September 1, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It has been an action-packed summer at North Roanoke with two student mission trips, a mission team to Haiti, Fusion student camp, Vacation Bible School, and serving as the host church for WinShape Camp for Communities. Through WinShape, we served 201 campers and their families with many kids hearing the gospel and wanting to learn more. Please pray for our church and the other partnering churches as we follow up with the campers and their families.
In addition to the ministries of the summer season, I have also enjoyed hearing how God has been at work through our Summer Series in the Psalms. We have a sure refuge in Christ the King in all circumstances and in every season!
Over the past five Sundays, several of our adult classes worked through the Life on Mission study to learn a simple way to begin a conversation about the gospel. We learned how to move a conversation from the brokenness of our lives to the hope we find when we repent and believe the gospel. I am asking the Spirit to give us eyes to see the opportunities all around us and the boldness to share the gospel as we live our lives on mission. Imagine the celebration that would fill our church family and the hope that would spill into our community if we all had the privilege of leading someone to Christ this year!
As summer winds down and the school year begins, I want to take a moment to let you know of some upcoming opportunities within our faith family.
On September 3, many of our adult Sunday School classes begin the Gospel Project curriculum for Sunday School. This will mean everyone from preschoolers to grandparents can work through the same lesson each week at an age-appropriate level. My prayer is that this “alignment” will allow families to discuss and pray through what they have learned.
Jon Davis has been teaching through the Gospel Project for most of this year, and this is how he summarized the curriculum, “The Gospel Project takes a chronological survey of the entire Bible demonstrating the gospel is visible through every part. The gospel is not God’s afterthought—it was and is God’s sovereign design to save the world from the very beginning. By walking chronologically through God’s Word each week, we see more and more how God desires to change the world through the redeeming power of His gospel.”
I have spoken with fellow pastors about this curriculum who have found it to be invaluable for helping to "connect the dots" and truly see Jesus and our need for Him in all the Scripture. If you have not been in a Sunday School class yet, I hope you will see this season of new beginnings as a great time to find a class and start fresh at North Roanoke. I have been praying that many would take that next step of getting to know other believers this year.
This Wednesday, September 6, we will launch the full slate of activities for Wednesday nights beginning with dinner at 5:30PM and followed by LIFE classes for adults, AWANA for children, and Bible Study for middle and high school students. About half-way through the semester, we will offer a six-week class for parents, Christ-centered Parenting: Gospel Conversations on Complex Issues. If you are raising children or teens in this fast-changing world full of complex issues and challenges to our kids, I highly recommend this course (watch the bulletin for details).
After I mailed this letter, I realized I also should have mentioned the opportunities available on Wednesday mornings. We have a prayer team that meets on Wednesdays at 9AM in the conference room by the church office. At 10AM, Claude Carter will lead a study in Genesis which meets in the children's worship area on the second floor. If you are available to gather for prayer and/or Bible study on Wednesday mornings, these are outstanding opportunities to serve the family of faith in the ministry of prayer and to grow in God's Word.
On Sunday, September 10 at 5PM, we will have a special ordination for the new men joining our deacons. The service will be followed by pizza and salad at approximately 6PM. During dinner, we will also recognize the WinShape volunteers. I hope you will plan to attend this special evening of celebrating God's goodness in providing servants for the work He has entrusted to us.
On Sunday, September 17, the North Roanoke family of faith will gather to celebrate the faithfulness of God over the past 60 years. We will have one service in the sanctuary beginning at 10:45AM. The service will include several baptisms and the Lord's Supper. This is a day you do not want to miss! Following the service, we will have a pot-luck luncheon (chicken provided by the church) in the gymnasium and games and bounce-houses in the field behind the church (think church picnic and celebrating 60 years all rolled into one big celebration).
Whether you are new to North Roanoke or you have been a part of the family for a long time, a 60th anniversary is an occasion to celebrate the faithfulness of God to His people. In a rapidly-changing world, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). He is the Foundation and Cornerstone. He is the reason we have gathered for 60 years and the reason we will continue to gather, by His saving and sustaining grace, until He comes.
I want to encourage you to set aside the 60th anniversary as a “don't-miss-it” Sunday as we come together in one service to worship the One who makes all the difference in our lives, our community, and to the ends of the earth. I look forward to seeing what Christ does in and through our church as we continue striving in the Spirit’s power to be Christ's church, impact the Roanoke Valley, and reach the world all for the glory of King Jesus!
For Christ and the gospel,