A Letter to Our Children’s Ministry Volunteers…

Children's Ministry 2

Dear Children’s Ministry Volunteers,

I just wanted to take a few minutes of your time and thank you for your service and dedication to our Children’s Ministry Programs at PFBC. Whether you serve in the Nursery, Sunday School, Children’s Church, or AWANA, I want you to know that your work is noticed and greatly appreciated! I mean that. Your work is hugely important to the mission and vision of our church.

Think about it. Our mission and vision is “to be a strong church that makes disciples for the glory of God.” As you serve our children, you are an active worker in this mission and vision. Indeed, you are helping us make new and better disciples as you showcase the Gospel (and all the implications of the Gospel) to our young people week after week. Thus, because of your work with our kids, we are moving forward as a strong church to the glory of God.

I know that volunteering is hard; and I know that our Children’s Ministry Programs provide unique challenges to you as it often tests your patience and endurance. But please keep on keeping on. Your work in this harvest field is vitally important! Who knows… maybe that young person who is trying your patience today might turn out to be a mother, a father, a business leader, a politician, or a pastor one day?

I remember back to one of my Sunday School teachers when I was a little boy. Her name was Gloria Landon. She was such a sweet lady who was small in stature, but mighty in service. She taught Sunday School for years. I was one of her students and I definitely tried her patience in class as I was a know-it-all who frequently blurted out the answers to questions before raising my hand. She really had to put up with a lot! But she kept at it as she taught, served, and corrected my well-intentioned, but annoying little habits. In fact, she was such an encourager as well. She was one of the first people to tell me: “David, you pray like a preacher. You should be a preacher when you grow up.” How grateful I am for Mrs. Landon and her service and dedication to her Sunday School class filled with little, annoying kids just like me.

So, there you have it. Just a quick note to tell you that your ministry among our students matters. It matters to God. It matters to the parents of those children. It matters to our church as a whole. It just plain matters. Thank you for serving and staying committed to your volunteer role, even when the going gets tough. I am truly grateful to each of you who serves so faithfully.

Serving With You,

David Cotner

 

Marriage and Divorce…

Marriage and Divorce

This Sunday, we’ll be back in our mini-series through the Sermon on the Mount and we’ll be tackling the very complicated, somewhat unclear, and always painful topic of divorce. Indeed, the statistics of divorce in America are startling and alarming with nearly 50% of all marriages ending in divorce. But what does Jesus have to say on this issue of divorce? Is it allowed for any reason or only certain reasons? Is it our go-to option or our last resort option? Well, as we’ll discover this Sunday, when it comes to the issue of divorce, Jesus aims at our hearts in marriage instead of trying to establish laws and loopholes for our marriage. So, the key question to ponder as we approach Sunday’s topic is simply this: Where is your heart in regards to marriage and is it geared towards reconciliation or loopholes? To prepare you for this very difficult and uncomfortable topic, watch the video below and be reminded of God’s grand vision for your marriage…

“Have fun!”

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Almost every morning before I leave for work, my wife does three things to me: 1) She gives me a kiss, 2) She affirms her love for me, and 3) She usually says (with much enthusiasm), “Have fun!” I love the first two items, but the third item usually makes me roll my eyes or gently huff under my breath. Why? Because my wife knows how I feel about that statement. She knows that I firmly believe that having fun is not one of the major priorities in life. Indeed, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do regardless of the fun factor. She believes these things as well, but because she truly loves me, she tries to get under my skin by repeating this statement to me almost every morning. Ironically enough, she is having fun by telling me to “have fun!”

But in all seriousness, it’s not always about having fun. And please hear me, I’m not anti-fun. I love to have fun and enjoy life, but sometimes life isn’t so fun. Sometimes tasks are not that enjoyable. Sometimes things in life are just plain ho-hum and boring. Can I get a witness? So, what are better movers and shakers in terms of motivation besides having fun?

  1. When you can’t have fun, stay committed. Marriage isn’t always fun. Stay committed. Remind yourself that your commitment to your marriage isn’t contingent upon your feelings of fun, but the promise you made long ago. Work isn’t always fun. Stay committed. Remind yourself that the challenges of work aren’t given to you by God for your entertainment, but for your growth and development. Church isn’t always fun. Stay committed. Remind yourself that churches are filled with imperfect, broken people (just like you), but God will use such people in your life despite their flaws. Yes, when you can’t have fun in these spheres of life, stay committed and, take heart, as you stay committed, your feelings will eventually follow and you’ll have moments of fun again.
  2. When you can’t have fun, be grateful. There is tendency for us to become dissatisfied and greedy when we are bored with life. That is to say, we become dissatisfied with what we have and become hungry for something more. When you find yourself not having fun, remind yourself that you do not deserve all of the current blessings in your life. Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t buy into the cultural lie that you deserve all that you have in life. You don’t! All the good things that you have in this life come from a good and generous God. Yes, even if you worked hard for what you have, who gave you the strength and energy to work hard? That’s right, God Himself. So, when you can’t have fun in this life, be grateful for what you do have in this life.
  3. When you can’t have fun, remember Jesus. As Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he wasn’t having fun. As Jesus was dying on the Cross of Calvary, he wasn’t having fun. As the sins of the entire world were placed on His shoulders, Jesus was not having fun. But what drove these actions on Jesus’ part? Two words: Duty and Love. That is to say, duty towards His Father’s will and love towards us. How incredible! Yes, when you can’t have fun, remember Jesus (His duty and love) and be motivated to continue onward and forward.

 

From the Associate Pastor’s Desk: Your Check Engine Light is On…

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I looked down at my dash as I was driving in my truck yesterday morning and saw a plethora of lights that were on, all telling me something different about the car and not all good things. I couldn’t help but to sigh and chuckle at the same time. A sigh because of the pending problems that needed to be fixed; and a chuckle because I felt like that is how my life is going right now. That thought really got my mind racing (excuse the pun) and I thought it made a good illustration for the Christian walk the more and more I thought about it!

 

First, the Check Engine, the VTM-4 (no clue what that even is), and the Tire Pressure lights were all on. I have had them checked before, but they remain on because I think the sensors are all broke. This is frustrating for two reasons: 1) because there really isn’t anything I can do to change or fix the problem and 2) it throws the whole system out of whack. What if something were to actually break? The lights would be still be on regardless! This reminded me of our constant sin problem (Romans 7:14-25). Although we are redeemed, we have a constant struggle with our flesh, and it will never fully go away during our time here on earth. There is nothing we can do to fix it or make it go away, and it constantly throws things off in our lives. Our sinful flesh taints our best motives, it ruins our most important relationships, it holds our feelings captive, and eventually (like my car) our flesh will die.

It is deeply frustrating to say the least. So, what is the solution to a problem we can’t fix? Well when it comes to my car, all I can really do is look forward to the day when I get a new car. It’s the same thing, with our sinful flesh. Someday we will no longer have to drive around with this old, sinful clunker, because we will have a glorified body that has none of the effects of sin at all. The older I get and the more sinful I realize I am, the more I cannot wait for that day (Romans 8:1; Revelation 21)!

 

Next, the Cruise Control and Seat Belt lights (which is accompanied by a dinging noise that drives me nuts) were both on. The cruise control isn’t bad, much like life habits or routines; but if you aren’t careful before you know it, you might be going the wrong speed limit (I have been caught being the guy going too slow before). As for the seat belt light, it would go off if I would take just three seconds and buckle up. These two reminded of when we allow sin to needlessly rule over us. Like I said before, we will always have a struggle with sin, but we shouldn’t ever be at a point where we just give up and give into it. We must keep fighting against it! All too often, we say that we desire to overcome the rule of sin in our lives, but we allow our relationship with the Lord to be set on cruise control and stop paying attention. We say that we are sick of stumbling, but we get lazy and stop protecting our hearts like we once did. We put ourselves in questionable situations to begin with and then chalk it up to our flesh; or even worse, we try to drown out the binging noise of the Holy Spirit’s conviction in our hearts because we think it’s annoying…

So, what’s the solution? The Pharisees were experts at being on cruise control. They had no problem following the rules; but in Matthew, Jesus had to remind them that their hearts weren’t in their worship at all. Have rhythm’s and routines, because they are great; but don’t forget to pause, reevaluate, and make sure you are getting the most out them and not just going through motions. This will keep your relationship with The Lord vibrant and you will be better prepared to handle sin. Also, just put the seat belt on! Make sure you have accountability in your life. Have people in your life that are going to check on you and ask the tough questions. Make sure you aren’t putting yourself in situations that make it too easy to fail. When the Holy Spirit is nagging at you, stop ignoring Him and just run to Him! God will give us strength to overcome sin (Ephesians 6:10).

 

Finally, the Gas Light was on and “Service Soon” was flashing. Gas light. That’s all I have to say, and you already know the struggles that entail; because no matter what car you drive, you need gas (or some form of fuel) and it’s always running out. Also, my odometer flashes “service soon” when my oil life is low. I have it set to flash every 2500 miles, because I know it will take me much longer to get it changed. These two warning lights reminded me of how the Christian life was meant to be lived. Always needing a fill up and always needing to be changed. If we never filled up our car with gas we couldn’t go anywhere and if we never got our oil changed, then our cars would burn up. The same is true in the Christian life. If we didn’t have constant fellowship with The Lord then we couldn’t go anywhere. If, we never took intentional time to rest in The Lord and be in awe of Him, then we would be damaging our walks with The Lord in the long run.

What’s the solution? Make sure we are topping off continually and stop settling for $5 fill-ups. Make time to read God’s Word, pray, go to church regularly, fellowship, serve, listen to The Spirit’s leading. You make time to eat, sleep, and fill up your gas tank, so make time to fill up your spiritual tank. We don’t need to watch a movie, or go for a walk, or catch up on house chores to fill our tanks. Instead, we just need to take some time alone with His Word and quiet place to pray, so we can know what it means to truly rest in the Lord and His goodness! Also, make sure you change your oil frequently. Do things outside of your regular routine to allow God to really dig deep and change you. Try fasting for a meal, going to camp for a week, going to a retreat with the guys or gals, doing a service project with fellow believers, or just have some extended devotion time on Saturday morning to rest in the Lord.  Don’t let busyness be an excuse either.  Just like a car, the harder and further you go, the more often you should be filling up and changing the oil so your life doesn’t burn up like some of our cars do!

 

I over symbolized all of these things obviously, but it truly was the thought that popped into my head yesterday morning and I thought I would share 😊 – Jon Rocha

 

 

PFBC: April’s Upcoming Events…

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Below you will find the upcoming events and activities taking place at Prairie Flower Baptist Church. The purpose of providing this schedule is to give you adequate time to plan for these events and/or pray for those participating in these events. Thanks for staying current on all that is going on out here on the prairie!

April 1 – 2 = IARBC State Conference in Ames (David Cotner, Jon Rocha, and Will Luers Attending)

April 3 = AWANA and Youth Group

April 7 = Communion Sunday, Food Fellowship, Quarterly Meeting, and Friendship Bible Study

April 8 = Women’s Prayer Group

April 9 = Donuts, Coffee, and Prayer

April 10 = AWANA and Youth Group

April 13 = Julia Rocha’s Baby Shower

April 14 = Last Growth Group of Semester

April 17 = AWANA and Youth Group

April 18 = Iowa Pastor’s Capital Visit (David Cotner Attending) & Eastern Iowa Biblical Counselor’s Coalition Training (Jon Rocha Attending)

April 21 = Easter!

April 24 = Final AWANA and Youth Group

April 26 = Secret Church

April 26 – 27 = IRBC Counselor Training

April 28 = Pastor Jon’s Last Sunday & Friendship Bible Study

Before You Leave Your Church…

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I’ve been in the ministry now for a little over five years. During this time frame, I have observed several things. First, in terms of church attendance, you can pretty much bank on the rhythm that people come and people go. No matter if you are a big church or a small church, people will certainly come and people will most certainly go. Second, as a pastor who dials into people’s church attendance, it hurts when someone leaves the church. Perhaps it shouldn’t, but it does. You form friendships and relationships with people and when they are taken from you, it hurts. Thirdly, and this is perhaps a bit of an ouchy statement, but I firmly believe that far too many people leave their church family too early and for too many trivial (even selfish) reasons. Things like loyalty, commitment, and dedication are lost values upon Americans as a whole, and lost values upon Evangelical Americans in particular. Yeah, I know, I told you that this point was going to sting a little. Perhaps it should.

Well, let me encourage you. Are you a part of a local church family? Then stay committed to that church family. Don’t give up on them. I know they are messy, imperfect, and disappointing at times, but don’t throw in the towel on the church family that you joined. Love them. Enjoy them. And more than that, serve and worship with them. And if you must leave your church, then do these things (as outlined by Mark Dever of 9Marks Ministries) before you actually go.

Before You Decide to Leave Your Church…

  1. Pray.
  2. Let your current pastor know about your thinking before you move to another church or make your decision to relocate to another city. Ask for his counsel.
  3. Weigh your motives. Is your desire to leave because of sinful, personal conflict or disappointment? If it’s because of doctrinal reasons, are these doctrinal issues significant?
  4. Do everything within your power to reconcile any broken relationships. Be humble. Recognize you don’t have all the facts and assess people and circumstances charitably (give them the benefit of the doubt).
  5. Be sure to consider all the “evidences of grace” you’ve seen in the church’s life – places where God’s work is evident. If you cannot see any evidences of God’s grace, you might want to examine your own heart once more.

If You Still Plan To Go…

  1. Don’t divide the body.
  2. Take the utmost care not to sow discontent even among your closest friends. Remember, you don’t want anything to hinder their growth in grace in this church.
  3. Deny any desire to gossip (sometimes referred to as “venting” or “saying how you feel”).
  4. Pray for and bless the congregation and its leadership. Look for ways of doing this practically.
  5. If there has been hurt, then forgive – even as you have been forgiven.

Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts

From time to time, I get asked the following theological question: What about the spiritual gifts? Are all the spiritual gifts (outlined in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and 1 Peter 4) still in operation today? Specifically, what about the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and direct revelation from God? Well, here is Prairie Flower’s official answer, followed by three BIG thoughts to consider…

Prairie Flower’s Official Answer: “We believe that the miraculous gifts of the Early Church in the 1st Century are no longer commonplace for today. That is to say, we believe that the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and direct revelation from God are no longer commonplace for today because of the completion of the Bible. Further, we believe that divine healing is a part of God’s provision for believers today, but we reject divine healers and the belief that healing of the body is included in the atonement (1 Cor. 12:1-15:41, James 5:13-16).”

Three BIG Thoughts to Consider:

  1. We believe God can do anything. Specifically, God can do anything consistent with His will. We should never “put God in a box” and say that He will or won’t do this or that. No, God can do anything consistent with His will. Do the spectacular and miraculous gifts of the 1st Century still happen today? Perhaps. God can do ANYTHING consistent with His will. Indeed, we have heard some amazing stories from missionaries overseas that have truly dazzled our minds and complicated our straightforward theology on spiritual gifts. However, we maintain that such demonstrations of God’s power (i.e. the spectacular, miraculous gifts) are simply not normative or commonplace for today.
  2. We believe that God still speaks to us today. Indeed, God’s primary method of speaking to us today comes through His Word, the Bible. Too many Christians search for the audible voice of God in their lives, when they simply need to crack open the written voice of God in their lives. God’s Word is complete, sufficient, and totally authoritative on all matters related to our lives and faith. Want to hear from God today? Simply open up the book that He wrote, and He will speak to you!
  3. We believe that God is still in the business of transforming lives. Yes, God still transforms people by the Gospel, His Word, and His Spirit. These three things are the means of God’s transforming work in our lives today. Don’t go searching for mountain peak experiences with God (whether at church, conferences, or concerts). No, simply share and live out the Gospel, read His Word, and follow His indwelling Spirit in your life. Does God do some amazing transforming work in the big mountain peak moments of life? Certainly. But God sometimes does his best transforming work in the little valley moments of our lives. Trust Him. He knows what He is doing in your life.

Guest Blogger: Scott Owen, “It Is What It Is…Or Is It?”

it-is-what-it-is

The above phrase has been a top cliché for years; indicating acceptance and the need to move on. Understandably, it shows up as #2 in Alex Wong’s (sportsonearth.com) “64 Top Sport’s Clichés Ranked” (March 2017). This statement is not only a cliché, but it can immediately stifle any further consideration of the situation. But what if it isn’t what it is? What if your assessment of a painful situation is not accurate? As an athlete, fresh off a loss, trying to move on in an interview is adequate (though predictable). But what if you are in a relationship that is failing due to unresolved conflict? In this case, it is more likely a resignation that there is no hope that things are going to improve; and a sign that acceptance and moving on is probably not going to be a good thing.

I grew up fearing conflict and doing all in my power to avoid it or escape it. I quit many teams and relationships when things got a bit more challenging than I had planned. I never uttered the words “it is what it is” (the phrase was not popular back then), but I lived out its most negative connotations. Since then, God has helped me to see conflict as more than something to fear. Here are three truths about conflict that can help you really see what it is:

  • It is an opportunity to bring glory to God. We are told to do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Reconciliation with God is supernatural. There is no fleshly reason or means for us to be right with a holy God. Similarly, there are times when personal reconciliation between two bitter people can only be done supernaturally. Even though we do not have control over the other person, we can have hope during the conflict. We have an option to please God with our own actions. Peace, comfort, progress, and unity are all great goals. However, when we are motivated by a drive to glorify God, we can avoid the pitfalls of manipulation, anger, pride, and other sins that may crop up in our pursuit of peace, comfort, progress, or unity.
  • It is an opportunity to become more like Jesus. Being shaped into God’s image can be painful. If you consider what typically happens to shape something – carving, compression, sanding, testing none of that sounds pleasant. Conflicts are trials that should not be wasted. They can be intense, complicated, and inconsistent, but they can be beneficial. Financial and physical conflicts tend to have black and white solutions – professional help for each abounds. People pain is harder to address – where can you buy a solution for this? Choosing to lean on God through a conflict (James 1:2-4), rather than trying to escape the trial is an effective route to character development. Consider viewing conflict as a part of the spiritual growth process. You can’t always gain peace with someone (Romans 12:18), but you can grow as you pursue peace.
  • It is an opportunity to refine your ability to love and serve. Despite our calling to love others, Christians are not that great at loving. We are far better at trading kindness for kindness and calling it love. We determine how we want to be treated, treat others accordingly, but become resentful or angry when their response falls short. They simply did not trade properly. Jesus said that loving those that love you is no different from what unbelievers do (Luke 6). Biblical love is the capacity to love someone out of the overflow of love we have from Jesus. Conflict is an excellent place to test and grow that type of love.

God uses difficult relationships for three main things: to bring glory to Himself; help us become more like His Son; and to teach us how to love and serve like Jesus does. A proper focus on these three aspects of conflict keeps us from blame-shifting, resentment, or fearful fleeing of difficult circumstances. It also gives us a clear picture of what “is” really is.

From The Associate Pastor/Coach’s Desk: Three Thoughts…

Basketball Coach

I can’t believe that another year of basketball is in the books. This season was a unique one, to say the least. It started off with learning how to use an overflowing bench (we had twenty-one players on the team), and then it finished with some crazy weather & cancellations. At the end of the season, we had to go a week without any practices or games, play a game or two, and then go another week without any practices or games. Despite all the craziness, it was a great season. This was the most talented group I have ever coached, and we ended up finishing 16-0! Even though our record was perfect, I still learned a lot throughout the season about coaching and people. Which, to be honest, is one of my favorite parts. I think the only thing better is watching the kids learn all the same lessons.

You have to be a fan and a critic – As Christians, one important goal we should have in all of our relationships is to help others grow. However, this can be very difficult and frustrating at times. If you are only someone’s fan, then that person will begin to think that they can do no wrong and will stop self-evaluating. If you are only someone’s critic, then that person will begin to think they can do no right, and they will stop taking opportunities to grow because they think they will fail anyway. It truly takes a balance of love and truth. You can build a lot of “relational stock” in someone by being a voice of encouragement to them. That way, when you do need to tell them about an area of improvement, they can trust that you have their best interests in mind. I had a really tough time this year teaching one of my players the importance of this principal, but it was so fun to see it finally click with this player. In fact, it wasn’t until one of the last JV games that this player of mine finally figured it out, and the way it changed the team’s demeanor on the court blew me away!

None of us are going to strike a perfect balance because we all have tendency to lean one way or the other. Personally, I struggle with being too big of a fan. So, I would just say to be very conscious of which way you lean and ask the Lord for strength in those moments you struggle with the other.

Difficulty brings people together – Another goal we should have as Christians is unity. This may seem like a no brainer, but as of late, churches really struggle with this. I believe this comes from people shying away from difficulty (myself included). As Christians, we have an idea that when life is easy, then God is happy with us; and when life is hard, then God must be upset with us. So, we rush around trying to get back to easy. Relationships get hard, so we stop pursuing. Church is imperfect, so we find another one. Life gets busy, so we stop serving. And after it’s all said and done, we find ourselves “disconnected”.  I might get myself into trouble by saying this, but I really believe God grows us together more through adversity than through ease. At the beginning of our basketball season we were blowing teams out of the water, and it was fun, to a degree. It was fun because it gave the bench an opportunity to play, but after a while it got old (even for the players). I just never felt that sense of “team” like I had in previous years when the game was close, or we would be down and have to fight our way back into it. Finally, our last two home games were two of the toughest games I have ever been a part of, and they ended with all twenty-two of us jumping up and down, hugging each other, and celebrating in the locker room. And I don’t think it was because we won. I think it was because we went through something difficult together, and it completely changed our team for the better!

People are sinners, and the church is filled with them. It’s imperfect, which means that serving takes sacrifice. We have to stop scattering to the four winds every time something gets difficult. Instead, we need to focus on how God is using the difficulty to grow us and bring us together for our good and, most importantly, His glory.

Don’t get results and goals mixed – This is a lesson I learned in reading about Coach “K” (The University of Duke), and it is one of my favorite things I have learned. The lesson is to not mix up goals and results. A lot of coaches say that the goal is to win, but I struggle with that mentality. If wining is a goal, then you will be okay for really poor effort in a win to a really bad team and be frustrated with really great effort in a loss against a team that was just better than you. Instead, we need to focus on our effort in what we can control every night. That looks different for everyone. For some players, it might be doing his best to score twenty points every night, but for another player, it might be cheering for his team and reminding his team to box out every time there is a shot.

I think this translates to the Christian life really well because all too often we get caught up in making “good results” our goal. We desire to have a godly family, a thriving relationship with the Lord, or to be a spiritual leader in our church or home. Those are great results, but too ethereal to be goals. If you want a godly family, then focus on leading your family in devotions on a regular basis or having intentional conversations at the dinner table. If you want a thriving relationship with the Lord, then focus on being in His Word on regular basis or setting aside intentional time to pray. If you want to be a spiritual leader, then focus on serving in your local body. Quite expecting others to serve you and start focusing on helping others grow in their walk with the Lord. If you stay committed, and are faithful, then the results will take care of themselves. The results might not be what you thought they were going to be, but you can honestly know that you did your best and can trust the Lord with the results He provides!

I love sports for a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason is that you have opportunity to be regularly put in high pressure situations so that you can practice what God is teaching you!

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.