What an amazing Vision Sunday! Thank you for helping make it a special day in the life of our church. It was exciting to look back at all God has done here at ABC, but also to look forward at the many ways He could shine through this church family for years to come. I especially want to thank all the amazing volunteers who made our first ever BFGBFG a huge success. The food was delicious, but the fellowship was even better. I loved seeing all our classes together in one room enjoying each other’s company, and it was exciting to see new folks explore our class options and finding groups to plug into. This week, I encourage each of us to take the application from last Sunday’s message to heart: invite and invest.
If you believe in the vision of our church, invite people to be your personal guests this weekend. We believe God is building something special here at ABC, and there is room for more at this city on a hill. Churches have become very creative in their outreach strategies, but it is amazing to me that the #1 catalyst for church growth remains the same: the personal invitation. Preaching matters, music matters, Bible study classes and big events matter, but none of those things are strong enough to grow a church by themselves. People grow churches. People who catch the vision and then want to share that vision with others. I encourage you to prayerfully consider who you can invite this week to be a part of what God is doing at ABC.
Secondly, I encourage you to invest in our church. If you believe in the vision of Austin Baptist Church, do not just attend our church. Belong to this church. Plant roots in this church and invest in this community. If you have been visiting our church, then join the church. If you’ve joined the church, join a Bible Fellowship Group. If you’ve already joined a BFG, have you committed to serve anywhere in the church? If you’re already serving, have you committed to worship through giving? If you are already giving your tithe, have you committed to going? We have some amazing mission trips on the horizon and perhaps that is your next step. I don’t know what your next step is, but I do know God wants you to take that leap of faith in your journey. The church was never meant to be a product to be consumed. The church was designed to be a family that we belong to. We are the body of Christ, and He is the head. And as unique parts of His body, we each have unique roles to play.
This weekend we will begin a new study in the book of Nehemiah titled, “Difference Maker.” We’re going to see that God called Nehemiah to rise up and a be a difference maker for his generation, but we are also going to see that God has called each of us to do the same. Our roles may be different than Nehemiah’s, but God wants each of us to be difference makers in our own spheres of influence as well. Paul reminds us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). God has set us apart to walk in good works for Him. My good works are not your good works, and your good works are not my good works. God has carefully crafted out plans for each of our lives, and no one else can carry out those plans that He has for you. Only you can make that difference, and by God’s grace you will.
I look forward to worshipping with you this weekend, and may there be more light in my life and your life this week.
Onward and upward,