Archive for February, 2012

First Impressions

Our satellite church in Galveston – Coastal Community Church – will be making its “First Impression” on curious seekers this Sunday with its first preview worship gathering. This is a good time for a reminder we make first impressions every week too. I picked up these ideas in an article I read a few weeks ago.*

It’s nice when the greeter at the door says hello, and it’s great if the pastor or church leaders have a moment to speak to guests, but what really makes a difference is when you offer a sincere hand of friendship to a guest.

Try these ideas:

— Say a prayer as you enter worship every Sunday. Ask God to guide you to those who need a warm welcome and to give you boldness to show His love to them.

— Intentionally watch for new people. It’s uncomfortable to be a first-time guest, but just one person — that’s you — can help put them at ease.

— Just say “hello.” Introduce yourself, and repeat their name in conversation. Make a goal to call them by name when they return.

— Speak to each person who sits in your area. A simple “Hi, Teresa” can mean the world, even to regular attenders.

— Keep an index card in your Bible to discreetly write down names, or take notes on your phone. You’ll discover that many people sit in the same general area each week.

— If practical, introduce them to someone else before they leave, especially someone with whom they may have something in common.

— If they seem comfortable with you, offer a “next step.” Invite them to join you after church for lunch, or for coffee one day this week, or even to visit your small group.

Let me add one more thought. Every week…every week, people walk through our doors just needing to know someone cares about them. Be careful not to get caught up in long conversations with fellow BPF folks and miss an opportunity to be that person who cares.

Live bold,

Greg

*Adapted from “Welcome Visitors to Church”, by Diana Davis

Galveston’s Coastal Community Church

The Coastal Community Church Launch Team (along with many extra BPF volunteers) has been working behind the scenes since January 1st to create a church for the unchurched in Galveston. CCC Galveston will hold its first public services on February 26th, one of two Preview Weekends, before their main launch on Easter Sunday, April 8th.

They’ll be working down to the wire these next 10 days getting the children’s building ready for the first of two Sunday morning services. If you can help, contact Tony Gryseels tlcgry@comcast.net.

Many of you have expressed an interest in attending services at our first satellite church. On a small scale, that will be very valuable. Your presence and active participation will help create a warmer sense of community there. But too many of us coming at one time has the potential to overwhelm them. So the Launch Team has asked us to limit the number of BPF folks who visit in the first few months. While that may feel unnecessarily restrictive, I assure you it’s not. CCC has a small worship center and it’s more important for the unchurched folks in Galveston to have a seat. Remember, it’s not about us.

Aaron feels they can absorb up to fifteen guests from BPF in each worship service, plus the children who may come along with them. Therefore we will have a sign-up sheet at the Next Step Center this Sunday morning for their February 26th Preview Service. If the space fills up before you can sign up, don’t worry, you’ll have many more opportunities to attend. And I want every one of you to go to a CCC Weekend Experience sometime this year.

The most important thing you can do for CCC is to pray. Pray for the Launch Team as it makes final preparations next week. Pray for boldness for those who attend to invite their unchurched friends. And pray for the people on the Island who do not know Jesus…yet. They need to know Him. And we want to introduce them.

Live bold,

Greg

Read A Good Book Lately?

We had our quarterly Staff Leadership Breakfast yesterday at the office and discussed the need for Self Development. Among other things we talked about the books we are reading. Some of you may be interested in reading them too. Here are the books that have challenged us and shaped our thinking this past year.


Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton

Radical by David Platt

Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick

Safe People by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Communicating for Change by Andy Stanley

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

Radical Together by David Platt

Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert & John Perkins

2012 – A Great Giving Year!

Last month when Kirk Willson wasn’t coordinating logistics for the launch of our new satellite church, or leading the search for our next Student Minister, or talking with architects, engineers or bankers about the building construction, he managed to close out the books on the 2012 Budget. I was amazed at his year-end report. I want you to see this.

Memo: From Kirk Willson

2011 was an incredible year for BPF financially.  Our total undesignated receipts for the year exceeded our budget of $1,610,000 by almost $82,000.  In addition, we received just over $585,000 in 2011 toward our capital campaign for the new building.

The excess receipts allowed us to do several extra things in 2011.  The 2012 funding for Coastal Community Church of $40,000 ($33,000 from general budget and $7,000 from GlobaLocal) came from 2011 receipts.  We were also able to pay off the office building note 11 months early.  The money in the 2012 budget for the office building note payment will be added to the Dixie Drive building note payment each month as extra principle payments in 2012.

God continues to bless BPF in so many ways, including financially.  2012 started off great as well.  Our undesignated receipts for January 2012 were $24,000 more than January of 2011.

God has blessed our church with a strong core of members who give boldly and sacrificially. You have not only joined the community of Christ, you have also embraced the cause of Christ, sharing His good news both here and around the world. Thank you for owning the vision of a church for the unchurched.

God has also blessed us with great leadership in every facet of church life, not the least of which is administration, where Kirk has led us wisely for so many years. Thank Kirk for his leadership next time you see him.

Live bold,

Greg

Loving Well – Ladies, thanks for signing up for this year’s Women’s Retreat and bringing so many of your friends along. Have a great weekend. I hope you come back refreshed.