“Abiding in God’s Work”

An article came from the Conference Office last week written by Pastor Dave Williams and entitled, “Renovation.” In the article, Dave encourages us to “Begin looking to see where God is already at work in your local community Who is in need? What is the state of the family? How can the schools be helped? Who are the hurting people? What organizations can you partner with? What unique ministries is God asking you to start?” He says, “By serving people first, we earn the right to speak God’s gospel message to them.”

He goes on to say, “Make a commitment to abide in God’s work. Don’t soft sell the gospel. Don’t preach another gospel other then the one given you from Jesus. We are not preaching a work-based salvation, nor do we proclaim, “You are okay.” We will need to accept people where they are, then challenge them to the new life Jesus has to offer. The new life will include giving up the old life. Some will reject the message. Make sure they are rejecting the message, not the way you are presenting Jesus.”

This was a good word for me this month for a few reasons. For the church, it is always good to evaluate the ministries we are doing here and make sure that we aren’t doing things just to be busy, and also to make sure we aren’t missing something God has equipped us for and is calling us to do.

I am excited about what God is doing here at Yocumtown. On August 2nd, you will hear from our Youth Mission Team and see how they served the community of Steubenville, Ohio. You will also hear how God was at work in the student’s lives and also in the lives of the adult leaders.

On that same day, our church will open its doors to the neighborhood kids for Vacation Bible School. If you are not a part of that ministry, on August 9th you will hear how God was at work throughout the week at our VBS closing program.

Something new to the calendar this year is “Youth Madness week.”  The week of August 9th, Mike Coleman and I will be doing a variety of activities and service projects with our youth to help them build their relationships with Christ and with one another before they return to school this fall. The hope is that they will be stronger together and not be afraid to live “the new life Jesus has to offer.”

Dave’s article was also good for me personally. Giving people a word of correction is never easy. I don’t like to hear it myself let alone share it with anyone else. Maybe that’s why Scripture is referred to as a “double-edged” sword.” A pastor friend of mine says I have a big capacity to love.  I believe that is true, and I hope that is what people see. I don’t want my words or actions to cause people to reject Jesus.

Please continue to pray for the ministries here, the community we serve, the unchurched, and for me, your pastor.

Pastor Stef

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