fellowship


Fellowship Begins With an Invitation

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15)

FellowshipIn his book, Evangelism in the Early Church, Michael Green reminds us that when Jesus was crucified there were only 11 men left to carry on his work and bring the gospel to the entire world!

Undistinguished, poorly educated, and with no influential supporters, they were nobodies living in a second-class province on the Roman frontier.

How could they possibly succeed? And yet, they did. By one estimate, Christianity grew from about 1,000 believers in 40 AD to 5 to 8 million in 300 AD — a growth rate of 40% per decade and the dominant religion of the Roman Empire! Today, Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with about 2 billion followers.

The rise of a secular judgmental culture challenges our efforts to spread the Good News. When it comes to discipleship, today’s church-going American Protestants often struggle in their efforts to share Christ with non-Christians. A recent survey of 2,930 Protestant churchgoers in the US revealed that a majority agreed it’s their duty to share their faith. Yet, over the preceding six months just 25% had shared their faith once or twice, 14% had shared at least three times.

The survey also asked how many times they personally “invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program” at their church in the last six months?

  • 48% of church attendees responded, “zero”
  • 33% had personally invited someone one or two times
  • 19% at least three invitations

Inviting someone to join you in attending church is probably the easiest form of outreach. And it may be one of the most effective based on the findings from a survey of 15,000 Americans who were asked to list the best of 13 approaches when a church wants to be heard.

Getting them to visit a church:

  • 67%: a personal invitation from a family member would be very/somewhat effective
  • 63%: a personal invitation from a friend or neighbor would be very/somewhat effective

Get them to receive information about a local congregation or faith community:

  • 63%: very/somewhat willing when it comes from a family member
  • 56%: very/somewhat willing when it comes from a friend or neighbor

Bent Creek Baptist has a history of commitment to missions and community outreach. As we gear up to increase our efforts it might be best to remember that a simple straightforward invitation to come to church is one of our best God-given tools.

That said, please consider this an invitation to our neighbors living in the Bent Creek area, as well as residents in Buncombe and Henderson Counties to join us for Sunday worship service at 11 am.


Rejoice in What We May Become

Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

Charles Spurgeon was a British Baptist preacher who lived during the 19th century. It’s estimated that during his life he preached to around 10 million people and was a prolific writer.

Consider these words from Pastor Spurgeon, which are taken from one of his sermons.

I think I can say to every one of you—If you are already saved, then the work is only half done until you are active in bringing others to Christ.

You are as yet only half formed into the image of your Lord. You have not attained to the full development of the Christ-like life in you unless you have begun in some feeble way to tell to others of the grace of God: and I trust that you will find no rest to the sole of your foot until you have been the means of leading many to that blessed Savior who is your confidence and your hope.

His word is — “Follow me,” — not merely that you may be saved, nor even that you may be sanctified; but, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Be following Christ with that intent and aim; and fear that you are not perfectly following him, unless in some degree he is making use of you to be fishers of men.

This Sunday join us at BCBC for fellowship  at 10:30 am and stay for worship at 11:00 am.


Men, Take Time for Spiritual Renewal

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

The annual BCBC Men’s Retreat will take place September 16-17 at Balsam Lake Lodge.  If you can’t make it for the whole weekend, come for part. Call Aaron Creasman (828-777-1272) if you are interested.

Remember, when men take time out for spiritual renewal, the whole church benefits.

BalsamLakeLodge

Balsam Lake Lodge

During the 2016 BCBC Men’s Retreat at Balsam Lake Lodge you’ll catch fish, hike the beautiful North Carolina mountains, eat hamburgers, and — most importantly — be spiritually renewed and refreshed as you share key truths and new perspectives in your walk with Jesus Christ.

Men, take this opportunity to develop unity through fellowship.

Best of all, the benefits continue long after the first fish is caught and last hamburger is eaten. Relationships at home become more positive and hopeful when you find renewal in God.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Join us on Friday, September 16th  to Saturday the 17th  for the BCBC Men’s Retreat.

Speak with Aaron Creasman, or call the church office for more information. 828-667-9818

And, remember you must sign up at the information desk in the church lobby. Space is limited for this event!


Acknowledge Him Before Others

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

Being a role model for others is very important in Christianity. We are to be the light of the world. So, don’t ya just love it when a successful, gifted person puts their faith up front as a natural part of their lives! Not for show. Not to promote. Just a normal part of their existence.

Craig Hawkins

Craig Hawkins

Here’s a talented artist who does just that.

Artist, Craig Hawkins (who lives in Valdosta, Georgia) when asked about his favorite books listed…

  • The Gospel of John by John the Apostle
  • Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias
  • Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Love Does by Bob Goff
  • You are Mine by Max Lucado

Where do you find inspiration?

hymn99 (1)Sermons, books, podcasts, good conversation, and good art. Scripture, conversations with God, my wife, my kids, good art, and my job as an assistant professor of art.

What was the moment you realized you wanted to be a full time artist?

It became a commitment during my freshman year of college. Up until that point it was something I loved to do and couldn’t see myself not doing, but I didn’t know where to go with it. I became a Christian that same year and my walk with Christ is deeply connected to my art making.

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Do you ever get creatively stuck?

Amber Cloud

Amber Cloud

If I believe that we are communal creatures designed for fellowship, then that belief will lead to developing work that shows this concept… For me this happens as my relationship with God grows… My intentional following of Jesus determines what content I entertain and invest my time in at the table of my ideas.

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)

“One of the sins of this generation is to make religion a private thing,” says Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org. “It never was meant to be private, and the discomfort of making our faith public proclaims God’s control in our lives.”

Do not shrink from this opportunity. Fortify yourself. Join us next Sunday at 11 am. Better yet, come to Sunday School at 9:30 am, and meet your new companions in faith.

Credit to Anne Nelson Fine Art in Charlotte for the quotes re-quoted here.