Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Enough!

Most people think pleasing God depends on how good a person we are. If you’re good enough, it stands to reason that God will be pleased with you, and when you die He’ll let you into heaven. If that’s true, then how good is good enough? And another thing – if being good is the goal, then what was the cross for? Was Jesus’ death for our sins enough?

This Easter at Brazos Pointe I’ll explore those two questions as we host our biggest crowds of the year. I hope you’ll make extra efforts to invite and bring your unchurched friends and family. We have three services to choose from. To make room for everyone it’s essential we’re spread evenly across all three. Consider shifting down to the 8:30 service to make room in the other two. If you attend the 9:45 service please plan to serve at 8:30 or 11:11 am.

God seems to work overtime on Easter bringing people to us who might not come any other time. Let’s join His work and help people take their next steps with God. And pray specifically that many of those steps will be over the line of faith.

Live bold, Greg

9:45 Service Alert! There is possibility we will have an overflow crowd at this service on Easter. If we reach that point we will, for safety purposes, close the doors and ask folks to wait and come back at 11:11. Please be understanding if that happens.

 

 

Introducing Chris Watson – Our New Student Minister!

For the past several months a small team comprised of BPF staff, student ministry volunteers and teen parents has conducted an extensive search for our new Student Minister, a man who will help lead our church forward in the years ahead. After viewing dozens of resumes and interviewing several outstanding candidates from all over the country, I am excited to tell you we have found that man. His name is Chris Watson.

Chris is 33 years old and a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University (BS in Kinesiology), and Southwestern Seminary (Master of Divinity with a Concentration in Student Ministry). He has served as Student Minister at Live Oak Community Church in Lubbock since 2006, as well as other churches in North and East Texas. We are pleased to bring Chris & Jennifer, and their two sons Nathan (2 years) and Ethan (2 months) to Southern Brazoria County to join our Fellowship’s mission of guiding people to take their next step with God.

Though they still have another week left in Lubbock, they’ll be here this weekend looking for housing. I’d like to introduce them to you this Sunday morning during our weekend experience. If the opportunity presents itself, please take the time to introduce yourselves to them personally between services. Chris & Jennifer will be back here to stay beginning April 15th. We’ll have a reception that afternoon at 3:00 PM to welcome them to their new home.

Thank you for your prayers during this time of change and transition. We felt their presence as God led us to Chris & Jennifer. They are the latest addition to a wonderful and godly team God has blessed us with over the years. I look forward to seeing how God will use them here.

I also want to mention what a great job our student ministry volunteers have done keeping Student Ministry at BPF moving forward these past several months. And Amy Wheeler has done an amazing job leading them during the Interim. If you are a parent of teens, be sure to show your appreciation to them as well.

I’ll see you Sunday. Live bold,

Greg

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.

This Sunday at BPF!

Commissioning a New Church in Galveston

Hosting “Infused” for Parents & Volunteers

Every Sunday’s an exciting day at BPF but this coming one has some big extras. They’ll highlight our mission and vision and paint a clear picture of two of our core values.

Outward Focus – It’s not about us. It’s about Jesus Christ. And this Sunday it’s also about helping re-plant a church in Galveston. Aaron Sanders, new Lead Pastor of Coastal Community Church will be back to conclude our Unstoppable message series. Following his sermon we will commission members of the new church in each service. You’re in for a treat Sunday as you hear what God is doing on the Island.

Faith At Home –Though our church can offer a strong and positive impact on your child’s faith, your home life will have far and away the greatest spiritual influence. Yet if we combine our efforts and work together we can accomplish more for our children than our best efforts working separately. Two is greater than one plus one. To accomplish this I want to invite every parent and every volunteer from our children and student ministries to come back Sunday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:30 for infuzed. I’ll be there, because we’re better together.

Live bold,

Greg

 

Loving Well – I love what time spent at our annual Women’s Retreat does each year for the ladies who participate. I hope most of you can go this year. Sunday is the last day of registration for this relaxing, yet energizing weekend, so make yourself a reminder to sign up.

Read the Bible …or listen to it!

Please read the Bible. We’ve been calling BPF out to simply make the practice of reading the Bible a daily habit. Why? Because this practice-discipline-custom-routine-pattern… whatever you want to call it, will do more to help you grow spiritually than anything else.

 When you grow spiritually the world makes more sense, relationships grow healthier, work and school become more purposeful, joy and fullness of life come into focus, and God becomes more real to you.

 You can read books, listen to podcasts, go to church/small group five times a week and none of that will reach deeper into your soul than will the personal time you spend with God reading, reviewing and meditating on His Word, the Bible.

 We’ve offered two plans for you at the Next Step Center

  • The One Year Bible in easy to read New Living Translation format
  • The E-100 Challenge – a 100 day plan using any translation you prefer

If those haven’t connected, here’s a different approach with several more ideas. My daughter-in-law Noelle commutes to work in the Fort Worth area. She listens to the Bible as she drives. Noelle told me about these reading plans offered by Crossway, publishers of the newer English Standard Version Bible (a very accurate and readable translation). Check them out.

 

And live bold,

Greg

 

 To podcast a plan in order to listen on your commute:

  • Go to this link: 10 Bible Reading Plans
  • Right-click (Ctrl-click on a Mac) the “RSS” link of the feed you want.
  • Choose “Copy Link Location” or “Copy Shortcut.”
  • Start iTunes.
  • Choose Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast
  • Paste the URL from step three into the box.
  • Click OK.

 

The Year Ahead in 2012

This new year offers several bold and challenging opportunities for our church – planting a new fellowship in Galveston, constructing new facilities here, and adding new staff on our team.

Coastal Community Church – On January 1st new Lead Pastor Aaron Sanders gathered folks from BPF with former members of University Baptist Church to form a launch team for a new work on the Island. This coming Sunday at 5:30 PM they will host a Vision Night in Galveston for everyone interested in reaching out to unchurched folks there with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Contact Aaron if you want to join the cause – asanders@brazospointe.com.

nextSTEP Now – The work of building up the pad for our new facilities on the Brazoria Road is complete. Now we wait around six months for the dirt to settle. Construction documents have also been finalized. Our next steps include bringing a water line to the property, building a pump station for the retention pond, and interviewing and selecting a general contractor. We hope to begin construction sometime this summer.

New Faces on Staff – After serving as an intern with us the past two summers I’m pleased to announce we have hired Kaitlin Staples to join our Children’s Ministry Team beginning this month. Kaitlin graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in December earning a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry with a Minor in Preschool & Children’s Ministry. For now she will serve part time with us and is looking for other part time work as well.

With Aaron’s move to Galveston, Amy Wheeler has now assumed the duties of Interim Student Minister here at BPF while we search for the new Student Minister God is planning to send us. Over the past several weeks we have received dozens of resumes from all over the country, and a few overseas. A Student Minister Search Team consisting of myself, Amy, Ex. Pastor Kirk Willson, Children’s Ministries Director Kathy Peters, Scott Henderson, Paula Jones and Jennifer Armstrong have been reviewing these resumes and following up on several of them. Please pray for us as we seek to discern God’s man to partner with parents to lead our students and student volunteers.

Added to all the other opportunities we have, these big challenges ought to make for an exciting 2012 for Brazos Pointe.  I hope you are as eager as I am to embrace them!

Live bold, Greg

Christmas Eve-Eve – CLEAR!

December 23rd – 5:00, 6:10, 7:20 or 8:30

Bring your unchurched friends and family to one of our four Christmas Eve-Eve services and we’ll share the meaning of Christmas in a creative, compelling and very CLEAR way. Our CEE crowds are always large so remember these things to make it a great experience for them.

    • If possible, come to the 5:00 or 8:30 service where space is ample.
    • Remember though, no childcare will be available at 8:30
    • Play with preschoolers in a second or even third service – email kpeters@brazoispointe.com to get a time to serve
    • Help guests find seats when it gets crowded – email rdane@brazospointe.com to serve as an usher
    • Park out back, sit up front, shift to the right to make room for our guests.

See you tomorrow night,

Live bold, Greg

Holiday Service Schedule:

 Sunday December 25th

No services on Christmas Day

Spend Christmas morning with your family

 Sunday January 1st

Only two services on New Year’s Day

9:45 & 11:11 

Thank You BPF!

A Generous Gift – I’m so grateful for the many ways you support the work of the Kingdom of God through our Fellowship. We collected our World Missions Offering on December 4th but more came in this past Sunday. Your gifts have climbed to almost $18,000. Other than last year’s nextSTEP now tithe, this will be the largest gift we’ve ever sent to the International Mission Board. I’d love to see our giving top twenty thousand, so if you haven’t yet participated, please join us.

The votes are in – And you said YES! In an almost unanimous vote you said yes to Aaron & Holly Sanders, the members of University Baptist Church and the unchurched people of Galveston when you affirmed plans to re-plant a church on the island. Coastal Community Church will be our first satellite church, though we’ve helped plant nine other churches since we were first planted. It’s not too late to get on board the vision trip to Galveston this Sunday afternoon from 4:00-8:00 PM. Sign up Sunday at the Next Step Center.

You also said yes to our 2012 Budget and new Advisors Matt Hiatt and Jackie Fuller. Matt & Jackie will join Fonda Hundl, Kevin Johnson, Janis Kennedy, Jimmie Lapier, & John Rodriguez on the BPF Advisory Team. They’ll oversee the budget, advise our Leadership Team and help guide us along a unique journey next year as we start a new church, search for a new Student Minister, and begin construction on our permanent home on the Brazoria Road.

As we move into our second decade let’s remember a few words and phrases that have served us well along the way: it’s not about us, a church for the unchurched, everybody serves, shift, give and it will be given to you, others, and take your next step with God. 

 

I’ll see you Sunday with more HEADLINES.

 

Live bold, Greg

 

Bring friends to Christmas Eve-Eve

December 23rd – 5:00, 6:10, 7:20 or 8:30