“A Healthy Church”
Eighty percent of churches in the United States today are either plateaued or declining. Like a lot of churches in Strawberry Association, Trinity fits into that category. So, we began to seek God’s face in prayer, going through two 40 Days of Prayer sessions, seeking God’s will for our church, sensing God speaking to us. As a church, and as an Association, how can we be the Church, or Association, that God wants us to be? At Trinity, we decided to participate in the Transformational ChurchHealth Assessment Survey from LifeWay. The survey looks at seven different categories within the Church. We asked, “How Healthy are we?”
To be a Healthy Church requires a Missionary Mentality in order to discern the context, or culture, of the community around us. Do we see the world outside our church as a Mission Field? Jesus said, “You shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem (our Jerusalem is Bedford), Judea & the rest of the world.”We Exit the Church to Witness!
To be a Healthy Church, we need Vibrant Leadership so as to develop new Leaders & Teachers. We are getting older; we need new Leaders in the Church and Association. We hold “Open”Bible Studies towelcome anyone who wishes to participate.We teach not to simply learn, but to grow in Christ. We want to see people saved and involved in church. In order to get people involved, we need to develop Relationshipswith people, both inside & outside the church. We are usually very friendly to people within our church, and we welcome visitors to church, but do we contact them or visit them outside the church? We also have to have a Prayerful Dependenceupon God, because unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Remember 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if My people, which are called by My Name, will Humble themselves and Pray.”
To be a Healthy Church, we must actively participate in Worship, to exalt Jesus. He is worthy of our Worship, give Him the praise & glory (Revelation 4:11). We feel God’s Spirit moving in our midst. We need to respond to Him. We also need Community, or Fellowship, 1 of 5 functions of church—people connecting with each other, spending time with each other in small groups. But our Mission is the Great Commission, to “go ye therefore,” to share Jesus. We have One Purpose—to show Jesus to a lost and dying world through both Word and Action. A Healthy Church is a Loving, Sharing, Worshipping, Christ-like, Ministering Family of Believers.
How Healthy is Trinity Baptist Church? Here are our results of the Church Health Assessment Tool (TCAT) used to determine the Health of our Church.
Our biggest strength was Prayer, a Prayerful Dependence upon God. We scored a 3.94 on a scale of 5. We believe in Prayer! Our 2 nd highest strength was Mission, being on Mission for God, Giving to and Going on Mission, scoring 3.36.
Slightly behind was Missionary Mentality, seeing the world around us as a Mission Field, and Leadership, developing new Leaders and Teachers, both coming in at a 3.30. Close behind them was Worship, sensing God and responding to Him in our Worship (3.28).
Our biggest weaknesses were Community (3.15) and Relationships (2.93). Both of these are tied up in connecting with people, developing relationships with people inside and outside the church, loving one another, caring for each other.
The hardest work is yet to come! We need to form an Action Team to help us develop and implement Action Plans to help us celebrate our strengths and overcome our weaknesses.
Focus on Our Family
For Halloween, Mount Olivet had a very successful Trunk or Treat, handing out lots of candy and brochures, and serving over 240 hot dogs, bags of chips, and lots of hot chocolate. In November, the church had a Chili Cook-Off, with the men preparing their best and hottest chili. Mount Olivet ministers at Carriage Hill, Campbell’s, and Bedford County Nursing Home the first three Thursdays of each month. The ministry consists of singing and a short devotional.
Rev. Todd Childers has announced his resignation as pastor of Norwood to accept the pastorate of Emmanuel Bible Church in Keysville, VA. His last Sunday in the pulpit at Norwood will be January 25, 2015. He is also resigning his role as Regional Representative for Strawberry Baptist Association. We appreciate his service in several areas of leadership in the Association, and we wish him and his family well as they continue to follow God’s call on their lives.
Quaker delivered 54 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child to the drop-off location at Bonsack Baptist Church.
Shady Grove packed a total of 46 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Radford’s pastor, Karl Hofheinz, and his son Josiah, recently spent time in Uganda ministering with the Serving His Children Mission in Jinga, Uganda, and with the Ik People, an unreached people group near Kaabong in N. Uganda where they helped distribute water purification systems and shared the gospel. Karl was there for two weeks in October, and Josiah was there for a month.
January 2015 Mission Project:
Help purchase Bibles for the February 6-21, 2015, Uganda Mission Trip that Pastor Todd Childers, Norwood, will be a going on.
These Bibles in the Luganda language will help the pastors in the churches plant in distant villages by supplying them with Bibles to give out to the faithful disciples working to build the church. The goal is $624 to purchase 2 cases (48) of Bibles. You can donate two ways: Online at http://bit.ly/UgandaBibles or by sending a check to Norwood Baptist Church, 1045 Random Way, Forest, VA 24551, (designating “Uganda Bibles 2015” so they know where it should be spent). Any money over the goal will be used to help church growth and training disciples.
Please prayerfully consider helping to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Place for You in WMU!
Women on Mission : Radford will lead weekly devotionals at Oakwood Manor in January, February, and March. Bethlehem will host the January birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Mount Olivet will host it in February. Radford’s WMU ladies prepared and distributed 19 Thanksgiving baskets to shut-ins. For Christmas, they collected items to be distributed to residents of Oakwood Manor. The RAs at Mount Olivet have placed a large water bottle in the sanctuary for everyone to collect spare change to go toward the Pure Water/Pure Love mission project. They have also collected food for the church food pantry and Bedford Christian Ministries and delivered goodie bags to the Bedford Fire Department/Bedford Rescue Squad. Recently, the GAs made cookies to take to some who recently lost loved ones. Several WMU ladies helped the Bedford Community Christmas Station with set up and shopping.
WMU Planning Meeting
(Church WMU Directors/SBA WMU Leadership Team)
Annual Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders of age-level organizations) are due now for the 2014/2015 year. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Lynne Stebbins, 5644 Chestnut Fork Rd., Bedford 24523.
Jan 11 Vernon DeLong (Trinity)
Feb 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)
Church Ministry Anniversaries
Feb 2 Steve Parker (Interim Pastor/1 yr/Morgans
SBA’s Vision Statement: Due to our common faith in Jesus Christ and His body, the Church, we Commit ourselves to Connecting with one another for Coordinating the missions and ministries of our member churches and Communicating opportunities to partner together to fulfil the Great Commission and Great Commandment.
In this country there is much complaint with little suffering; in some countries there is much suffering with little complaint.
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