The Witness – May 31- June 6, 2015

The Bestest of Times

I really don’t do well using superlatives. I find myself using words like the “most best” or the “bestest” when making a comparison. While you may find this hard to believe I have even been known to use the term, “Most bestest” when I am really excited about something and want to describe how everything else pales in comparison. Before you inundate me with internet sites on how to properly use the English language, (BTW, I do thank you for your past corrections in these matters), I do know that these words are improper when comparing 3 or more objects, people, or places.

When I got in the office on Tuesday morning, after I settled in, I went back to the classroom area to take a look. I knew that there was some work being done on the walls on Monday (Memorial Day). I must say I was overwhelmed! There has been a LOT of work done in getting the classrooms ready for VBS. In fact, much of it was not really observable. But Tuesday morning it was all very evident.

I can’t emphasize enough how much of our own physical labor is being spent on this project. These men and women are sacrificing personal and family time to get everything done and looking good.

There is still so much to do. I want to thank you for providing the financial resources to keep this work going and to remind you of our 5th Sunday building offering. Please give generously and sacrificially so the work may continue! These are truly “the bestest” of times for Walnut Street Baptist Church!

We Labor Together With God, Wes

The Witness – May 24-30, 2015

Negative Norman Meets Positive Patty

Are you a Negative Norman or Positive Patty?

That’s kind of a funny question but it is a serious one as
well. Joel Osteen says, “if you can’t be positive, then at
least be quiet.’

“The Southern Illinoisan” columnist, Jim Muir writes, “It seems the older I get
the less I want to be around negative, pessimistic people who can turn a sunny
day into a thunderstorm just by showing up. Some people bring joy ‘wherever’
they go while others bring joy ‘whenever’ they go. Don’t be the latter.”

Allow me to shine some joy on you. I heard it Sunday morning. We have been on
our new campus since Easter Sunday (April 5). In just 7 Sundays 15 guests
have been in Sunday School. 7 have enrolled. There have been 6 people who
have become Jesus followers by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and
are awaiting Baptism; 1 person has united with our congregation by Statement,
another has rededicated their life to serving Jesus.

In addition, weekly progress is being made on our educational rooms and they
will be ready for VBS. This work is being accomplished by volunteers who have
invested their time and even some of their finances to get this completed as
quickly and as efficiently as possible.

On the cloudiest of days may we all strive to see the sunshine of God’s
blessings and life’s positives, for there are many, of both!

We Labor Together With God, Wes

The Witness – May 10-16, 2015

 The Seven Losses of Church Growth

By Thom Rainer,

Most church members do desire to see their churches grow . . . until the growth affects them. It is at that point, some can become disillusioned and critical. What is it about growth that impacts some members negatively?

1. Loss of familiarity. When a church is growing, it becomes a different church. Some church members grieve and miss “the good old days.”

2. Loss of memories.

3. Loss of comfort. Growth can mean that the closest parking spots are no longer available, or that the traffic flow in the parking lot is more difficult. Sometimes creature comforts are compromised by growth.

4. Loss of power. New people in a church can mean that power bases are diluted. Some of the longer tenured influencers may not like that.

5. Loss of perceived intimacy. “I used to know everyone in this church. I just don’t feel as close to members as I once did.” Indeed, growth can mean that.

6. Loss of worship style. New members and attendees might have different worship style preferences.

7. Loss of worship time. Growth in the church may necessitate adding or changing worship services and times.

Obedience to the Great Commission often results in church growth. But church growth is not always received well. Some have an attitude that the church is there to serve them and to cater to their needs. Healthy church members understand they are to be giving and sacrificial members of the body of Christ. They will rejoice when more members join the fellowship, and when more people become believers in Christ.

We Labor Together With God, Wes