We’re Adding To Our Staff Team

Associate Pastor: Youth & ADULT Discipleship

Broadview Baptist Church

Job Overview:

The Associate Pastor of Youth and Adult Discipleship serves as the primary support person for the Lead Pastor and primary overseer of next-gen ministry at Broadview. The Associate Pastor will work alongside the Lead Pastor in helping the church to fulfill her mission and vision, specifically in the area of adult discipleship. He will also oversee ministry to students at Broadview and act as the direct report for our preschool and children’s ministry staff. 

This is a multifaceted, full-time position. Medial insurance and retirement contributions are part of the salary package. Broadview is a mid-size church in Abilene, TX.

Responsibilities: Lead Pastor Support

  • OVERALL: Assist the Lead Pastor in leading the congregation to accomplish her mission and vision
  • PREACHING: Cover the Sunday morning pulpit on occasion (3-5 Sundays per year)
  • PASTORING: Assist with pastoral work in the church: visitation, counseling, & evangelism
  • LEADERSHIP: Act as a direct report for the preschool and children ministry staff, ensuring a tight and cohesive discipleship strategy
  • MISCELLANEOUS: Assist the Lead Pastor in other areas as needed

Responsibilities: Youth Ministry

  • Overall: Create and maintain a student ministry focused on worship, discipleship and outreach using ministry environments like large-group gatherings, small groups and ministry teams.
  • Preaching: Serve as the primary Bible teacher for the student ministry.
  • Communication: Regularly communicate information about the youth ministry to the staff, congregation and parents of students. (email, website, social media)
  • Parent Engagement: Engage parents to discuss spiritual issues related to their child.
  • Volunteers: Enlist, train and deploy a volunteer team to minister to students. 
  • Budget: Manage the ministry budget and make recommendations for the following year.

Responsibilities: Adult Discipleship

  • Small Groups: Enlist and train new adult small group leaders while overseeing the existing small group ministry at Broadview.
  • Adult Discipleship: Evaluate the disciple-making ministries of the church and ensure they are effective. Implement new strategies to promote adult discipleship in the life of the church. 
  • Staff Support: Act as a staff support person for our lay volunteers who coordinate ministry to adults at Broadview.

Qualifications:

Education & Experience:

  • 3 years experience as a staff member in a ministry leadership capacity.
  • A bachelors degree in Biblical studies (or related field), equivalent formal seminary education or comparable experience in the field of ministry. 
  • An Mdiv or ThM is ideal but not required. Conversant in Christian apologetics also ideal.
  • Married with children is the ideal but not a deal breaker

Character

  • A growing, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ (active devotional life)
  • A thorough understanding of God’s Word
  • A person of integrity, character and conviction
  • Genuine love for “hard to reach” students
  • A distinct passion for student ministry
  • Active in personal evangelism
  • Meets qualifications of 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9;

Competencies 

  • Proven disciple-maker
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Effective and Engaging Communicator (written and oral)
  • Responsible and effective use of Social Media
  • Basic graphic design capabilities
  • Basic website maintenance (CSS, WordPress)

Cultural Fit

  • Fun (Likes to laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously.)
  • Highly Relational (Friendly. People Person.)
  • Passionate about Missions/Outreach
  • Hard working. Self-starter. Proactive.
  • Team Player. Humble. Serving Mindset.

Theological Fit

  • Broadview is affiliated with the SBC at a national, state and local level. We are dually aligned with both the SBTC and BGCT in the state of Texas. We affirm the BFM2K.
  • We are committed to expositional preaching and Spirit-empowered worship.

How To Apply:

Please submit your resume in PDF form, including 3 references to info at broadview dot church. Please use subject: “Associate Pastor Search.” Also please include links to any social media platforms to which you post, blog or post photos. 

2021 Budget & Financial Update

Hello Church Family

I hope you’re having a good week! This week’s update is dedicated to our 2021 General Fund budget. You can read a print version of the 2021 budget proposal here. You can download a print version of the budget here.

While we’re on the topic, don’t forget that we released our 2021 World Missions Offering and giving goals last week and are emphasizing that offering for the month of December. Many of you have already decided to give generously. You can read more about it on last week’s update or give online here.

Pastor Wes gives a video update to go long with this weekly update email.

 

THE 2021 GENERAL FUND BUDGET

Throughout 2020 our church has demonstrated an inspiring level of generosity even though we’ve been scattered in our homes and physically distanced due to COVID-19. It was truly remarkable, given the decreased “in person” attendance and length of time many people have been separated from gathered worship all together. 

Late this fall, we began to see a dip in giving to the General Fund. In October we had a shortfall of $4,324. While October started strong, later in the month giving began to drop below the usual trends. In November there was a drastic drop of $23,485. Each week saw far less than the usual giving trend. The verdict is still out for how we will finish the year. (week one of December was encouraging)

While we don’t have a complete understanding of why this is happening, there are several things to consider. One of the most obvious factors is the number of people in our church family who went home to be with the Lord this year. Since September of 2019, 31 people in our church family have died.

When you consider this alongside the people in our church who’ve lost jobs, been temporarily furloughed or have just experienced an overall financial hardship, it makes sense that our giving is beginning to take a hit.

It’s also possible that the extended time people have spent separated from gathered worship is causing a drop in their commitment to regular tithes and offerings. Similarly, some may be redirecting their tithes and offerings to another church or non-profit here in town.

Until we do a deep dive on the numbers and have more time to study the trends, we won’t really know for sure. But the facts we do know suggest that giving in 2021 will likely be lower than giving in 2020 unless there’s a season of significant growth in 2021 or some other sovereign intervention from the Lord.

While I’m certainly praying and believing God for such a move, it would be presumptuous and bad stewardship to forecast a General Fund budget that goes beyond a reasonable assessment of the current trends. Bold faith and heavenly wisdom work together, not against one another.

My spirit tells me that while we are going to experience a renewed strengthening from the Lord and future growth in 2021, the financial largess of years past may not follow us at the same rate as prior years. Nobody knows the future but there are good reasons to think this is true.

For all of these reasons, we’re entering 2021 with cautious optimism for what the next fiscal year will look like. We are presenting a General Fund budget that is 4.69% lower than 2020.

Unfortunately, increased costs in medical and building insurance raised those budgets by close to $35,000. For us to reach that 4.9% drop we had to make $79,929 worth of cuts. It was not a fun process and everything took a hit. 

The General Fund budget for 2021 is set at $913,500.

As you can see from the picture above, this move will lower Cooperative Program and local missions giving as it is a percentage of the overall receipts.

Under personnel, you’ll see a decrease in salaries and retirement but an increase in insurance/taxes. The increase is due to elevated costs in medical insurance. Changes in staffing account for the decrease in salaries. We also made cuts to staff benefits like end of year bonuses and no staff received a raise

We have removed the position of church secretary from our annual budget. Removing this staff position was handled by the pastoral team as they function as the personnel team in our constitution and by-laws (article II, section II). This was a difficult decision and any questions regarding this change can be directed to me or members of our pastoral team.

Under ministries, there has been a $17,560 decrease. While we hate to decrease ministry spending, it was necessary given the elevated costs in insurance coverage and decreased giving. We have also recommended a $6,000 decrease in our educational expenses.

While operational expenses are generally pretty fixed, we were able to save $13,982. Decreased use of our facilities and lower energy costs created savings on utilities and general campus maintenance. This helps cover the increased costs in building/auto insurance. We will shop our insurance providers to see about additional savings.  

Debt retirement and capital improvement line items have remained the same. We will pay off our FFB loan using cash reserves from the forgiven PPP loan. However, we plan to leave the line item for opportunities of future growth.

These budget cuts were not easy to make. However, we are moving forward with confidence in the Lord and hope for the future. Even though COVID-19 and our national response to it have brought many negatives, it has also reminded us that our ultimate security is in the Lord! We will move forward with a renewed dependency on Him and His will for our church.

Thank you for your careful consideration of these things. We will vote on the 2021 budget on the last Sunday of this year.

If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to myself or a member of our finance team. (Howard Thompson, Jayce Barbee, Georgia Hamilton, Justin Edmunds, Armando Oakes)

If you have questions related to personnel changes, please contact myself or a member of our pastoral team. (James Parker, Darrell Scott, Wes Terry, Vernon Ferguson, Randy Voorhees)

Until He Comes,
Pastor Wes

ANNOUCEMENTS & UPCOMING EVENTS

For the last Sunday of 2020 and the first Sunday of 2021 we will only have TWO morning worship services.

The traditional service will be held at 9:30 and the contemporary service will be held at 11:00. There will be no on-campus adult small groups.

The nursery and childcare will still be available for both hours.

Starting January 10th, we will resume all three morning worship services.

December Family Mission Opportunity

For the month of December, the Preschool and Children’s Ministry will be collecting money for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Each child will receive an individual bank to collect funds throughout the month.

You can also give a cash or check donation using the World Missions Offering envelopes from the Lottie Moon tree located on the Connect Table in the Gathering Place or West Campus Sanctuary. This project is a great opportunity for teaching your children (or learning yourself!) the story behind the Lottie Moon Offering.

Learn more about Lottie Moon and her compelling story here. 

Families In Need Tree

Remember that THIS SUNDAY is the deadline to have your gift returned and placed under the families in need tree in the Gathering Place.

We are so thankful for the outpouring of generosity that took responsibility for every need listed. These gifts will be delivered to families in need around the city of Abilene. Thanks for helping us “bless our city.”

 

Join us for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service this Christmas Eve. We will have TWO services this December 24th.

At 4:30 there will be a short “Family Style” service. This service won’t have lit candles. Instead there will be kid-friendly glow sticks. In place of a sermon there will be a kid-friendly Christmas story. Families will be in and out under 30 minutes so they can get home to their other Christmas plans.

The 6:00 service will be the traditional Candlelight Service. We will sing Christmas carols, there will be a short Biblical meditation on the message of Christmas and then we will finish the advent wreath by lighting the Christ candle and singing Silent Night together.

It’s one of my favorite family traditions! I hope you’ll join us for either service and invite a friend.

New Ladies Bible Study
Starts January 13th – 10AM & 6:30PM

 

Do you ever feel like the happy ending of your story is a million miles away? Then you know how the Jewish people felt when they returned to their wrecked land after exile and began rebuilding the temple. They were distracted, discouraged, and ready to throw in the towel.

But the prophet Haggai reminded them they could find courage in the God who had never left them. Sometimes the landscapes of our lives feel wrecked, with our hope and purpose in shambles. We too get distracted and discouraged. However, God’s presence and promises give us courage to press on and trust Him with our story.

Watch the Trailer

Register

Getting Back To Normal

Weekly Update | August 29th, 2020

Hey Church Family,

I hope you’ve had a good week! We’re working on a church-wide newsletter that will have updates from many of our core ministry initiatives and plan to release that in the next few weeks through our various communication channels. Since it’s not ready for this weekend I wanted to write and update you on a few things.

First, remember we now have THREE morning service times. 

8:15 (Traditional)
9:30 (Contemporary)
11:00 (Contemporary).

We still put out a livestream of each of these services. However the 9:30 and 11:00 livestream is an “At Home” service specially created for people who are worshiping at home. Please let us know your thoughts on this service as we are trying to discern the best strategy moving forward.

Also, remember that for this new series there is a corresponding video Bible study on Right Now Media entitled “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy and Kathy Keller. The Sunday messages go along thematically with the outline of this Bible study. You may find it beneficial as a group study or personal reflection throughout the week.

If you don’t have a Right Now Media account then you can sign up for one here.

Secondly, our small groups are back on campus.

Our groups meet directly after our 8:15 and 9:30 service times. Most of them are getting started 10-15 minutes before the 9:30 and & 11:00 worship service as our service times have been around an hour long. This allows for us to shrink the amount of cross traffic in usually congested areas like the Gathering Place and building hallways. 

If you’re part of an adult small group, I’d encourage you to reach out to your group leader to see what the plan is. Several have shifted their meeting time to a mid-week or Sunday afternoon on-campus option. If you’re looking for a small group, now is a great time to get plugged in!


Thirdly, you must RSVP for Preschool and Children’s Ministry.

The reason we must have you RSVP for our Preschool and Children’s ministry environments is because we still lack the needed volunteers to make all our space usable. Since we don’t have the workers we can’t fully use our ministry space. We are also trying to be mindful of physical distancing and like-measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If you would be willing to help volunteer in either of these key ministry environments you can let me know by replying to this email or filling out this volunteer application. I know it’s a long volunteer application but we increased safety measures and background checks for ministry to our vulnerable populations and this volunteer application is step one of the process.

Remember, if you sign up as a volunteer you don’t necessarily have to work every week in either department. You can sign up for as much or as little as you want. ANY AMOUNT will absolutely go a long way in our current situation. Thank you for prayerfully considering this need!

Wednesday Nights Are Back!

This past Wednesday we resumed our preschool, children’s and student ministry programing. It was a GREAT evening and so many of our kiddos and parents are glad to be back in the swing of things. It’s a far cry from “normal” but it’s much closer to normal than we’ve ever been before.

If you’re ready to bring your kids back then you can drop them off at 6:30 and the ministry programming goes until 8:00PM. We have opportunities for Preschool (ages birth through 5yrs), Children (grades 1-5) and Students (grades 6-12.)

New Ladies Bible Study

As of now, there is only one adult gathering on Wednesday Night and it’s a new ladies Bible study that starts September 9th. This study will actually have TWO meeting times. One at 10:00AM and the other at 6:30PM. The name of the study is “Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me” and the author of the curriculum is Jennifer Rothschild. (Watch the trailer)

You can register for the ladies Bible study here.

You can purchase your study guide online or through the church. Contact Tiffany Lohse for answers to any questions you may have. Childcare is available for the study (both hours) but you must RSVP if you’re going to need childcare on Wednesday morning.

Marriage Night – September 12th

To accompany our focus on marriage for the next few weeks, we’re also hosting a special event entitled “Marriage Night.” The event will be held on September 12th from 6:00-9:30pm. The cost is $15 per ticket. You can register here. To learn more about the speakers you can go here. We will have refreshments available but do not plan to provide a meal given the current climate.

Unfortunately, the ticket price is set by Right Now Media so we have no control over that. If you want to attend but cannot afford a ticket please let us know so we can try and secure a scholarship.


Closing Thoughts

I titled this week’s update “Getting Back To Normal.” It’s honestly a little “tongue in cheek” as things are in no way “normal” right now. But, the effort to recapture some semblance of what “used to be” is a good effort in my opinion. We should never grow complacent in our faith but there’s nothing wrong with pursuing “comfort” in the Lord.

Getting back to our normal rhythms (including our spiritual rhythms) can act as a healing balm on our anxious souls. The fall of 2020 is sure to have it’s highs and lows (if 2020 continues to go as it has thus far). We will likely continue to learn of the ways in which COVID-19 has forever changed our cultural landscape.

But for all of the things that do change, one thing remains. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. His faithfulness is great and his grace is sufficient no matter the evidence that may point to the contrary. As we continue to move forward let us do so with confidence in the Lord, love for one another and hope in our promised future that will one day be revealed.

If I don’t see you tomorrow, I’ll see you on the interwebs!

Have a great rest of your weekend!

With Love,

Pastor Wes

Father’s Day Update – June 21st, 20202

Father's Day Update

Hey Church Family,

I hope you’ve had a great week! I’m going to be leaving town in a few days for Ruidoso, New Mexico. Our family had some vacation time planned and the cold mountain air of Ruidoso was calling my name. I’ll certainly miss seeing everybody while I’m away but can’t wait to take a breather and do some planning for what’s coming up this fall. 

Before signing off, I wanted to remind you about a few things coming up soon and also recognize one of our staff team-members who is taking a full-time position in another church.


Prayer Night

First, let me remind you about our special prayer service this Sunday at 7PM. Our Student Pastor, Jospeh Tobias will be leading this service. It’s a time to come together and pray for our world. As you can clearly see from the news, there’s a lot of brokenness out there.

The four categories included in this prayer service are unity, justice, healing and love. Each word will be followed by Scripture readings and prayer. I hope you can join us for this special time. I know it’s Father’s Day and several have other plans. But for those who can make it, please join us. 

We will livestream the event for those who cannot make it in person. It will also be available to watch afterwards if you cannot watch during the 7PM start time. Whether you attend in person or online, God hears our prayers just the same. I hope you’ll be able to make it.


July 12th Service Times

The second thing I wanted to remind you about is our July 12th service times. Essentially, we are moving our Traditional Service back to Sunday morning. Our traditional schedule of three worship services on Sunday morning won’t happen until later this summer. But, for now, here’s what’s going down on July 12th.

Traditional Service:
8:20AM

Contemporary Service:
9:45AM

Adult Small Groups:
9:30 & 11:00AM

Preschool & Children Programming:
9:45 & 11:00AM

Student Ministry Programming:
11:00AM

I know for many of our young families you’ve been waiting for the preschool and kids wing to open back up before you come back. That day is finally here. We are really excited to get to minister to our kids again and I hope you’ll make it a point to show up on July 12th.

As you can see, these are some odd times compared to what we’re used to. The reason is because we’re trying to still maintain social distancing between “high-risk” populations and potential “asymptomatic carriers” of the virus. Most of the higher risk folks in our church attend the Traditional Service and the most likely asymptomatic carriers are young children or young adults (who attend later services)

There will be some who think this is silly and others who think we aren’t going far enough. We are doing our best to do what we think is best so I hope you’ll be gracious as we feel our way forward on this deal. When we add back our third service these times may have to change again but this is what the plan is for now.

For those of you who don’t like reading, here’s a video of the July 12th changes
(filmed in anticipation of my absence due to travel)

A Few Other Things

In addition to relaunching our adult small groups and the preschool, children and student ministry programming, we are also seeing a few other ministries fire back up.


Traditional Service Choir

For example, our Traditional Service Worship Choir will start meeting again on Wednesday July 15th at 5:00PM. I know many who serve in our choir have been waiting patiently to get back together again and so rehearsals will start back up at that time.

Personally, I feel like the experts are of two opinions when it comes to the spread of coronavirus by sining. Some scientists say that choir rehearsals and singing are one of the key ways that the coronavirus spreads. Others disagree. The CDC originally discouraged the use of choirs and singing but later removed that guidance as it was not cleared by the White House. (see current CDC guidance here.)

All of this back and forth just makes decision making more difficult. Because our worship choir has so many who qualify as “high risk” I’d like to err on the side of caution. That means precautions will be taken at rehearsal. The set up of the room will be spread out so as to practice social distancing and if it turns out we cannot do it safely we may have to postpone rehearsals a little longer. 

We also don’t know exactly when we will be able to bring back a choir for the Traditional Service worship gathering. It’s feasible to set up a rehearsal room for social distancing but our traditional use of choir risers put vocalist right on top of each other. So we are still trying to figure out a solution for that moving forward. Hopefully, the threat of COVID will continue to wane as the fall progresses. Time will tell.


Celebrate Recovery

The other ministry that is kicking back off after July 12th is Celebrate Recovery. Our freedom ministries have already been hosting a weekly small group on Tuesday evenings but now they are shifting back to a full fledged Celebrate Recovery ministry program.

The program will start at 6:30. First there is a time of singing and worship followed by a message or testimony. Afterwards, people break out into groups and share what’s going on in their hearts. It’s a wonderful program that helps people get over their hurts, habits and hangups.

Some assume CR is only for people with a “substance abuse” problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. Certainly it’s helpful for finding freedom over addiction. But substance abuse isn’t the only form of spiritual slavery people experience. Not by a long shot!

Some are slaves to anger. Others are slaves to fear or despair. Anxiety issues? CR will help. Control issues? Eating disorders? Depression? All of these things are symptoms of a heart that’s gotten out of alignment. And putting yourself back into alignment isn’t easy. You need community. You need people who will listen to your situation and help you find your way out.

That’s what CR is about. It’s about finding freedom over sin. Some sin in our life is due to personal decisions. Sometimes we don’t get a choice and sins are committed against. We live in a broken world damaged by sin and it ends up damaging US.

So how do you get over those hurts, habits or hang ups? You do it with the power of God in the context of community. That’s what makes CR so effective. The power of God’s Word is discovered and applied through the channel of personal relationships. It’s disciple-making 101.

If you’ve never considered joining Celebrate Recovery let me challenge you to give it a second look. If you’ve struggled to find a small group, why not give this a chance? If you’ve got any kind of spiritual “hang up” right now, what do you have to lose? Give CR a try and let me know what you think.


You Are Sent

The last thing I want to talk about in this week’s update is the sending of one of our favorite people on staff. Her name is Claire Shuler and she’s taking a full-time position at Clear Lake Baptist Church in Houston, TX as their Minister of Media and Music.

Claire has been serving on staff for close to two years now. She stepped in alongside of Jospeh Tobias in leading our youth ministry. In addition to that, she has served the church in a variety of different ways. She’s become a ministry generalists of sorts, creating graphics, children discipleship videos and a host of other things behind-the-scenes.

When I wrote her letter of recommendation I emphasized Claire’s humility and spirit of teamwork. Many people in ministry have the “skills” necessary to get a job done. Less common is the humility and teamwork mindset that makes a staff culture healthy. She has brought both of those things to our staff team and we were better for it.

We are going to miss her so much but I’m confident the Lord has called her to this next assignment. I’m so proud of how she trusted the Lord throughout this process. She is taking a position that is going to maximize her strengths and spiritual giftedness. It would’ve been easier to “settle for less” but good things come to those who wait.

I’m confident she has a bright future ahead of her and I want to congratulate you all for helping send Claire into this assignment with all the tools and knowledge she needs. Because of your willingness to let her serve in all of these various capacities she can now go into this next assignment with the competence and confidence this position requires.

Part of our 2020 Vision was being a church that “sends missionaries.” Claire may not be going oversees but she is moving to one of the most culturally diverse cities in America and her ministry moving forward is going to reach people we would never be able to reach.

Your investment into her life is going to be bearing fruit in the years to come. So thank you for being generous in your tithes and offerings as well as your words of encouragement and faith in her future life in ministry. We will celebrate her tomorrow morning in service so I hope you can be there to send her off.


An Update From Brazil 

Even as we send one person out to their next assignment, I wanted to close this week’s update with a video testimony from a missionary who has returned back from their ministry assignment.

Many of you remember that in January we sent one of our church members, Anaka Hinton, to Brazil as a long-term missionary. Little did we know that a novel coronavirus would breakout and make the ministry assignment in Brazil 100 times more interesting than it would’ve been otherwise.

Anaka has filmed a video describing her experience in Brazil so I want to encourage you to watch it and be encouraged by how your giving to the World Missions Offering had a direct and concrete impact on the unreached peoples in Brazil.

I hope you were as encouraged as I was by this video. Anaka speaks about the way in which being raised in a church that cares so deeply about missions is what gave her the desire to take this assignment. Who knows that the future holds for her? 

Again, whatever that future is, you have a part in it because of your generosity to things like the World Missions Offering and your spiritual investment into the life of a young person growing up in this church. These are just two recent examples. Only God knows the full impact this church is having on the people who belong to this spiritual family.

The truth is, what happens in church when we gather together really makes an eternal impact in the world. You probably don’t see it when you’re in the moment but these little moments are cumulative and add up to something significant. The local church is God’s idea and He knew what he was doing when he created it.

I’ve got my own children growing up in this same church. I’m so thankful to belong to a church family that is passionate about reaching unreached people and that models well the love of Christ and the power of the Gospel.


One More Thing…

On that note – in case you’re actually STILL reading this hopelessly long email – Audra and I are excited to announce the addition of ONE MORE child into our little family! We’ve known for a long time but wanted to wait until we knew the sex of the baby before making the announcement.

A beautiful baby boy is due to be born later this fall (early November). I couldn’t be more excited! Blaise and AJ are also pumped. As Blaise said, “I can wrestle with him and WIN.” (I guess I should let him win more often when we wrestle…) Audra has endured this pregnancy like a champ even though it was really difficult early on. She’s the absolute best at being a mom and now we’ll be a family of FIVE. 

All that being said, this is a particularly good Father’s Day for me. 2020 has been really tough in many ways. But even in the midst of great trial and change, God is faithful. God is good. His love never fails and our future is secure. 

For others reading this email, your Father’s Day may not be as good. You may be facing a level of hardship that makes you feel as though you’re about to break. And for you, even in that valley low, God is faithful. He is good, his love never fails and your future is secure.

The Fatherly love of God is the thing we need whether we’re on a mountain high or a valley low. Wherever you find yourself, I hope you’ll direct your eyes towards him and allow his truth, goodness and beauty direct your steps moving forward.

It’ll be a few weeks until I write another update. So, until that time, I hope you have a happy June and wonderful 4th of July. If I don’t see you tomorrow then I’ll catch you on the interwebs.

Have a Happy Sunday!

With love,

Pastor Wes

Responding To Injustice

Responding to Injustice

Hey Church Family,

 

Here we are again. Another week has passed. What a week it has been! Before I get to my pastoral letter for this week’s update I just want to remind you about the opportunities for gathered worship this weekend.

We have a service tonight at 5PM. It’s a traditional service and will go for about an hour. Children are discouraged from attending this service because we are trying to protect our more “at risk” population. We also encourage anyone who is sick to please stay home and watch the live stream.

Our Sunday morning service starts at 9:45AM. It’s a contemporary style worship service and everyone is welcome to attend. There are bags available upon entry to the sanctuary that can keep your kids occupied with color sheets and other materials. This will also last about an hour and will be streamed online for those who prefer to remain at home.

We are continuing to practice social distancing and masks are encouraged (though not required.) We strongly encourage their use when you cannot maintain the proper 6 foot distance between others outside your household. We also require there to be TWO empty seats between each household unit on each row in the sanctuary. You can register for the services using the link below.

Register Now

 

Not everyone who attends has to register. We have made it so that there is a certain number of empty seats for walk-ins and new guests. That said, we encourage you to register so we can know when to add additional services and so we ensure our current setup maintains the social distancing guidelines. Thanks for your help in this matter! 

Next week we will have a Family Room open up for those of you who have kids but don’t want to bring them into the Sanctuary. Children and preschool programming will start later in July. You can read last week’s update for details. There is also information about some new small groups starting up in that update as well.

Responding to Injustice

For this week’s update, I wanted to write down my thinking on the proper Christian response to injustice. If you’ve not yet seen it on the news, our nation has been set ablaze by riots, protests and cries of agony in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Minnesota. We even had a march in our own city that recognized this act of injustice. 

The death of George Floyd is one more in a string of recent events that’ve unjustly took the life of a black American. The other well-known example is that of Ahmaud Arbery. The details of each case are a little bit different but each case is an example of a death that could have been prevented and should have never happened.

While I want to be careful of assigning motivations of racial prejudice to the people involved, the fact remains that each of these victims were black Americans and each death contained injustices committed by white Americans. The video footage associated with each of the aforementioned cases make clear how horrendously wrong these two deaths actually were.

Again, it’s not my place to assign racial motivations to either of these perpetrators. Only God knows the heart and perfect justice will one day be served. Irregardless of the motivations, these acts along with others have sparked a nation-wide protest of other injustices experienced by black Americans.

How are Christians to respond?

This question has consumed my thoughts for the past several weeks. Now we are seeing an uprising of violent protests that are destructive and unjust in their own right. Violence only breeds more violence. And as these riots escalate in intensity, the violence and division is only going to worsen.

My heart is broken for these families. My heart is concerned for the future of our country. My heart is grieved over the many stories of prejudice that I’ve heard from my non-white friends. My heart is ashamed of being silent when I could’ve voiced these types of concerns but didn’t.

What makes all of this even more complicated is that racial tensions in America have become embedded in our politics. It’s difficult to take a stand on an issue without being pigeon-holed into a political movement that you may or may not wholeheartedly agree with. Pastorally, this is even more difficult because there are many who think that preachers should avoid politics all-together. 

But just because something is a “political issue” doesn’t mean Christians should avoid talking about it. It doesn’t mean that GOD doesn’t have a clear view about it. It doesn’t mean that the Church shouldn’t have a clear voice in addressing it. And that voice shouldn’t be compromised by political allegiances whether they be from the left or the right.

Christians have long understood this as it relates to abortion. The Bible is clear that all people – irregardless of their stage of development – are created in the image of God. Abortion is the ending of a human life (not just a potential human life) and therefore it is wrong. Our politics should reflect that conviction.

But the theology that informs our Christian response to abortion ought to also inform the discussion around other political issues. Immigration. racial issues, proper policing and the criminal justice system. Often these discussions are seen as issues “for the left.” But they’re not just issues that matter to the left. They matter to God because ALL people are created in God’s image and are therefore inherently valuable and worthy of dignity and respect.

None of this is to say that the solutions proposed by the left or the right are the right ones. Political wisdom and civic solutions need to be biblically informed but are often not biblically prescribed (as much as I wish they were). The foundational principles are given to us in God’s Word but the construction and application of those principles to our civic life is for us to figure out together.

Why am I even bringing up the issue of politics? I bring it up because I think it keeps some of us from thinking biblically about the issue of injustice, racial or otherwise.

How then should a Christian respond to injustice? Here’s are a few thoughts to consider.

1.) SEE THE INJUSTICE

“Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.” Ecclesiastes 4:1

This is where it begins. You can’t join God in properly responding to injustice unless you’re willing to see it. It’s easy to preoccupy yourself with your busy little world and avoid looking at the injustices that are all around us. So don’t. Stop. Look at it. Stare at it. Feel the weight of it so that you can properly empathize with the victims who are suffering.

Every victim has a backstory. They are people created in the image of God. They have families and friends who are grieving. In the case of George Floyd, he was used by God to open up a Gospel movement in Houston’s third ward.

It’s really easy to allow the discussion around injustice to devolve into numbers and statistics. In some ways, that’s inevitable. It’s a big problem and to wrestle with it you’ve got to do so at a macro level. But Christians ought to never become blind to what’s actually happening on the ground. We’ve got to be willing to see it. 

2.) GRIEVE THE INJUSTICE

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22–23)

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)

There are several other Psalms that speak to this issues but groaning and grieving is a fitting response to injustice. So often we rush past this (especially if we are not ourselves the victims.) It’s important to weep with those who weep and to do so without explaining away their pain or rushing past their grievances.

“Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26)

Related to this grieving is the issue of godly anger. We saw a few weeks ago how Paul encouraged us to be different as it relates to our anger. Like Jesus, our anger should be informed by a godly sorrow over the brokenness of this world and the devastating effect that sin has on people. 

3) CONFRONT THE INJUSTICE

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8–9

This was written to a king by a king and was in particular reference to his ruling as a king. But it still applies for those of us who have the power to make a difference. We shouldn’t use our position or power to serve ourselves but rather the interests of others, especially those who cannot defend themselves. 

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Isaiah 1:16–17

This comes from a context where God is confronting his people about their dead religion. He does the same thing through the prophet Amos. They were consistent in attending church, singing, praying, even giving their tithes and offerings. But they were inconsistent in advocating for the oppressed and rebuking the oppressors. Part of righteousness is correcting oppression and seeking justice for all. Silence is not an option.

4) ENTRUST VENGENCE TO GOD

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21)

Violence and riots are a natural and easy response to injustice. But the Christian response should be different. This is why Martin Luther King was able to enact so much change without ever lifting a finger. He entrusted himself to the Lord and left vengeance in his hands. 

This is incredibly hard to do, especially if you are the victim of injustice. But it’s a supernatural response that you can do with the power of the Holy Spirit.

This isn’t to say that protests are wrong in and of themselves. I think protests fit right in with number three on our list above. But violence steps over God’s design for responding to injustice.

Like most things, the Christian response to injustice doesn’t fit neatly within any political paradigm. It confronts us in our apathy and indifference and it moves us to a place of advocacy and sacrifice. It rejects man-made solutions or godless ideologies and centers our hope solely in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, the Christian response to injustice is DIFFERENT. 

My prayer for us in these days is that God confronts us in our sin and moves us to a place of godly repentance and strategic action.

As our nation burns and the people rage may the people of God repent and submit ourselves to the perfect plan and design of God. May the church rise up and chart a course that others can follow. The loudest voices don’t have to direct our future. May God grant that the voice of truth lead the way through the witness of the Church.

We are just one small church among many. But the Church universal can be a powerful force for good. It was God’s “plan-A” for proclaiming the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world. Our country needs the Church to step up to the plate and respond to injustice according to God’s good design.

Will you join me in praying for a heart of repentance? Will you join me in praying for wisdom from heaven? Will you join me in seeing the injustices that are there and grieving with those who are hurting right now (especially those in our own church family?)

Lastly, will you join me in confronting injustice wherever and however we can? Will you join me in rejecting movements or platforms that will only take us further in the wrong direction and instead join with God as he makes a way for a better future? Will you join me in praying for discernment on how best to reach that goal.

Consider how you can be a voice for the voiceless and join God in defending the defenseless.

Through it all, let us remember as broken as things may “seem,” God is still on the throne! All of this is working towards a triumphant end. The day is coming when our tears of grief over the injustice of sin will be wiped away by a just and perfect King.

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new…” (Revelation 21:3–5)

These words are trustworthy and true. God is faithful and he will keep his promises. Continue to pray for our country during these difficult days. Pray for the Church to be that bright and shining city on a hill that cannot be hidden. A city within the city, seeking the good of those who dwell within.

If there’s anyway I can pray for you in particular please let me know. If these recent events have caused a level of grief or anxiety in your own heart then please let us know so we can help minister to you during this time. 

Even though this is on the headlines right now, those will eventually fade and the subject will change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forevermore. Let us fix our eyes on him and move forward with confidence in his plan.

I hope I see many of yall tonight or tomorrow morning!

if not, I’ll catch you on the interwebs!

With love,

Pastor Wes

Monday Update (on Tuesday) for Preschool & Children

Monday Update (on Tuesday) for Preschool & Children

Hello Parents,

As if keeping track of which day it is wasn’t hard enough, I am bringing you the Monday Update on a Tuesday! I hope you enjoyed your holiday yesterday and talked with your children about the significance of the day and the sacrifice that was made so that we can enjoy our freedom. This week we are going to celebrate the beginning of summer with the return of a fan-favorite!

Two weeks ago, we did “Chalk at the Church” for the first time. Families had a blast doing art work in the parking lot! Several families said they wanted to chalk but were not able to due to busy school schedules, so we are bringing it back! This week is Chalk at the Church 2.0! We encourage you to come up to church and write a positive note or artwork in the parking lot for our church family and staff to enjoy. After you finish, take a picture with your family and your art to post on social media with the hashtag #chalkatthechurch. If you are not on social media, you can email the picture as well.

We did say that this week is the 2.0 version so we wanted to add some extra fun! We have purchased some popsicles for your family to enjoy! To get them, come to the church office between the hours of 9AM-12PM or 1PM-3PM Tuesday through Thursday and 9am-11am on Friday. Please make sure you sanitize when entering and exiting the building at our sanitization station near the church doors. Also, all families that post or send in a picture while be entered into a drawing to win some awesome children’s Bibles and books.

We hope that your family will find time to come and leave an encouraging note or artwork for our church family! Have a great week!

Please make sure you are connected to our Facebook groups! You can also email Tiffany@broadview.church for Preschool (birth-kindergarten) or Ora@broaview.church for Children (1st- 5th grade).

Broadview Preschool Ministry

Broadview Kids

Blessings,

Ora, Sherry, and Tiffany