Monday, August 18, 2008

Practicing What We Preach

Pam and I returned from our Outer Banks vacation late Friday night and received a phone call early Saturday morning that Dot Richardson, a long time church member who had a stroke about 3 weeks ago, had passed away. Sunday afternoon I conducted her graveside service. These types of services, when you are a new pastor and don’t know the deceased very well, are always a challenge. But I had the opportunity to visit with the family several times in the hospital, asked a lot of questions and tried to listen closely. I was able to share my impressions from these conversations at the service. The family and friends seemed to appreciate the service. If so, may God get the glory for what He was able to do through me.

Sunday morning my message continued to focus on the church being a community that practices biblical communication. The hallmark of this communication is the balance of truth and love in our words and deeds. The message was concluded with a three-fold challenge: we promise to make a good faith effort to not gossip or speak negatively about others, we give permission for others in the church to correct us if this promise is not kept, and we promise to rebuke in love others in the church that gossip or speak negatively of others. Several stood for the closing prayer to affirm their desire to accept this challenge. As more and more people live out this commitment our congregation’s atmosphere and culture will be transformed in a powerful way.

This is our final week before the Share and Prayer Triplet orientation next Sunday night. I plan to devote an entire posting about these triplets. So, check back later in the week for details and information on this first step on our road to recovery and church health. Also, I will be chairing my first monthly L.B.A. board meeting this week. My report to them will be like a 30 day report card. I will also be sharing this one month report card on this blog later in the week.

Please pray that God will help the NGWC congregation to practice what I preached on Sunday morning and that those who made the three-fold commitment mentioned above with be role models of biblical communication within the church family.

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