Dear Friends and Fellow Believers,
WOW! Did summer fly by or what? This month, college students are back on campus, regular school is back in session, and home school started the end of August. When I worked at NSU for nine years, one of my favorite parts of the Fall was band practice. The practice field was not far from my office, and I could hear the fight song being played repeatedly. It always put a little bounce in my step when I lead a campus tour during that time.
Now as a pastor of a church, there is a similar phenomenon that happens. Throughout the Summer families go on vacation (including mine) and it seems that every week someone is missing that I hope to see. With the Fall and the return to school, families travel less and many come back to church on a more regular basis. It is a joy to see the family of believers together and celebrating the presence of God. It is exciting to see you all returning to a more consistent worship experience. I do hope that your families are refreshed by times of travel and by new and exciting ventures which make lasting memories.
For the next couple of weeks, we will be looking at some important aspects of discipleship and church life. Together we are called as a family to encourage one another in our walk with God, we are called to glorify Him in every aspect of our lives, to hold one another accountable to our God, and to be there when any of us is struggling. The world is not kind to our faith and we are given to one another to help, console, and forgive. We will be having a fellowship lunch on September 8th to kick off our new discipleship groups, as well as our home and small groups. I am looking forward to all that God will do over the next 10 months as we again walk together in love and unity for the Glory of God!
This month, the staff will be taking a day and going off-site to have a planning retreat. We will be considering all ministry areas and how God wants to use us to grow our faith as well as proclaim the faith to our community in love. Please be praying for us as we go on this retreat. Ask God to lead and direct our hearts as well as our heads as we seek to do exactly what He wants us to do as we seek to guide our church in the roles He has called us to.
It is my hope that all of us as fellow believers and children of God are praying to the Lord and asking Him to reveal to us through His spirit all that we need to see personal and corporately so that we can be fully surrendered to all He has for us. At the end of my message at the end of August I said, “Give all that you have so that you can have all that He gives.” Ask the Lord to show you where you affections are misaligned and when He shows you repent to let Him fill you beyond anything you have experienced in the past. My prayer for you is that you would grow in grace and knowledge and devotion, that your greatest desire would be for His presence and power to be in you every day.
In the bond of Peace,
Michael C Smith