Toward a Christian Approach to Halloween

This Friday many of you will have young, disguised guests come to your door. They think they are in need of treats, but they’re in need of so much more…the gospel of Jesus Christ! Let me encourage you to insert yourself into the normal rhythms of life, to include the Halloween festivities, so that you may share your faith with others. This is at the very heart of what it means to be gospel-centric. They’re coming to your door…this is inevitable…the question is: are you ready to love them (i.e. by giving to them candy) and then point them to the One who died for them? Watch this short, three-minute video to gain some valuable insight on street-level Christianity and Halloween:

Annual Election of Officers

Our Annual Election of Officers is fast approaching! All church members, in good standing, who are 14 years of age or older are kindly invited to nominate and then vote for individuals in the following categories: Deacon, Clerk, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Sunday School Superintendent. Below you will find the church’s timeline of events:

Sunday, October 26 – Nomination of Officers Commences (Deacons distribute nomination ballots by hand, mail, or email)

Sunday, November 9 – Nomination of Officers Closes (Nominating and Election Committee meet on Sunday, November 9 at 2:00 PM to discuss results)

Monday, November 10 – Wednesday, November 19 – Contact proposed nominees to see if they’re interested in serving…these individuals must reply by the close of business (5 PM) on Wednesday, November 19…

Sunday, November 23 – Official Posting of 2015 Officer Nominees (Posting of nominees will be done on the church bulletin board and via our app…two week notice of special business meeting to elect officers will be given)

Sunday, December 7 – Annual Election of Officers (Election will be held by secret ballot)

All elected officers will take office on January 1, 2015. Please be in prayer concerning who you would have serve and if God is leading you to serve.

Thankfulness Poll!

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Team Ministry: Good and Biblical

Every Moses needs an Aaron…every Elijah needs an Elisha…and every David needs a Jonathan. Bottom line…leaders need teammates. This is one of the primary reasons and motivations behind our recent hiring of Jonathan Rocha for the position of Pastoral Intern. That is to say, I, David Cotner, need Jonathan Rocha as a teammate (i.e. a partner) in the ministry. And, in the end, it just makes good, biblical sense.

You see, there are so many benefits to team ministry. Endless books, blogs, seminars, and conferences are generated every year to expound upon the benefits of team ministry in the context of the local church. I mean…even Jesus worked in the context of a team ministry…remember the twelve disciples? Team ministry makes good, biblical sense for the following three reasons:

1) No one possesses all the gifts. The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:3-8 makes it very clear that God gifts certain people with certain gifts. No one person is given all the spiritual gifts. Thus, each member in the Body of Christ needs each other. We are not sufficient in and of ourselves to do the work of the ministry by ourselves. We NEED each other! This is especially true in the context of church leadership. That is to say, team ministry is not just vitally important for the overall health and vitality of the church, but for the overall health and vitality of church leaders themselves. In other words, some pastors are good at preaching, but are poor counselors…others are excellent with building relationships, but are poor visionaries…leaders in the church need other leaders in the church to balance, support, and enhance the ministry of the whole church because no one man can do it all. In the end, not only does the whole church benefit from many gifted leaders, but leaders themselves find the help and support they desperately need.

2) Even church leaders have blind spots. Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” Even church leaders get weak and fatigued. In moments of physical weakness, spiritual stumbling often ensues and “woe to him who is alone when he falls!” Pastors need accountability when it comes to their spiritual walk with the Lord…the best place to receive such accountability is in the context of team ministry. After all, “…a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b).

3) We get to follow Jesus’ model of ministry when we work in teams. In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sends out his twelve disciples in six teams of two. Even Jesus knew that ministry is made more efficient in a team context. Jesus knew that the burden of preaching, casting out demons, and healing the sick, though exhilarating, was also tiring. He prepared his men well by sending them out in teams of two so that they could help and support each other along the way.

As you can see, team ministry truly makes good, biblical sense for the church and the church leaders themselves. Remember, we need each other…we need all the gifts of the Spirit working together in the church for the glory of God and the good of others…we need each other for accountability…and we need each other because Jesus created us for each other. Find comfort in the diversity of gifts. Find encouragement in the team ministry you are currently witnessing because, as Paul put it, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (1 Cor. 12:4-6). Prairie Flower, as we look to the future, and the possibility of bringing on Jon Rocha as a full-time Associate Pastor next May, remember that team ministry is good…team ministry is biblical.

Growth Groups

Below you will find the organization of our brand new Growth Groups. I truly believe that God will use this new discipleship format to bless our church. Please keep in mind that from here on out we will rely upon “recruitment” to build our Growth Groups. That is to say, we will not have any more sign up sheets for this discipleship program. So if you want someone to be a part of your Growth Group…ask them…recruit them! Remember…Growth Groups is for everyone!

Each of these Growth Groups will be meeting on Sunday, October 26 at 6 PM. The meeting place of each individual Growth Group is listed below.

Growth Group #1:
Pastor Dave and Heather Cotner (Growth Group Leader)
Mike York
Bill and Linda Fiordelise
Edwin and Rita Luers
Mary Case
Gertie Loder
Linda Grice
*Meeting at the Pastor’s house at 121 North Avenue C in Washington

Growth Group #2:
Klint and Kendra Gingerich (Growth Group Leader)
Tim and Sarah Wilbanks
John and Jackie Morgan
Janine Rosien
Shelley Klingel
Erin Bower
*Meeting at the Gingerich’s house at 1317 Locust Avenue in Kalona

Growth Group #3:
Zach and Beth Shepherd (Growth Group Leader)
Bob and Carli Robison
Steve and Bonnie Donnolly
Dillon and Bailey Gingerich
Will and Melissa Luers
*Meeting at the Shepherd’s house at 103 East 15th Street in Washington

Growth Group #4:
Steve and Cheryl Bohn (Growth Group Leader)
Marion and Christine Hayes
Jason and Elisabeth Tinnes
Rosemary Luers
Braden Carroll
*Meeting at the Bohn’s house at 804 South 15th Avenue in Washington

Growth Group #5:
Brian and Nancy Wilson (Growth Group Leader)
Ron and Kay Gates
Darwin and Lori Carroll
Wayne and Julie Zieser
Judy Wolf
*Meeting at the Wilson’s house at 1745 200th Street in West Chester

Growth Group #6:
Doug and Julie Tinnes (Growth Group Leader)
Steve and Andi Klein
Matt and Sarah Latcham
Greg and Veronica Dunbar
Arlena Tinnes
*Meeting at Doug Tinnes’ house at 1469 190th Street in Keota

Growth Group #7:
Mark and Cheryl Tinnes (Growth Group Leader)
Craig and Ila Capps
Duane and Susan Davis
Bill and Kim Gatchel
Jim and Jan Rosien
*Meeting at Mark Tinnes’ house at 1220 190th Street in Keota

The Fear Factor

I am deathly afraid of three primary things…one is a rational fear…the others are quite irrational. That is to say, I greatly fear drowning, basements, and clowns. Yes. You heard me correctly…I fear drowning, basements, and clowns. Let me explain…

My fear of drowning is actually quite rational because I cannot swim. In other words, if you were to throw me into the middle of a lake and leave me…I would drown…I would die. This is simply a fact because I cannot swim. Thus, I refuse to jump into the deep end of the pool or go scuba diving in the great Atlantic Ocean because of my fear of drowning. You see, my fear of drowning keeps me firmly planted on good, solid ground and prevents me from enjoying certain pleasures in life (i.e. scuba diving, etc.) because of my inability to swim.

Now my fear of basements is quite irrational. It really makes no sense at all, but there is something about the dark, creepy, unfurnished, cold atmosphere of basements that sends chills down my spine. No joke…I literally have to do some major positive self-talk before I head down the basement to check on a strange noise or grab a random box down there. I fear basements because of what my imagination tells me about them (i.e. the biggest cockroach/spider/snake is located down there). Yes, age and experience has helped curb my fear of basements, but even as a fully-grown adult male, with an Army background, I fear basements. My fear of basements prevents me from doing certain things…like setting up an office space down there because of my irrational fear of what the basement holds…

My fear of clowns is also irrational. It’s silly really, but there is something about the facade…the big red nose…and that happy, fake, “plastic” smile that makes me incredibly nervous. Bottom line, if I saw a clown in the middle of the night, just walking down the street, either the cops are being called or someone is going to die. Clowns freak me out! In fact, my irrational fear of clowns just recently prevented me from inviting such creatures to my daughter’s 2 year birthday bash…in fact, if one would have shown up…it probably would have died.

Now here’s where it gets interesting…let’s say you really wanted to freak me out and send me into a panic attack…all you would have to do is tie me up, put me in the basement, and then introduce to me a clown down there with a hose! I would probably just pass out and die…this is my worst nightmare!

But seriously…the point is this…my fear of these things (rational or irrational) prevents me from doing certain things. It causes me to stay far away from certain activities, places, and people. But we all have fears…some rational…others irrational. Some fears are silly and childlike…others are more sinister and paralyzing. So what is it that you fear? Is it failure? The unknown? A certain person? A certain outcome? How has your fear prevented you from doing certain activities…going certain places…visiting certain people? How has your fear prevented you from serving? Check your fear factor and realize that the only way to combat your fear factor is with your faith factor! The Bible declares in Psalm 56:3-4, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh [or clowns] do to me?”

NEW Poll Question!

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