nextSTEP now – the Vision Expands

Site work on our land is well underway in preparation for the start of construction next year. But that is only a part of the picture of what God has been doing in our Fellowship as we move towards relocating our church’s home to the beautiful location God provided us on the Brazoria Road.

This month marks the one year point of our three year nextSTEP now Capital Campaign. So I’d like to bring you up to date this Sunday on the building’s progress and what lies ahead for its construction.  Then, I have an exciting announcement to make…

Even as we work to build our new home – a launching pad to share the Good News – construction is not our mission. Our mission is people, guiding them to take their next step with God, especially the unchurched. With that in mind, I am thrilled to let you know about an amazing opportunity God has placed before us to expand our reach to the unchurched. I hope you’ll be here Sunday to hear about it.

 

Live bold, Greg

 

Have you heard about this?

  The Event: Fashion for a Purpose

Saturday, November 5th at the Dow Academic Center

 

A group of individuals from our Fellowship formed a non-profit organization earlier this year – Compassion4 – to tackle the giant task of transitioning the orphans we sponsor in Cambodia into successful adulthood. The Event is a fashion show featuring clothes made by our partners in Cambodia. Proceeds from the sale of those clothes will help operate the new Compassion4 Transition Home in Phnom Penh.  To learn more or to purchase tickets please click here: The Event.

Disaster Relief Training- October 21-22

Whenever a disaster occurs you can count on three groups showing up within days or even hours – the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and a group of guys who wear yellow caps. Those guys are the Texas Baptist Men (or Oklahoma… depending on which state they’re from). They specialize in mass meal preparation, tree removal, and mud out – which means cleaning out homes that have been flooded.

I’ve been privileged to work with them on several occasions through the years by just showing up with a chainsaw or shovel. To increase their readiness though, they’ve put more emphasis on training. I’d like to recommend that training for anyone in our Fellowship to whom this kind of ministry appeals.

There will be training for Disaster Relief next Friday evening and Saturday morning, October 21-22 at Temple Baptist Church in Clute. It’s located on Main Street across from Clute Intermediate School. Here’s the schedule:

 October 21 – Yellow Cap Orientation from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

 October 22 – Specialized Training starting at 9:00 a.m.

Specialties could include Chain Saw and Mud Out.

 Reservations are required so please RSVP to information@brazospointe.com so we can pass on to them how many they can expect from Brazos Pointe at the training. We will send out more information as it becomes available.

Live bold, Greg

Oops – when talking about our 2010-2011 attendance growth in last week’s Pick’s Pointe I got it wrong when I said “On the children’s side we averaged another 200 each week in Sonshine Park and All Stars.” The actual number was 235! And that doesn’t include any of the 150+ teens and adults who serve there each week.

2010-2011 – A Year of Growth

Each fall our BPF Leadership Team gets away for a week to review the past year’s progress and discuss the coming year’s opportunities. We try to set aside a little time to relax, but for the most part our schedule is filled with intense discussions, evaluation and prayer as we seek God’s leadership for our church’s future.

This year’s meetings were probably weightier than usual – we have some very exciting challenges before us in 2012 – but as we began our talks, it was apparent that this past year was one of solid growth in our Fellowship. We thought you would like to hear the good news.

From September 2010 through August 2011

  • We baptized 101 people, up from last year’s record 81, and the first time we’ve crossed over one hundred
  • 128 new adults and teens joined BPF (up from 109 last year and 94 the year before) with almost 40% of them unchurched or once churched.
  • Our average worship attendance broke the thousand mark for the first time as we averaged 1005 (Thanks for shifting to 8:30!)
  • On the children’s side we averaged another 200 each week in Sonshine Park and All Stars
  • On weeknights Adult Small Groups averaged almost 250 and have gotten off to a tremendous start this fall with over 500 enrolled.
  • Our Student Small Groups grew to an amazing 180 people (including leaders) in weekly attendance. That’s up from 2009-2010’s average of 129.
  • 98 people journeyed to one of our four partner countries; just nine under last year’s total. That indicates the building program has had no negative impact on missions
  • Your financial generosity continues to amaze me. We are on track to exceed our 2011 budget. And gifts to the nextSTEP now building fund remain strong

Though our fall worship attendance has been roughly the same as last year’s all the other arrows are pointing up and to the right. As we embark on our second decade, opportunities to reach the unchurched in Southern Brazoria County and around the world are greater than ever. Opportunities to Go*Serve*Love are everywhere. And the plans we believe God is putting before us in 2012 will lead us where we’ve never been before. Seriously, they’re going to blow you away.

I’ll tell you more in a few weeks. Until then,

Live bold, Greg

Flooding in Cambodia

Hope for Cambodia Orphanage, which is fully sponsored by our Fellowship, sits in the village of Lveasar along the banks of the massive Mekong River. The river floods every year during rainy season but sometimes it rises much higher than normal. This is such a year.

Almost every building on the campus, including the dorm and kitchen/cafeteria has water in it. Because of that Pastor Sokhom is evacuating all the children out of the village into the city. (He moved the preschoolers to his home in Phnom Penh this past weekend.) We have directed him to spend whatever funds necessary to evacuate them and we will cover the costs. Hopefully we can meet these expenses with funds from our GlobaLocal ministry. I’ll keep you updated.

For now,

  • Please pray for the children’s safety as they leave the village and cross the river. During the dry season it is a mile and a half wide. Now it is much wider and the currents are very strong.
  • Please pray for Pastor Sokhom to be able to find temporary housing for them – not a small task with 60 plus children.
  • Pray that the river will rise no more. The hay for their dairy cows is now being stored on the church’s porch, which is just a few inches above the water line.
  • Please pray for the safety of all the Cambodians, especially small children, living along the Mekong.

Thanks, and live bold,

Greg

Aaron Sanders to be Ordained

As a former Student Minister I’ve been privileged to know hundreds of godly teenagers. A handful stood out as being unusually gifted. One of them was Aaron Sanders. He was a 7th grader when I left Orange to move here fifteen years ago. Even at that young age he had the makings of a great leader. I kept up with him. By the time he was in 10th grade I asked Aaron to be an intern for me once he started college. He took me up on that pledge one summer and a few years later came back with his new bride Holly. Now they call the Gulf Coast home.

For the past five and a half years Aaron has been on our Fellowship’s Leadership Team – serving as Student Minister, Teaching Pastor and Co-leader of the Kenya Ministry. Not only has the leadership potential I saw as a 12 year old been realized, God’s calling of ministry is clearly on Aaron. We have chosen to recognize that calling by ordaining him for the Gospel ministry.

You may remember we ordained Robyn Crosby this summer to Chaplain Ministry. Aaron’s ordination is more directed to a Preaching/Teaching ministry. To ordain means to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority. On a practical level, to ordain Aaron means we as a church are affirming him in his call to lifetime vocational ministry.

Join us this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM in the worship center for Aaron’s Ordination. He’ll share the story of how God called him to become a pastor, I’ll say a few words of challenge and affirmation, and then as a church we’ll offer prayers of commitment for him. This is a special time in Aaron’s life. I hope you can join us Sunday for this very unique service.

Live Bold, Greg

Shouwang Church UpdateFive months and 600 hundred arrests later Beijing police continue to persecute this underground Chinese Church that began worshipping publically the same Sunday we celebrated our 10th Anniversary. More than 160 people were arrested at that first outdoor meeting. Since then I’ve chronicled their ongoing struggle.

Here’s a summary of the subsequent arrests since then: Week 2 (50 arrests), Week 3 (40), Week 4 (30), Week 5 (13), Week 6 (20), Week 7 (25), Week 8 (20), Week 9 (20), Week 10 (14), Week 11 (14), Week 12 (15), Week 13 (19), Week 14 (26), Week 15 (22), Week 16 (35), Week 17 (22), Week 18 (11), Week 19 (16), Week 20 (7), Week 21 (15), Week 22 (12). 

Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in the persecuted church in China.