It is hard to believe that it is already Christmas time again! This year has flown by, and we find ourselves getting ready to enter into a very busy but fulfilling Christmas season. We have many familiar activities planned for our church family. Please see the schedule below and make plans to be a part.
Sunday December 11th – Christmas Night of Worship. At 6:00 pm please come and enjoy this special night of worship and invite people to come with you. Pastor Evan has gathered our choir together and we are expecting a wonderful, powerful night of Christmas worship on this evening.
December 18th – Church Wide Christmas Caroling. We will gather at church at 5:00 pm and then go out in groups and carol to some of those in our church that are not able to get out and worship with us on Sunday mornings. This is always a very enjoyable and fun evening so get a group from your family, Life Group, or a friend group to go out and brighten others’ Christmas season.
December 24th – Christmas Eve Service. At 7:00 pm we will have our Candles, Carols, and Communion service. This is one of my favorite services of the year. We sing, read scripture, and take the Lord’s Supper in family/friend groups around the Lord’s table. If you are in town, please join us for this special time together.
December 25th – Christmas Worship Services. We will have two identical services at special times on Christmas morning. We will have one at 9:00 am and 10:30 am. If you are in town, make plans to be at one of these services. There is no better place to be on Christmas than in church celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.
Let’s ask God to help us remain focused on the true meaning of this wonderful time of the year. I would ask you to prioritize these opportunities because I believe they will encourage us to keep Jesus at the center of our lives during the Christmas season.
One last thing I would like to speak to is the recent resignation of our student pastor, Brian Van Doren. Brian has served faithfully at our church for the last six years. During that time our personal and professional relationship has grown into a true and deep friendship. Some years back, I spoke with Brian about his gift mix and about the possibility of God using him in different ways in future years. I shared with him that I saw in him a gift mix that God could use one day as a Senior Pastor of a church. So, this transition in Brian’s ministry in no way took me by surprise. I always thought that this day may come someday. And it has come. I know that there will be some who are surprised by this change. Others will deal with sadness or a sense of loss. I understand all those reactions. I will miss working with Brian on a day-to-day basis at church and the friendship we have had for the past six years. But I would ask you to be a prayer warrior for Brian, Kayla, and the kids as they go to serve their church in Texas. He will need your prayers. He has prayed for many of you faithfully through the years and this is your opportunity to invest back in his life as he follows God’s will for his life and ministry.
So, let’s come together as church family during this time of the year and participate together in all our Christmas activities and worship our Savior, and let us all unite our hearts together as well and pray for the Van Doren’s as they follow God to their next assignment!
I love you and I love being your pastor!
This year, Christmas falls on Sunday which I am very excited about! There is not a better place to be on Christmas than in the house of the Lord, worshipping our Savior.
Dear Church Family,
Over the sixteen years of my ministry here at Oakhill we have seen God do many things and there have been many necessary changes along the way. We have adjusted
our worship services, constitution, church polity, church schedule, budget, and ministry structure just to name a few. But one thing that has never changed and never will is that the focus of our Sunday worship gatherings is God’s Word being preached. I am so thankful for God’s Word. I love preaching it. It is the truth that changes our lives and directs us as we live for Jesus in our world.
A few Sundays ago, I was reminded once again of how impactful and rich God’s Word is. I love preaching through books of the bible for several reasons. 1. It encourages biblical literacy for the church. 2. It keeps pastors honest to have to deal with all the truths in scripture. Even the passages that are difficult to understand and those that are hard to hear. 3. It helps to protect against the pastor’s opinion as we seek to know what God’s Word says and not what the preacher thinks. There are many reasons I believe preaching through books of the bible are so helpful. But sometimes I find that if I try to preach through a sizable portion of scripture in one sermon, there are times when I have more truth to unpack than is possible in the allotted time. That happened a few Sundays ago.
The Apostle Paul had left Athens and had made his way to Corinth. These were two very hard ministry contexts to serve the Lord in. One was eaten up with human philosophies and the other was immersed on sexual immorality. Paul was having a challenging time in ministry and so the Lord comes to Paul in a vision to encourage him to remain faithful and fearless in the ministry as he lived for Jesus. And I believe the commands and promises with this vision were not just helpful for Paul, but they are helpful for us all as we make it our goal to live for Jesus as well. So let me just encourage you as you are “Living for Jesus” to remember these commands and promises from the Lord found in Acts 18:9-11.
- Do not be afraid.
- Stay on your mission.
- I am with you.
- You will not be harmed.
- Many more people need to hear the Gospel.
As we take these commands and promises to heart, I believe that they will help strengthen us to remain faithful and fearless. After Paul received this vision, he stayed in Corinth for another year and a half. In our lives we need to hear from the Lord and trust his Word. And as we do it encourages and inspires us to persevere in our faith and remain faithful and fearless as well. This is why it is so important that we make sure that each week as we gather to worship that we focus our worship on the proclamation and study of God’s Word. We need his truth if we are going to truly “live for Jesus” faithfully.
I love you and I love being your pastor!