Better Together

Better Together - Calvary BurlingtonHave you ever done something you felt very uncomfortable doing?

We, as a staff, spent last week at the Exponential conference in Orlando, Florida. The theme for the week was The Great Collaboration. And the whole conference centred around this idea that we are better together.

Well, during one of our evenings we decided to do the most American thing possible, so we went to the local shooting range. We picked out a handgun, got instructions, and I mean like a crazy crash course on weapon safety instructions, and then were given a box with our handgun, ammunition, safety goggles, and headphones. When we got to the range I was shocked to find that there was NOBODY supervising the range in person. There were cameras everywhere, but all the employees were up at the front. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I guess I thought there’d be someone hanging around, like a lifeguard at the pool. We had been given 30-45 seconds of gun safety instruction, then given a gun with live ammo and sent on our way. I felt really uncomfortable.

Thankfully we were travelling with someone who knew something about guns, and safety. Because after hearing, and honestly, feeling, the first round being fired. I was ready to turn around and leave. It’s not something I was prepared for. The fact that you feel the gun being fired, even when you’re not the one holding it, just didn’t feel right. But, the longer we were there the more I adjusted, and then it was my turn to take a shot. I think the only reason I was able to do this activity is because I was there with someone who knew what they were doing. They coached me through all the steps of loading the magazine, keeping my finger off the trigger until I was ready to fire, and all the ins and outs of what we were doing. Without them, I’d have been scared off.

Why am I talking about this?

Well, there’s a ministry principle that I took from this experience that I want to encourage you with.

Just because you’re uncomfortable, doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

I think we say this to ourselves too often. I know I do. “Oh, I don’t know how to do that, so I won’t”, or “Oh, I don’t feel comfortable with that, I’ll leave it to someone else”.

How comfortable do you think Peter felt when he stepped off the boat to walk out onto the water? He’d never done that before, he’d never seen anyone do it before Jesus, yet he takes a literal step in faith and asks Jesus to call him out onto the water. Peter’s not dumb, we know the disciples had a fearful respect of the seas. But he looks to someone else doing it, and he says “guide me, and I’ll do it too”.

I’m willing to bet there’s something you’re not doing because you’re uncomfortable with it. What is it? Who could you get to come along side you and show you how it’s done so it’s not so scary, not so frightening, not so uncomfortable? What step in faith could you take to serve in a way that seemed too big to handle before?

I want to live a little more like Peter. Sure, Peter had Jesus as his guide. But, we’re also not trying to walk on water. We’re talking about serving in Children’s Ministry, Facilities, Calvary Connects, Seniors Lunch, Ushers, Student Ministries. Who can we ask to teach us about these ministries so we can have a healthy understanding that we CAN do it?

When we work together with other people we will do things we otherwise thought we couldn’t. Because it’s true, we are better together.

Mike Sanders, Director of Youth Ministries

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Introducing Sarah Bean

Welcome Sarah BeanI would like to introduce you to Sarah Bean. Sarah is a familiar person at Calvary as she has been attending and serving here for a number of years. Today I'm introducing her in a new capacity: Sarah Bean is our new volunteer Coordinator of Women’s Ministries at Calvary. With the approval of our Elders, we have asked Sarah to use her gifts and talents to help our women become better disciple-makers. Sarah brings a focus, leadership, and intentionality to the role and we are very excited to see how God is going to use her in the days to come.

Sarah is a trained educator who currently runs her own home daycare in Burlington. She is married to Matt Bean and together have three great kids, William, Abigail, and Ezra. Sarah brings a desire to help our women grow in their faith by providing opportunities for spiritual engagement, evangelism, and equipping. We are thrilled that Sarah said yes to this volunteer role and look forward to see how she will connect with women and encourage them. Please support her and look for opportunities to connect with our Women’s ministries they develop. Join me in welcoming Sarah to this role and please pray for her as she begins.

You can connect with Sarah by email at women@calvaryburlington.ca

Here are some Quick facts about Sarah

Favourite colour? - Red (if you have met Sarah, you probably already knew this!) 
Favourite food? - Cereal
Favourite movie? – The Sound of Music
Favourite country visited? – Thailand
Favourite season? - Fall
Favourite author? - Francine Rivers
Favourite Canadian image? - Mounties
Favourite Bible verse? Philippians 4:6

One thing that energizes Sarah? - "Getting together with an individual or small group to process life together and be able to support those I've connected with through prayer, text messages, helping out in some way."

Welcome aboard Sarah!

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What If We Stop Doing Evangelism?

 

 

What If We Stop Doing Evangelism?

 

 

The question is a sobering one to think about. Often when we hear the word “evangelism”, fear takes over and we get nervous that someone might ask us to do something that we feel we can’t.

Church, your faces tell the story on Sunday morning when we talk about sharing the Gospel with our friends and family! There is a visible reaction when I mention the words “evangelism” and “sharing the gospel”. The reaction is a mixture of fear and disconnect. It may not be intentional but it happens. Fear and discomfort set in and we don’t know what to do about it.

We recently read an article at our staff meeting that posed the question, “What will happen if the church continues to ignore evangelism?” Using the warning given to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2, the author warned that if the church does not repent for its lack of evangelism and return to the things that the church should do, then we were in danger of losing our effectiveness and possibly even our existence as a church.

As I read the article, things got quiet in the room. All eyes were hanging pretty low because I know that they felt, as I do, that evangelism is tough and at times it’s not the priority it should be. As I continued to read, Jesus’s words from Matthew 5:13-15 were explained. Listen to these words from Scripture:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp
and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house."

Even if our evangelistic pulse is faint, God’s Word is clear about our response - We are called to be salt. We are called to be light. And if we don’t, then God’s Word says that we will be ineffective and “no longer good for anything but to be thrown under people’s feet”

Pretty powerful words, right?

God does not want us to be ineffective – that is not what He wants for you and I. Rather, He wants us to repent (if we have reason to repent) and make sharing the Gospel with our friends, co-workers, and family a priority.

As I finished reading the article, I immediately went into a chapter in “How to Grow” where author Darryl Dash gives an introductory understanding of what the Gospel is. As the words leapt off the page, Darryl pointed us to God’s holiness, God’s love, God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s mission. It was refreshing because it reminded us together of just how good that Good News is. We ended with a time of reflective prayer, thanking God for the Gospel and the privilege we have of sharing it.

Don’t worry Church, I’m still working this out in my own life but my desire is to grow in missional effectiveness while God gives me time. Who’s with me, by God’s grace?

You are dearly loved,

Pastor Aaron

Note: Evangelism is a muscle and every muscle needs exercise. Join us for March’s EQUIP as we dive into evangelism and get some tools to help us share this amazing news we have been given. EQUIP is on Monday March 9th.

 

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