February 1, 2020
We cannot tell you in words how excited we are about the New Year. January is usually a time to rest from the holidays. The weather can be a factor in our attendance also. Jeremiah 32:27 comes to mind when I think about this past month, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too difficult for Me?” (NKJV). God truly has done an amazing work already in 2020! We have had two professions of faith, two baptisms and eight persons joined by letter or statement for a total of twelve decisions in January. To God be the glory, great things He has done. People ask me frequently, “What is going on at Rye Hill Baptist Church?” My answer is always, “It is the Spirit of God moving in a mighty way.” I visited a sweet couple that visited our church two weeks ago and they said with tears in their eyes, “We felt a strong presence of the Holy Spirit in the singing and preaching of the Word our very first Sunday.” We totally thank God for His Presence in the life of our church. My prayer is that we will never take it for granted. God is so good, ALL the time!
We have chosen to adopt a special church-wide emphasis for 2020 called, “Who’s Your One?” The North American Mission Board has put together this outreach/evangelism program as a way of seeing significant growth in the life of our Southern Baptist churches. It is truly a Biblical way to make the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20 come to life in our church. The target people that we want to reach out to is unchurched people that do not attend church on a regular basis. If we will take the time to stop and think of these church prospects, they are literally our family members, friends, work associates, neighbors, and recreational acquaintances. We are asking you to commit to God and His church to make it your goal to find one person that you can personally minister to this year. The first step in this process is to begin praying specifically for God to reveal that one person to you who will be your one. Please take your time in praying for a specific person that God lays on your heart. Next, when you are sure about that name, write it down and begin praying for that person by name everyday. Then, begin developing a relationship (suggestion: men with men, women with women) by communicating with them through calls, texts, or social media. Then slowly continue to reach out to them by having lunch, writing cards, visiting them or even finding activities you can do together. Our goal is twofold: 1) invite them to church (one target date is Easter Sunday, April 12 and another is our Bible Conference, May 3-6) and, 2) begin praying that the gospel will be shared with them through a Worship Service or by you sharing the gospel with them personally. Can you imagine the possibilities for outreach/evangelism ministry if we all sincerely take on the ministry of “Who’s Your One?” for God’s glory? To say that we are a little excited about it would be a huge understatement. We are PUMPED about seeing God work in a mighty way this spring. Please prayerfully consider helping us with this wonderful outreach tool for 2020.
We are excited about our Spring Bible Conference this year: the dates will be May 3rd-6th, 2020 (Sunday – Wednesday). Our guest preacher will be Dr. Michael Taylor whose ministry is entitled “Devoted to the Word.” Bro. Michael is an outstanding teacher of God’s Holy Word. I got to know him when he was pastor of Concord Baptist Church which is between Van Buren and Alma. He pastored for 30 years altogether before starting his Bible Conference Ministry. Bro. Michael was also a member of Rye Hill Baptist Church in the 1970’s. Not only is he a personal friend, he is well qualified and experienced as one of the best Bible teachers in this part of the country.
His educational credentials include:
B.S. in Secondary Education – John Brown University, M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Min. – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Please reserve these dates, May 3rd-6th, pray, and plan to be at every service you can.
I hope you are having a great time chronologically Reading Through the Bible in 2020. The discipline it takes to stay on task has really gotten me closer to the Lord. Another blessing is the reminders of things I have forgotten, plus I even have seen things I have overlooked before. It’s not too late to begin (copies are at all our entrances), and please do not get discouraged if you fall behind. Just stay on task and go at the rate you are comfortable with. If it takes you more than a year, that’s ok.
We want to thank you, our church family and friends for your constant support in ministry through your prayers, your attendance, and your giving. You folks are some of the sweetest and most loving Christians I have ever had the honor of being around in ministry. It does my heart much good to know that you are here and that we are still growing after being your pastor for sixteen years this month. I truly love each and every one of you and pray that God will allow us to minister here until we semi-retire or are ‘Raptured’ out of here! May God bless you and your family and we hope to see you this Sunday in God’s house, worshipping with His people.