Friday, December 01, 2017

Sincerity

Sincerity – being yourself in any direction.
“Sincerity makes the least ,am to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.” Charles Spurgeon
“Fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth.” Joshua 24:14 NASB

Sincerity is one of those qualities in which you hear more and more around Christmas time of year, especially concerning children. The sincere heart of a child around Christmas time is seen a lot. “But mommy or daddy, I really, really need that (Insert latest gimmick, trend, or clothing here)” The problem is no matter how authentic the motive, it doesn’t always work out that way.

In the movie: A Christmas Story, the little boy Ralphie really wants a Red Ryder BB Gun. But this is no regular Red Ryder BBB Gun. It is the one Ralphie dreamed about since he was small. (Though the fact is, he still is small). The response, “You’ll poke your eye out, kid.” The movie goes through the many misadventures of Ralphie’s family and the lesson learned is that sometimes it is best to be sincere and truthful.

As we reflect on this time of year, remember the season isn’t about us. The season is about Him! Our own pursuit of becoming sincere, authentic, and serving the Lord should reflect this. Our Father knows what we need even before we ask. Just like parents know what their children need before they ask. (Despite asking for the latest trend or gimmick). So the next time you reflect on some Christmas movie, or go shopping this season, please be sincere and reflect that Jesus was born in the shadow of a tree, the Tree of Calvary for you and me.

From my family to yours – we want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Keeping Jesus the reason for the Season.
Your Smiling Preacher, Gerrard

(This from Bonnie Brae's monthly Newsletter)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Water Restrictions.

Ever experiences a drought? Or been in a housing neighbourhood where they have HOAs and told you when to water?

I Corinthians 3:5b-8 says .."The Lord has assigned each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour."

Watering does not cause growth, but it creates the best environment for growth. Here are some simple ways you can help cause growth:

1. Pray, Pray, Pray (Let God be responsible and the center of growth)

2. Invite. Invite others. In all marketing, brands, and sharing, communicating ...there is nothing better than the personal invitation.

3. Learn people's names. People like to know that you want to personal know them and know them by name.

4. Leave room. Most visitors to our church tend to sit towards the back. Maybe its just a matter of leaving room and moving in.

5. Follow up. Call on others. Check on them. Let the leadership know if there are people we can and should be shepherding.

Let's work together, and grow together making disciples, and better disciples. Whose with me?

Gerrard

December Sermon Series

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Things you preacher wished people not know?

what are some of the things that Church Leaders would not want people to know? (I wrote this in 2011)



I. We mess up all the time. Sure there is the whole put the preacher on the pedestal thing .... but really we struggle with sin, and tend to put on this holy self-righteous mask and really don't want people to know our deepest darkest hurts or sins. We're afraid people use it against us; or won't forgive; or see us in a different light.


II. Sometimes we want to quit. We want to throw in the towel. Sometimes it happens first thing on Monday morning. We wish the conflict, the fights, the backstabbing, the dishonesty .... (Really, you think you deceive me by lying to my face?) would stop.



III. We do compare ourselves to others. Heck, we might of even dreamed of being that Mega-Superstar, cool, pastor that every one likes and wants to be invited to the conventions is ourselves. Then we pray "God just use me, I don't need to be the next mega whoever ...but it sure would be nice."


IV. Sometimes we like our non-Christian friends better than our Church ones. (And even sometimes they treat us better).Don't use the pastor appreciation month just once a year ...


V. That YES we use the internet .... and sometimes we use other resources.



What are some things you wish people didn't know about you?


What would or wouldn't you tell your church leader?

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Characteristics of a Spiritual Leader

1. A Spiritual Leader is to be Blameless.

2. A Spiritual Leader is to be Devoted.

3. A Spiritual Leader is to be Respected by his Family.

4. A Spiritual Leader is Not to be Arrogant.

5. A Spiritual Leader must handle Anger correctly.

6. A Spiritual Leader is to be Temperate.

7. A Spiritual Leader is Not to be Contentious.

8. A Spiritual Leader is Not to be Greedy.

9. A Spiritual Leader is to be Hospitable.

10. A Spiritual Leader is to Love Goodness.

11. A Spiritual Leader is to have a Sober Mind.

12/ A Spiritual Leader is to be Holy and Upright.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dear Church Thief:

The Following is my own thoughts ...after this past Sunday ...one of our biggest attendances and one of the best Homecomings we have had ....Monday came. Satan wanted to discourage. The Carevan of Bon Secour found our building was broken into. Both my elders were there and the damage and items missing were addressed and the police and detectives came.

So here is my letter: Open Letter.

Dear Church Thief:

I forgive you. Our church forgives you. If you wanted to look and go into my office - all you had to do was ask. I do feel shaken knowing people have gone through my stuff. You are welcome to come and look any time I'm there. I'm sure the fake bill that my son gave me that said worth a Million dollars was amusing. I'm sure you were disappointed. If you needed a sound system - you should of came and listened to it on person on Sundays. I'm disappointed though because of your actions some of our neighbors couldn't use the building on Monday for the mobile medical clinic that comes monthly to help those uninsured or underinsured that meets in our building. Instead we had to turn some away or elsewhere.

Sure it is only stuff, and can be replaced. That bin you used with some food in it probably was donated from some elderly saint on a fixed income who gives to our local food pantry. We see you were in a hurry and dropped one of the TVs ....we use those for lessons and teaching ...you are welcome to come anytime. And where you stood to get the video projector on the pulpit ....yup that's where I preach God's Word. I stand with the Word of God. I don't know where you stand but know it made me SAD. I don't know why ...but know this ...you are the reason the Church exists. We love you, forgive you, and you are welcome to visit us anytime. If you have a need - we will try to help out. Our congregation isn't very rich, but we try to be good stewards of what God has given us. Sure it can be discouraging .... but what Joy, and love we have in Jesus. It actually made me thank God for the blessings I do have. It also made me tell our neighbors, business neighbors, and friends in the area to warn about potential future breakins. Thanks - it opened doors to be Jesus' hands and feet to some that were leary of our church.

I'm praying for you. (and the others that were with you too) Know that Jesus loves you. You didn't break our spirit but confirmed what we are doing is right and God is on our side. As the guest preacher, Mike Lynn, said on Sunday (just hours before you robbed us) whose Homecoming are you going to? Heaven or Hell? My friend, I hope you choose wisely. May my letter be a wakeup call that you get your life straight with God.

Sincerely,

Gerrard R. Fess

(Anyone else reading this know our church is ok ...we welcome you to visit us anytime too at 7610 Staples Mill Rd. Henrico, VA 23228_

Friday, September 22, 2017

Top Ten Urban Legends in Ministry

Top 10 Urban Legends in Ministry

You know there are urban legends in Christianity such as O'Hare and the FCC or the Touched by An Angel or even the Health and Wealth Gospel. With all the Fake news and hoaxes out there I'd thought to do urban legends for ministry. (I did one back similar to youth ministry.

Here are some Urban Legends in Ministry and in Church in general that I've come across.

10. The tenure of a preacher is 3 years This one has been making the rounds for some time. I wonder who this preacher is and if he has invested in U-Haul.

9. Close relationships are the goal of ministry. (They aren't - they are a means, but not the end) It is about discipleship. Loving God and others.

8. The % Warnings. Barna. The Pew Report. Millennials. The Whole Cry Wolf. Are people leaving the church? Yes. Do we need to reach people? yes The stats or studies show this or that ...that 96% of stats are made up including this one. In fact to prove my point there is a fellow saying the World is going to end tomorrow. (It will some day but to try to predict and put yourself in what only the Father knows is silly)

7. The usage of the word Christian as an adjective. "Christian" music, TV, radio, magazines, books, bookstores, etc. I guess people aren't Christians just things.

6. There is absolute truth. Reality is there isn't. If you are saying there is absolute truth then you leave room with the qualifier of "absolute" for there to be relative truth as well. Why don't just state it as truth. If it is true than it is true today, yesterday and tomorrow. All Truth is God's truth therefore no need to add a quantifier to the word. What is the difference between God's Word being true and God's Word being absolutely true?! There isn't one other than giving room to question it and a realm of possibility it might not be. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life ..." not the "Absolute way, absolute truth,"

5. There is a such thing as the perfect model of ministry. Reality there isn't. With all the trends, (Warren, Hybels, Stanley etc. ... it all comes down to are you loving God and loving people? You can learn from different models but quit trying to duplicate. You don't have to be the next MEGA pastor or whoever to make an impact in the kingdom.

4. Worship equates to Evangelism. A lot of people have bought into the fact that worship means church growth. We try to have all can of styles so people can grow the church. As a result of our own worship we evangelize. Worship can help but isn't what evangelizes.

3. More programs means better church and busier and more people. Sometimes LESS is more. Busy-ness only helps further the unbalanced lifestyles of people. I think sometimes the best thing we can do is look at what is best for our ministry and not compete but support the community we live in. It is hard to get new volunteers and leaders now ..trying adding more programs to that.

2. The "Guru" and speakers we hear at the ministry conventions have it all figured out. Truth is - they don't. Most are like us, in the trenches - learning things the hard way. One of the best things I enjoyed hearing was how one Guru messed up and how only by God's grace was He still in Ministry. So often when I hear those stories - it points all to God and not to one's own ego or pride.

1. It is all about you. Ministry can and is being done without you. If you want your Ego puffed up or to increase - GET OUT! Criticism is almost always done -whether you hear from all sorts of people: older, younger, leadership etc. It isn't about you but about God working through you, leaders, and others. If we had more ministries just focusing on what God can do ... wow! Our job is to point to Jesus, not ourselves.

Any others you would add? Discuss?

Sincerity

Sincerity – being yourself in any direction. “Sincerity makes the least ,am to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.” Charles ...