Ministry Update

Increase Conference 2018

 

On January 27th, Hespeler Baptist Church is excited about hosting a brand new conference for young adults. read more

Preventing Pointless Participation: Getting the Most Out of Your Small Group

 

Last year I read a book put out by Harvest Bible Church on small group ministry[1]. One of the things that I appreciated most about this book was the last two pages; they are invaluable to the health of a small group!

The last two pages contain a small group contract. Everyone who participates in the small group ministry at Harvest has to sign this contract.

I appreciate the list of commitments that these pages contain because they make it clear that being part of a small group is pointless if certain priorities aren’t maintained.

A small group leader can prepare the best bible study, prayer time, fellowship experience, and plate of snacks; yet, without the participation of the group, meeting together is pointless. The success and health of a small group is the responsibility of the small group, not just the small group leader.

Would you like your small group to go deeper? Are you frustrated with the superficial relationships that your small group seems to promote? Do you feel like your small group isn’t adding anything beneficial to your life?

I would like to encourage you to read through this list and consider your level of commitment to your small group. Where can you improve? How can you be a better participant? Are you contributing to a non-committal culture in your group? How are you contributing to the overall feel? I am certain that an adherence to these principles will prevent pointless participation in your small group.

 

Here’s the contract..

1/ I will make my small group meetings a priority, and if I’m unable to attend or running late, I will call ahead.

2/ I will come to my small group meeting prepared and ready to participate.

3/ I will commit to my small group to focus on application of God’s Word in my life.

4/ I will maintain confidentiality of the personal information that is shared within my small group. I understand my small group leader may communicate appropriate information to those in leadership as necessary, and I trust his or her discernment in this.

5/ I will be accountable to my small group concerning my personal and spiritual goals.

6/ I will commit to a small group that is open to new members, and as it grows, we will seek to multiply to further God’s work.

7/ I will encourage other members to cultivate a daily quiet time with God.

8/ I will pursue opportunities to share what God has done in our lives with those who do not know Jesus Christ.

9/ I will pray and support the leadership at Hespeler Baptist Church to continue to seek God’s direction for our small group ministry.

 

Together, let’s pursue Life Group health at HBC! Let’s commit to praying for, and participating in, healthy small groups!

If you are interested in being a part of a small group please contact Pastor Caleb. caleb@hespelerbaptist.ca

[1] Uncommon Community, Harvest Bible Chapel, 100-101.

Wanna Know What Exodus is About?

As we are in the last four weeks of our study in Exodus, I thought it would be appropriate to post a rough outline of the material we will have covered, in Exodus, by June 4th. Below are chapter summaries for each of the sections that we have covered since the beginning of April.

Join us for the lesson on the first half of the ten commandments, this Sunday! We’ve reached Sinai!

Genesis 50 – The Hebrews are outside the Promise Land and Joseph is dead. How is the promise to Abraham going to be realized?

Exodus 1 – There arose a new king in Egypt who did not know Joseph. Pharaoh was fearful of the power of the Hebrews because they had greatly multiplied; so, he made them slaves.

Exodus 2 – Moses upbringing in the courts of Pharaoh. Moses flees Egypt.

Exodus 3 – The Burning Bush. God hears, God sees, and God knows the pain of the Hebrews. God responds via the burning bush.

Exodus 4 – Moses is skittish. Moses: “God, how can you use me? I am only a shepherd? I am a stutterer! Surely you can find someone better.”

Exodus 5 – God challenges Pharaoh through Moses.

Exodus 6 – God establishes that HE will defeat Pharaoh, for the glory of His own Name!

Exodus 7 – 11 The Ten Plagues. The plagues were a threefold assault on the Egyptians. They were an assault on Pharaoh (who Egypt saw as the god of order). They were an assault on Egyptian order (they serve as a de-creation narrative). They were an assault on the false gods of Egypt (each plague targeted a different Egyptian god).

Exodus 12 – The institution of the Passover. The Passover would help the Hebrews remember the saving hand of God.

Exodus 13 – 14 The Deliverance of God through the crossing of the Red Sea – God wipes out the angry Egyptians. God guides His people through the waters/wilderness.

Exodus 15:1-21 – A song of praise for all that God has done in delivering the Hebrews out of slavery. Sung by Moses and the people.

Exodus 15:22 – 17:7 Three incidents of complaining. The people complain about the bitterness of the water at Marah, a lack of food in the wilderness of Sin (no pun intended) and a lack of water at Rephidim.

Exodus 19 – 24 Arrival at Mt. Sinai. God gives His people the law (the ten commandments, etc…).

Exodus 25 – Plans for the tabernacle.

Exodus 32 – The people worship the Golden Calf; God is rightfully angry.

Exodus 39 – 40 The building of the tabernacle; God fills the tabernacle with His presence.

Our last Gospel Project lesson for the summer will be given on June 4th. Our Sunday morning prayer ministry will begin on Sunday, June 11th and run until September. Beginning in September we will begin a new season of the Gospel Project in Leviticus!

Here are two video on the book of Exodus that give a decent summary…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uf-PgW7rqE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0GhR-2kPKI

Exodus: God Delivers

Last Sunday we concluded what was a 13-week journey through the book of Genesis. read more

God the Covenant-Maker

If you have been tracking with us for the last few months you will know that January 2017 marked the beginning of our church’s journey through the storyline of Scripture. read more

Advocating for Small Groups

Have you thought about joining a Life Group? read more

Church Family Letter

Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while. These were Jesus’ words to weary apostles in response to the work report they had given him when they returned from a ministry assignment. The need for this is explained by Mark: For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. So, they went away in a boat to a desolate place by themselves (Mark 6:31-32). These are soothing words to read, for in them we recognize that Jesus understood the need of quiet, solitude, and rest. Many times he demonstrated his own desire to be alone in prayer with his Father amidst the expectations of people as he ministered to them. In this, we too are encouraged and permitted to withdraw for the sake of body, mind, heart, and soul. I do hope that over the summer you were refreshed with some time off, or away, to especially be still and know that God is God. The Lord was certainly gracious to grant this to my family, for which we are grateful.

With the last few days of summer upon us, we know that rest and relaxation are not a permanent state. In fact, the disciples realized this all too well, for Mark records that by the time their boat reached their destination, it had been transformed into an overcrowded beach. So much for vacation! Yet, Jesus’ response is compelling, inspiring, and beautiful. Mark writes, When he went ashore he saw the great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things (Mark 6:34). When evening came, he fed them miraculously with the fish and the loaves. While we all need downtime, we must return to the great work Christ has called all of us to, namely, making disciples of all nations as we seek to walk worthy of the gospel. And so, with this in mind, it seemed appropriate to provide a ministry update for the Fall.

As pastors, we are thrilled at the prospect of beginning a new preaching series in the gospel of John, entitled That We May Believe. This, of course, is taken from John 20:31, where the apostle states the reason for his account: These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. [Hint: you should probably memorize this. There will be a test.] We look forward to fixing our eyes on Jesus as we preach our way through this biblical book. We would encourage you to get reading! At the same time, we’re excited to test drive a Q&A session shortly after our morning services. This will give Christians and non-Christians alike opportunity to ask the preacher questions that arise from listening to the sermon, and almost certainly keep us on our toes in the process. There will be a prize for whoever stumps Pastor Roger first.

On Sunday evenings I will be teaching a short four-week series entitled Real Deal Zeal. I hope and pray you will come because we need to be challenged in the ways our apathy for God plague and cripple us. Are we really, truly satisfied with our fire and passion for God, for His glory, and for the spread of His fame at home and abroad? More importantly, is God? Could any of us honestly answer yes? I know that Sunday evening services are not a priority that everyone commits to but I would challenge you to change that for at least four weeks (Sept 18th & 25th; Oct 2 & 16), especially if you are a ministry leader. What better way could you spend those hours than by considering with us what God thinks of spiritual apathy, his call to repent, what real zeal is, how we cultivate zeal, and what it looks like in all of life? Can you imagine what our lives, our marriages, our families, our work, our love, our evangelism, our sacrifice, and our church would look like if we submitted to the Holy Spirit for the stoking and sustaining of greater zeal in each of us? I pray that the prospect of this would intrigue you enough to join us. May the Lord breed holy discontent among us so that we would have “one pure and holy passion to know and follow hard after him.”

In a different vein, we would covet your prayers as we plan to gather as elders in the fall. We will be spending a day away together again to pray and evaluate the ministry of our church. As I continue to be challenged, poked, and prodded through the seminary courses in the Church Health and Evangelism certificate, there is much to consider. Here are two questions for you to ponder that give a small taste of what my mind is chewing on these days. First, what does a disciple of Jesus Christ look like? Second, how are people becoming and growing as disciples of Jesus Christ through the ministry of Hespeler Baptist Church?  Answering these biblically has less to do with the quantity of our activity and more to do with the quality of our activity. In other words, how does all that we do align with the church’s mandate to make disciples? This is what we look forward to digging into together for an evening in September and a full day in October. Please pray for that we would seek the wisdom of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit!

Speaking of activity, there are many ministry opportunities for you to engage in over the course of the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Sunday school for all ages begins on September 11th. As kids continue with the Desiring God curriculum, adults will be kicking off with an update from Teresa before she heads back overseas to the mission field. Afterwards, Mike Putt will lead us through a study on justification by faith alone. Between now and January, you’re going to start hearing about an exciting new venture in Sunday School called The Gospel Project. Pastor Caleb and Jared Patus have been working hard over the summer to breathe new life and vision into what we believe is a vital ministry. I would also encourage you to prayerfully consider joining a Life Group for the purpose of greater opportunity to keep the many one another commands of the New Testament, and for accountability in your walk with Christ. Beyond these, I trust you will keep your eyes and ears peeled for additional ministry endeavours that will get underway.

Amidst the return of routine and the excitement of sinking my teeth into a new ministry year, most of all, I’m looking forward to all of us being together again. There is always a sweet joy when vacations and travels end and everyone winds back up in the same place. I especially look forward to that first Sunday after the long weekend to lift my voice with yours to the praise of God’s glorious grace, even as we humble ourselves under His Word. To help us realize the blessing of belonging to the family of God in a different setting, Bob and Kendra Kallonen will be hosting the church family on their property on Saturday, September 17th. I hope you’ll mark that date and take time to gather with your brothers and sisters so that we can catch up with each other.

Until then, grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With love,

Sean