THE NEWS AT GOOD HOPE

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1 THE NEWS AT GOOD HOPE Advent Responsive Reading As we light our advent candle, As we prepare for Christmas time, As we prepare for Christmas time, December 1, 2013 marks the beginning of Advent, a time observed in many churches to celebrate the expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The word advent comes from a Latin word that means coming. The season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. It offers us the opportunity to share the ancient longing for the coming of our Savior, and to be alert for His Second Coming. During Advent we recall the history of God s people and reflect on how the promises of God recorded in the Old Testament were fulfilled. Knowing God s promises as recorded in Scripture, we can reflect on His faithfulness and begin to understand what it means to us now for the sake of what is to come. We celebrate Advent with joyful anticipation as Christmas gets closer. During Advent, we light five candles to remember different aspects of our Lord s first coming. At Good Hope Baptist, the Advent candles stand for Hope (purple), Peace (purple), Joy (pink), Love (purple), and Christ (white). Each Sunday of Advent, we will remember a promise of God as recorded in sacred Scripture and light a candle to symbolize that promise. From the Sunday morning messages during Advent this year we will be hearing what the prophet Isaiah wrote concerning the coming of the Messiah. In this world of pain and darkness, Light of the world, shine through us. To all the people who don t know you, Light of the world, shine through us. Jesus you are coming again, Light of the world, light the way. During this Advent season, let us celebrate together as God s people and remember the first coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and joyfully anticipate His second coming, when He will gather His Church and take us to a home of eternal glory. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! - Michael McCray Upcoming Christmas Celebrations Ø Christmas Concert at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary will be Thursday, December 5 at 7:00pm. Ø Good Hope s Christmas Celebration and Carol Sing will be Sunday, December 15 at 6:00pm.

2 1 Good Hope Baptist Church December 2013 Family and Youth 411 As you are aware of by now, Good Hope Baptist has been preparing a foundation for a family and youth ministry. It is our goal, beginning January 1st 2014, to be reaching out to families in the growing neighborhoods around Good Hope Baptist Church. With God s direction and provision, we hope to see this new ministry serve the families in our communities and you will play an essential role in it. During the month of December, we want to focus on evangelism and each of our roles in accomplishing the success of a family and youth ministry. We want to thank you for being open and supportive as we have discussed the ministry up until now. The journey ahead will be a long one and a difficult one. We do not want to be guilty of gaining a temporary body of believers to Good Hope (or to God for that matter) as has been a pattern for many churches. We strive for permanence and consistency, for it is in longevity that true ministry can be done. Considering this, we should dwell on these words, What we win them with is what we win them to. If we win people to Good Hope, then they will leave when something changes. If we win others to our pastor, then they will leave when God calls the pastor to be somewhere else. If we win others to a specific ministry, then they will leave when that ministry takes on a new direction. What is a Family and Youth Ministry? A family and youth ministry is a ministry geared primarily toward 6th12th graders and their families and works to address circumstances specific to that age group; both helping to prepare students for adulthood in Christ and empowering parents to be primary disciple makers within the home. However, if we win others to Jesus Christ, they will be steadfast because God is steadfast. They will not leave when life gets rough or when there is a disagreement among human individuals because God does not leave. This is what we strive for! This is how we hope to see growth in our walls! Andrew Cannon 2

3 Upcoming Family and Youth Events In future editions of the newsletter, there will be a calendar with upcoming events (both for the whole church and for youth in particular). We do not have any events listed for the month of December, however, we will outline for you the course we hope this family and youth ministry will take as we move into the New Year. Please keep in mind that this list is tentative and broad. Specific events will begin to be listed next month. February 19, 2014: Parents will begin receiving in-home discussion questions based on Sunday s sermon and Wednesday evening lessons. February 26, 2014: Student oriented worship service will begin on Wednesday nights for 6 th -college. January 1, 2014: Family and Youth Ministry Begins We will begin meeting with parents to discuss details about the new ministry. January 5, 2014: Student Sunday School classes begin meeting. January 31, 2014: A mission statement will be drafted for the Family and Youth ministry. As we look forward to scheduling specific events, please keep in mind that these events, regardless of their audience, can always serve the purpose of outreach. When we invite families to take part in our events we are doing more than inviting them to hear music or to bring their children for a day of fun, we are inviting them to come and see Jesus Christ as He lives in us, and our goal is always, no matter what we are doing, to make disciples. 3

4 2 Good Hope Baptist Church Prayer And he said to them, The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. - Luke 10:2 (ESV) Because prayer is necessary when doing God s work on this earth, we have a prayer guide for the month of December. We invite each member of the congregation at Good Hope to be praying daily specifically for the family and youth ministry (scheduled to begin on January 1st). We have added a weekly prayer emphasis to aid in your daily prayer life. The truth is, without direction we sometimes do not know what we should pray, and because of this, many Christians do not pray at all. Therefore, this weekly emphasis is intended to benefit you and benefit your relationship with our heavenly Father. The prayer guide is not essential for your prayer life but we encourage you to use it. Whether you use it or something else, always pray! Remember, for as long as we wish to do God s will, we must communicate with Him in order to know what His will is. Andrew Cannon December 2013 Prayer Suggestions for December Week 1 Read Matthew 28:18-20 and think about what Christ s command means for our personal walk. In your prayers this week, constantly ask God what more you could do (or allow Him to do through you) to advance His kingdom on this earth. Week 2 Read Matthew 28:18-20 again and ask for what reason Christ gave for our making disciples. Is it because of the lostness of the people around us, or do we make disciples for no other reason than the fact that God commanded it? In your prayers this week, ask God to reveal any ill motivations your might have for sharing His gospel and ask Him to replace those with pure motivations. Week 3 Read Matthew 28:18-20 again and ask what it means that we should teach them all that Christ has commanded. Is this consistent teaching done in the church or in the relationship we already have with them? Is it a combination of both? While you are reaching out to others, pray about how you can invite them to be a part of a Bible believing and teaching church. Week 4 Read Matthew 28:18-20 once more and ask what it means that Christ is with us even to the end of the age. Spend time each day this week in silence, forsaking your own thoughts and listening for God. What might He reveal to you? 4

5 Evangelism Why is it that, when we are saved, we are left on this earth instead of immediately taken up to be with our Father? If God s goal is for us to be returned to Him, why would He not bring us to Himself physically at the moment we give our lives to Him by accepting Christ s sacrifice? Why leave us on earth where we are prone to sin and where we are susceptible to false teaching and famine and sword? Could God possibly have a greater purpose than our being returned to Him and delivered from sin? Yes. Now the Lord said to Abram, Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3 ESV). Before the Lord, we know that Abram (Abraham) was justified by faith, not by obedience of the Law but by his trust in the One who gave the Law (Romans 4). Yet, Abram was commanded to go out from his own land so that, through the blessing he received from the Lord, all the families of the earth would be blessed. What does this mean for each of us, then? It means that God s work is bigger than you and bigger than me. God does have a greater purpose than you or I coming to know him, and it is that through us, every peoples on earth would be blessed; or gain the justification that Abram gained and through which we have been blessed. We have received the greatest gift that we could possibly receive from the God of the universe, and that gift is God Himself. It is time for us to share our gift, for we have been justified in order that God s blessing might be handed to others through us! There is no greater worship to God on this earth than the sharing of His gospel. What, then, do we hope for you to do with this information? Well, share Christ of course! After sharing Christ, invite families (your own and with whom you are connected) to be a part of our upcoming family and youth ministry. Take one of our promotional post-cards and hand it to them personally, letting them know that we hope to minister and serve their family. All in all, have a holly, jolly Christmas. We look forward to everything that God has planned for Good Hope in the coming year. Though we have along road ahead, we know that God has and will do great things for us! Andrew Cannon Evangelism is the duty of every believer and on every believer lays some influential responsibility. As we move into the New Year, remember to be inviting families to be a part of our family and youth ministry. Remember that the youth emphasis affects grades 6-12, but we are NOT shying away from families with smaller children or from college students. We need members who will step into these leading roles (specifically for younger children). If God is calling you to serve in such a capacity, let the Pastor know. We hope that within the 2014 calendar year, we have families, youth, children and college students all attending regularly. We will need the workers. As far as growth in numbers, we must remain content, though diligent. We must be okay with God working in His time, recognizing that He is sovereign. At Good Hope Baptist, we are Sharing the good news about Jesus, creating a Loving place, where His people are Discerning the work He has called them to do, and where His people are Equipping one another to do His work.

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