Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the tag “Forward with Focus”

Student Ministry

It’s unbelievable that we are already into the fall semester of 2017!  Summer was great and the student ministry had a lot of fun.  As summer fades and fall nears, I am excited for all that we have planned for this semester.     As you read this, we have already had our High School Fall retreat and fall kickoff and have lots more planned.  If you haven’t grabbed a copy the fall calendar for either the Middle School or High School groups, please make sure to pick one up.  Copies can be found in each area and have also been posted in our Facebook group for students and parents.   For Middle School ONLY, I wanted to highlight our Nerf Wars coming up on Wednesday, October 4th from 6-10 PM.  This event is for all students in grades 6-8 and totally FREE.  Students can bring their own gear.  Please make sure to label all personal gear that is brought.  Please RSVP to geoff@tatescreek.org or send me a text at 859.221.5605.    The second event I would like to highlight for Middle School ONLY is the fall retreat October 20-21.  Any middle school student is invited to join us as we head to Camp Calvary for a weekend of fun.  Early bird registration is $35 and any registrations after September 30 jump to $45.  Sign up with Geoff as soon as possible.   The High School ministry has lots of activities planned as well.  Periodically through the fall semester, the High School Ministry will meet off-site on Sunday nights.  For the fall semester, we will meet at home of Russell & Lora Brown from 6-8 PM.  These nights are set aside as opportunities to build relationships in a different environment.  See the HSM calendar for specific dates!   Both groups will be having Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse) packing parties.  We will have the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love in some very tangible ways to children in need around the world through filling shoeboxes with gifts.  Please plan on purchasing supplies for a shoebox.  Our goal for the Student Ministry is to pack 35 boxes.  See both calendars for specific dates and times.   Lastly, if your student is involved in anything extracurricular, I would love to come and support them.  Please share calendars or event dates so our student ministry can come support our students.

~ Geoff Lawson,  Student Minister

Focus on Example

Recently my daughter came home excited about being chosen as the “bee buddy” for her classroom at school.  What is a “bee buddy?”  They are the student in each class that helps new students become adjusted to their new room, school, etc.  My daughter was chosen for this by her teacher because she was seen being thoughtful, caring about other students, helpful, and willing to play with those who might not normally have a friend.  I can’t tell you how proud I was.  But this isn’t the first time I’ve been told about these positive qualities.  Since she was in preschool I have been told how friendly and caring she is to her peers and teachers.  My son is beginning to be the same way, always making sure to get candy for his sister or his friends when he gets a piece, being appreciative of things he’s been given, and asking what’s wrong if someone is hurt.  I’d like to say that my husband and I can take all the credit for this, and we’ve worked with both of them, but we aren’t the only ones.  My children have numerous role models in their lives that they watch each and every day, and who care for them unconditionally.  Adults (and teens) who show them kindness, who treat them as human beings, who listen to them.  I pray that these people continue to stay in their lives into adulthood, so they are able to be led in a Godly way through their own teen years.     We have quite a large pre-teen group right now at TCCC, and they are in the absolutely capable hands of the Stretch 456 ministry.  But shaping those children goes beyond the walls of their Sunday classroom.  It extends to each and every one of us in this building, and I ask that you take the time to continue investing in this next generation of believers.  Trust me, it’s worth it.
~ Lesley Tipton

Focus! Focus!

We have all heard this imperative given by our parents or a teacher.  As students, we are often distracted from keeping our focus on matters of importance by outside distractions in the classroom.  Not only do school students struggle with focus, but adults do as well.  I really like my iPhone 7, but I realize that I must keep attention focused on what is important at the time.  I confess that it is easy to become distracted when one or more chimes or sounds are emitted from the phone tempting me to look at it.  After all, studies show that most of use our phones more for other things than talking to someone!  We have work email, Facebook, and text messages, other apps, etc.  I also must say how aggravated I become when I am in conversation with someone and they make the phone their priority.  I understand that emergencies occur, but if we are honest, most of those “phone chimes” can wait.     Throughout my 40+ years of leading music and worship ministry, I have been asked on many occasions, “how do you keep your focus and still worship when leading from the platform?”  Well, I will be honest and tell you that it takes a lot of work!  On many Sundays, it is not easy especially when something goes wrong with the sound system, a CD won’t play, a microphone won’t work, a soloist is ill or people come to me with lots of questions and sometime concerns that probably could wait until after the service.  It does take work to worship!  It takes lots of work and not only for me, but for all of us.  As I move through the different responsibilities of being a leader in worship, I still must also worship.  It can be done and I can still enjoy worship.     I mention these two examples as a reminder that as Christians and as a Church, it is easy for us to be distracted from what should be our main focus.  We must focus on the lost!  Any church that forgets that will soon die!  We must focus on serving Christ and others!  A church that focuses on itself will also soon die.  We must focus on study as we open the Word and see what God has to say to us.   A church that focuses on other things other than the Word will die at some point.  Finally, we must focus on the example of Jesus Christ.  Some churches are distracted with doing good things in the community and around the world but forget to keep the focus on Christ.  May we all learn to focus AND focus on the right things.  Focus!  Focus!

~ Don Seevers, Worship Minister

Looking Forward

While growing up on the farm, cultivating crops required intense focus.  I had to concentrate and give full attention to the task of cultivating.  I disciplined myself to look forward!  The cardinal rule with cultivating was “Always look forward!  Never look back!”  Looking back was always disastrous for cultivating crops.  Just as sure as I would look back, I would plow up some of the crop or some of the garden which did not set well with Dad or Mom!   Cultivating crops reminds me of the teaching of Jesus!  Jesus said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plan and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).  It is impossible for a follower of Jesus to work in His Kingdom and still be holding on to his/her past life whether the past includes worldly friends, sin, or negative habits.   The same principle is true for a church.  It is impossible for a church to go forward and be effective while trying to live in the past.  For example, implementing traditions are well and good as long as those traditions continue to fulfill purpose and meaning.  If traditions are perpetuated just because that is ‘what we have always done,’ then the church becomes inward focused, ineffective, stale, and stagnant.  Who wants to be a part of a church with those characteristics?  No one!  On a regular basis, every program/ ministry of the church should be examined to see if that program/ministry is fulfilling the purpose the Lord has given to the church.   Our next sermon series is entitled, “Forward with Focus.”  We will examine the goals that speak to the purpose that our Lord has given to the church!  One of the purposes that He gives to the church is evangelism.  The goal for Tates Creek in this purpose is thirty baptisms!  Once a person becomes a Christian, there are three goals a Christian should pursue.  Those goals may be stated as: one hour in worship, one hour in study, and one hour in service each week.  Christians should involve themselves in one hour of worship every week.  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”  Christians should also involve themselves in one hour of study whether that is one hour in Sunday school or one hour in small group.  The third goal Christians should involve themselves in is one hour in serving each week, whether that is service in the church or outside the church.  Remaining committed to these three goals strongly assist us going “Forward with Focus!”   Press On!

~ Tommy Simpson   Senior Minister, tommy@tatescreek.org

Focus on the Lost – Luke 15

Focusing on the lost is our duty as saved believers.
As illustrated in the Parables of Luke 15, Jesus actively seeks out sinners and tax collectors to come to him, to hear him, and to eat with him. Like a shepherd who finds a lost sheep, an individual who finds lost money, or a parent who‘s lost child finally returns home, we too should celebrate when a lost sinner repents and comes home to the Lord!
So let’s identify who the lost are in Kentucky. According to the Pew Research Center:
1. 35 % of adults from age 18-29 are unaffiliated with any religion.
2. 37 % of adults from age 30-49 are unaffiliated with any religion.
3. 19 % of adults from age 50-64 are unaffiliated with any religion.
4. 9 % of adults age 65 or over are unaffiliated with any religion.
As parents, we must seek opportunities to teach our children and their friends just as Moses instructed in Deuteronomy 6:6–7, “these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
As a church member, we must seek opportunities to invite our neighbors and co-workers to attend church with us. We must reach out to our new church attenders and encourage them. We must get to know them and let them know we are very glad they are here. Let’s invite them to attend our Sunday School class because the more involved they become, the more likely they will continue their growth spiritually.
As a church, we must seek opportunities to meet the lost in our community. We must offer activities, events, and programs that will encourage the lost to enter our church walls. Knowing they have little faith or understanding about God’s love, we must consider their mindset and what might be appealing to them in hopes we can cultivate their relationship with God. Our church activities, worship services, worship messages, classes, and activities should all be focused on how to attract, reach, teach, baptize, and retain the lost so they too can grow spiritually. The question to ask ourselves, are we offering what the lost need?
Thank God, you and I have been saved by His grace and Jesus’ sacrifice. We must share the great story with those who are unaffiliated with any religion so they too can be saved!

~ Russell Brown

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