Something’s Up

Late last summer I told our pastoral staff “Something’s Up.” I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I sensed that good things were happening in our church and in our community.

As we moved to the fall, we continued to see these good things and even more added to it. Now that we are ending 2011, we have seen God at work and we have experienced many great blessings.

Let me share some of the blessings and give you a challenge for 2012.

The time since August 29, 2005, (Hurricane Katrina) has been filled with challenges in people’s lives and at FBC. After Katrina, about one-fourth of our congregation moved away, including 25 deacon families. We have dealt with the loss of members and the loss of leaders.

For the first time since 2005, I feel that we are fully recovered. In fact, for the calendar year 2011 we will average more people in our Bible Fellowship groups than at any time in our history. That is a major accomplishment.

For the last three weeks, we experienced the most people in BF groups and in worship than any other of the same weeks in our history. That tells me that “something really is up.”

We have seen significantly better offerings since August 1. In fact, our budget giving will probably be up 6.5% over last year, with most of that occurring since August 1. I probably don’t have to tell you that we have struggled (but not as much as other churches) in this “great recession.”

In the church year ending in September, we received 122 people by profession of faith and baptism. This is not as many as we have prayed for but it is a large number of people who have come to know God.

What is “up?” Obviously, God is the source of all blessings. In addition, I believe that God is blessing the change in our worship services that we began August 1, 2010. I believe that God blesses good attitudes and faithful service. You have heard me say that I have never experienced a church decision which had so many good attitudes in the midst of change.

Here’s my challenge. Let us not take any of this for granted. Let us thank God for His blessings. Let us continue to ask God for His favor over us personally and as a church.

In January, Louisiana Baptists will call for a time of prayer and fasting in which we ask God to bring a great spiritual awakening over our state. Would you join with that? Today we are distributing devotional guides to be used in January. We are going to promote the use for the 21 days of January 11-31, but you may use these whenever it fits you.

May God bless and lead His people.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. — 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NIV)