August 6, 2014
Did you know there’s a dragon loose in the neighborhood?! (Catch last weekend’s message here.) Hope you are watching out for him this week. One of our talented young artists, Phillip Smock, sent me his rendition of that dragon we preached about from Revelation (see picture at bottom.).
Don’t forget about allowing some extra time to get to worship this weekend. We understand that RT 128 will be open for traffic (just down to 1 lane in some spots), but don’t let the Dragon or these barriers stop you from connecting with God and others this weekend. Push/drive through so you don’t miss any of the exciting elements and changed lives we will be celebrating.
For all of you reading this who have been thinking for a while about going ‘All In’ by becoming a member here (formally committing to be a part of our church family) or going ‘All In’ by being immersed (formally committing to Christ), mark the weekend of August 16/17. As part of the Revelation message that day, we will be offering a special opportunity to do both of these. In light of Jesus’ imminent return and the end of this decaying world, I am hoping that you won’t delay or procrastinate these most important decisions. Don’t let the dragon talk you out of it!
Becoming a member here at Whitewater is completely opposite of being a member of anything the world offers. Usually membership in something here on earth brings privileges. In the church, it brings responsibilities. Committing as a member here means that we publicly declare that we are not just a consumer, but a contributor. For sure, there are rewards for serving – fulfillment, joy, growing to be like Christ, knowing you are making an eternal difference, hearing Jesus’ words in heaven – ‘well done!’; but these are radically different than a member benefit society here on earth. Church membership means you are aligned with our mission and lets our church leaders know who they can count on to move that mission forward.
Hundreds have made a membership decision here and we know there are hundreds more who need to. Some think that just attending a worship gathering and throwing a few dollars in the offering makes you a member. Although both of those are appreciated, we have seen that making some kind of formal commitment is important because ‘we are what we commit to.’ And since all members of Whitewater have been immersed sometime, somewhere, there are also dozens of folks who were never baptized or were sprinkled as babies (and don’t remember it), who need/want to be baptized by immersion.
We are designing August 16/17 weekend to make it easy for you to go ‘All In’ for membership or baptism. At the end of my message at each worship gathering, I will be encouraging anyone in attendance who has not made a formal membership commitment to do so by designating it on their Connection Card and coming forward during the last song to give that card to one of our Response Team down front. (You won’t have to say anything publicly.) Our Facilities team will also have one of our baptism tanks (from our last ‘All In’ weekend) set up out on the patio outside the cafe, to baptize anyone right after that worship gathering who wants to go All In that day. I and several of our staff will be out there ready to go All In with you in between the worship services. We will have towels, t-shirts, and sweats in case someone needs them.
I am personally praying for you to go public with your faith by becoming a member and/or being immersed. God will honor and reward your commitment here on earth, as well as in heaven.
What kind of church are you joining?
Someone sent me a humorous email with some signs that you may be a member of a Duck Dynasty church. You may be a member of a Duck Dynasty church if:
– People ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or
catfish, and what bait was used to catch ’em.
– When the pastor says, “I’d like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering” five guys and two
women stand up.
– Opening day of duck season is recognized as an official church holiday.
– People think “rapture” is what you get when you lift something too heavy.
– The baptismal pool is a #2 galvanized “Wheeling” washtub. (can you say All In!)
– The countdown to start the worship service begins with a duck call.
– “Thou shall not covet” applies to huntin’ dogs, too.
– The final words of the benediction are, “Y’all come back now, Ya hear.”
What kind of church are you joining here at Whitewater? A church on a mission to help people find hope in Jesus and a home in His church. A church that is about relationship, not religion. A perfect church for imperfect people. A church that is strategically planning, with God’s help, to double its influence in the next 3-5 years. A dragon slaying church. Will you join us?