Wednesday, August 28, 2019

4 More Weeks

We are just four weeks away from our launch of Engage Bartlesville.  The time is flying by and before we know it, we will be greeting guests coming into our building for a casual worship service followed by a free meal. We had our second outreach event Sunday night where 32 adults and 12 children engaged Rolling Hills Apartment with a block party.  We served popcorn, cotton candy, and bottled water to several of the residents while they played yard games and jumped in the bounce house.  It was not a large turnout but almost all who came out and joined us were very interested in the new worship service.  We met some great new people and made some new friends. Pray those seeds continue to grow.

It has been our plan all along to go knock on doors this Sunday night with those who can make it, despite it being Labor Day weekend.  However, after some discussion we have decided to take the week off. Despite the probability of there being many people not home and those that are not appreciating an interruption in the middle of the Sooners season opener, it is our last Sunday night to get a break before we are serving others every week.  Enjoy the night off and let’s get ready for three weeks of pushing hard preparing for The Pumpkin Patch and Engage Bartlesville.

On September 8 we will do another block party at The Willows on Madison.  We will meet at the church at 5:00, load up and head that way.  We expect this to have a large turnout.  After we get set up, we will do as we did this last week and send out those who are willing to go knock on doors around the complex.  We need others making popcorn and cotton candy while the rest work on building relationships with those who come to have fun. 

September 15- Door-to-door
September 22- Block Party at The Village (East of Town on Nowata Rd.) (270 units)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Great Start!

What a great start to our outreach for Engage Bartlesville.  Our first of six outreach events leading up to our kickoff is complete. Thank you to everyone who took the leap of faith and went out for door to door outreach.  You exceeded my expectations in every respect.  Twenty-one adults and a few children went and knocked on over 200 homes and had several great conversations.  We had a few of those dreaded homes that did not want us there but for the most part we found people willing to hear about the Pumpkin Patch and the Engage Bartlesville worship service.   Several shared prayer requests and we even had some who asked for a reminder to be sent to them before the events.  The only negative on the night was that I did not assign big enough areas to cover so we were done pretty quick.  That is easily fixed.  But overall it was a great start.  I know God will bless our efforts.

This Sunday evening will be our first block party.  We will meet at the church at 5:00 and head to Rolling Hills Apartments on Nowata Rd. We will have a bounce house, yard games, and give away popcorn, cotton candy and water.  This is more than just an opportunity to let people have fun.  It is an opportunity for us to visit with the people of the apartment complex and get to know them.  It is through relationship that the Gospel is heard the clearest.  It is my prayer that through these relationships we will see people comfortable enough to attend and have their lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus.  Come be a part of this great outreach event.  Your presence is important.

Not only will it be of help for you to join in these outreach opportunities, but we need people to start stepping up to volunteer for our Sunday evening Engage Bartlesville worship services which begin September 29.  Our push right now is for people to take a rotation on cooking the meal which will be provided following our service starting around 5:00.  If you would like to take a week please talk with my wife, Tara.  We also need greeters and security people every evening.  It is our desire to have enough greeters that we have people helping in the parking lots and even standing at the street with signs welcoming people as they arrive.  We will be using an electronic check-in system for children and preschool children. We will need people helping that process.  Talk to Chantel Gray if those areas interest you.  Ryan Forrest is working on building the worship team including musicians and A/V people.  If that is something that interests, you please let him know.

Most importantly we need people praying.  The enemy does not like us getting outside the walls of our building and engaging the people within our community.  He is attacking us on many fronts.  These issues are not physical, they are spiritual.  Spiritual battles must be fought spiritually.  Please pray earnestly to our God for his protection on us as we run toward the gates of hell with the Gospel.  We had a great start but let us press on and run the race with endurance.  It surely is a marathon and not a sprint.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Prayer for Back-to-School

Our Father,

I humbly come before you our Creator and source of Truth.  You alone give wisdom and understanding so we submit ourselves and our children before you and are asking for your wisdom to be upon us.  You have placed the desire to learn inside us as we strive to live in the world around us.  We ask for understanding of your Word so we can build upon your Truth.

As we send our children back to school, we pray for your hand to be upon them.  Place them in situations with great Christian influencers around them who will point them to you.  Help them find good Christian friends, as you gave Daniel, in whom they can stand firm together in the faith.  Help them be positive influences upon those who do not know you and not allow the negative pressures to cause them to make poor choices.  Help them to become strong readers so they can understand your Word. Give them great understanding of math and science so they can see your hand around us.  Protect them from the teachings of secular humanism that take you out of the equation.  May our children find you and your truth in all they learn.

Protect our children from the evils around them.  Our world continues to spin out of control with violence finding its way into the schools of our nation.  Give our schools your supernatural protection.  May any malicious plans be seen before they are enacted.  Protect the hearts of our children from the growing effects of the sexual revolution.  

We also lift up the Christian educators who have influence on our children.  Give them boldness to stand for you.  Let them shine as a bright light in the midst of darkness.  Give them wisdom that can be passed to our children. Give them discernment to see the needs of our children and to know when they need to provide encouragement or discipline.  Raise up Christian school board members and administrators who will protect the rights of the educators and allow the influence of the Church to be upon our children.  May your presence be manifested through the lives of the adults who have an important hand in raising our children.

Thank you for the grace that was demonstrated on the cross for us.  Thank you for your Spirit who empowers us. 

It is in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord that we pray these things.

AMEN!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Engage Bartlesville is Coming!

As we talked around the table Sunday evening planning the final stages of Engage Bartlesville someone said, “it is finally going to happen.”  It has been a difficult journey over the last several months, but our first Engage Bartlesville worship service is coming.  We have twisted and turned around so many curves, detours and road blocks but the time is finally here.  The next six weeks are imperative to the success of the launch so let me explain Engage Bartlesville and our plan to kick off strong.

Engage Bartlesville is a worship service designed specifically to reach the unchurched.  It will be Sundays at 4:00 with a free meal following.  Our first service will be September 29, the day following the Pumpkin Patch. We will provide childcare for birth through 4-year-olds and have a special class for K-5thgraders taught by our youth (with Lucas’ oversight).  We will meet in the chapel around the tables for both the worship time and meal. There will be a 15-minute small group time following the 45-minute service for questions and discussion concerning the evangelistic message.  The meal will be served following the small group time.

In order to invite people to Engage Bartlesville, we will spend the six Sunday nights before the first service (starting August 18) engaging the people in the neighborhoods around our church.  On August 18, September 1, and September 8 at 6:00 we will be going door-to-door meeting people in some specific targeted neighborhoods.  On August 25, September 8, and September 22 we will be doing block parties at three area apartment complexes.  We will meet at the church at 5:00 on these nights.  We will take a bounce house and provide popcorn and cotton candy.  It will be a great opportunity to meet people living in those apartments and invite them to Engage Bartlesville. One of these apartment complexes has over 200 family units.

The time is finally here. These last six weeks are very important if we are going to see people come and be a part of this special worship service.  Please be praying daily as the enemy wants to keep shutting doors in our path.  The more people we have going door-to-door the more people we can meet and invite to be a part of Engage Bartlesville.  Let’s work together in a strong, unified way as the body of Christ and watch God work miracles in the lives of those who hear the Gospel.

Pray for Malawi Team

On Monday, six team members will embark on a mission trip to Malawi.  Please pray for us on our journey.  Lonnie Hoelscher will be leading ...