Preparation for a Celebration

Hello Church Family

I hope you’re doing well. We are officially on the other side of Spring Break and marching towards Easter Sunday! Last year the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus fell a little flat due to COVID-19 and having to shut down the facilities. This year, we are regathering in person and we are celebrating our socks off! (metaphorically speaking only please)

I titled this update “Preparation for a Celebration” and hope you’ll think about the next couple of weeks through that lens. We are kicking off a new series in the book of Revelation this weekend and all of the passages we have ahead of us are perfectly suited for that kind of preparation.

These are exciting days for our church. People are coming back to in person gatherings and we are seeing God move in specific and tangible ways. We had a great turn out for the Discover Broadview lunch last weekend (10 people) and there are so many new families starting to plug into the life of our church

I’m also happy to report we are now officially meeting budget for the year. Last year we lowered our budget due to the projected decrease in giving and the impact COVID was having. Giving at the beginning of 2021 wasn’t meeting our weekly requirement even though we had lowered our overall budget.

In February those trends turned around and we are now officially “caught up” and moving a positive direction. Some have sensed the Lord leading them to give “above and beyond” whereas others have started to give for the first time. Whatever the case, it’s a great answer to prayer and an encouragement as we move forward in what God has called us to do together.

Thanks for being such a generous church.

Lead Pastor Wes Terry gives a video update on the events taking place at Broadview leading up to Easter Sunday.
Besides engaging with worship on Sunday mornings there are a few more ways you can prepare your heart for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus this coming April 4th.

Of the the first is a Palm Sunday family activity called “The Empty Tomb Eggstravaganza.”

Starts March 28th | 3-4PM

This is a time for families to celebrate together that the tomb is empty and our Savior lives! We will enjoy exciting worship, an engaging lesson, an Easter craft, and an egg hunt.

The event will be Sunday, March 28th from 3:00-4:00 pm. If you would like to donate individually wrapped candy for the egg hunt, there will be a donation bin located in the Gathering Place, as well as in the Preschool and Children’s welcome areas.

If you would like to help the day of the event, please contact Ora or Tiffany.

The second way to prepare your heart for Easter Sunday is to attend the Monday evening prayer meetings.

We are now about 3-4 weeks in and each Monday the Lord moves in a different and fresh way. We’ve seen the Lord answer some specific prayers like a replacement vehicle for an international student and physical healing for a bodily injury. We’re still praying for God to provide on various other fronts but that’s ultimately NOT the purpose of these meetings.

The prayer meetings are not primarily about asking God to answer certain prayers. The prayer meetings are primarily about enjoying the presence of God. It’s not about the “gifts” that God gives as much as it is the “GIFT GIVER” God himself.

My two goals for every prayer meeting are
(1) find the presence of God and
(2) stay in his presence as long as possible.

Obviously God is always present anytime the church gathers. But we all know there are times when God manifests his presence in a special way when we are in step with the Holy Spirit and seeking Him with all of our heart. That’s what these prayer meetings are all about.

If you haven’t yet attended one then please consider it. If you doubt their value, talk to somebody who has been going and see what they have to say. I’m confident their response will encourage you to experience it for yourself.

The last thing you can do to prepare for Easter Sunday is attend our Good Friday service.

April 2nd | 6PM

This service will be similar to the Good Friday service we did in 2019. This won’t be a typical type of service with music and preaching.

We will recreate in our “minds eye” the last days of Jesus’ earthly life. Whether through prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane or the trial before Pontus Pilate we will “go back in time” and relive that darkest night.

In so doing we will have times of corporate prayer and confession to express our gratitude to Jesus for his great love. We will also take the Lord’s Supper that evening as a way of remembering Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

We will leave with gratitude in our heart for the amazing grace of God displayed at the cross of Christ and eagerly await the celebration of his resurrection on Sunday morning.

I hope you will put it on your calendar and choose to join us.

If:Gathering 2021

All of these events are worthy of your consideration as you prepare yourself for Easter Sunday. It’s an important time to be reminded that Jesus has overcome and we too will overcome because we are “in Him.” We’ve faced plenty of challenges over the past year and God has been faithful through it all.

On that theme, I also want to remind you about this year’s IF:Gathering. The theme behind this year’s gathering is perfect for all that we’ve faced this past year. And, while it may be for ladies only, it’s also a great way to prepare your heart for Easter Sunday.

So here are the details

Starts March 26th-27th

His kingdom is coming. Join the women of Broadview Baptist Church for IF:Gathering 2021! All women and teens ages 14+ are invited to attend this two-day time of worship, teaching, panel groups, and discussion.

The theme of these two days is “Even If.” Even if the worst happens, we won’t lose hope. Come join us as we remember that together.
Doors will open for check-in on Friday at 5:30 PM
Event will happen from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM.

Doors will open Saturday at 8:30 AM
Event will happen from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Coffee and tea will be served throughout. Please bring a pre-packaged snack to share. Saturday lunch will be on your own. (Please plan to go out or pick up take-out in smaller groups from nearby restaurants.)

(Note: Broadview Baptist Church will replay the LIVE event originally simulcast on March 5-6, 2021 due to our local Spring Break conflict.)

Final Thoughts

That’s it for me this week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you’ll plan to join us this coming Sunday for worship. In our last update I knew I planned to preach Revelation 2-3 after Easter but in thinking through my own preparation for Easter the Lord led me to Revelation 1 for the three weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. It’s amazing how it all ties in to what we’re going through right now.

So read ahead and come to church ready to encounter the risen Lord Jesus Christ. If we will come with hearts eager to meet with Him then I have every confidence He will meet with us. If there’s anyway I can pray for you please let me know. Also if you have prayers you want shared during Monday prayer meetings please submit them.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Wes

 

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

Offering Report
Date: 03/18/21

Weekly Budget Requirement:  $17,567
Weekly Budget Receipts:  $20,997

YTD Required:  $193,237
YTD Received:   $205,516

Designated Gifts
World Missions: $910
Local Missions: $153
Family Crisis: $1,286

Upcoming Events

New Ladies Bible Study – March 17th

Who is Jesus? Why did He come to earth? How can I know Him?

We live in a world where there’s a lot of confusion about Jesus. Too often people want to shape Him and His message to fit their personal needs or agendas. So how can we know the truth?

Join Seamless author Angie Smith in this 8-session search for truth as she unfolds the story of our matchless Savior—His mission, miracles, and message.

This study will deepen your understanding of Jesus through biblical, historical, and cultural insight and help you see Him less as an iconic figure and more as an intimate friend.

This class will meet on Wednesdays starting March 17th. There will be two options available. There is a 10AM option and a 6:30PM option. Childcare will be provided for both hours.

Register Now

Learning New Testament Greek

Have you ever wanted to learn how to read the New Testament in it’s original language? Have you ever felt intimated when someone quotes “The Greek” and wish you could dive deeper into certain words in the Bible? You’re not alone.

In this class, participants will get a general overview to the Greek language used in the New Testament. The classes will also help participants learn how to use certain Bible Study Tools that open up the meaning of Greek words and the way biblical authors use them.

Classes will be held on Sunday nights at 5:00PM. The first class starts March 21st.

Class taught by Jaggar Gran

Register Now

Most Recent Sermon
Testimony: Tammy Martinez
Isaiah 61:1-3
March 14th, 2021

An Update From Our Partners

Hey Church Family

I hope you’re doing well. It was so good to be with many of you this morning during our worship services. The Lord was present in a special way and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get to share from God’s Word week in and week out.

I wanted to send out a quick update this week to share some new announcements under the “Upcoming Events” section and also an update from some of our church planting partners.

Redemption City Church

Matt Kendrick is the lead pastor at Redemption City Church in Fort Worth, Texas. In the video below, he offers his gratitude on behalf of Redemption City Church for the partnership with Broadview. In our World Missions Offering we designed a little over $5,000 to help get Redemption City Church up off the ground.

Lead Pastor Matt Kendrick of Redemption City Church gives an update and expresses gratitude for the partnership with Broadview Baptist Church.
It’s so cool to see how your generosity is making a difference in the lives of people so far outside of the Abilene area. Every gift you give to the World Missions Offering makes work like this possible not just in Fort Worth but even the uttermost places of the world like West Africa or West Bengal.

Living Stone Church

I got word from another church planting partner this week as well. Keith Baldridge is the Lead Pastor at Living Stone Church in Broomfield, CO. They actually had their church “STOLEN” this week.

Obviously, they can’t steal the church since the people are the church. Thieves did, however, steal the two trailers that had all the equipment they use to host their weekend services. Pastor Keith explains in the video below.

Pastor Keith Baldridge gives an update about the stolen trailers and how to help support them in this time of need.
As Pastor Keith explains in the video, the insurance is going to cover about $50,000 of the stolen equipment but that leaves about $100,000 of the expenses not covered. If the Lord leads, there are ways that you can help address this urgent need.

You can give through the Living Stone Church using their website or you can give through Broadview and just designate the gift for Living Stone Church on the memo and we will forward the gift in addition to our usual monthly support.

I just want to thank you for being a generous church. Even though we did have to shrink our budget last year and are learning to do ministry with less than years past, we’re still able to see God use your generosity to advance his redemptive purposes in the world.

As Jesus encouraged, let us continue to store up for ourselves treasure in heaven. That is the type of treasure that “moth and rust cannot destroy nor thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-21) Every dollar you give is an eternal investment into making friends for yourself in the “eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9) It’s the best investment you can make this side of heaven.

Join us for The Prayers Tomorrow at 6PM

Before signing off I just want to encourage you to join us tomorrow for the prayer meeting at 6PM. If you have a family with young children, the kiddos are welcome to join us in the Sanctuary. We did that last week and the kids did great. (There are coloring sheets and crayons to keep them entertained)

It was really cool to hear some of the kiddos voicing prayers to the Lord. It’s also a chance for the various generations in our church to see and meet one another. It’s a rich time of fellowship in addition to prayer and worship.

You can look under the upcoming events section of this email to get details on when and where and how to submit a prayer request. We’ve already begun to see God answer some of the prayers that we prayed for last week and I’m really excited about what’s in store for us tomorrow.

There is no sermon and there’s no real fancy bells or whistles. We just gather together and pray. We talk to God about what HE wants to talk about. We try and remain sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Then, there’s a chance for you to have your personal needs prayed over in the one-on-one lines and we also pray for specific needs going on in our church family.

New Classes

In addition to these new prayer meetings, there are also some new classes coming up in the next few weeks. There’s a new Embrace Grace group starting up next Wednesday, there’s a new class on learning New Testament Greek and a new ladies Bible study as well.

You can get the details below under upcoming events. If you have something else that needs to be announced you can always reply to this email and let me know. If there’s anyway I can pray for you this coming week please let me know by replying to this email. Lastly, if you’d like the church to pray over a particular need in your life you can reply to this email and let me know!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Wes

Upcoming Events

Discover Broadview

Are you new to Broadview? Maybe you’ve been visiting for a while but now you’re thinking about joining the church or getting more plugged in?

It can be difficult finding a church home. Every church is a little bit different and before joining a church it’s important that you understand what they’re all about. That’s why we started the Discover Broadview experience.

On the second Sunday of each month you’ll have an opportunity to hear from Pastor Wes on the mission, vision and values of Broadview Baptist Church. There’s some clarity provided on next steps like finding a small group or a place to serve. It’s also a chance to build relationships with other folks in the church.

 

Discover Broadview usually lasts about an hour and childcare can be provided if requested. Lunch is provided and your whole family is welcome. If you’re interested in learning more about Broadview or think you might be ready to join our church, then please consider registering!

Register Now

Monday Night Prayer Meeting

Mondays @ 6:00PM

One of the things that characterized the early church was a commitment to prayer. (Acts 2:42) Paul told Timothy that prayer in the local church “was of first importance.” (1 Timothy 2:1)

Unfortunately, many churches have abandoned the idea of a weekly prayer gathering. Or, if they do have a prayer meeting, it mostly consists of a Bible study and then 10-15 minutes of prayer.

“The Prayers” on Monday night at Broadview is not that.

In these Monday prayer meetings we will seek after the presence of God and align our hearts with His will for our church family. We will pray to God for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and allow him to speak to us about what he wants to talk about.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to pray with each other and to have their personal prayer needs prayed over by the church. You can submit a prayer request before hand if you’d like.

Submit a prayer request.

New Ladies Bible Study – March 17th

Who is Jesus? Why did He come to earth? How can I know Him?

We live in a world where there’s a lot of confusion about Jesus. Too often people want to shape Him and His message to fit their personal needs or agendas. So how can we know the truth?

Join Seamless author Angie Smith in this 8-session search for truth as she unfolds the story of our matchless Savior—His mission, miracles, and message.

This study will deepen your understanding of Jesus through biblical, historical, and cultural insight and help you see Him less as an iconic figure and more as an intimate friend.

This class will meet on Wednesdays starting March 17th. There will be two options available. There is a 10AM option and a 6:30PM option. Childcare will be provided for both hours.

Register Now

Learning New Testament Greek

Have you ever wanted to learn how to read the New Testament in it’s original language? Have you ever felt intimated when someone quotes “The Greek” and wish you could dive deeper into certain words in the Bible? You’re not alone.

In this class, participants will get a general overview to the Greek language used in the New Testament. The classes will also help participants learn how to use certain Bible Study Tools that open up the meaning of Greek words and the way biblical authors use them.

Classes will be held on Sunday nights at 5:00PM. The first class starts March 21st.

Class taught by Jaggar Gran

Register Now

Most Recent Sermon

Join us tonight at 6PM!

Hey Church Family

I hope you’ve had a good week! I just wanted to send out a quick update out to remind you about the prayer meeting this evening at 6:00PM. Kids are welcome to join us in the Sanctuary and it should last right over an hour. I know that many of you aren’t used to “church on a Monday” so it may take some getting used to.

However, if you’re in town, I really want to encourage you to be there. I think the Lord will use these Monday evenings to do something really special in the life of our church. For now, these prayer meetings aren’t going to be live-streamed.

What will this look like?

There will NOT be a sermon or a 30 minute Bible study for this gathering. The gathering really is for the express purpose of prayer. We will seek the presence of the Lord until we find him. Once we find his presence we will do everything we can to stay in his presence. There will be some singing and some Scripture reading.

First, we will talk to God about what he wants to talk about. Then we will talk to God about what we want to talk about. If you have prayer needs that you’d like the church to pray over then you can have those needs prayed over during the end portion of the prayer meeting.

You can submit personal requests beforehand using this link.

The Next 40 Days

As I mentioned in my last update, there are 40 days between tomorrow’s prayer meeting and Good Friday. I think it’s God’s providential way of inviting us to really use this season to seek after him in a special way. I want to encourage you to consider fasting from a particular item or activity to create a spirit of hunger and spiritual thirst for God’s presence in your life.

The staff has been doing this since January and the Lord has used the prayer meetings in a powerful way in my own life. The season of fasting helped to accelerate the work I believe God wanted to accomplish.

As I mentioned in the message yesterday, every spiritual awakening throughout history has been preceded by an intense thirst for God. The spiritual discipline of fasting is a practical way to create and amplify that spiritual thirst. When you experience a craving for the thing you’re fasting from, it prompts you to exchange that craving with a craving for God.

There’s a connection between this kind of prayer and a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I believe the Lord is inviting us to press into this season of prayer and fasting for that very purpose. We need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The question is, are we ready to ask for it and receive it?

Every person and every church has as much or as little of the Holy Spirit as they want to have. The Lord is inviting us to have more if we will just ask.

So, if you’re in town and you’re willing to accept this invitation, please join us!

Also, please read the upcoming events below as there are two new Bible studies coming up for those who are interested. I hope to see many of you tomorrow.

With love,

Pastor Wes

Upcoming Events

Monday Night Prayer Meeting

Mondays @ 6:00PM

One of the things that characterized the early church was a commitment to prayer. (Acts 2:42) Paul told Timothy that prayer in the local church “was of first importance.” (1 Timothy 2:1)

Unfortunately, many churches have abandoned the idea of a weekly prayer gathering. Or, if they do have a prayer meeting, it mostly consists of a Bible study and then 10-15 minutes of prayer.

“The Prayers” on Monday night at Broadview is not that.

In these Monday prayer meetings we will seek after the presence of God and align our hearts with His will for our church family. We will pray to God for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and allow him to speak to us about what he wants to talk about.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to pray with each other and to have their personal prayer needs prayed over by the church. You can submit a prayer request before hand by using this form.

New Marriage Bible Study

The Carlock Family small group will be starting a Bible Study on Marriage this coming Sunday, February 28th, at 11:00AM. In this study, you’ll understand why so many married couples get stuck in the “crazy cycle” and how to get out. It will explore biblical principles of love, respect and effective communication.

You can just show up to the group this coming Sunday or register below. You can watch a trailer of the Bible study here on Right Now Media.

Register

New Ladies Bible Study – March 17th

Who is Jesus? Why did He come to earth? How can I know Him?

We live in a world where there’s a lot of confusion about Jesus. Too often people want to shape Him and His message to fit their personal needs or agendas. So how can we know the truth?

Join Seamless author Angie Smith in this 8-session search for truth as she unfolds the story of our matchless Savior—His mission, miracles, and message.

This study will deepen your understanding of Jesus through biblical, historical, and cultural insight and help you see Him less as an iconic figure and more as an intimate friend.

This class will meet on Wednesdays starting March 17th. There will be two options available. There is a 10AM option and a 6:30PM option. Childcare will be provided for both hours.

Register Now

Learning New Testament Greek

Have you ever wanted to learn how to read the New Testament in it’s original language? Have you ever felt intimated when someone quotes “The Greek” and wish you could dive deeper into certain words in the Bible? You’re not alone.

In this class, participants will get a general overview to the Greek language used in the New Testament. The classes will also help participants learn how to use certain Bible Study Tools that open up the meaning of Greek words and the way biblical authors use them.

Classes will be held on Sunday nights at 5:00PM. The first class starts March 21st.

Class taught by Jaggar Gran

Register Now

Most Recent Sermon
Just Ask!
Luke 11:1-13
March 21st, 2021

A Call to Prayer & Fasting

Hey Church Family

Happy Monday to you! Monday’s went from being one of my least favorite days of the week to one of my favorite days of the week. Now my Mondays come in second place next to my Sundays. The reason is because our staff has made Mondays the day on which we pray together. These prayer meetings have become something really meaningful.

To be completely honest, I’ve never been a big fan of “meetings” in the general sense. Least favored are those “unnecessary meetings.” Those reoccurring meetings that sit on your calendar but never really add value in terms of what you need to know or getting things done. Have you ever had those kind of meetings in your workplace?

These Monday morning prayer meetings have become the opposite of that. Far from being “unnecessary,” I’ve found that they set a positive and God-centered tone for the rest of the workweek. I’ve also seen God begin to answer specific prayers that get prayed during these meetings which adds even more excitement to the gatherings.

It really has been quite a shock! The Lord has taken a day that was generally pretty “blah” and made it a staple of my workweek. He’s taken an activity in which I’m not naturally gifted and made it one of the greatest gifts to my spiritual health.

A Call to Prayer & Fasting

This is something I think the Lord wants ALL of us to experience. I really believe there is a heavenly reward available to us if we’ll lean in to this idea of congregational prayer that is unhurried, undistracted, Spirit-led and submitted to the Lordship of Christ.

I mentioned this in our last update and we settled on March 15th as the start date. As I’ve prayed about it, I think the Lord is calling us to start these gatherings even sooner. So that’s what we’re going to do.

The Monday evening prayer meetings will start February 22nd at 6:00PM.

Pastor Wes gives an update about the Monday evening prayer meetings.

It is exactly 40 days between Monday, February 22nd and “Good Friday,” April 2nd. The idea and symbolic importance of the number 40 shows up throughout the Old and New Testaments.

For example…

  • God caused it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights  when judging the earth with a flood. (Gen 7:12)
  • Moses encountered the presence of God for 40 days and 40 nights on Mt Sinai on two separate occasions. (Ex 24:18; 34:1-28)
  • The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. (Deut 8:2-5)
  • Goliath taunted Saul’s army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him. (1 Sam 17:16)
  • When Elijah fled from Jezabel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb where he then “hears the Lord in a whisper.” (1 Kings 19:8-14)

Most famously, Jesus himself was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil for 40 days and 40 nights. (Mat 4:2) After the resurrection of Jesus, Jesus spends 40 days with his disciples showing them many proofs and teaching them about the Kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)

So while the exact spiritual parallel of the number 40 is hard to determine, it has been an important number in the lives of God’s people throughout history. I think these will be an important 40 days in our own congregation as well.

The Lifecycle of a Church

I shared this past weekend that our church finds itself at a pivotal point in it’s lifecycle. Everybody defines the stages of the lifecycle differently but essentially there are five phases: launch, growth, maintenance, decline and death. Here’s a graphic using different terms but the same basic idea.

The “launch phase” is characterized by vision and a new seed of faith that either starts the church planting process or motivates a movement of church revitalization. That’s followed by a season of growth that culminates (Lord willing) with a season of sustained health. Overtime, the maintenance of that growth can result in a season of plateau or decline. Without some kind of intervention, that season of decline will eventually result in death. It’s just the nature of any movement.

If you were to ask me where Broadview is on the cycle “right now,” I’d put us in the maintenance phase. In terms of attendance, spiritual vitality, and cultural momentum we’ve jumped between small seasons of growth, plateau and decline for the past two decades. The decades of sustaining some degree of spiritual health has produced a culture of maintenance.

That’s why it’s important for established churches like ours to seek the Lord for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and pray for God to bring about NEW life for the next season of ministry through this local church. We need to seek the Lord for a new seed of faith from which we can dream again and grow into the next chapter of our life together.

The Invitation From Our Lord

I believe that the Lord is inviting us to that kind of spiritual renewal. The Lord actually began to do this kind of work in my own heart this past fall. The emotional rollercoaster of 2020 had left me spiritually depressed and worn out.

The Lord used the events of 2020 to expose so many things on so many fronts. But the result of that pruning process was a renewed desire for God. I don’t know where 2020 left you, but I entered 2021 with a renewed sense of faith and optimism about what God intends to do through Broadview Baptist Church.

I can’t say I have much optimism about some of the other problems our nation is facing. But the degree to which my confidence has waned in worldly solutions is vastly outweighed by my renewed faith that God desires to pour out his Spirit in a fresh way on our congregation.

I envision these prayer meetings as a vehicle for the Lord to do just that. They will be an opportunity for us to pour our heart out to the Lord, to have our eyes opened to his glory and grace and to see his miraculous provision on display through answered prayer.

In essence, the prayer meetings aren’t as much about prayer as they are about the LORD himself. He’s the reward. A hunger and thirst for more of HIM is the reason we’re pursuing these things.

So I hope you’ll join us on February 22nd as we kick off the first one!

Concluding Thoughts

Before I close out this update, I wanted to let you know about a request that came across my desk from one of our church members, Robert Williamson. He’s serves as a chaplain for our sherifs department and one of the officers out there had his house burn down this past week and the family lost everything.

His name is Sgt. Wade Schrampfer. He is married with a seven year old son. The only possessions they had remaining were the clothes on their back. We’ve already donated $3,000 through the Family Crisis fund but I wanted to put this out there in the case that anybody wanted to donate personally to this need.

You can give via the Family Crisis fund if you’d like to channel your gift through Broadview. You can also coordinate with Robert directly if you have other ideas. I’m hoping with the support from many churches in the city of Abilene that this family will experience God’s perfect provision in their time of need.

If there’s anyway I can pray for you, please let me know!

Sincerely,

Pastor Wes

Welcome to 2021

Hey Church Family,

I hope you’re having a good year so far! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve last written an update so there is much to share. First off, we are back to THREE morning worship services so please keep that in mind when you’re making your Sunday plans.

Our traditional service is at 8:15.

We have two contemporary services at 9:30 & 11:00. 

You can also stream our 8:15 service live on our website, Facebook, YouTube or church app. We livestream our “At Home” service at 9:30 & 11:00. 

 

Hospitality Team Announcement

As people get more and more comfortable with coming back to church “on campus,” we’re finding the need to expand the number of volunteers for our hospitality ministry. This coincides with an answered prayer for a new director of our hospitality ministry.

In light of this new leadership and the need for more volunteers, we are having a hospitality team meeting this coming Sunday after the 11:00 service. It will go from 12:15-1:30PM or so. You’ll be able to meet the new directors and we will discuss a game plan for moving forward in 2021. 

If you already serve on the hospitality team please RSVP by replying to this email so we have a proper count on food. If you’re not on the hospitality team but would be interested or willing to serve, please register below.

Register Now

I also want to give you a heads up on an upcoming conference for our student ministry. It’s a female only conference at our South Campus for teenage girls.

The There{4} Gathering

The T4 Gathering will be hosted at our South Campus Education Building on February 19th-20th. You must sign up by February 10th (see registration info below). The event starts at 6:30 on Friday and finishes Saturday by 4PM. 

In the words of those putting on the conference, “every girl deserves to have someone speak God’s affirmation, ‘You are beautiful, you are talented, you are priceless, you are loved.’

The mission of T{4} is to “inspire the next generation of girls to boldly live out their identity in Christ.” A girls’s identity is simply what God says is true about her through her relationship with Jesus. She is smart, beautiful, valuable, worthy, and a priceless treasure in the eyes of God.

This year’s T{4} Gathering, will center around the theme of Abide based on John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” We hope each attendee will grow to understand in applicable ways what it means to Abide in Christ.

For more information or if you would like to sign up your youth age girl please contact:

Joseph Tobias: 254-424-4051 

Bonnie Barlow: 325-338-2126

Tonya Holland: 325-513-2117 

More Groups & Gatherings

Now that the holidays are over we are full-steam ahead in terms of activities up at the church. Many of our small groups have resumed meeting back on campus. If you don’t have a small group, please consider looking at the available options. There are Sunday morning and mid-week options available.

Our new ladies Bible study just started last Wednesday so it’s not too late to join if you’re looking to plug in. There is a morning option and an evening option. Choose whichever is most convenient for you.

The study is called “Take Courage” and it’s an exploration through the book of Haggai. 

Register Now

 

Also, I’m moving my small group to Wednesday evenings and I’m going to host it up here at the church. If you don’t have a small group, you’re new to the church and you’re looking for a group with a familiar face, you’re welcome to join us. We will meet at 6:30 in the music suite. 

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Lastly, our Freedom Ministries meets on Tuesday evenings and they have recovery groups available for those looking for support to overcome their hurts, habits and hang ups. It’s a non-judgmental, non-threatening and safe environment to be real about what’s going on in your life. 

There are snacks and fellowship from 6:00-6:30

There’s a topic/testimony from 6:30-7:00

Recovery Groups meet from 7:00-8:00

Just show up to our Education Building any Tuesday evening after 6:00PM. 


Closing Thoughts

Before I close I just want to encourage you to make the most of this new season. It’s a great time to recommit yourself to daily disciplines like Bible reading and prayer. If you’re looking for some help in this area then please consider checking out this personal worship tool box.

I also want to recommend this book I just finished reading entitled “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller. As you might imagine, I read a lot of books but every now and then a book comes along that makes a big impact. This was one such book. I highly recommend it.

It’s one of many things that the Lord has been using in my life to reignite a spirit of prayer and renewed dependency on Him. As I’ve shared in past updates, I believe that in order for us to experience what God has next we are going to have grow in this area as a church. I must grow in my ability to lead our church in this arena. I appreciate your prayers in that respect.

Right now, our staff is meeting weekly for worship and prayer on Mondays at 12:00. Right now it’s staff only but we are praying through how best to facilitate “church-wide” prayer meetings in the coming months.

In the past, Wednesday night prayer meetings consisted of a 30-45 minute Bible study and 5-10 minutes of prayer. The prayer meetings I envision God creating would be stark contrast to that kind of experience. It would be a prayer meeting full of prayer.

Imagine a prayer meeting you couldn’t wait to attend because you knew without a shadow of a doubt you were going to meet with God. Imagine a prayer meeting in which prayers are actually answered in measurable and specific ways. Imagine a prayer meeting in which miracles of healing and deliverance are the norm instead of the exception. Imagine a prayer meeting that, if it was removed, Sunday morning worship would fall completely flat.

That’s the kind of prayer meeting I’m expecting God to create in our church family. I’ve been watching, reading and even experiencing for myself how the Lord is doing this kind of work in the world right now. I’m praying God will create a similar movement here.

I can sense in my spirit that this is something God wants to do. The question is whether or not we will respond to his leadership.

Starting next week we will be examining prayer on Sunday mornings. I’m confident that the Lord has something special in store for our church if we will follow His leadership down this path.  If there are any ways I can pray for you please let me know.

Until He Comes,

Pastor Wes

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.

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