SUNDAYS AT BEAR CREEK
Anyone who has spent anytime with preschoolers knows what a precious age this is to nurture and create a foundation of faith. Never again does innocence and truth reconcile so completely as it does during these years. A child believes and accepts Jesus as the truth and the way because we tell them so; they share the gospel and Jesus' love almost carelessly, in the most beautiful way.
Preschoolers aren't just parrots repeating and regurgitating what they're told; they are sponges soaking in all they observe around them. We owe this generation a legion of leaders who will cultivate that fragile trait of telling the world around them that Jesus is real and He is the way to salvation (or in preschool words, "Jesus is the best!") which comes out so effortlessly at this age. Preschoolers change the world. They touch the people closest to them with their imaginations and excitement and inspire us to do better, BE better. We would be foolish to discount them as too small to make a difference in His kingdom.
In fact, we could all take a page from our tiny counterparts and share the gospel with childlike faith: like no one could possibly discount it, like it is the most important story to be told - because it truly is.
At last – someone finally showed me the lid to the puzzle box with the picture! The picture is of God’s family here on earth, choosing to serve each other with the spiritual gifts, heart (passion), abilities, personality and experiences that God has given us. Each one of us has a piece of the puzzle that only we can fill. There is no one else on earth like me (my husband might say Amen to that!) or you. Pastor David nailed down powerful scripture to paint us a picture of what serving God should look like.
We've had fun the last couple of weeks trying to solve the puzzle on our own. Now, it’s time to get serious, or as my dad used to say, “this is where the rubber meets the road.” We each have a choice to make. If you are not serving anywhere, it’s time to start praying and asking God to help you find a place to serve.
If you are currently serving, then you already know the joy of serving in a ministry area. I’d like to ask you to start praying about who you can ask to come serve with you. There is nothing more effective than a personal invitation to serve with a friend.
If you have no idea where to start, we have a SHAPE class where you can receive advice and suggestions regarding opportunities where you can observe on a Sunday or Wednesday to see if it’s something you might be interested in.
Come to a class on Wednesday, May 10 and May 17 at 6:45 PM (must attend both classes) or Sunday May 21 at 10:15 AM. Sign up by calling the church office, at any booth on Sunday or by registering here.
If you didn’t have a chance to sign up yesterday, you can express interest here or by signing up at one of the lobby booths May 14, 21 or 28.
As Pastor David reminded us on Sunday, we know we have been called to serve:
For me, the joy of serving God by serving other people far outweighs the Golden Ticket that Willie Wonka offered. A lifetime of free chocolate is a sweet gig, but when you die, you can’t take it with you. The joy of serving others stays with me for eternity and more importantly, if there’s one person who comes to know Christ because of me opening a door, singing a song at VBS, or directing traffic in the parking lot, that’s one more person who can go on to serve someone else too.
So, I walk into church this morning, knowing that I still have to wait another week to find out about the blue puzzle piece I received last week. However, I pass a couple of staff members and they are all in blue t-shirts with the question, “Are You the Missing Piece?” The bulletin has an identical ad, and there’s another puzzle piece in my lap. Upon closer reflection, the puzzle piece is shaped like a little person and there’s lots of blue. Missing Person? Well, of course I am not missing. I am sitting here in the worship center, in my same seat, in front of my friends, quite aware of where I am.
Come on and think. I can figure this out. I need a picture; where’s the box lid with a picture of what the pieces come together to make? The guys on Survivor figure out puzzles every week without a box lid picture. However, they also have all the pieces in front of them. I have two, and they don’t fit together at all. What if I ask the people around me to share their pieces? Surely, we can figure it out if we work together.
But, what am I missing from? An event? A class? A team? Whatever it is, they must want me really bad, because now there are digital signs all around the church asking me the same question.
How am I a piece? Am I a big piece or a little piece? A piece of cake? A piece of pie? (Sorry, I got sidetracked there - guess I should have eaten breakfast this morning!)
Aaron Morris is giving announcements, and all he tells me is to come back May 7. I may be REACHING here trying to CONNECT the pieces, but I’m beginning to think that I’m being called to be a part of something because I keep hearing that I’ve been EQUIPPED to be SENT. If only someone would show me the box lid.
Join us May 7 at Bear Creek Church as we find out the meaning of the blue puzzle piece.
I walked into the service yesterday morning, minding my own business, ready to get lost in the music and the message. It had been a long week and I was ready to sit back and soak it all in. As I opened my bulletin, a puzzle piece fell into my lap. Strange – it was some shade of blue with May 7, 2017 written on the back. Curious, I looked in my bulletin to find out what the piece was for. I found nothing. Oh well, I imagine it’s something Pastor David will use as an illustration in his sermon. I refocused my attention to the platform waiting for the insight on the puzzle piece.
Maybe it’s like the golden ticket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; there’s a winning piece that will entitle me to free drinks in Waterbrook (the church coffee shop) for the rest of my life?
Or maybe it has to do with the nature of the puzzle and how we all fit together?
Or could it be that the puzzle piece has its own meaning apart from the whole picture?
Or maybe it has to do with how we are all shaped differently for our role in sharing the gospel?
Or maybe the women who stuff the bulletin had a grandchild with them who was being entertained by playing with a puzzle and got bored and stuffed her puzzle into the finished bulletin?
Candy, stop and focus on the message. Pastor David was almost finished, so I knew an answer would be coming soon. Well, he just finished his message and prayed. I still don’t know what this piece is for. Here it comes, the moment I have been waiting for all morning. “And you received a puzzle piece this morning – it’s still a puzzle. –Come back May 7 for more details.”
Are you kidding me? That’s two weeks away! I am still stuck trying to figure this puzzle piece out. There should have been a warning today; coming to church is going to make me have to think. To look and see where God is working through this piece. Or to look at my life to see if there is something that God is asking me to do?
It’s not fair. I came to church looking for answers and left with a bunch of questions. And a blue puzzle piece.
I had already decided my plan for 2017. My monthly giving would decrease due to the decline in economic growth.
So when the church presented the “Unleashed” campaign and the need for incremental giving, I was saddened because I assumed I wouldn’t be able to financially participate.
Pastor David introduced the church’s refined vision encased in the phrase, “Unleashing the Gospel.” I began thinking about what this meant. The word “unleash” is more than just “setting free” from restraint. The word carries power and authority. It is forceful and intense. It gets down to business. It’s serious about action.
Unleashing is to unshackle, liberate, unbind and uncage. It requires vigor, stamina, zeal and determination. It does whatever it takes to get the job done.
The gospel is God’s plan for humanity. It is God’s love in action. So how do we as individuals “unleash” this good news? Two thoughts come to mind.
So - how much can I give, and where can I serve?
After much prayer, God prompted me to do whatever it takes to support this campaign and make a financial commitment. I would find a way to cut expenses and give. Why? Because God is faithful! Always.
I am looking forward to “Unleashing the Gospel” in 2017! Join me in making a commitment?
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