Tag Archives: mission

Breaking into the Future at EBC!

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Vision Night 2016 Update:

We are breaking into the future here at EBC! Our Vision Night service was this past Sunday night! It was monumental as we saw a picture of our preferred future as it can and must be!

Our vision is what our church is becoming.  It is what our church family will look like in the years to come as God blesses and directs us to fulfill His mission.  Our vision answers the question, how can we use all that we are and all that we have been given to help bring God the greatest glory and help more people become growing devoted disciples of Jesus in our church, community, country, and beyond?

On Vision Night we saw a snapshot of where God is leading us and what He wants us to become in the years ahead! And we were also challenged to help our vision become a reality.  Will you do your part?

Are you excited to help our vision become a reality at EBC? Let me know by leaving your comment or speaking with me in person!

Breaking into the future,

Pastor Mike

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Out of Sight, but in the Mind!

It’s been said “Out of sight, out of mind!”  How true that is with so many things and even relationships we have.  We had a great Missions Conference last year.  We had a missions emphasis, and had supporting missionaries visit with us, and even connected with some of them via Skype. Awesome—right?  Sure, but what about last week and today?  Are we not just being faithful to give our missions offerings, but also praying for our missionaries as well?

Praying for our missionaries is one of the ways we can grow together outward!  Our desire is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with new families, see them receive Jesus as Savior, follow Him, and join themselves to our church family!  Our missionaries have the same goals in mind so let’s keep them in prayer.

Take a few minutes and click on this link and give it  a read.  It gives some good pointers of how to really pray for our missionaries, keeping them in our minds and hearts even though they may be out of sight!

What has helped you to keep our supporting missionaries in your hearts and minds?

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EBC Vision Flashback!

Vision…what are you still seeing?

Earlier this year in February we had an important church meeting. It was a typical business meeting. It was fine. There were no issues or problems. No one made a protest or charged the pulpit. One thing that did happen is that our vision for the future was clearly shared. I reminded us that our vision is to see EBC become a church of ministry teams—one team per ministry.

It’s the same vision I have been casting, sharing, teaching, and preaching since February 2010.  I define a ministry team as a group of believers in Jesus who are like-minded, unified in purpose, mission, and vision and are advancing! As I reminded us of the vision I challenged each one of us to examine our own lives and walks with God and be willing to take the next step to help our vision be realized. Have you taken your next step? 

What is vision anyway?

Vision is an essential element of a person’s life, family, and it’s especially vital in a local church! Vision is a seeing word. Author Aubrey Malphur’s defines vision as: the clear and challenging picture of the future of our church as it can and must be. Vision is possible and vision is also urgent—it must be! In order for our church to not just survive but thrive in Christ we must have a vision. Proverbs says that without vision the people perish. I believe the opposite is also true: a church—group of believers in Christ WITH a vision can flourish! A church with a great commission Christ centered vision will flourish and become all that God wants them to be and do all that God wants them to do in their community and beyond! When we as an individual member-we who make up the church-get on board our vision becomes real!

Where does a vision come from?

Vision is the picture of the future of what our church will become! The pastor and people who are serious about knowing and fulfilling God’s will for them in their community and beyond is ready to receive a God sized vision! After much prayer and worship and even some fasting God revealed to me the vision. Now a vision is not just something exciting and needful for the church to accomplish. Vision is specific! God will show us specific things, whether they are goals or objectives that must be done so our church can accomplish its mission best. Now let me say that our mission is the same as what all Bible believing Christ following churches should be pursuing: help people become growing healthy disciples of Christ and fully engaged members of the church body. My responsibility as the pastor is to lead our church in fulfilling our mission! As cool and needful as a vision is there is no way that I can fulfill the vision and mission of our church alone.  That’s where each person at EBC comes in. Catch it! Communicate it! And help us fulfill it!

What is our vision?

Our vision is to improve the quality of ministry by building a church of ministry teams! That was it—team ministry! There is no I in team! The pastor cannot do it alone! Together we can do it! Philippians 1:27 says, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

On February 13th 2010 I casted the vision to our church! Our business meeting turned into a vision night service! God really worked, blessed, and I believed moved in our hearts. Since that day I have continued to cast that vision, reminding specifically our men, and then every member and attendee, leading them to pray and help fulfill and spread our vision. Have you prayed about your part in fulfilling the mission and vision of our church?

How is our vision becoming a reality?

Now it’s great to have received a vision from God and His Word! It is very exciting to cast that vision to the people. But there is nothing like it when God’s people start catching the vision and you actually see the vision becoming a reality in the church! Right now God is allowing our church to build some ministry teams. So far we are developing a:

  • Leadership team
  • Music and media team
  • Outreach team
  • Hospitality team
  • Youth team
  • Maintenance team (Men of Acts)
  • Kids Team
  • More to come!

Now these teams are still forming and developing. Each one still needs work and more team members! But God is putting them together! The good news is that God has just started building these ministry teams and you can join one!

How can I get involved?

I am glad for the members of Emmanuel Baptist church who have agreed to serve Jesus on a ministry team! The good news is that there is an opening for you to be on a ministry team too. Are you on a ministry team? What areas of interest and experience do you have? What are you passionate about?  How has God gifted you to help us fulfill our mission of making disciples of Christ at EBC? Just let me know you are interested in serving on a team and I’ll help you get plugged in. The future of EBC can be bright and filled with God’s hand of blessing. But for that to happen we need to ask God to open our hearts and take a step toward Him! Our vision will become a reality only if our church members and attendees catch the vision and get active and involved and become a part of the “team!”

Since your arrival at EBC how has God used you to help us fulfill our mission and vision? Do you understand what our mission and vision is?  Will you take your next step towards being an active disciple of Christ and member of EBC?  If you’re a member of another church how has God used you or your church to form ministry teams to fulfill the mission and vision of the church?

Start the conversation by leaving your comments!

 

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EBC News!

What’s been happening as the disciples of Christ gather at
Emmanuel Baptist Church in Macclenny Florida?

2011 Missions Conference Highlights!

EBC had a missions conference on October 2-4! This was a great time where we focused on our mission: the Great Commission.  According to Matthew 28:19-20 our mission is to help more people know Jesus and make Him known. This begins in our church, continues as we go and spread the Gospel of Christ in our community, country, and the regions beyond!  Having a missions conference helps us do exactly that! Our theme was building bridges…reaching more for Christ!  Here are some highlights:

  • God blessed us with great preaching from Dr. Shoemaker!
  • We had live Skype calls with 2 of our missionaries: one in Durbin
    Africa, and one in Togo Africa! Awesome!
  • We had great special music by our praise team!
  • The conference was well attended!

Prayerfully our missions conference goal will be reached as well: total participation!  Our desire is to have every member and regular attender commit to give an offering to faith promise missions each week.

Another Ministry Team Formed!

I’m excited that our church has formed another ministry team! The Kids team is now official. Our church’s motto is “Together we can do it.” Our vision is to see our church become a church of ministry teams, doing the work of the ministry together one team per ministry. Why? So we can fulfill our mission best:  All that is involved in helping more people know Jesus and make Him known. God has given our church a group of ladies that are gifted and who love God and kids!  We are excited to see how God will use our unified efforts to reach more kids for Christ in the days ahead!  We are planning an exciting kids activity and practicing for the Christmas musical! Thank you kids team for your efforts!

What’s happening next?

We have a new exciting sermon series beginning Sunday 10/16!  I am excited to start a new series called, “Extreme Spiritual Makeovers: Home edition.” This is a sermon series designed to speak to every family, helping us grow healthy families that know God and experience His presence, healing, and blessing!

God has been recharging our church family on Wednesday nights from 7-8:15 p.m!  Our October adult recharge begins on the 10/12.  Pastor Greg Peters, lead pastor of Parkview Baptist Church, in Palm Coast Florida will be our guest speaker.  Our recharge theme is “Leading with Love!”  He will be kicking off his teaching series with this lesson from God’s Word:  “Loving myself First—Really?”

EBC’s Wednesday Recharge has relevant ministries for all ages to include adults, the Resistance student ministry, the Kids Zone, and a nursery.  God has truly recharged our church family, helping us grow healthier in spirit and in number.

We are also very excited to launch our very first website!  Yes I know—pretty interesting having a blog, facebook page, and a twitter account but no website.  Well it’s a long story and has been quite a project, but we are almost there!  I really believe this new website is going to have a great impact on our church family and attract more guests in the days ahead. Our brand new website is going to help us interact, engage, converse, unite, and be informed all online!

As more disciples gather at EBC to worship God and serve Him it is clear that God is working in great ways and our future is getting brighter and brighter!

How’s your church life been lately?  How’s your life been touched by the ministries at EBC or your local church? Start the conversation by leaving your comment!

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EBC News!

A “church” is a local assembly of disciples of Jesus Christ who gather to worship Him and accomplish His work.  A local church is active, lively, growing, and life giving.  So what’s been happening as the disciples of Christ gather at Emmanuel Baptist Church?

Sunday Worship!

Last Sunday was Labor Day weekend.  Labor Day weekend is known throughout the church community as a “low” attendance day.  Well at EBC we had almost 100!  But the fact is we did have several regular families out—some sick and some travelling and we still had a very strong Sunday (we are averaging close to 100).  God is growing our church!  God continues to bring new families to worship with us.  There are several families that have been attending that I believe could be members soon.  Our worship experience has also grown too.  The music continues to add life to the church and our pointed sermon series have been helpful and life changing!  This Sunday I’m continuing the series, “The secret to seeking and finding.”  Sermon number 2 will be, “Finding hope in times of difficulty.”

Wednesday Recharge!

We started a new Wednesday night worship service at EBC in August.  God has blessed!  We now have active ministries for all ages to include adults, the Resistance youth ministry, the Kids Zone, and a nursery.  Since starting this exciting fresh new ministry we have seen the attendance double going from 30 to about 65!  The awesome thing is everyone who comes is learning how to know Jesus and make Him known and really getting spiritually recharged!  Our theme for September is “Healing from life’s hurts.”  This Wednesday I’ll be teaching on this subject: “Healing from Inferiority.”

What’s happening next?

We will be trusting God to do great things in the days ahead.  Coming up October 2-4 our church is having something real exciting:  a mission’s conference!  Our very own Dr. Charles Shoemaker will be our key note speaker, who will inspire and instruct us to have a greater impact for Christ in our community and beyond!  This is awesome because we have not had a mission’s conference in years. Plus fulfilling our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples is our mission.

Well, as the disciples of Christ continue to gather at EBC one thing is certain:  God is at work and we are excited to follow Him into the future.

How’s your church life been lately?  Have you been blessed and encouraged by the happenings at EBC or your local church? Start the conversation by leaving your comment!

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EBC is Getting Recharged!

Not the Same ole same ole!

It’s been said, “If you do the same thing you have always done and expect a different or better result that’s called insanity!” God is doing some awesome things to recharge our church family at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Macclenny Florida!  On August 3, 2011 we started a brand new Wednesday night program for the entire family.  We wanted it to be Christ honoring and life-giving.  We wanted Wednesday Recharge to give the tired weary saints a supernatural shot in the arm.  Through specific and fervent prayer, and intentional and strategic ministry planning God is using Wednesday Recharge to accomplish these goals!

Recharge who?

For our adult recharge we have Bible teaching on a specific topic that relates to most Christians and young people.  For our August recharge we are privileged to have my father-in-law Dr. Charles Shoemaker with us.  Each Wednesday in August he is teaching on the subject of marriage enrichment.  Although his topic is for married couples the principles apply to all relationships.  It’s been awesome to say the least. Our youth team was pumped about launching an awesome new Student ministry called “The Resistance!” Their motto is “Following God…resisting the world!”   We had the youth building remodeled, repainted, and recharged!  The students at EBC love it and are excited about it!  We made some cool invite cards too so they can spread the word to their friends.  We also launched a new kids program called the Kids Zone!  Although we offered something on Wednesday night for our kids we needed to charge it up a little.  And that’s exactly what happened!  God has blessed us with some great leaders and workers who love children and want to help them know Jesus more in a fun environment.  The kids are loving the Kids Zone!

Recharged Indeed!

God has enormously blessed our new Wednesday Recharge so far!  God has recharged our attendance.  It’s awesome to see so many new faces on Wednesday night worship.  Several young couples came and brought their kids and students.  The first night God blessed us with 77 in attendance.  The next week we had 78.  This past week we had almost 70.  We were averaging about 35 on Wednesday nights.  Now that God has helped us have something exciting and relevant for the entire family our numbers have increased significantly!

We recharged our appearance.  We did much more than just decide to offer something on Wednesday night for everyone.  Much prayer and planning went into it as well.  Besides starting new ministries we also had some cool logos and signs made!  My bro-in-law, Dennis Schaffer, who happens to be a pilot and a pastor, also does some graphic designing on the side. He did excellent work designing the logos for the Resistance and the Kids Zone.   Along with the awesome logos that were designed we had some sharp directional signs made for both the Resistance youth ministry and the Kids Zone.  The signs we hung in the church not only look incredible they make a foundational statement as well:  quality is important!  We want to communicate a spirit of excellence in all we do.  How we take care of our appearance speaks volumes.  When our facilities are neat, tidy, and attractive, when our facilities are well maintained it shows how much we care and that we appreciate what God has given us.

God has also recharged our spirit.  When a church starts something new with the goal of fulfilling their purpose, mission, and vision better than ever before there is much to be excited about!  Because of the time and efforts of those on the Maintenance team (Men of Acts), the youth team, and kids team the foundation has been laid for effective ministry for the whole family on Wednesday nights!  With all of the activity and excitement one thing is abundantly clear:  God is working at Emmanuel Baptist Church!  We have life!  There is something going on of a spiritual nature.  And as a matter of fact there is.  God through His Word and His people is getting Emmanuel Baptist Church recharged.

How has God recharged you and your family at EBC?  Or what has your church done to recharge you and your family through the ministries and services they offer?

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When Vision Becomes a Reality!

What is vision anyway?

I am a visual person!  I can get easily distracted or impressed by what I see.  Vision is an essential element of a person’s life, family, and it’s especially vital in a local church!  Vision is a seeing word.  I like and can relate to author Aubrey Malphur’s definition of vision: vision is the clear and challenging picture of the future of our church as it can and must be.  Vision is possible and vision is also urgent—it must be!  In order for our church to not just survive but thrive we must have a vision.  Proverbs says that without vision the people perish.  I believe the opposite is also true:  a church—group of believers in Christ WITH a vision will flourish! A church with a great commission Christ centered vision will flourish and become all that God wants them to be and do all that God wants them to do in their community and beyond!

Where does a vision come from?

Vision is the picture of the future of what our church will become!  Time and time again we can see in the Scriptures that vision comes from God Himself.  God spoke to Joshua in Joshua chapter 1 and relayed the vision for His people to him.  Then Joshua cast that vision to the people—they in turn caught the vision and they together fulfilled the vision!  Habakkuk is another good example.  In Habakkuk chapter 2 he met with God in his “watch”.  He prayed, seeking God’s face and God’s direction. God then responded challenging Habakkuk to write down and share the vision He had given to him.  Habakkuk then was to cast the vision to the people so they could catch it, run with it, spread it around, and fulfill the vision together!  I was never so excited when God through prayer and studying His Word revealed to me the vision for our church!  The pastor that is serious about knowing, fulfilling, and leading his people to do the impossible for Christ in their community and beyond is ready to receive a God sized vision!  After much prayer and worship and even some fasting God revealed to me the vision.  Now a vision is not just something exciting and needful for the church to accomplish. Vision is specific!  God will show you specific things, whether they are goals or objectives that must be done so the church can accomplish its mission best.  Now let me say that our mission is the same as what all Bible believing Christ following churches should be pursuing: make disciples of Christ the best way possible.  Our mission is to help people become fully functioning followers of Christ in our church, community, and beyond.  My responsibility as the pastor is to lead our church in fulfilling our mission!  To lead our church to know Christ and make Him known!  Now that means that the vision will consist of specific things we will do and become so we can fulfill that mission better than ever before!

What is our vision?

As I began to write down the vision for my life and ministry I discovered this vision was for our church to fulfill! After writing out the vision for our church’s future I have to say that I was extremely excited.  When God gives you a vision it will propel you forward with passion and help you lead others to make that vision a reality! Here is the vision that God revealed to me for our church to fulfill.  Our vision is to improve the quality of ministry by building a church of ministry teams!  That was it—team ministry!  There is no I in team!  The pastor cannot do it alone!  Together we can do it!  God gave me this great verse in Philippians 1:27, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

On February 13th I cast the vision to our church!  Our business meeting turned into a vision night service!  It was a great night.  God really worked, blessed, and moved in our hearts.  Our church has gone through a lot in the last several years.  Our church has seen several pastors come and go in a short amount of time.  In the process we have had some members come and go too.  But now God in His divine intervention has given us a vision to fulfill! A vision that will enable us to fulfill our mission in our community and beyond better than ever before so we will become the church God wants us to be!

How is our vision becoming a reality?

Now it’s great to have received a vision from God and His Word! It is very exciting to cast that vision to the people.  But let me tell ya there is nothing like it when God’s people start catching the vision and you actually see the vision becoming a reality in the church!  Right now God is allowing our church to  build 6 ministry teams.  So far we have a:

  • Leadership team
  • Music and media team
  • Outreach team
  • Hospitality team
  • Youth team
  • Maintenance team (Men of Acts)

Now these teams are still forming and developing.  Each one still needs work and more team  members!  But God is putting them together and it’s awesome to see!  The good news is that God has just started building these ministry teams.  Soon we will have a kid’s team, a mission’s team, and many more!

How can I get involved?

I am so glad and excited for all of the members of Emmanuel Baptist church who have decided to be a team player and join a ministry team!  The good news is that there is an opening for you to be on a ministry team too.  Are you on a ministry team?  What areas of interest and experience do you have?  How has God gifted you to help us fulfill our mission of making disciples of Christ at Emmanuel Baptist Church?  Just let me know you are interested in serving on a team and I will help you get plugged in. The future of Emmanuel Baptist Church is bright and will be exciting.  But our vision will continue becoming a reality as more and more people get involved and become a part of a ministry
team!

Since your arrival at Emmanuel Baptist church how has God used you to help us fulfill our mission and vision?  What team have you joined or what team would you like to  join?  If you’re a member of another church how has God used you or your church to form ministry teams to fulfill the mission and vision of the church?

Start the conversation by leaving your comments!

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