A Few Exciting New Things For A New Year (2018)
A Few Exciting New Things For A New Year
Our God is an awesome God! From age to age He is what we need and He provides for us to triumph in Christ. The Psalmist declared, “Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages” (Ps. 135:13). His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:23). Those that walk with God and cherish His Word are given fresh grace to serve Him (Ps. 103:5). Again we see this in the Psalms, “Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the LORD is upright…” (Ps. 33:1-4). As we contemplate the new year, let’s make sure that we are ready for the Lord to do some new things in our midst!
Of course, no one but God knows what a new year holds but it is right for us to look forward with eager anticipation of fresh movings of our God in our midst. Having been called by the Lord to come be your pastor, I am thrilled about the prospects of a new year. The turning of the calendar gives us the opportunity to embark upon the vision that the Lord has for Coggins Church. Though I do not know all that 2018 holds, I am excited to share a few items with you that I believe you can look forward to with faith and anticipation of His blessings.
EXCITING NEW YEAR VISION ITEMS:
# 1 Carpet for the Educational Building Hallway.
You may have noticed the wear of the carpet in the hall as you were coming to the Worship Center. The carpet that is being removed served well for many years but, as with most things, there comes a time to update. We are thankful to our Building & Grounds Team for their hard work and vision for our buildings. The Lord has blessed Coggins Church with an attractive campus and nice buildings. It is important that we be good stewards of what He has given us by taking care to do regular maintenance and upgrades so that we can continue leveraging our facilities as tools to be used for the teaching of the Word and preaching of the gospel.
# 2 Reorienting our Communication Pieces to Work Together to Reach Out to Our Community and to Reach Into Our Church Family (This Includes: The Bulletin, The Newsletter, & A Prayer Publication).
We live in the communication age. Recently, I ran across an article on the importance of the church bulletin written by Dr. Michael Milton. In Faith For Living Milton writes, “In a church plant…the place of a weekly bulletin cannot be understated” (December 9, 2017). Though Dr. Milton was specifically referring to church plant situations, it is appropriate for established churches as well.
It is important that we maximize our use of these vital avenues of communication. I am very grateful for the ministry publications that we have at Coggins Church. My vision for these publications is that we maximize the purpose for which each was created. This new vision for our ministry publications is intended to make each of these serve a specific need of the body. For instance,
A Prayer Publication. Any church that expects to see God do great things in their midst MUST be a praying church. Prayer is vital. Prayer is not an option. It is a necessity. The old Puritan view that prayer is to the soul what air is to the body is true. Currently, we publish the prayer list in the weekly bulletin, on a sheet for Wednesday Night’s Prayer and Bible Study, and in the Courier Newsletter twice monthly. This does not allow for prayer emphases since space is always an issue. Starting in January we will launch our very own dedicated weekly prayer publication called, “The Throne of Grace.” The writer to the Hebrews encouraged God’s people in his day to resort to prayer for grace in their many needs. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). I am eager for us to make this more of a priority. This will allow us to focus on prayer emphases such as the IMB Christmas Offering, the NAMB Easter Offering, the needs for awakening in the churches, and for our missionaries.
The Weekly Bulletin. Churches often underestimate the impact, or lack of it, that the weekly bulletin has. Since most of the visitors to the church will come through the weekly worship gathering, the bulletin should be designed with the visitor in mind. Of course, it is a great help to members too since it contains the order of worship, ministry avenues, dates, and times. But the weekly worship flyer should be an avenue to communicate the vision and mission of the church while serving the needs of those visiting. As a result, our weekly bulletin will be getting a fresh look and undergoing some reorganizing so as to be more readable and helpful to folk who might be considering attending Coggins. Practically speaking, the weekly worship bulletin needs to be freshened regularly anyway just to stay relevant to people. It’s like the billboard that hasn’t been changed in five years. You drive by every day but can’t remember what is on it because you’ve long since stopped reading it. Each week is our chance to place something in the hands of our guests that helps them catch the mission and vision and that’s always a good thing.
The Courier Newsletter. The newsletter is a great tool to inform the body about many of the important things that God is doing in our midst. Though there are folks who receive the newsletter who do to attend the church, this publication is primarily a ministry to the body. The newsletter serves the vital need of transmitting valuable information concerning the happenings within the church family. It is here that we can communicate schedules, member notes, successes, and encourage member participation from a longer range. With this goal, The Courier will also be freshened up to reflect our mission and vision but also to serve these vital communication needs within the body.
The exciting result will be that each of these publications will have a distinct job to do when it comes to the communication needs of the body. The weekly worship bulletin will communicate the worship order of the day, immediate ministry opportunities while communicating the vital information that guests need when they arrive on our campus. All of this being situated clearly within the identity, mission, and vision of Coggins MBC. The Throne of Grace will accent the communication needs of the church by becoming our own prayer publication encouraging us individually and corporately to be a praying people. Lastly, The Courier Newsletter will provide the much needed in-house data that reflect our very own dynamic as a local body of Christ. This is for home folk, one might say. It is my prayer that the church will benefit and be encouraged by these refreshing updates.
# 3 The opportunity to dive deeper into knowing God through the study, BEHOLD YOUR GOD. This wonderful Bible study series will begin Sunday evening, January 7th at 6:00 pm in the Worship Center. There is a Daily Devotional Guide ($16.00 each) you are encouraged to purchase. You may call the church office to reserve a copy.
In 2017 we all prayed for God to come among us and do something fresh, new, and powerful - something that would change us and our direction. Admittedly, the above items are small steps but who knows if they are baby steps to greater blessings that He has in store for us.
Love In Christ,