Come worship with us at Kossuth this Sunday

    Elders' Blog - Entries from July 2013

    Home - Resources - Elders' Blog - Elders' Blog - Entries from July 2013
    WedWednesdayJulJuly31st2013 In Praise of August
    byDon Whipple Tagged Events Service 0 comments Add comment


    I think a good case can be made that the most important month on the church calendar is August. March/April (wherever Easter happens to land) and December are certainly in the running, but consider the merits of August as it relates to the functional accomplishment of making disciples and leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, if you miss some of this August stuff, you may end up feeling like you are not a part of what God is doing at KSBC. That is not only a very bad thing to have happen, but it is avoidable!

    What makes August so important? Vacations are winding down, schools are starting, key ministry opportunities are coming together, and important connections with both new and current people at church need to be made. So, whether you are reading this while tucked away at your favorite vacation spot attempting to be completely unplugged from real life or you are overwhelmed with life trying to recover from taking some time off, take a few minutes and think (seriously) about August at KSBC.

    If you feel a bit out of the loop because of your summer schedule, August Family Gathering will go a long way toward catching you up. This Sunday evening at 6:00 pm we will hear updates on various ministries, talk about initiatives that will draw our focus for the next 18 months, and celebrate the Lord’s Table together. If for some reason (such as brain surgery or vacation) you are unable to attend Family Gathering this week, plan to connect with someone who is able to for a report.

    Another reason why August is such a big deal is because that is when we have our church picnic. Our picnic is a great way to link up with others around our church family. Many things about the picnic are changing from previous years so that we can focus more on connections. You can get the basic details here, so mark your calendar now and plan to both connect and reconnect with KSBC at the picnic.

    Some of the most important decisions made regarding your growth in Christ are made in August. I can think of two examples. One is the decision you make to be a part of a Care Group. These small (8-14 people) groups that meet regularly are absolutely crucial to growing each other in Christ. While you can become a part of a Care Group at other times, August (and early September) is the primary enrollment opportunity. Another important decision that comes up in August is that of serving the Lord in the Church body somehow. Many programs (Awana, Sunday school, nursery, teens) and ministry teams (welcome, seniors, missions, benevolence) are retooling for another ministry year and need workers. Participating in Care Groups and serving with others in a local church context are two of the most fruitful relationship and time investment decisions that you can make for your growth and obedience. Don’t let August get away from you without nailing down your place in a Care Group and a serving ministry here at KSBC.

    One additional thought about August at KSBC. This month we will be completing the 8-week series “Resolving Every day Conflict” on Wednesday evenings. The first 4 sessions were done in July as a part of our Kossuth Summer School. It may be the timing of the series along with the incredibly helpful content, but this has been one of the most well-received classes that we have done in a long time. For example, where else would you learn something as wise and helpful as, “If you think you are only responsible for 2% of the conflict, then determine to take 100% responsibility for your 2%.” You can benefit by joining the group for the final four sessions on Wednesdays at 6:45 pm in August. 

    It would be a shame to find yourself a few weeks into September having missed the incredible opportunities and blessings that August provides! What a great month!  

    ThuThursdayJulJuly18th2013 Imagine the Fruit
    byAbraham Cremeens Tagged Discipleship Evangelism 0 comments Add comment

    [Guest post by Abraham Cremeens, Minister of Discipleship and Worship.]

    But many of those who had heard the word believed,
    and the number of the men came to about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)

    "The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make the man of God like the Son of God." That was a phrase I heard years ago during a conference teaching. Not only does it have a good rhythm, but it’s biblical.

    The Word of God is central to all spiritual growth. And God uses ordinary people like you and me in the proclamation of his Word.

    For four years Kari and I have slowly built a relationship with several of our neighbors. They are fun, normal, goofy people, just like us (although my “normalcy” might be debatable). Liam plays with their kids’ toys and they play with Liam’s—normal, everyday stuff.

    A couple of weeks ago Kari was talking with one of the women and simply invited her to begin reading the Bible together. Our neighbor was excited about the opportunity and soon after, one of our other neighbors welcomed the invite as well.

    Within the same week, one of the men came over to help unload our groceries. With no prompt, he began to describe a recent event as a “God-moment” and not just a coincidence. Seems like another opportunity to invite someone in to a reading one-to-one opportunity.

    Regardless of how we interact with our friends and family, the end-goal is the same: spend time in God’s Word with others. Simple. Powerful. Not rocket science. No degree needed.

    You have dear people in your life that you care about: friends, family, children, neighbors, co-workers. The people in these relationships are just waiting for you to open up the Bible with them. It's true, they are. Statistics show that many would answer “yes” if a friend were to invite them to read the Bible with them. But why lean on statistics when we have the sovereign hand of God at work around us? He has people set apart from before the beginning of time to receive salvation (2 Tim. 1.9). The harvest is plentiful. Are you willing to trust God in faith and reach out to a friend in this way? You won’t regret it.

    And we want to help. This fall we will be sailing some adventurous and exciting waters together. In an effort to further understand what discipleship is and how to conform to Jesus’ command to make disciples, we will further the “Multiply” series within our Connection Groups and Care Groups. As part of the teaching curriculum, connection groups will teach and lead discussions on topics related to discipleship and reading the Bible one-to-one. Further, Care Groups will take the same material and make it a part of their Care Group time and encourage application through Care Group relationships. Imagine the fruit that would come from the majority of our church family actively reading the Bible and praying together with one another and with non-Christian friends.

    You can even get a head start by visiting this website: reading121.org.

    ThuThursdayJulJuly11th2013 Holy Kissing
    byDon Whipple Tagged Encouragement Speech 0 comments Add comment


    While I do not claim to be an expert on kissing, after being married for over 38 years and now having grandchildren, I have developed a rather high regard for the topic. While grandchildren should not be taught or allowed to kiss until the glandular drool issue is cared for, there are considerable upsides to kissing and being kissed by your spouse, children, and grandchildren.

    Even those who have a low or narrow view of kissing would agree that being kissed is preferable to being thrust through with a sword. If those are the only options available the majority of us would even let the Aunt from Buffalo with whiskers and old perfume kiss us! Kissing is an intimate expression of affection and love. Isn’t that what makes pig kissing contests and the like so outrageously funny?

    A few weeks ago in preparation for an important conversation I reviewed the Proverbs for any help I could find to control and direct my words. Remembering that 3 out of the 7 things in Prov.6:16-19 that God hates have to do with the misuse of words I wanted to be prepared. I came across Proverbs 24:26 and was shocked by the analogy. Here’s the proverb . . .

    Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.

    Think about the truth being communicated in the analogy. An honest answer, if the context of 24:23-25 is considered, is an answer where right, appropriate words are spoken in a forthright manner in a complex situation. When others settle for shallow, unclear and untruthful talk, the one giving an honest answer draws attention to the truth in a way that is appropriate. Speaking truth lovingly in relationships where there are potential landmines of distrust and disagreement is a good thing. It both produces a benefit and communicates a commitment. Sort of like being kissed.

    Think about the example of the father who says to his children, "I know that I disappointed you when I told you we would do such-and-such and we didn’t do it. I was wrong and I am sorry."

    Or how about the friend who says to you, "Remember what I told you about that couple in our church last week? That was wrong for me to gossip about them and I ask your forgiveness."

    Or what if someone carefully tells you something like, "I know that you have experienced some really hard things recently, but your attitude seems to me to be quite self focused and angry."

    When we speak in these ways, it is like being kissed. The benefit is the sweetness and pleasure that can only come from experiencing the mixture of truth and love. The commitment communicated expresses a love and intimacy that can only exist in the bonds of truth and love. While there are times words like these are underappreciated, nevertheless they are like being kissed.

    I came out of the conversation a few weeks ago knowing that I had been repeatedly kissed by loving, merciful, and honest people. We communicate the life transforming power of the gospel to each other in how we speak and what we say. We build or demolish redemptive relationships by the words that come from our mouths. Have you been kissed by someone’s honest talk recently? Consider how you can pass it on. Kissing and being kissed in these ways honors God and builds his Kingdom.

    Do your words tend to feel more like a sword (Prov. 12:18) or a kiss?

    Elders' BlogConnecting. Informing. Shepherding. Teaching.by