and let me know!)

I think the participation and prayer behind this event will have a very large impact on the final prayer need which is Easter Sunday at Broadview.

Easter Sunday

April 17th | 8:15, 9:30 & 11:00

Small Groups: 9:30 & 11:00

Our 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting will culminate on April 17th. You may have lived through so many Easters by now that you don’t get excited about it anymore. If so, let me encourage you to make this year the year you get excited AGAIN.

If you have an unchurched friend or unchristian neighbor then this is the year you want to invite them to Broadview. Not only will there be a sermon on the resurrection and presentation of the Gospel, we are also going to call people to obedience to Christ through baptism that very morning!

The waters will be warm and baptism T-shirts/shorts will be available for men, women, boys and girls. I believe there may be some in our congregation who’ve never followed Christ in believer’s baptism by immersion. There are others who have never made any profession of faith whatsoever but Sunday will be the day that God calls them to respond.

I’ve been asking God for a fresh outpouring of his power in our worship services. It’s been a big part of my fast. Since 2020 and COVID, we have seen a drastically smaller number of first time decisions for Christ and baptisms. We’ve not seen someone “get saved” on a Sunday morning in a long time.

I’m desperate for God to change that fact and I’m praying for a visible demonstration of his sovereign grace in our worship services these next few weeks. Good music and engaging sermons don’t “save” anybody. Only the Word of God through the Spirit of God can make that happen.

But the Word is going to be preached and the Spirit is going to be present. So please join me in “believing God” for visible display of His power to save.

Here’s how you can pray:

  1. Pray for everyone who will be involved in leading worship at both campuses Easter Sunday. 
  2. Pray for our members to invite their unchurched/unchristian friends/neighbors to church.  
  3. Pray for the Holy Spirit to use God’s Word to open spiritual eyes and convict hearts of sin.  
  4. Pray for people who need to obey Christ in believers baptism by immersion. Pray they have the courage to act.

Final Thoughts

You might read this email and think to yourself, “Geeze, Wes. Don’t get your hopes up…” I get it! I’m not going to lie. That same doubt has cropped up in my own heart and mind as I’ve prayed over these four things.

But these 21 days of prayer and fasting have been teaching me to silence that doubt with a new seed of faith.

I know God is sovereign and He will do what He wants. We aren’t going to twist His arm or force His hand. 

I also know that merely asking for things in prayer doesn’t mean they’ll happen. God works in mysterious ways and being excited about something doesn’t necessarily change his plans. 

BUT…

Those truths must be held in tension with these truths:

  • Our Heavenly Father LOVES to give the Holy Spirit to those who will ask. (Luke 11:13)
  • God is not willing that ANY should perish but that all would come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
  • There’s a relationship between the visible display of God’s power and our faith. (Matthew 13:58)
  • There are promises of God to answer prayers, rightly prayed, for spiritual fruit. (John 15:7) 
  • We do not have what we want because we do not ask God for it in prayer. (James 4:2)

When I think of these things alongside of Jesus’ promise to be “with us” as we partner together in the Great Commission, I just can’t help but get a little bit excited. He has ALL AUTHORITY to say yes to these prayers I’m asking you to pray. (Matthew 28:18)

So let’s FAST & PRAY and BELIEVE God for something great.

Don’t forget that we have additional announcements below. We also have a prayer meeting this Sunday night at 5PM so please keep that in mind as well. 

If there is anything I can pray with YOU about please let me know by replying to this email. You can also post it on the prayer channel in our church app or website chat.

Looking forward to a great Sunday and hope to see you there.

With love,

Pastor Wes

NEW GROUPS

Emmaus Road

Finding Jesus in the Old Testament

Sundays @ 5PM

First class: April 24th

 

Join us for the first class of “Emmaus Road: Finding Jesus in the OT.” This class will explore Old Testament theme/types and discover how Jesus fulfills and completes them. Class will be taught by Jagger Gran. 

Classes will be stand-alone and on occasion. The first class will be held on Sunday night, April 24th, at 5:00PM.

Contact Jagger Gran for more information.

Register Now

New Sunday Small Group!

Sunday’s @ 11:00AM

Starts May 17th

We are starting a new young adult small group at 11:00am on Sunday mornings! This small group will begin by studying through the book of Ephesians. The class will be led by Dustin Malone and consist of a blend between expositional Bible teaching and group discussion.

The book of Ephesians is one of THE BEST New Testament letters for understanding the truth of the Gospel and how it applies to your every day life. It’s also a great book for understanding God’s design for the local church. 

No matter what season of life you find yourself in, you will benefit from this small group. The group is open to all (not just young adults). It will launch on May 17th. You can go ahead and preregister if you think you might be interested.

Contact Dustin at ‭(325) 370-9777‬ for more information.

 

Register Now

New Ladies Bible Study

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

March 30th | 10AM or 6:30PM

Throughout Scripture we find countless stories of God’s faithfulness. We also find countless stories of the people who remained faithful to Him.

Starting March 30th we will kick off a new women’s Bible study to examine some of those “imperfect yet faithful” people. This study dives into Hebrews 11, examining the lives of Rahab, Enoch, Gideon, Sarah, and many more whose faiths withstood the tests of their days.

The name of the study is “A Great Cloud of Witnesses” and it was written by Trillia Newbell.

 
 

Register Now

The Book of James

Wednesdays | 6:30PM

Music Suite

In addition to the ladies Bible study we also have a coed adult Bible study on the book of James Wednesdays at 6:30 in the Music Suite.

This is a class for any age. It consists of expositional Bible teaching out of the book of James followed by group discussion and life application. 

The James Bible study will be led by Joshua Wisham

Register here

UPCOMING EVENTS

Corn Hole Tournament

May 21st

Rescheduled!

We’ve rescheduled our Men’s Ministry corn hole tournament for May 21st. So bring out your A-game and compete in our corn hole tournament this coming February 5th. We will have at least four corn hole boards going at one time. Whoever wins the tournament will be eligible for a prize and bragging rights. 

We will start the games at 3:30PM and go until whenever the tournament is over. This will be a laid back time of fun and fellowship. Food will also be provided (hot dogs, chili, chips, condiments and drinks.) 

We will assign teams after everyone arrives. 

There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. 

Rangers Game

June 4th | $50 ticket

Rangers Stadium (Arlington, TX)

The Broadview Men’s Ministry is inviting all men to watch the Rangers play the Mariners at the newly renovated Rangers Stadium in Arlington, Texas! We’ve got a block of 20 tickets in the “all you can eat” section. (so dinner is covered).

There are only 11 tickets remaining as of the writing of this email!

Tickets are $50. This covers the cost of the ticket plus $5 for gas. The game starts at 3:05PM. We will leave the church at 10:30AM and get lunch on the road. Games typically last 2.5 to 3 hours so we plan to be back in Abilene later that evening (8-9PM).

If you are interested in signing up please contact Brian at (713) 204-7458. You must pay your $50 to secure your spot. You can pay online here or in person at church (checks payable to Broadview Baptist Church.)

 

 

Secure Your Spot

 

Financial Update

Information on how to give to Broadview can be found at broadview.church/give.

Offering Report
Date: 04/06/2022

Weekly Budget Requirement:  $18,519
Weekly Budget Receipts:  $22,881

YTD Required:  $259,266
YTD Received:   $286,264

Designated Gifts
World Missions: $406
Local Missions: $268
Family Crisis: $24
Ukraine Relief: $1129

Most Recent Sermon

Fasting 101

21 Days of Prayer & Fasting

The big thing coming up at the end of this month is a church-wide, 21-day, season of prayer and fasting. We are encouraging every member of Broadview to consider participating at one level or another as we ready our hearts for a resurrection celebration April 16th. 

The last time we did a congregational fast like this was back in 2008 in preparation for a church revival. I can still remember the prayer meetings on Mondays nights in the Education Building after breaking the fast each week. 

This congregational fast will begin on Sunday morning, March 27th and will extend until Easter Sunday, April 16.

In addition to the fast we will have Prayer Meetings each Sunday of the fast at 5:00PM.

  • March 27th
  • April 3rd
  • April 10th

There are four “tracks” to choose from.

The video below is my attempt to give an introduction to and rationale for the 21 Days if you’re interested in watching/listening. 

The four tracks are all a little bit different and one may seem more attractive depending on your circumstances and season of life. You may want to do something different (either less intense or more) and that’s fine as well.

Why Are We Doing This?

Unfortunately, fasting isn’t a very common practice amongst Christians today. There’s a lot of mystery around it.

There are certain traditions like Roman Catholicism that practice things like Lent every single year. But fasting isn’t something you “just do” because it’s a certain time of year or a certain tradition in the culture.

Fasting is something you do voluntarily upon the prompting of the Holy Spirit to accomplish a spiritual purpose.

The fast we are doing is “congregational” in nature. That means each person in our church family is being called upon to voluntarily deprive themselves of something physically essential (food) for the sake of something spiritually essential (being desperate for and dependant on God.)

A Personal Testimony

At first, this fast was just something I was going to do personally. The Holy Spirit had made clear in my own heart the need to do an extended fast. The church never would’ve even known about this fast much less participated in it. I began to study fasting, it’s purpose and the biblical teaching around it. In my preparation for the fast, the Lord made clear to me that I should extend the invitation to our entire congregation. 

Here’s what’s crazy. Several months ago I reached out to a group of pastor friends to ask them about “church-wide” fasting resources and tools. I shared with them how the Lord was leading me to call our church to a 21 day fast leading up to Easter. What blew my mind was that FIVE of those seven pastors were also planning to do a congregational fast on the SAME DATES and for similar reasons.

None of us had any idea that any of us were even thinking about a fast. Upon further investigation I came to discover that the Lord has been calling MANY churches to engage in congregational fasts across the United States and ours is just one of many that the Lord is preparing for this process.

A Theology of Fasting

I don’t know what the Lord is going to do through this fast. I’m not “expecting” the Lord to “do” anything. Neither should you. Fasting is not something you engage in so that God will “do something” in your life or our church.

We don’t fast in order to get things from God. We fast in order to get more of God because he’s so much better than any “thing” this world has to offer. Fasting is a way to reorient our heart and mind around that which is most important.

It’s a way to teach our body and soul that we were made for worship. We were made to desire God, be satisfied in God and to glorify God through the pursuit of his presence. 

Today, God’s presence is already ours through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The blood of Jesus covers our sins and we stand completely righteous in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. We don’t fast in order to “get God’s love.” We fast as a response to having already received His love and as a reminder that his grace is sufficient for our every need.

Your Motivation Matters!

Our motivation for fasting matters to the Lord. When we fast in the right way and for the right reasons then we will position ourselves to experience a great reward. (Matthew 6:16-18) That reward is the gift of God himself.

When Jesus finished his 40 day fast in preparation of his public ministry he returned to Galilee “in the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 4:14) As believers, we’ve been given the Holy Spirit to empower our witness in this world as well. (Acts 1:8)

Don’t miss this opportunity to partner with your church family in expressing a renewed hunger for God and a renewed outpouring of his Holy Spirit in our congregation. 

Once you’ve prayed and decided on a plan you can indicate your decision by filling out a commitment card during the Sunday morning service. This commitment is between you and the Lord. Filling out the card is just a way to publicly express that private decision.

We will not be sharing who all is participating in the fast but we will share the total number of people so that you can be encouraged by the fact that you’re not doing this alone.

I hope you’ll seriously consider participating at one level or another.

I also hope you’ll join us for the Sunday night prayer meetings starting March 27th.

If you have any questions, reservations or feedback please let me know. You can just reply to this email.

Closing Thoughts

Before I close out this week’s update don’t forget that we have our Hands & Feet ministry project coming up April 7th. You only have until the end of the month to turn in a project or sign up to work. You can read more information in the announcements below.

There are also still openings for the J.O.Y ministry trip to Branson if you’re interested in going. Contact Phyllis for more information. You can read the details about the trip in the announcements below. 

In our prayer time during staff meeting this past Monday we prayed over many people in our church family who are walking through deep suffering. This world is so broken and so many people are walking through such challenging times. You do not have suffer alone. If there’s anyway I can pray for you please reply back to this email and let me know.

We can also put your prayer need on the church prayer list through the church app. That way more and more people can join you in prayer. If you don’t know how to do that reply back and I can send you some instructions. 

I hope you have a great rest of your week!

Until Jesus Comes,

Pastor Wes

No In-Person Worship Gatherings This Weekend

No In-Person Worship Gatherings This Weekend

Hey Church Family,

I hope you’re having a GREAT July 4th weekend! I spent the last week and a half on vacation in Ruidoso, NM and it was hard to leave that cool mountain air. Thanks for your generosity in allowing me some time to get away with my family and relax.

I’m writing because of a hard conversation I just had with our pastoral team. We’ve decided to cancel our in-person worship gatherings for this weekend (and this weekend only.) This was not an easy decision and the reasons that factor into our conclusion are complicated. But this is what we’ve decided to do. Here is WHY we are making this decision.

No “In-Person” Gatherings This Weekend

As you’ve probably seen on the news, COVID-19 cases have drastically increased in the city of Abilene. The latest update (July 3rd) includes 40 new cases and 23 hospitalizations. The vast majority of these new cases are among young people 20-40 years old (as you can see from the graphic below).

Some of these infections include people from our very own congregation. I personally know of two people who have tested positive and are experiencing symptoms such as high fevers, body aches, coughing, etc. One of our members is even being tested for pneumonia due to his extended fight against this virus over the last week. Things are hitting “close to home” and it’s difficult to watch. 

None of these are the reason why we are cancelling our “in-person” gatherings this weekend. They are facts that contributed to the decision but were not themselves sufficient to cancel gathered worship.

The reason we are cancelling our in-person worship gatherings in because of a potential COVID-19 outbreak among our staff.


An Abundance of Caution

Obviously, that’s a shocking statement so let me explain what we’re facing. Last weekend, a person attending our West Campus came down with COVID-19 symptoms shortly after service. That individual later tested positive for COVID-19. That individual also (before being tested) had close and extended contact with someone on our staff. That staff person is now experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms and has undergone a test that is awaiting results.

We won’t have the results for that test until after this weekend (Monday or later.) It’s possible this staff member’s symptoms are just allergies but given their extended exposure to a confirmed case, the dramatic increase in cases and hospitalizations and the extended exposure our staff has had to this potential positive case, there are simply too many uncertainties to move forward with “in person” worship gatherings.

Some may say this abundance of caution is unnecessary. Why not just have church and hope for the best? It’s possible this staff person isn’t infected and therefore our other staff weren’t exposed. It’s possible this is all just an overreaction. I sympathize with that sentiment. That’s basically the way I felt until this staff person started experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms. The truth is, WE JUST DON’T KNOW FOR SURE.

I’d rather take an abundance of caution for ONE weekend until we do know for sure than try and take a risk and someone else in our church get sick because of that. If we had a negative test result for this staff person then the risk would be far lower. The fact that we don’t know one way or the other gives me too little confidence to move forward with gathered worship.


Where Do We Go From Here?

Given that we are cancelling the “in-person” worship gathering this weekend, where do we go from here? 

We will still live-stream a worship service on Sunday morning at 9:45. There will be music and preaching and a time of response. Just because we cannot meet in person doesn’t mean we cannot meet together for worship. We will gather together ONLINE this Sunday morning at 9:45. We will also have a Children’s Worship Service at 9:15. 

You can watch the service on our website, our Church Online Platform, our church Facebook page or on YouTube.

We are also planning to resume our in-person worship gatherings NEXT WEEKEND. As you know, we were very excited about our July 12th kick-off because we were going to restart our preschool and children’s ministry programming. We do not plan to cancel any of these plans. The rise in cases doesn’t mean we can’t continue our reopening plans. We just need to do so with wisdom and care in light of our new reality.

We will discuss, as a staff, the particular changes we need to make in each environment. For now, the only changes we know for sure are the worship service times. Our original plan was to have our traditional service at 8:20 and our contemporary service at 9:45. We thought that would give us enough time to keep people distanced between services. The rise in cases and hospitalizations has caused us to rethink that timing. 


The new meeting times for Sunday morning worship will be 8:30 (traditional) and 10:15 (contemporary).

For now, we are going to discourage small groups meeting on Sunday morning as we cannot ensure the proper social distancing if everybody meets at the same time on Sunday. Instead, groups will be encouraged to meet at other times on campus throughout the week. Once our cases go down we will reassess Sunday morning small groups. 

We will also encourage the use of masks on our campus. If you’ve been joining us for in-person worship gatherings this has always been a recommendation but we’ve been very relaxed about it. Once people have gotten seated in the sanctuary, most of the masks come off. I’ll be doing more research on that in light of the new executive order given by Governor Abbot. The order went into effect at noon today.

You can read the full text of his executive order here. As you can see, religious services are exempted from this new order about wearing face masks but their use is still strongly encouraged. I would encourage you to watch the video of Governor Abbot discussing this order and the uptick in cases. Wearing a face covering really does help to slow the spread of COVID-19. Future times of gathered worship need to take this into consideration (especially during times of increased spread). 

I know this isn’t what anybody wanted to hear. I long for the day when COVID-19 is behind us but that day doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. I predict this virus is something we are going to have to learn to live with for the foreseeable future. We need to live with wisdom for our own well being and love and concern for the well-being of others. 


Final Thoughts

With all of this being said, I want to sign off by expressing my gratitude for your patience and love during this time. You’ve demonstrated a spirit of perseverance and sacrifice as our church has navigated this season. It’s been a trying time for all of us. You really are a shining example of how to shine the light of Christ to our city during a dark time. I hope you will not grow weary in light of this setback.

Our confidence can remain strong that God is in control and that He is working all of these things together for our good. We need to celebrate the good and wonderful things that God has already done through these days. Tomorrow is the fourth of July. What a great reminder of God’s grace to our country. We are a free and independent people. Let’s celebrate that and use our freedom to further God’s purposes in these trying times.

Now, more than ever, people need to hear about and respond to the freedom that is ours in Christ. Now, more than ever, the Church needs to shine bright the hope of heaven and the promise of eternal life through Jesus. In the words of the apostle Paul, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” (1 Corinthians 9:19)

This verse has been a guiding light for me as we navigate this season. I hope you’ll continue praying for myself and the other leaders in our church. I also hope you’ll join us for worship this Sunday. If you’re able, please spread the word so we can get this news to as many people as possible before Sunday morning. 

Have a great fourth of July weekend!

Until He Comes,

Pastor Wes

God’s Heart for the World: Current Events and Kids

God's Heart for the World: Current Events and Kids

Hello Parents,
 
 
So here I am, writing about something I’ve never wanted to write about. I purposely avoid conflict. I can’t stand long pauses, awkward glances, or angry looks. The thought of someone being mad at me or offended by something I have said leaves me rattled for days. But here I am, because I can no longer shake the giant pit I have in my stomach. Just months ago, I stood before our church, looking into the eyes of parents, friends, and mentors accepting the job as the Preschool Minister with my main goal and calling being to help the preschoolers of Broadview build a spiritual foundation and help equip their parents to do that as well. I take this calling seriously and that is why, for the last few months, I have wrestled with the idea of keeping quiet or saying something.
 
 
The topic of race is one that is so hard to discuss. I never felt I should say something because I personally have never experienced my rights or privileges being questioned. I have never wanted to start the conversation in fear of saying something wrong or being misunderstood. I just sat back and let those around me who were braver, could write better, and spoke louder, take the lead. But as I look into the eyes of my children and into the eyes of your children, I feel I cannot truly share the heart of God with them without going there. I cannot sit back and allow other people to fight against the hatred for me. I cannot act like the awful acts of murder did not occur. We have to look our children in the eyes and tell them this is NOT the heart of God. That God created EVERYONE uniquely perfect. He created us DIFFERENT and that should be celebrated! His heart is for ALL OF US. The cross was for ALL OF US. And the second we decide that the way someone looks, sounds, or acts makes them less worthy of that cross, less worthy of our respect, less worthy of living, we have lost sight of the heart of God. We have to show them in what we say, what we do, and through Scripture that there is only one thing that can stop this darkness and that is letting the light of God invade every crack and crevice of our lives, and then taking that light and sharing it with every. single. person. we come in contact with!
 
 
Please know I am in no way saying I have the answers to solve all of these problems, nor do I think anyone does this side of Heaven. I just want to simply share two thoughts that have been going through my mind for months. These are things I keep telling myself as I am falling asleep. Things I am trying to convince myself to do more of each day. Things that I know I need to be better at. I just want to share them with you in case you too are teetering on the edge of staying quiet or standing up to the hatred.
 
1. The most awkward and hard conversations usually produce the most fruit. I previously taught 4th grade. I have to admit, I am completely convinced that 4th grade is the BEST grade to teach! They are in the perfect stage where they are old enough to blow their own noses, most of them have lost their baby teeth (yuck), but they are right before the 5th grade/middle school attitude kicks in. All the middle school mamas say, “Amen”. That being said, one thing that is not quite developed is a 4th grader’s filter. The filter that tells you what you’re about to say is going to produce a whole lot of awkward tension. For the most part it’s harmless and left me with hilarious stories to tell my husband when I got home. But from the more serious ones, I gained experience in taking awkward conversations and turning them into teachable moments. My son has also taught me a thing or two about this while shopping in grocery stores or walking around the mall. When a kid publicly points out a disability, a racial difference, or even a personality trait that they aren’t familiar with, they are showing there is a lack of filter, a lack of understanding, and a lack of boundaries. As parents, our most common reaction to this is to silence our child, to punish them for pointing it out, leave, and to bury it as deep as we can so the awkwardness doesn’t peek back out. If we do this, we have taught our kids nothing, we have created no boundary, created more misunderstanding, and we have essentially become part of the problem. We have once again created a wall between “us” and “them”. So the question is how do we approach this? How do we stop this? We have to decide that the teaching moment is more valuable than our comfort in the situation. We have to be willing to talk to our kids in the moment about the value of life and how that does not change based on our job, our house, our skin color, our physical abilities, or spoken language. We have to be willing to do this in front of other people. We have to be willing to apologize and invite others into a dialogue that may be uncomfortable. So what does this look like in real life?
 

Both of my children are involved in therapies at our local therapy center. The waiting room is shared by children with all ranges of physical and mental abilities as well as children of all races. One week we were sitting in the room waiting when a child came in who was in a wheelchair. I could tell Hunter noticed him and he quickly turned to me. Before I could say anything, he asked loudly, “Why is that boy in that chair with wheels?”. Every bone in my body wanted to put my hand over his mouth, look down the rest of the time, and say nothing more. But when I looked into the eyes of that boy and his mom, I knew I could not let that wall be built between us. So instead, I looked at Hunter and said, “He is in a wheelchair because it helps make his body stronger and helps him go places. Why don’t you go ask him his name. Look, he has a Toy Story shirt on! You should see which one is his favorite.” We spent the next few minutes having a shared conversation about Toy Story, light-up shoes, and construction trucks. I watched as both us moms relaxed and smiled at how quickly kids see past the surface when they are lead to go there. Now I know there is so much more I should have said. I replayed this conversation in my head a thousand times, but the idea is this: don’t hide from the differences, find the common ground, and show kindness. Later, in the car, we had a more detailed conversation about how God has created us all differently and our bodies work in different ways and God has given doctors the knowledge to make things like wheelchairs, walkers, and medicine. We talked about how we need to be thankful for this and continue to pray for God to help people through miracles, doctors, and ordinary people.

These same principles can be used with race. Let’s allow our children to see the differences and ask us about them. When they do, instead of shaming them or burying the embarrassment, let’s use that moment to teach them to celebrate those differences. Let’s teach them boundaries on what is kind and not kind. Let’s have the conversation of how hatred and sin have caused people to say and do awful things but we can make a difference by what we say and do. Let’s teach our kids to find a common ground with others, to show kindness by inviting them to play, and most of all, getting to know them for who they are, not simply what they look like.

These conversations take time and these conversations have to be had over and over again. I encourage you to read Scripture to your children about God’s heart and love for the world. Research and discover the countless resources available for teaching our kids about different cultures, races, and abilities

 
2. Parents set the stage, both in their words AND in their actions. Let us not forget that while having the conversations mentioned above is so crucial to seeing a difference take place, it is equally as important to be a living example of that difference. Let us take a good, hard look at what our actions, glances, hushed comments, and body language tell our children about how we view other people. Let us take a look at who we surround ourselves with. If everyone we are surrounded by looks like us, acts like us, talks like us, and lives like us, are we really teaching our children that differences should be celebrated or are we creating a double standard? Are we seeing the differences and choosing to find common ground and show kindness, or are we staying within our bubble and slowly building an invisible wall? Are our children hearing us have conversations about how what is happening in our world is wrong and deeply breaks the heart of God, or are they hearing us make excuses for their behavior, or not saying anything at all?
 
 
These are all questions that fill my mind each night. I know I am not doing what I should. I know that I could do better. For my kid’s sake, for your kid’s sake, I want to do better. Let this be a changing point for all of us. Let this be a time where we address differences of all kinds head on, embrace the awkwardness, and move forward knowing that we just removed one brick from the wall. I pray that you will join me in praying for each of the children represented in this ministry. Pray that they will be change-makers. Ultimately, pray that they will come to know the Lord as their Savior and that they will understand the heart of God, and that understanding will turn into a desire to share His love with ALL. Let us move forward standing up against racism and hatred and showing our children that it can be stopped, one brick at a time.
 
 
 
Blessings,

Tiffany Lohse

Monday Update for Preschool & Children

Monday Update for Preschool & Children

Hello Parents,

What a fun time we had last week! I absolutely loved seeing the beautiful art you all drew at the church! It is so encouraging to see the common love we all share for our church family and the shared desire to be back together in person when the time comes!

This week, we are changing gears once again as the majority of our members are finishing their last days of school. This week we are going to focus on celebrating the end of a school year and cherishing the memories that were created.

I know that the end of this school year is unlike any other we have experienced. Instead of throwing up textbooks and past assignments as the last bell rang, students were forced to pick up their belongings at set times while still making sure to social distance. While I think this is what had to happen to respect our community, the sadness is not lost on me. My heart breaks for the preschool children who missed the joys of growing their social skills, kindergarten students who will never get a normal first year, and the fifth graders who will leave elementary without being able to truly say bye to their primary school days. With all that said, this is where I see our God’s faithfulness! Kids are resilient and are thermometers. They adjust to the climate that is put around them. As a parent, we get to set that temperature! As this school year ends, I challenge you to set a “temperature” of thankfulness, joy, and hope. Let’s celebrate the memories that were created at school, at home, and anywhere in between. Let’s have deep conversations about the growth that took place in our ideas, in our hearts, and in our abilities. How many have spoke the words, “I could never homeschool my child”, yet here you are! You made it! Let’s choose to have hope for next year. Let’s make goals on how we are going to cherish school like never before, and how we are going to make the most of every moment we are given there.

To help you celebrate, this week I will be posting some of my favorite end of the year activities that I loved to do when I was a classroom teacher. Most of all, I will be praying the sweetest blessings over each of your children and over you as a parent. Whether you have been counting down the seconds until this school year ends or are a little sad to see this new role come to end, you did it, and that deserves to be celebrated!

Please make sure you are connected to our Facebook groups so you can have access to the activities! If you are not currently on social media, email me at Tiffany@broadview.church to receive the activities through email.

Broadview Preschool Ministry

Broadview Kids

Kindergarten Parents, please don’t forget to send up to 3 pictures of your child to me by Wednesday, May 20th, so they can be a part of the Kindergarten Graduation slideshow in the church livestream this week.

Blessings,

Ora, Sherry, and Tiffany

Monday Update for Preschool & Children

Monday Update for Preschool & Children

Hello Parents,

What a beautiful week full of great weather! I hope you had fun outside and were able to start intentional conversations with your children about God and the events in the Bible. For those who missed last week, we focused on using everyday moments to talk to our kids about God, His amazing power and love, and the incredible events that played out in the Bible. I hope that you will continue to seek out opportunities to discuss these topics with your children!

This week we are going to do something very exciting! One thing I have loved seeing the last couple of months is the chalk art you and your children are doing. Those fun drawings inspired me to make this week, “Chalk at the Church”! This week I invite you and your family to come to the church and draw an encouraging picture or message on the parking lot for our church staff and family. After you have finished your art, take a picture of it with your family and post it to social media with the hashtag #ChalkattheChurch. To make sure we are respectful to our church family and community, I ask that you maintain social distancing while in the parking lot and make sure you are at least 6 feet from any other family unit that is participating. I am so excited to see the beautiful work you all do! I will be posting some ideas of chalk art on the Facebook groups throughout the week to give more ideas!

Please make sure you are connected to our Facebook groups:

Broadview Preschool Ministry

Broadview Kids

We are continuing to pray for all of you and cannot wait until we are together again!

Love,

Ora, Sherry, and Tiffany