Category Archives: Outreach

Expanding Your Vision and Influence

The news is getting difficult for me to wrap my mind around lately.  Last week I read of a woman who tried to shoot her hairdresser because she did not like her haircut!  What?!  (California).  The gun jammed when she tried to shoot it THREE TIMES!  No one was killed, praise God. This is discouraging to me because I do not know how anyone could possibly think that this is an acceptable response to such a small frustration.  I turned off the news and turned to my bookshelf  to my well-worn favorite Christian books that I knew would encourage me. The small yet power-filled book, The Prayer of Jabez found my gaze. I haven’t read this one since 2003 when I was the dean of women at a bible college in Minnesota.  An anonymous donation came to the college with 100 of these little books for the students! We took the donation as a –not so subtle- hint from God to read them!

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your curtains wide, do not hold back, lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2   Making Christ Known… Partner with God in His redemptive mission in the world.

So after reading it I have a few thoughts for the church today.  Every ministry a mission, every member a missionary!  The Apostle Peter wrote “… you are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called you out of darkness, into His marvelous light”. I Peter 2:9 WOW! This verse hit me right between the eyes. It’s SO POWERFUL!   I believe the church and myself needs to re-connect with its roots.

Peter was at Pentecost when the church was born. Peter realizes the church is God’s plan to bring the Kingdom of God into the community. If the church does not “Make Christ Known”, who will?

God’s plan began with Abraham. To Abraham was promised a people that would bless the nations. From Israel came Christ. Through Christ salvation comes to the world. The church, the Body of Christ; is the continuing presence and work of Christ in the world.

We are a part of a local church. We are a partner with God in His amazing mission and plan to save the world from darkness and death. WE are His missionary. You bear the name of Christ. We have the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is in our head and heart. The blood of Christ covers us, setting us apart. The love of God is in us.  We must do the work of building God’s Kingdom in our home, on our street, at our workplace, with neighbors and friends. The world is waiting. Be Jesus on your street!

A Helping Hand of Love

We often associate the word “Love” with the month of February. As Christians we love others because of the love that we have first received from Christ. We are saved by grace through faith on account of what Jesus has done for us, the ultimate act of love. We are not saved by our works but for a life of works. Out of our love from Christ flows our desire to help others in need. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

We live in challenging financial times. We are surrounded by people in need. A number of years ago, the Helping Hands Ministry was established here at St. Michael Lutheran Church. This fund seeks to help our both members and non-members who are going through a dire financial need or emergency and can use a “helping hand” prayerfully and financially. The need might be caused by a job loss, change in insurance, the death of a loved one or a health challenge. Financial assistance can be provided to assist with a house or rent payment, a utility bill, car or medical bill.

This ministry is funded through donations by St. Michael Lutheran Church members and are kept in a restricted account. I (Pastor Tim) oversee this program. All grants to recipients are handled with great care, sensitivity and privacy. If you know of a St. Michael member who may be in need for some assistance from this fund or an individual or family from the community who might be a worthy candidate, please contact me. We strive to be careful stewards of the funds donated to this ministry and such grants are meant to be a one-time, monetary helping hand to people experiencing some extraordinary financial hardships.

There are so many “God stories” and “God moments” that have taken place through this impactful ministry because of the generosity of this congregation. One can designate financial gifts to “Helping Hands”. Parish Life will be hosting the 2nd Annual Hoedown & Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Helping Hands Ministry Fund.

If you have any questions regarding this ministry or people who may be in a position to be blessed by the generosity of our members, please contact me (timewell@connectingwithgod.org). Thank you and God Bless!
In Jesus,
Pastor Tim

Summer’s Gone?

Say it ain’t so! But as great as summer is in Michigan, how can you beat the fall? Each season is a sign of God’s blessings to us. Fall means football, cooler weather, luminescent leaves, and the start of a new season at the church. Everywhere you turn you can see the signs of a gracious God.

The other day I saw another sign of God’s graciousness. Linda and the twins and I sat down to eat. We always pray before we eat, and Linda lives to bring the girls into faith in the Lord. So, when we sat down and before I could open my mouth to pray over the food, Taylor started to pray. If it were an adult prayer, it would maybe be thought to have not had much content. But, out of the mouth of a three year old it was the Magna Carta, song of Zechariah, and Psalm 23 all rolled into one. Yes, she did forget, until reminded, to thank God for the food. But the prayer itself was a sign of young faith. It was the sign of God’s love for this little child.

When Jesus said in Matthew 19:14 “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” it meant something. It meant the smallest and least powerful connected to that which is greater than all else that exists. It meant those who could not possibly earn God’s favor enjoying it. It meant a sign of God’s love and graciousness.

This fall, bring a child to Jesus. A grandchild, your child, your neighbor’s child. We have amazing opportunities for kids. There is Sunday School, Leaping Lambs (the pre-school dance group), Sonbeams Choir, Kids Kingdom on Wednesday nights, an elementary-age youth group, Children’s sermons, Children’s Church, activity bags, MOPS, and the list goes on. All for one purpose: to do what Jesus said. To bring kids to Him.

As great as summer is, it is now fall. It’s time to experience God’s graciousness in a new season.

 

I’ll see you in church.

Pastor Dave