APPROVED WORKMEN ARE NOT ASHAMED

As the new school year is fast approaching, so are fresh opportunities for ministry and service here at Christ Fellowship. Wednesday nights are exciting times for our children as they participate in AWANA Club.  Based on 2 Timothy 2:15, AWANA means Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, and is open for children 2 years through 6th grade.

AWANA helps children in the practice of hiding the Word of God in their hearts while being taught how to place their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and daily living.  From our youngest Puggles to the oldest T & T Clubbers, the children experience small-group practice memorizing Scripture, large group Bible teaching, game time, and missions education each week.  It’s a jam-packed night!

AWANA offers a fun, proven approach for early evangelism and discipleship. Children represent the greatest opportunity to make a long-term impact on our world for Christ.  AWANA reaches kids where they are and walks alongside them in their faith journey.  Those who come to faith at an early age discover God’s purpose for their lives and hope for the future.  Ministry leaders and parents witness the profound impact AWANA has in reaching kids with the gospel and watching them grow as long-term disciples.

Don’t you want to be a part of such an important, not to mention fun, ministry? Though there is very little turnover in AWANA leadership (most of our workers have been serving in this ministry for years), we are in need of a few more helpers. If you love God’s Word and want to help children grow spiritually, won’t you prayerfully consider partnering with us in AWANA?

Registration for AWANA will begin Sunday, August 5th. Registration is $25 per child, with a family maximum of $65.  This amount covers the cost of workbooks and other supplies, as well as awards, parties, and other operating expenses; it does not cover uniform costs.  Please contact our church office for further information.

Bible Club—A Testimony of God’s Faithfulness

The Bible Club is a powerful ministry to our community. Here are three testimonies of those working in the club that will encourage and challenge each of us.

1/ What a privilege it is to share in the kid’s Bible Club ministry with the Palmers and Stantons. It is encouraging to watch these children learn truth and to remember that we too can only come with child-like faith. The Gospel object lessons are a blessing to adults as well as children and a joyous reminder of Bible stories and teachers long ago. This makes us thankful to rely on the assurance in Scripture that God is merciful, and He uses His Word to show His favor in individual minds and hearts.

2/ The reason I love Thursday night Bible Study is simple, I love children, white, black, yellow, etc. I feel God opened the door for me to serve there. I took a year off from the Bible Study and Awana to give some younger folks a chance to serve. One morning a young man came into our Sunday school and gave me a hug (he and his sisters had not been to church in a long time). When I put my arms around that precious child I knew I was to go back to Bible Club. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew. I just want to serve anyway, anywhere, anyhow God will let me.

3/ Initially, I was motivated by wanting gain from God (wanting family members saved) when I responded to the ministry “call.” Then, I wanted to be “used by God” but that only left me feeling “used” after only a few ministry outreaches, because some of these kids initially don’t want to be loved. Upon self-examination and prayer, I sensed the Father asking me, “Well, what do you think I got from you?” I was raised as a white version of an inner-city kid. Truly, but by the grace of God, I would have been no different, and walking in darkness. After more prayer and repentance, I find myself learning more from these kids and being used by God to penetrate darkness by displaying the love of God to them.  I also learn more from my fellow coworkers who tolerate me and encourage me along the way.

The Bible Club is open to everyone in our church. You can come on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or just whenever you can. It will bless you in ways you can’t imagine as you’ve read above. Won’t you come join us and see what God will do in you?

Ladies Bible Study

There is no question about the high value of God’s Word in the ministry of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, and that priority is evident in the many Bible study opportunities provided here.  In particular, our women have numerous occasions and various formats available in which they can join together to learn more of God through His inspired Word.

This summer, our ladies have been meeting in homes throughout the city to study Jerry Bridges’ classic book, The Pursuit of Holiness.  In these intimate settings, offered both during the morning and evening, they are being challenged to “pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”(Hebrews 12:14)

Beginning in the fall and continuing throughout the school year, our women’s Bible study will focus on the book of 1 Samuel.  Also offered in both morning and evening sessions, this is an inductive study where our women are equipped to really dig into God’s Word.  Together, they will discover what the Scripture says, how to interpret it accurately, and how to apply it practically in their lives.  This study involves both large-group and small-group sessions where our ladies have the opportunity to challenge one another, develop intimate relationships, and grow together in their love for God and His Word. 

The privilege and responsibility to guide others in studying the Bible is so great that the leaders want to be as well-equipped as possible.  Several of our ladies will be traveling to Chattanooga, Tennessee next month for a few days of intensive training in leading Precept Bible studies. Please pray that God will use this time to equip them to serve our Body in a way that will bring much honor to our Savior.

We want to encourage every woman in our church to take advantage of these opportunities to grow together in our study of God’s Word.  If you’re hungry for fellowship and friendship, this is absolutely the best place to meet women of all ages and walks of life who love the Lord and are striving together to become more like Him. Won’t you join us?

A Father’s Blessing

The actual tradition of honoring fathers as the heads of the family dates back to as early as the Middle Ages in Europe.  While the first celebration in the US dates back to 1910, the actual naming of Fathers’ Day as a national holiday was only ratified in 1972.

 The first mention of the word “father” in Scripture is in Genesis 2:24.  Here, immediately after God made woman, Moses records God’s creation of marriage and His definition of family, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  It is a physical fact that all humans have a father, but the fact that the title is used for God Himself as the heavenly Father; would seem evident to indicate that the term means much more than just a participant in the initiation of life. 

 Scripture contends that the earthy father’s role is derived from God Himself.  He provides, protects, corrects, leads and loves his family.  In this manner God has set a great charge on fathers and given them one of the greatest honors of life.  In leading out in directing the hearts of the children placed in their care, fathers are intimately involved in the future of our world.  The gift of being a father is not possible for all men and should never be taken for granted.

 Such a charge would be overwhelming to achieve acting alone, but God never intended for man to accomplish anything under his own power.  Therefore the most important task for a father is to seek to be in union with Christ.  One cannot and will not ever fulfill the requirements of a godly father without the provision and power of the Holy Spirit working in their life.  Consequently, the most important preparation a man can make for his family is to be a man that walks in faith.  This preparation commands a relationship with Christ that is cultivated under the tutoring of Scripture and the guidance provided through ongoing prayer. Every step of everyday life must be one of modeling the value of being guided by God’s Word.

Fathers are not required to be perfect, but to provide a God centered direction for their family to follow.  Then and only then can you hope to have success and be able to say to those on looking eyes who can’t wait to be like you, “follow me as I follow Christ.”  Fathers, what a gift you have been given and how blessed you are to be you!

Summers in Church—What A Great Opportunity!

When we were children we often spent a good share of the school year looking forward to summers. Inevitably we would come to our parents, once summer arrived, to exclaim that we were bored and wanted something to do (I suspect some of this same sentiment occurs with today’s children). Our parents would often tell us of all the events that they used to do when they were kids that we could do such as bike riding, throwing the baseball, playing with the other kids in the neighborhood, and so on.

The same mentality that children at times struggle with can also affect the church. The regular activities of the year often take a break in summer due to family vacations and various other reasons. This can leave some feeling like there just isn’t the same amount of activities in which to participate. Yet, such is definitely not the case. Summer is a great time for pursuing other areas of involvement at the church to see if these may be areas that you’re gifted in and would enjoy serving our Savior.

As our parents often had great ideas for our involvement, think about some of the ministries below as areas that might be a tremendous joy for you to engage in and would certainly bless those already in the ministry. Bible Club—our ministry to the children in our neighborhood is a great way to impact the youth of our community for Christ. This involvement can be as a helper who is there to help direct the children and pass out snacks, or even a chance for you to try your hand at doing a devotional. Taking practical applications from your own lives and connecting them with biblical truths is an excellent way to communicate Christ to these young ones in a 10–15 minute devotional, and who can’t talk to a child for 10 minutes? Nursery or Sunday School Assistant—summer brings great opportunity and needs to these vital ministries of our church as vacations arise. This is an excellent place for our seniors to engage and help our existing teachers in providing necessary duplication of adult leadership as a helper, or even a chance to teach a lesson. Youth & Children’s Ministries—We need volunteers for our Kid’s Day Camp, our Wednesday Night Children’s ministry, and host homes for our special summer youth activities.

These only scratch the surface of the available opportunities. You can also open your home for church small groups, assist in the Bible Study ministry, participate in our Outreach events, or assist in various needs around the church. Are you ready to enjoy a great summer in serving the Lord because the opportunities are boundless.

A Long & Wonderful Partnership with The Master's Seminary

Since the beginning of CFBC, the church has supported The Master's Seminary as one an institution of higher learning that truly honors the Word of the Lord and teaches their students to do likewise.  As time has gone along this hallmark of solid biblical educations has sadly become almost non-existent in our country.  Schools that had for years held to similar standards began to compromise and fall by the wayside.  Compromise and tolerance have become the celebrated modern achievements of many seminaries.  Despite this lamentable decline TMS continues on the same bedrock foundation of Christ and His Word which its president and founder, Dr. John MacArthur established.

Our church has benefited from this solid biblical teaching for years as we have had many men who have been trained at TMS come to minister at CFBC.  The seminary;s unwavering foundation has provided many benefits to the individual ministries of our church in which these men have served, and have also assisted in a like-minded effort which significantly supported the pulpit ministry of our former pastor, Dr. Lawson.  In like fashion, our current pastor also has been trained at TMS and desires to continue the solid biblical preaching of his predecessor.  Also, our current Youth Pastor is pursing his Doctor of Ministry at TMS and the partnership between these two bodies continues to grow.

This past weekend we had the distinct privilege of having Mr. Jade Greenfield, the Chief Development Officer from TMS visiting our church.  The seminary is grateful for the support of CFBC for over 14 years and understands the value of this partnership and remains hopeful that more churches will see and embrace the vision which CFBC has grasped.  Mr. Greenfield wanted to express his appreciation and that of Dr. MacArthur for the wonderful relationship which continues to yield eternal fruit in both entities for our God and King Jesus Christ.

May the Lord continue to bless the efforts and partnership of both CFBC and TMS for many years to come.

Sanctity Of Human Life Sunday

All Life is precious and is a gift from God.  The Lord reveals this truth as He is speaking with Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 4:9 where it says "The LORD said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth?  Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind?  Is it not I, the LORD?'"  God has not only created our bodies and each of the unique elements that make us all individual, but He has done so with a specific purpose in mind even in the case of disabilities.

One does not have to search long through Scripture to understand the significance God places on human life and particularly the lives of children.  The children of Israel were warned not to be like the pagans of Canaan in their idolatry and disregard for the lives of even their own children: ""You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods (Det. 12:31). "  900 years later when the Lord spoke to Ezekiel of His impending judgments, we find that they had done exactly what the Lord warned not to do; "Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured..."You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through [the fire]. (Exe 16:20, 21).""  It is easy to see the relationship between the worship of idols and the loss of respect for the sanctity of life even to the destruction of their own children.

2,600 years later, in a time when we pride ourselves as being civilized and compassionate, we find ourselves in a country that has slaughtered over 57 million unborn babies since 1973.  In 2011, 1.06 million American women obtained induced abortions; 9,804 of which occured in Alabama clinics advertised to be "safe, gentle and painless!"

Today we have the opportunity to make ourselves aware of this atrocity that blackens the history of this country.  Today it is estimated that 1 in 3 women have had at least one abortion!  That not only means the sadness of the loss of life of the children, but also the effects that such a deed has on the would be parents for the rest of their lives.  Satan's mission is to "steal, kill and destroy".  We know that the only true answer is Christ; both to stop abortion and to heal those affected by this destruction.

 

Happy New Year!

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them and to evaluate their casual spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to coast along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and what we should be doing. We can innocently become so tangled in the trappings of the world that we begin to lose our spiritual momentum.

This is why the New Year is a great time to stop, inspect our lives and set goals for next year. Introspection is a wonderful tool in your spiritual life, where you can evaluate your successes and failures, plan for the future, and commit to deeper communion with Christ. Paul calls believers in 1 Timothy 4:7 “to discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness.” The goal of godly discipline is to consistently apply the truths of God’s Word to our daily lives. By doing this, you will be a witness to the world and bring our Lord honor and glory.

I implore you, do not become careless or casual and waste precious opportunities in 2018. Rather use this New Year to “consider your ways,” repent and refocus your mind and heart on Christ and His Word. As you do this, you will find great joy and peace through obedience to Christ’s commands. I pray this exhortation will serve as a spark to encourage and set you on a course to love and good deeds in 2018.

Stephen Webb

Christmas Services

Christmas is one of the most joyous times of the year! As those who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, we delight in our corporate opportunities to worship our Savior as we come together as the church body. Each Sunday as we join together we have a wonderful time of sweet fellowship with those we love as we meet during Equipping Hour and fellowship time. We also have a unique opportunity for us to lift our voices in song, to stand together as we honor the Scripture, to give back to God a portion of the rich blessings which He gives to us. It is during these times that we are built-up in our faith as we study God’s Word, and exposing our wonderful community to all these blessings as they join us during our worship services.

As delightful as these weekly services are, these opportunities are surpassed by our gatherings at Christmas. All of the above blessings remain, and yet more are added. The blessings of singing Christmas Hymns amidst the gala of holiday decorations are all accents for us as we recognize this season which brings us a time not just of celebration, but of bringing many visitors into our church family home here at CFBC. This is one of the ways that makes Christmas so special as people feel drawn to come and worship. These are incredible blessings, but they require an all-hands on deck approach from us. Each one of us has an increased opportunity and responsibility to reflect Christ to our dear visitors. Whether it be family members who are visiting or friends from our community that we just don’t yet know, we need to be ready. We need to put our usual church family fellowship on hold and fix our eyes on those whom we don’t know so that we can extend a warm welcome. Each of us needs to look for those faces with which we’re not familiar and offer a friendly hand or hug as we encourage them in their participation and consideration of their knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is these opportunities that the Lord might use to stir the hearts of these folks towards Himself. What a privilege and joy this is.

God has given us an extraordinary church family, and it is this special time of year where we can shine our light brightly to all in our community. And don’t forget, that we must not only shine our light during our corporate gatherings, but also shine the Light of Christ to our neighbors, to our coworkers, and to all those in our community.  So, take the opportunity to invite those who you know to join us as we celebrate Christ.

Reaching Our Neighbors At The Holidays

For most of our country the Christmas holiday is one of the times of year when people feel compelled to attend church.  These are also the times where churches make special efforts through Christmas Cantatas, plays, and various other special performances to draw in these would-be visitors.  These are valuable efforts when they are accompanied by a clear gospel message.

We too want to take the opportunity to expose our neighbors to the blessings of Christ Fellowship at this holiday season  We want them to know of the special Thanksgiving and Christmas services in which we present the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But, we also want to take the opportunity at this time of year to get the gospel into their hands and in their homes. This is where we are as a church can excel, and where you can make a huge impact by joining us for our outreach on Saturday, November 11th.

THis oming Saturday morning, we are going to gather to go door to door in the Regency Oaks and Amberly neighborhhods.  These are times of great fun and fellowship as we obey God's command to take the gospel to the world starting with our "Jerusalem" right her in Mobile and go out in groups to pass out our church fliers which have a special insert with out holiday service times for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We begin by meeting at the church at 9am to have a cup of coffee and a bagel and talk about our routes for the morning.  The routes are short with about 25 homes per team which can be covered in about an hour making this very easy walking.  Our efforts entail sharing a warm welcome to our neighbors, giving them one of our fliers, inviting them to join us for church, offering to pray for the needs of their family, and taking opportunity to talk about Jesus as the Lord opens those doors.  It is easy, it is fulfilling, and it will stimulate you as you serve our great God in this way.

Our efforts multiply quickly with each group of 25 homes.  Can you imagine what a huge impact this can have in our community for Christ as we go out?  It is my fervent hope and prayer that we can have at least 60 people go out.  Statistics say there is an average of 3 people per household; with 30 groups this would mean we could reach over 2,000 people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is exciting!  Won't you pleas join us to make this a reality?  We're looking forward to seeing you Saturday November 11th at 9am as we reach out for Christ.