Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Pray for the Beakleys


The Beakleys

The Beakleys have been in South Africa since July 2002. David is the Principal and Academic Dean of Christ Seminary, where he teaches biblical languages, Bible study methods, preaching, and various books of the Bible. He also serves as an elder and pastor of Christ Baptist Church, where he shares in preaching, teaching, and discipling. Carol maintains the home and has many opportunities to teach and disciple women. She has a teen girl Bible study in the home, runs a ladies Bible study during the week, and also holds several discipleship groups involving both teens and married women.



Friday, July 12, 2019

Pray for the Hostetlers


Jill Hostetler
Jill has been working with CEF since 2001. CEF’s three-fold purpose is to Evangelize, Disciple, and Establish children into local Bible-believing churches. Jill’s role is to oversee the development of the Central Illinois chapter of CEF, which includes teaching and training, 5 Day Clubs in the summer, and Good News Clubs during the school year. Jill also helps with the ministries at Camp Good News. Please pray for Jill Hostetler and her family.




Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bible Reading and Its Affect on Proclaiming and Preparing


Blake Gerber recently sent this to our care group leaders and I asked him if I could post on the blog. It gives a great picture of how Proclaiming (the 3i's) and Preparing (the 3m's) come together for salvation and growth in Christ.

Pastor Ben


Dear Care Group Leaders,
Last week I included a link to some printable sheets that can be used for reading Scripture with others. These sheets 
are from David Helm's book, One to One Bible Reading. Today, I want to continue the focus on reading Scripture with 
others by sharing with you a 4-part series of short lessons in which Helm explains the What/Why/Who/How of 
one-to-one Bible reading. This is a great series! He shows that one-to-one Bible reading can be done with 
anyone -- Unbelievers, New Believers, and Established Believers. 

As we talk about discipleship at BCC, we often mention the 3M's (Membership, Maturity, Multiplication) and 
one-to-one Bible reading is certainly a means of helping one another mature and multiply, but it is also a 
means of Investing in others, Imparting our lives, and Imploring people to put their trust in the Lord (3I's).
 In the videos Helm shares how one-to-one Bible reading can play an instrumental part in people coming to faith 
in Christ. He also shares an encouraging testimony of how one-to-one Bible reading led to great growth and 
change in the life of a fellow believer.

In addition to the videos there are downloadable docs for each session. They include discussion questions and 
instructions for leading a group through the material. The videos and accompanying docs can be found at  

I've found this to be a great resource and have been encouraged and challenged to pursue reading the Bible
 one-to-one with others. Perhaps you will be too.

May the Lord give us an ever increasing confidence in His Word (Ps 119: 97) as we make disciples for His glory.


Please Pray For the Peltons

The Peltons-Brandon, Mandy, Caleb, Benjamin, Annabelle

                                    
Brandon and Mandy partner with Chicago churches and intentionally come alongside and disciple 20-somethings as they transition to life and work in the city. This critical season, believed by many to be the "defining decade," brings great opportunities and challenges for young adults. They aim to help these 20-somethings submit all areas of life to the lordship of Christ and discover and participate in His mission to the world.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Proclaiming Christ in our Neighborhoods



Part of our church's purpose statement is to "proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord." Read below for how BCCer, Lauren Yoder, has been trusting God to apply this to her life:
"We are doing the 'Read the Bible in a Year.' We always have neighbor kids over to swim or jump on the trampoline.  At 7pm, my alarm reminder goes off, so whoever is over hears me say, 'Time to read the Bible!' At first, the neighbor kids would ask what we were reading, and I would explain that we are reading the Bible in a year, and so we read a little every night, and they were more than welcome to read with us.  Now I just say 'time to read,' and they come on in.  So we all sit in the living room and pass around the phone app Bible, and read it and talk about what it means.  We have had adults and kids join us, and some of the kids came to Vacation Bible Camp as well!  We also got two of the kids a Bible storybook, so it is easier for them to understand.  Pray for their hearts and that I can explain things to them in a way they understand.  Also, pray that we can love them and their families more, and show Christ to them."

Praise God for this story! Pray for our church as we endeavor to invest, impart, and implore.*
Pastor Ben
*1) Invest 
We involve ourselves in the lives of those around us who do not know Jesus, so we look for opportunities to be introduced to new relationships with unbelieving neighbors, co-workers, and others in their community.
2) Impart 
We deepen these relationships by giving sacrificially of our lives in order to care for those who do not know Christ.
3) Implore
Along the way, we exhort our friends and acquaintances to place their faith in Christ alone. We do this by being equipped to do all of the above with theologically strong and question-based strategies to share the gospel.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Believer’s Relationship to the Local Church

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRp9pU-kssvKjEo8CKXKLuB4dATSWBedQYc7AwLcCt5CMaLHMKF


I recently had the chance to interact with some counselees challenging them to become more a part of their local church. In doing so I built a brief document consisting of Scripture passages with my observations/interpretations drawn out of them and then an application section at the end. The document focuses on 2 areas, Service and Membership. Hopefully you find it as encouraging and challenging as I did in my study of it. =)


Service
Scriptures:
·         Romans 12:4-8
o   Every believer has specific gifts to contribute to their local body (v.4)
o   Every believer is part of their local body (v.5)
o   Every believer has unique gifts to contribute to their local body (v.6a)
o   Every believer is called to use their gifts to the utmost for the benefit of the body (v.6b-8)
·         1 Corinthians 12:4-27
o   There are people with different giftings in the church (v.4-5)
o   God the Holy Spirit is who gives and empowers each gifting (v.6)
o   God intends for the giftings to each be used for the common good of the church (v.7)
o   There are many different types of giftings in the church (v.8-10)
o   God the Holy Spirit determines who gets what gifting (v.11)
o   All the members of the church separately make up the church together as a whole (v.12-14)
o   All the members should expect to have different functions (v.15-17)
o   God has designed the church to have different members with different functions (v.17-20)
o   Each member should value the others (v.21-24)
o   The members of the church are there to help and care for each other (v.25-27)
·         Acts 2:42
o   There are unique aspects of the Christian life that can only be done fully in the context of the church
·         Colossians 3:16
o   One of the purposes of a believers church attendance is for the admonishing of other believers
·         Hebrews 10:24-25
o   Another of the purposes of a believers church attendance is for the encouraging of other believers to grow all the more in their love for God, others, and actions
Applications:
·         Every believer should seek to determine what part they might play in benefitting and growing their local church
·         Every believer should serve in at least 1 if not more areas of their local church
·         Every believer should come to church with the intentional goal of building into and encouraging their other fellow believers
·         Every believer should seek to come to church regularly to be able to participate in serving others

Membership
Scriptures:
·         Hebrew 13:17
o   Membership is the means by which church leaders know who to keep watch over
·         1 Peter 5:1-5
o   Membership is the means by which church leaders know who is part of their flock (v.2-3)
o   Membership is the means by which members of the flock know who they are to be subject to (v.5)
·         Acts 20:28-30
o   Memberships helps the elders indentify who is truly part of Christ’s church and thus who they are to oversee
o   Membership follows the processes of being saved and then baptized (v.39-41)
·         Acts 2:37-47
o   The early church models the keeping of numbers of who was part of the church (v.41 & 47)
·         Romans 16:3-15
o   Paul gives a model of knowing all those in a church by name
·         1 Timothy 5:9-16
o   The early church models keeping lists of those to be cared for (v.9, 11, & 16)
·         Matthew 18:15-17
o   Church discipline can only occur if there is a clear demarcation of those in and out (v.17)
·         1 Corinthians 5:1-12
o   There is special accountability for those claiming to be part of the church (v.12)
·         The term “membership” comes a great deal from the previous section recognizing service within the church can only truly happen after someone has been recognized as part of the church
Applications:
·         Every believer should seek to become a member of their local church
·         Every believer should delight to be identified with Christ and His bride, the church, publically
·         Every believer should help those in church leadership with their oversight by gladly taking part in membership processes to help be identified as someone to be shepherded
·         Every believer should welcome the encouragement and accountability membership brings
·         Every believer should delight in the chance to better serve in a local church by being identified as a part of it



May we each continue to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" as we serve His bride well!

Phil

*photo taken from: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRp9pU-kssvKjEo8CKXKLuB4dATSWBedQYc7AwLcCt5CMaLHMKF

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Back on the Farm and a Lesson in Suffering


There is something about exhausting yourself working outdoors.

I periodically head out to my Dad and stepmom's place to help them with their sheep. Today was to give injections and worming paste. Sadie often comes with me and keeps track of which sheep we've done based on their tags.

Dad has them in the barn before we get there. We bring in an extra fence and Dad keeps guard of the entrance. He'll grab one by the back leg, hand it to me for me to drag out and ready it for the shot and paste. My stepmom, Sally, is waiting with shot in hand. Once done, the sheep flee out the doors as fast as they can. They don't realize that their temporary suffering (me holding their heads tight and the pain of the injection and paste squeezed down their throats) is for their greater good. I've heard pastors call sheep "dumb," but I don't think we are much different.

We go through suffering, and we are upset that we have to go through it. We question why God would allow the suffering. We don't see any greater good coming from it. Just like my Dad's sheep. 

We don't realize that if we go through the suffering there WILL be good on the other side. Sometimes the "only" good is that we know our Savior better. Is that not enough good? It should be what we primarily learn in suffering. Sure we may be able to better relate to others in suffering. Sure we may be able to help someone who goes through what we went through. But primarily, we get to know the all-sufficient Savior better. That is enough.

The sheep don't realize that things will be better after their suffering of us penning them up, dragging them out, and holding them tight until vaccinated. We often don't realize that we will be better after our suffering--if only it means that we know Jesus more intimately. We discover His kindness and His compassionate care for us in our suffering. We see our need for Him more clearly.

Can a believer ever say, "I'm going through suffering, but I sure don't see any good coming from it”? By no means! We can confidently say, "Even though I see no good with my eyes as I circle this earth, I know good is here because my God is here with me. And despite the pain, I am more aware of His presence with me."
The perks of helping at my Dad's? Time with him and Sally. Time with Sadie. Feeling an exhausted body worn out doing work for God's glory. And no Diet Coke has ever tasted better than the one Sally brings in the throw away cup to take home. 

Romans
8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)

Psalm
16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)

-Pastor Ben