Think, Pray, Process…

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Last weekend we had the incredible privilege of having Tim O’Tool and his family with us for Candidation Weekend. He did a great job. From the Q & A Session on Saturday night to his Bible lesson on Sunday morning, Tim demonstrated a true passion for God, His Word, and the people of God. During this dynamic weekend, Tim also proved that he has the experience necessary to hit the ground running at Prairie Flower Baptist Church. In other words, from Tim’s years of experience at High Pointe Church in Altoona, IA, he has a proven track record in working with children, youth, and volunteers. He also has great experience in teaching (both children and adults), administration, and management. In addition to this, he has practical experience in church budgeting matters and church discipline matters. In short, Tim is not a novice to pastoral ministry, but has good experience that will aid him well, if it’s indeed God’s will that he should come to PFBC in April or May 2019. Indeed, the vote for Tim O’Tool is slotted for Sunday, February 24…and may God’s will be done! In fact, as you gear up for this important vote, let me encourage you again to do three things:

  1. Think – Take everything that you saw and heard over this past weekend and think about it. Think through Tim’s life and ask yourself, “From his birth in Carroll, IA to his present-day situation at High Pointe Church in Altoona, IA, has God been preparing Tim for PFBC this whole time?” Think through Tim’s pastoral experience and ask yourself, “With so much experience in different areas of church ministry, has God been molding and shaping Tim for ministry at PFBC this whole time?” Think through Tim’s family and ask yourself, “Do I honestly see this family at home with my family out here on the prairie?”
  2. Pray – After some serious thought, take some time to pray. And pray passionately! Ultimately, we want God’s will to be done, not our own will. Indeed, take all of your thoughts and questions to God in prayer. Lay it all down at His feet. Beg God for wisdom, discernment, clarity, and unity. A vote for a new Associate Pastor is certainly exciting, but we need God’s help and direction. Pray. Then pray again. And may God’s will be done!
  3. Process – The weekend before the vote, I would take Tim’s resume, your Bible (opened to Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 4:11-16, and Matt. 5:14-16), and a notebook. Process in a moment in time all of Tim’s qualifications and experiences. Match up Tim’s life with the mission and vision of God found in Matt. 28:18-20, Eph. 4:11-16, and Matt. 5:14-16. Then ask yourself, “Does Tim’s life match the heartbeat of the mission and vision of God?” Then flip over to 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and consider the biblical qualifications of a pastor/elder/bishop. Think to yourself, “Does Tim’s life match up to these qualifications?” Journal some thoughts in a notebook. Perhaps talk to your spouse about your thoughts. Pray alone or with your spouse. And then, on Sunday, Feb. 24, confidently cast your ballot as the Lord has led you.

Prairie Flower, this is a special and strategic time in the life of our church. Please be in prayer for Tim and his family. They too need God’s wisdom and discernment. And as the vote for Tim approaches, be sure to think, pray, and process. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please approach anyone on the PFBC Leadership Team. We would be glad to help.

Initial Q & A With Our Associate Pastoral Candidate…

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Associate Pastor Ministry Description: To assist and support the Lead Pastor of Prairie Flower Baptist Church (PFBC) with the overall leadership and administration of the church, advancing the church’s Mission and Vision “to be a strong church that makes disciples for the glory of God.” The Associate Pastor of PFBC will be the Lead Pastor’s Chief Advisor and Prayer Partner on all matters related to the church. The Associate Pastor will actively participate in the Teaching Ministry, Visitation Ministry, and Outreach Ministry of the church. Specifically, the Associate Pastor of PFBC will be given direct management and oversight of the Children’s Ministries, Youth Ministry, and Small Group Ministries of the church. This ministry, on average, will consist of 45-50 hours of work per week, with some weeks being far more with emergencies, funerals, etc. Also, as with any job or ministry, there will most certainly be other duties as assigned.

  1. How passionate are you about this type of full-time pastoral ministry? Would you have any competing interests or conflicts of interest as you enter this type of ministry?Since my sophomore year in college I have felt the continual call of God in my life. I have had multiple secular jobs that I excelled at, but even though I mainly enjoyed the work, I was never satisfied as I always found more joy and fulfillment in whatever ministry I was participating in. The struggle has been always wanting to represent Christ through my work at my secular employment while also trying to give my best to the church. Ultimately, I believe I need to be using my gifts in a full-time vocational ministry.”
  2. How does your wife feel about you being in this type of full-time pastoral ministry? Is she excited about the possibility of moving to southeast Iowa?My wife has always participated with me in most of the ministries I have performed. She has always been a huge source of encouragement and a great partner. I can confidently say she and I are excited to continue to walk down this road together.”
  3. All pastoral ministry is Gospel ministry. Describe both your Gospel conversion and your calling into the Gospel ministry.I grew up in a Christian home where we were regularly taught the Gospel. I accepted the Gospel at a very young age when my mother explained that my sin separated me from God and condemned me to an eternity in Hell. However, through the free gift of Christ because of His work on the cross, God offers forgiveness to all who repent and call on His name. I did that at age four and have been trusting Christ’s finished work on the cross ever since. The reason I believe that I am called into the Gospel ministry is that I recognize that God uses the faithfulness of believers to bring the Gospel to the lost. Because I am so thankful to have grown up in a setting where I could hear the Gospel, and that was the means that God used in my own conversion, I in turn want to be an instrument to further God’s work in the lives of believers and non-believers for the Gospel.”
  4. Let’s talk church polity: What is the ideal relationship between pastors, deacons, and the congregation?The pastors (both vocational and lay pastors) should be men of the highest quality. They should be men who embody the qualifications in 1 Timothy and Titus. These men should be the ones who provide the vision and primary leadership for the church, but their primary role is to care for the spiritual needs of the church. Deacons should also be men who meet the deacon qualifications laid out in 1 Timothy and Titus, but their role differs somewhat from that of the pastors/elders. The deacons should play an advisory role to the pastors as well as looking out for the physical needs of the flock. They should also be ‘shock absorbers’ in that they are promoting unity through their words and actions. The congregation should take an active role in searching the Scriptures to hold their leadership accountable to abide by biblical mandates. Everyone involved needs to humbly seek God’s will and be looking out for other’s interests and viewing others as more important than self. The pastors should never try to lord it over the flock or ram things down their throat that the congregation is not on board with. They should lovingly lead the flock not exercise dominion over them.”
  5. What are your greatest strengths in ministry? Conversely, what are your greatest weaknesses in ministry?I believe that my greatest strength in ministry is that I have a passion to see believers grow and become more sanctified. It is that passion that drives me to love and want to spend time with Christians. Because I often wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t know Christ, it makes me strive to push others around me to find joy and fulfillment in walking with Christ themselves. When it comes to my greatest weaknesses, I would say that I have the propensity to allow weariness to lead to procrastination with tasks that I am not passionate about.”
  6. Describe the most painful moment of your entire life/ministry. What did you learn? How was God faithful?We recently had a miscarriage. I love being a father and was looking forward to another child so much. I had to constantly remind myself (and still do) that none of my children, or future children ,or really anything I have for that matter truly belongs to me. Everything I have belongs to God and He has promised that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I think for me, I have never struggled having faith in God’s omnipotence. I know God can do whatever He wants. I guess where my faith is demonstrated to be weak is trusting that even the things that don’t feel good, God allows it, and it really is good. I think coming to grips with this will be a continual lifelong process.”

 

CANDIDATION WEEKEND DETAILS

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019

5:30 PM = Opening Remarks/Prayer/Food Fellowship

6:30 PM = Q & A Time: Text Questions to 850-776-5504

8:00 PM = Game Night: Family Feud!

9:00 PM = Final Remarks/Prayer/Dismissal

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019

9:00 AM = Combined Sunday School: “Being a Doer of the Word”

9:45 AM = Prairie Time/Name Tag Sunday

10:15 AM = Morning Worship Service: “Mission, Vision, and Leadership” w/Mini Q & A to Follow…Sermons by Tim O’Tool Found at http://highpointealtoona.com/sermon-speaker/tim-otool/

12:00 PM = Growth Groups/Small Group Time

 

What does it mean that we are #prairiestrong?

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Often you will hear people out here on the prairie talk about the fact that we are (or are endeavoring to be) #prairiestrong. What does that mean exactly? Does it mean we all endeavor to have big muscles with great physical abilities? Not at all. Check out the video below to see how #prairiestrong is more than a catchy phrase, it’s what the Christian life is all about…

New Associate Pastor Details!

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Below are the projected details concerning Tim O’Tool’s Candidation Weekend (Feb. 9 -10):

Saturday, Feb. 9…

5:30 PM = Opening Remarks/Opening Prayer/Food Fellowship (Soup & Salad Supper…)

6:30 PM = Q & A Time

8:00 PMish = Game Night

9:00 PMish = Final Remarks/Closing Prayer/Dismissal

– Please Note: All of Saturday’s Events will take place in our Fellowship Hall.

Sunday, Feb. 10…

9:00 AM = Combined Sunday School (Tim will be teaching upstairs in the Auditorium. 1st Grade – Adults are invited to participate.)

9:45 AM = Prairie Time

10:15 AM = Morning Worship Service (Tim will not be preaching, but I will have him engage with me in a Mini Q & A Session…)

12:00 PMish = Growth Groups

– Please Note: This will be a dynamic and tiring weekend for our Associate Pastor Candidate. Please pray with him and for him. The official vote for Tim O’Tool is slotted for Sunday, February 24. May God’s will be done!

From the Associate Pastor’s Desk: My Favorite Podcasts…

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I don’t know about you, but one of the many joys I have discovered in life is the joy of learning! I have not always been this way. In fact, for much of my life, I did not like learning. I am not sure why I changed, but now I love it! There are many different ways of learning though.

  • You can learn by doing. Which is how I learn best.
  • You can learn by watching. I love a good documentary on war or basketball.
  • You can learn by reading. Almost finished my first book of 2019 already, thanks to my new year goal setting!
  • You can also learn by listening. That is what this whole blog is about.

When I say listening, I am not talking about just the classroom. With today’s technology, we have a little thing called “podcasts.” If you don’t know what a podcast is, let me explain. It is similar to a talk radio show, except it can be downloaded from the internet onto your phone or computer. Podcasts are often series that are made up of many episodes that come out regularly for listeners to follow. On phones, they are found on different apps such as Apple Podcasts, Podbean, Stitcher, or Spotify. If you still don’t understand, maybe ask someone who is tech savvy and I am sure they could help you out. I love listening to podcasts while I work on a project, drive, or do other mind-numbing tasks like dishes or laundry.

The best part about podcasts is that they are free (for now). The downside to podcasts though is that they are extremely underrated and still a new (but growing) phenomena. This means it can be hard to find quality podcasts. They are fairly unregulated, so you have to be careful with some of the content that is out there. Nonetheless, they can be a great tool for personal development and growth. So, I thought I would share some of my favorite podcasts. So, here are my top nine podcasts, broken down into categories.

Spiritual and Thought Provoking…

  1. Dallas Theological Seminary Chapel – Every week, while school is in session, DTS has chapel services led by some of the best, brightest, and most inspiring Christians in the world. DTS records the sermons and regularly puts them on their podcast. This has been an excellent source for spiritual growth, and you will never hear a dull sermon!
  2. The Table Podcast – This podcast is put on by DTS as well. It is hosted by Dr. Darrell Bock the Executive Director of Cultural Engagement. Dr. Bock picks current and uprising cultural issues to discuss in order to help Christians think through them critically. The focus is reaching the lost without compromising our beliefs and the truth.
  3. Ask Pastor John – This is a short one hosted by Tony Reinke and Pastor John Piper with Desiring God. People write in questions for Pastor John Piper and he answers one question a day. It is about ten minutes an episode, so it is good for a short trip or getting ready in the morning.

Purely Educational Entertainment...I never thought those words would be coming out of my mouth 🙂

  1. Stuff You Should Know – This is a non-Christian educational podcast about anything and everything. Most of the topics would normally be labeled “dull and mundane,” but these guys do a great job of making it fun to listen to.
  2. Courtside w/ Greenburg and Dakic – This is a basketball podcast hosted by two old school college coaches. It comes out once a week during college basketball season, but they are so funny to listen to and it helps me with my coaching.
  3. TED Radio Hour – This is a non-Christian podcast much like The Table Podcast, but from a secular point of view. Different speakers talk about creative ways to solve the world’s problems with science, technology, and critical thinking. It’s really good!

Daily News and Thought Provoking…

  1. The Briefing – This podcast is one of my new favorites! It is hosted by the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Al Mohler. It is a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview. You know, it is hard to watch or listen to the news without feeling like we are all doomed, but Al Mohler always ends with a message of real hope.
  2. The Ben Shapiro Show – This is a daily conservative political news podcast (wow that’s a mouth full). It is non-Christian, and the topics can be a little uncomfortable at times, but if there is a big political story, I will check it out. The host is very smart and very good at thinking critically.
  3. High Noon – This is a daily sports podcast that I think is really entertaining. Some of the jokes are hard to track because it is also a TV show, but the two hosts do a really good job at tracking daily sports in a funny way.

Well, those are my top nine podcasts. Just because I listen to them, does not mean I agree or condone all the things that are said, or the viewpoints portrayed on these shows; but they are clean for the most part, and they help keep my mind sharp and entertained. If you have a podcast you like, please feel free to share!

Annual Report From the Lead Pastor…

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Dear Members and Friends of Prairie Flower Baptist Church,

The year 2018 with all its immense blessings and burdens is now over. Indeed, this past year has been one of the most difficult, yet fruitful years of my entire ministry. So, for all that went right this past year, I give God great praise; and for all that could have been better this past year, I take full responsibility and have learned immensely through it all. In the end, I am so grateful for a grace-giving God, and for you, the generous and patient people out here on the prairie. Below is a recap of where we’ve been (by God’s grace) and where we might be going (under God’s sovereignty).

Addition:

First, let’s carefully reflect on the church growth that we experienced through the joy of addition. Indeed, the numbers below reflect not us and our success, but God and His love and mercy. The fact that God has chosen us to be mere conduits of His grace is humbling and extremely encouraging. So, with that in mind, let us rejoice in each number…in each person…that took a step of faith this past year…

  • Salvations – 9 (Our Highest Number of Salvations in 5 Years!)
  • Baptisms – 6
  • Members – 8

I know you hear me say this often, but the above numbers, and the transformed lives that each number represents, is truly what we are all about. People getting saved, baptized, and added to the church isn’t just a nicety in the church, it’s what the church is all about! Let’s celebrate the work of God in the lives that have been radically transformed by the Gospel.

Subtraction:

Second, let’s carefully reflect on the church growth that we experienced through the pain of subtraction. Indeed, though painful to remember this aspect of the past year, it is healthy and needed. To merely bury the past or, worse, try to pretend that it never happened is unwise at best and severely detrimental at worst. So, let’s somberly remember the burdens and difficulties of this past year…

  • Crisis – In March of 2018, we experienced a church crisis. Sin and selfishness ravaged our church family and left us extremely hurt and confused. This church crisis put me into a personal crisis in which I was angry and ready to simply give up. Indeed, as I have stated many times already, I did not handle this crisis with pastoral decorum, and because of that, I ended up making a bad situation worse.
  • Healing – But despite the darkest of days, the light of God’s presence, power, and provision always shines through. Yes, despite the hurt and confusion, many of you committed to stay and to fight for your church family. Thank you! Indeed, as it concerns me and my family, many of you stepped out of your way to offer prayer, words of encouragement, gifts, and much needed love to us during this difficult time. Thank you! In fact, your love and generosity were most pronounced in you sending my family and I away on a month-long sabbatical during the month of June. Again, thank you! We were helped and began to heal up in a serious way as a result of that sabbatical.
  • Leading – The rest of 2018 was a blur of praying, preaching, visitation, counseling, meetings, restructuring, camp ministries, state ministries, community outreach, and church discipline cases…In a word, leading. Indeed, as difficult and dark as the first half of 2018 was, the last half of 2018 has been the sweetest time of my entire ministry here at PFBC. Indeed, by God’s good grace, I have been able for the past six months to lead a church family that is healing, growing, reviving, and more united than ever.

Multiplication:

Third and finally, let’s examine what the God of our future could hold for us as we step into 2019 and beyond…

  • Question – Where do you see us in five years? In other words, where do you see us, as a church family, in 2024? Perhaps coming up with a five-year plan is a challenge for you, but this question merits some thinking. For me, I see us multiplying. Let me explain this by means of sharing with you my goals and ambitions for 2019…
  • Goals – I would like to accomplish, by God’s enablement, the following: 1) Ensure a smooth transition for Pastor Jon Rocha as he steps out of full-time ministry and into business in the Quad Cities. This goal also includes successfully installing Pastor Rocha’s replacement as soon as possible. 2) Examine viable solutions to our church’s outreach and prayer ministries. These two areas are probably our church’s weakest ministries and the restructuring of these ministries is required. 3) Edit the church’s Constitution to fit with our current church culture. The editing of the church’s Constitution is logical, considering in year’s past we have edited the church’s Articles of Faith (2016) and Biblical Principles of Church Membership (2018). 4) Expand our community footprint by means of a greater social media presence and community advertising. To that end, we have already launched our church’s new Facebook Page and are already over 100 LIKES, allowing us to provide helpful, encouraging, and informative material to our own people and our wider community. In a sentence, my goal for 2019 is to begin the process of multiplying our influence and impact for the Kingdom of Heaven by means of accomplishing these four items.
  • Forward – As I write this report, I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 3:12-14. It beautifully and poetically states what I would have you do in terms of 2018 and 2019: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” May these verses become the tone and tenor of our lives as the church out here on the prairie.

With Much Love,

David Cotner

Lead Pastor, PFBC    

From the Associate Pastor’s Desk: New Year’s Goals…

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Another year down and another year to go. The new year is always great because, for many of us, it means a fresh start. Most years, I just use the beginning of the new year to simply reset many things I should be doing better. I hate being cliché, so I do not normally do any official New Year’s resolutions. Although, this year my wife and I were spending some time together in the car, on our way back from Des Moines, and decided to make some official resolutions! Well, I guess I didn’t call them “resolutions”; I called them “goals.” Anyways, here are some of my goals for 2019…

1) Limit my phone time – This is difficult for many, but needed for most. Phones are great, and they make us so efficient; but I fear they often rob us of many small things we take for granted. I don’t have any science to back this claim up, just personal experience. So, this year my wife and I put password protected time limits on our entertainment apps so we can only check them a certain amount of times in a day. I hope that instead of flipping through news or sports at night, I can have better conversation with my wife; or instead of getting distracted with my phone, I can stay focused on the task at hand; or instead of pulling it out anytime I feel like I have five minutes of down time, I can use that time to reflect, start a conversation with someone near me, or pray.

2) Read a chapter of a book before any TV time – I used to hate reading, but now I love it! Reading can be very hard though after I have been in an office all day. It is much easier to “veg out” and pop on a TV show when I have free night. I don’t think that is wrong, but I fear I am missing out on some good opportunities. Reading is a skill that everyone should learn to love, because it helps our brains and imaginations stay sharp.

3) Enjoy one sweet treat a day – I used to try to limit myself to one sweet treat a week; but that would never last long, and then I would end up eating waaaaaay too much when I had a chance. So, this year I am choosing moderation instead of starvation!

4) Journal each time we go on a date – My wife and I always say we are going to start journaling, but never find the time. We love the idea of it, because there are so many good memories and lessons we want to remember. Journaling helps us to be reflective about the things we do and allows us to look at what we’ve done as well. It can be daunting to do every day, but we figured on a date night, while waiting for our food, would be a great time to journal.

5) Have one family in our home a month – I am always out doing things and spending time with people. In fact, I probably only get one or two free nights a week because I am always doing stuff with people. It’s different though to have someone in your home. There is a sense of vulnerability and intimacy that comes along with having someone in your home. My wife and I have not been as good this last year as we have been in the past, so we would just like to be more intentional about our hospitality this year.

Well, those are my goals! Nothing crazy, but some things that I think can make a big difference in the life of my family. What are yours?

New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping…

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A brand-new year full of possibilities, hope, and (for many of us) resolutions is just around the corner! For me, I have but one very important New Year’s Resolution. Get ready for this…Drum roll, please…In a given day, I am resolving to not eat anything (especially snacks) after 8 PM. That’s it. Indeed, if I can stick to this resolution, I might make some serious headway with my desire to lose some unwanted love handles around my stomach area. Can I get a witness?

The new year is a time for making such bold resolutions. Indeed, many will be made this January 1, 2019, but many will also be broken in the weeks after. What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions? How will you stay accountable this brand-new year? Below are some New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping…

  1. Listen Intently – You seriously can’t go wrong with this New Year’s Resolution. But endeavoring to become an active listener takes practice and hard work. In other words, it doesn’t just happen. Our minds, especially in the age in which we live, is so cluttered with thoughts and ideas that it takes some serious effort to really listen to the words of another human being. This new year, resolve to listen intently to the words of others. In doing so, you will discover deeper friendships, beauty, and the heartbeat of the people around you.
  2. Learn Carefully – One should never stop learning. The world is too big, and people are too complex, to buy into the delusion that you have it all figured out. No matter your age, never stop learning! This brand-new year, let’s all resolve to learn some things carefully. Notice I said learn some things carefully. I’m not talking about asking your smart phone some random question, getting the answer, and then dumping those facts out of your mind. There’s a place for such “dumpable knowledge,” but the learning I’m talking about requires careful study to the point that you are better and wiser.
  3. Lead Wisely – Speaking of wisdom, resolving to lead wisely is a great New Year’s Resolution. In fact, notice how all of these resolutions build on one another. That is to say, to listen intently leads to learning carefully; and learning carefully enables you to lead wisely. Yes, I know, there are so many books out there on leadership. Indeed, there are so many books out there on the topic of wisdom. But what is needed most in our homes, workplaces, churches, and communities is the marriage of these two concepts, namely, wise leadership. Again, this can only happen when leaders choose…resolve…to listen intently and learn carefully.
  4. Live Passionately – In the end, a life worth living is a life of passion. Will you resolve to live 2019 with more fervent passion? We need a little bit more drive…passion…in our martial relationships, parental relationships, church relationships, work relationships, and community relationships. See a pattern here? The best type of passion is the passion that is devoted to relationships. I urge you to make this resolution. Making this resolution, and keeping this resolution, has untold rewards. Don’t believe me? Just look to the life of Jesus and notice His life, death, and resurrection…It could all be summed up in just one word, passion.

A Christmas to Reflect

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I just sat down and listened to Pastor Jon’s Christmas message entitled, “A Christmas to Reflect.” He preached this sermon last Sunday (12-16-18) while I was gone on vacation. I highly recommend that you take 30 minutes and listen to this message (I will post a link to this message at the bottom of this blog). I was certainly blessed and refreshed as I listened; and I’m sure you will be as well.

In his message, based on Matthew 1:18-25, Pastor Jon emphasized that we must properly reflect on the Characters, Divine Conception, and the Bigger Picture of Christmas, or else, the following could happen:

  1. We can get bored with the Characters and start adding to their storyline, resulting in heresy (at worst) or inaccuracy (at best).
  2. The truths of Christmas can just become random facts instead of foundational, life-altering concepts.
  3. We can get caught up in the traditions of the season and lose sight of what really matters most (i.e. the Gospel and the Cross).

I also truly appreciated Pastor Jon’s big idea in this message, namely, “The nativity of Jesus is great, but only in light of the cross of Jesus.” Can I get a witness? Wow. For this being Pastor Jon’s first Christmas message, I would say that he did a pretty fantastic job relaying to us these truths. Indeed, let’s all reflect on these old, but always fresh truths of the Christmas season.

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Results of the 2019 Annual Election of Officers

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Last Sunday (12-9-18), our church held it’s Annual Election of Officers. During this important election, the following people were voted in as Officers for the 2019 year:

Zach Shepherd – Deacon

Mike York – Clerk

Steve Donnolly – Financial Secretary

Duane Davis – Treasurer

Brian Wilson – Sunday School Superintendent

Concerning the full Leadership Team, the 2019 Team looks like so: David Cotner (Lead Pastor), Jon Rocha (Associate Pastor – Leaving May 2019), Steve Bohn (Deacon), Will Luers (Deacon), Zach Shepherd (Deacon), Willie Van Der Molen (Deacon), and Eldon Yoder (Deacon). Please be in prayer for all these individuals serving this coming year.

Also, during this important election, we were able to vote on two other items. Concerning the Glen Galbraith Initiative, this item passed with an 89% approval rating. What a blessing to be a blessing to our missionaries! And concerning moving the Annual Meeting by one week, this item passed with 100% approval.