Effective January 1, I began serving as the Interim Minister of Education at First Baptist Church of Moore, Oklahoma. This is a wonderful congregation and I am thoroughly enjoying serving them as their ME, even if only as an interim. Their pastor Kevin Clarkson is inspiring and encouraging me. I sent an email to our LifeGroup leaders today, and I thought you might enjoy a peek over our shoulder and look in on what we are doing at FBC-Moore.
A quick story…
It was my first trip to East Asia and also my first time to preach in an East Asian house church. I asked the pastor of the house church how he wanted me to handle the invitation. His response: “Give an invitation”. So I asked him for more specifics, he told me that at the end of my sermon to ask anyone who was ready to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior to just stand where they were. That was it. No keyboard music. No ensemble singing “Just As I Am”. No pastor at the front to receive them. Just stand where they are.
Definitely NOT how we do it in America, I might add.
I preached to a group of about 25 people. At the end of my sermon I clumsily followed the pastor’s instructions. I looked on in surprise as 5 people stood to their feet and received Christ while everyone else applauded. The next day I preached in a different house church, but with similar results. In fact, every time I preach in a house church in East Asia, people get saved. Understand, it’s not me! I don’t have the power to save anybody and if the future of the Gospel rests on my preaching ability then the world is in some definite trouble.
I gathered a different expectation about the Gospel in East Asia. These house church pastors expect people to get saved in every service. I began to realize the importance of faith as it is expressed through expectations. Where would Elijah be if he had prayed, “Lord, I sure hope this works” when he took on the 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel? What would have happened if Joshua had told God that He had unrealistic expectations about the results of marching around the walls of Jericho?
Expectations are a big part of our faith experience. It is why we have the “X-Factor” at First Baptist. These five simple, yet very profound expectations of every LifeGroup in the church can radically affect every person in First Baptist Church. These expectations can also change the eternal destiny of thousands of other people in our community as well.
Starting this Sunday, and every Sunday after… Let’s expect the following
in every one of our LifeGroups:
- Let’s expect every member to receive a ministry phone call every week; and let’s minister to those who need our touch;
- Let’s expect every LifeGroup to pitch in and help start 50 new groups this year and provide new leaders for these groups;
- Let’s expect every LifeGroup to be on mission and every member to be a missionary;
- Let’s expect God’s Word to soften hard hearts and transform minds every time we study it together;
- Let’s expect people to be saved in our LifeGroups every week.
And now for the big expectation! Are you ready for it? Let’s expect every LifeGroup to organize and prepare themselves mentally, organizationally, and spiritually so that these expectations become reality!
Feed your faith… Read Luke 1:37.
Privileged to be a co-worker with you in the Gospel…
Interim Minister of Education
First Baptist Church of Moore, Oklahoma