5:37am. It’s just a quiet, darkened dining table and a few empty chairs. But last night…last night it was voices and laughter and ideas and conversation. Believers in Jesus. Questioners about Jesus. No two are alike. The come wondering if they can learn, contribute, make a difference, pray, encounter Jesus. Perhaps they are an unlikely circle of friends, but the gathering together is good. The Bible is open…..
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
There is no greater honor then to be invited to teach the Word of God.
On June 18, 2022, I will be teaching the Word of God at a Memorial Service for Bruce Henson. Bruce’s wife, Jan was the manager of the Panera in Greenwood in September of 2002. I went into Panera often and we became friends. Jan and her husband, Bruce asked if I would conduct their wedding on September 8, 2002. Jan and Bruce invited many of their friends to their home for this special day. And I had the privilege of teaching the Good News concerning Christ that day. Now, twenty years later, Bruce lost his battle with cancer and Jan has once again given me the privilege of talking about Jesus Christ with Jan and Bruce’s friends.
On Sunday, June 26th at 10:30, I have been invited to teach the Word of God at Lebanon First Baptist Church in Lebanon, Indiana.
And to top it off, Village Bible Church has invited me to teach the Word of God at the 10:00am service for their Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, July 17th.
Today we champion Pastor David Wright, Senior Pastor of Lebanon First Baptist Church. Pastor Dave recognized the tendency for the Local Church to be pulled into many directions. In an attempt to clarify God’s Purpose and Plan for the Local Church he has recently launched a verse-by-verse sermon series on Sunday mornings at 10:30, going through the Book of Acts. “God’s Manual for the Local Church.”
Last Sunday three young men asked if he would baptize them in order to demonstrate their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Great Stuff !
One More Church is a Christian Non-Profit Ministry which exists to glorify God by means of providing assistance and consulting to pastors and churches who are struggling to exist. Due to cultural changes, and a pandemic, thousands of churches and pastors are on the edge of dissolving or quitting their ministries.
Assistance and consulting includes developing church organizational and growth strategies, mentoring church leaders, training, developing church vision statements, church and church leaders’ assessments, and providing equipping tools for church ministries.
One More Church seeks to define its mission, focus and activities by referring to:
A Two Fold Focus
1. A focus on local church Revitalizations and church Restarts.
2. A focus on Assisting and Encouraging Pastors.
The Initiative and Launch of “One More Church”: On February 27, 2022, Village Bible Church, Inc. located at 695 E. Pushville Road, Greenwood, Indiana, 46143, held a Commissioning Service to send their founding pastor, Pastor Ken H. Dalton, out in order to launch and lead the One More Church Non-Profit Ministry.
Pastor Dalton had planted the Village Bible Church nine years earlier. The Church and Reverend Dalton agreed unanimously to hand the Senior Pastor position at Village Bible Church over to a new pastor, Pastor Travis Burkett, who would be able to provide ongoing leadership for the church for many future years.
Prior to Village Bible Church, Pastor Dalton had planted six other churches and at the same time trained and mentored many young pastors, and served in consulting with other new church plants.
The Barna Church Research Group gives us the following current statistics:
Currently 38% of pastors in our country are considering leaving full-time ministry. This number is up 9% since the beginning of 2021.
2. Over 1,700 pastors in America left the ministry every month last year.
3. Over 3,500 individuals left churches in America every day last year.
4. Over 4,500 churches in America closed last year.
In the pursuit of improving some of these current dismal church and pastoral statistics, Pastor Dalton, as an employee of One More Church, is focusing on the following activities and others as needs arise:
Reach out to pastors and churches who are requesting help.
Provide one-on-one mentoring for pastors, both in person and also through training materials.
Provide assistance with church leadership boards and committees.
As needed, provide strategy, organizational and outreach help with comprehensive, written reports.
Consult with both pastors and churches in the area of leadership recruiting.
As the One More Church Ministry Responsibilities and Opportunities grow, develop ways to recruit and train volunteer help and additional paid consulting staff.
Oversee research needs as needed for pastors or specific local churches.
Assist Churches that require a “restart” with required organizational exhibits and filings.
Meet regularly with the One More Church Board of Directors for accountability, decision making , and vision.
One More Church’s income derives solely from contributions from individuals, foundations, trust accounts and churches. Tax-deductible Donations can be sent to: One More Church, 955 Monteray Rd., Greenwood, Indiana, 46143.
Churches can start in lots of different ways…in lots of different places. In the past, we’ve started churches in schools, homes, union halls, little theaters, cafeterias, houses in the middle of orchards, and funeral homes!
This weekend, for NorthWest Bible Church in Lebanon, Indiana, we had a weekend of Open Houses to get things rolling. We wanted to give people a chance to come, enjoy a cup of coffee, and have a simple and unhurried chance to hear our vision for the new church, and to ask any and all questions.
Our first Open House was Friday night, March 18th, at the Witham YMCA, We knew it was going to be a small, intimate group, so instead of choosing to meet in the larger gymnasium, we chose the nursery! There were kids toys, play equipment, and little tables and chairs. You’d think that might be awkward, but it was actually a very friendly and laid-back and colorful environment! Lots of great discussion.
Our second Open House was today, We rented the Lebanon Senior Services Club, and invited people to come for an evening meeting, or anytime during the day, again for casual and relaxed discussions and questions. We got here about 9:30 this morning, and it’s been non-stop ever since. As I’m writing this, we are close to the start of our evening meeting, and are just so happy with the 18-20 people we have been able to connect with so far this weekend!
I know you may get tired of us saying this…but this truly is so much fun!!!! Coffee and cookies, anyone?
Two Initial Open Houses for the new NorthWest Bible Church are coming up:
Friday, March 18th from 6-8pm at the Witham YMCA. Just say you are there for the Open House when you arrive, and they will let you know what room we are using.
Or…. Sunday, March 20th from 6-8pm we have arranged to use a meeting room at the Lebanon Senior Citizen’s Club, 707 S. Lebanon St., You can enter on the south side of the building.
Also, we are planning a couple of mid-week Bible Studies to begin in April:
Beginning April 6th, on Wednesday afternoons at 1pm, Kathleen Dalton will be leading an 8-week Women’s Bible Study studying the book of Mark. It will be held at the Senior Citizen’s Club on Lebanon Street.
Pastor Ken Dalton will be leading the other 8-week study, for singles and couples, a verse-by-verse Bible study in the Book of Revelation, held at the Senior Citizen’s Club on Lebanon Street, from 7-9pm, Wednesday evenings, beginning April 6th.
If you, or anyone you know, has an interest in attending either one of these, let me know, and I’ll get information to you.
Ken and I are so amazed that a year has passed since the start of our church – Village Bible Church. We love this little church plant – full of committed, loving people who want to reach out into the Johnson County community with the story of Jesus. May there be many more church plants in this area in the next few years!
Village Bible’s Volunteer Meeting last night – to hand out jobs for their first Sunday morning Worship Service on July 15th. Everyone got a job for the first 6 months….new church plants are so much fun because everyone is willing to take a chance at doing something they’ve never done before!
Recently when I was reading Haggai 2: 11-13 I was reminded of the importance of running away from evil. Haggai asked the priests two questions:
(1) If that which is holy touches that which is unholy, will it make the unholy holy “? The answer is no.
(2) If that which is unclean (unholy) touches that which is clean (holy), will the unclean make it unclean (unholy)? The answer is yes, that is what it will do.
Clean cannot change unclean. But unclean can change clean.
It is a shame that often Godly, well meaning people, catch the disease of sin because somehow they think that their example and presence of righteousness will somehow rub off. It doesn’t work that way. We can catch sin. We do not catch righteousness.
Righteousness comes from responding in faith to the hearing of truth.
Often we should re-read Haggai 2: 11-13. Do it today !