Church Life

November Newsletter Column

“that we love one another” – 2 John 5

Dear Church family,

The Bible is full of passages that exhort us to love one another. That expression is not something that is new to you. I am sure you have heard it before. Lately, I have been thinking about love a lot.

As you know, two of the key leaders in our church have left. These announcements from Troy Harrison and Josh Wamble have brought to mind how much I love each of them. Both Josh and Troy have been exemplary friends, encouraging brothers and excellent partners to our church and to me in life and ministry. I am going to miss them. I am reminded of how much I love them.

I want to ask you two questions:

1) Do you love your church family? And 2) Do you let your church family love you?

Do you love your church family? Are you working on getting to them know better? Are you growing in your relationships with church people? When someone is not here, do you miss them? Do you let them know that you missed them? It is my desire as the pastor that we would genuinely and sincerely love one another. In order for you to be obedient to God and in order for you to be a key part of our ministry here, loving your church family is essential.

Do you let your church family love you? Are you working on being known by others? Are you growing closer to people? Are you around enough for people to get to know you better? Are you working on being a friend to others in order that they may be a friend to you? Are you striving to do unto others as you would have them do unto you? When you miss church do you miss us? When you miss church do people reach out to you?

Jesus came and helped us understand love in such a real and personal way. It is my prayer that as you are growing in Christ you will be focused on loving one another and being loved by one another. Church, for the glory of God, lets be good at this!

With all sincerity, Pastor Josh Greene

 

 

October Newsletter Column

Thinking About My Grandkids

 Deuteronomy 6:1-9 – “that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son…”

Dear Church Family,

I must admit that I have rarely, if ever, thought about my grandchildren. For clarity, I do not have any grandkids. And I do not know if I ever will have any. I feel like I just became a father, and I have yet to figure out how to parent well. And besides that, I am having a hard enough time with being 35 years old and dealing with these new gray hairs.

But the other day I was reading again that family-focused-super-rich passage in Deuteronomy 6. I am in awe of the heart, diligence and focus God has for parents in verse 7 of chapter 6: “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.”  Every time I read that passage, my heart is stirred to love and lead my kids well. Again, my kids.

But as I was preparing to lead our parenting community group for church, I was struck by verse 2: “that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son…” Wow! That stopped me! God is thinking about my grandchildren! God is teaching me to think about my grandchildren. God is saying that who I am now will impact my grandchildren. God is saying that how I teach and lead my son will impact my grandson. God is saying that how I teach and lead my son will influence how my son teaches and leads his son, my grandson.

Incredible! That hit me hard. As I learn the word of God and by faith obey it, I am growing in my love and fear of my Lord & Savior. And that in turn will carry over into my parenting and therefore my son’s life and faith. And that in turn will carry over into my son’s parenting and therefore my grandson’s life and faith.

God is mindful of my grandkids!  And now I am too. May God be gracious to us and our family.  For my sake, my sons’ sakes, and my grandsons’ sakes! To God be the glory!

With all sincerity,

Pastor Josh Greene

September Newsletter Column

Dear Church Family,

My heart and burden for us, God’s church, is that we would be near to God.

This desire is the desire that outweighs all other desires. God is what we need!

And lately, this is the strongest thought in my mind. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because we are at a crossroads for our church. Maybe it is because we are growing. Maybe it is because I know you all well. Maybe it is because I am near to your wins and losses and your encouragements and your discouragements. Maybe it is because God is about to move mightily in the life of our church.

Or maybe it is because I have been here so long that we may begin to get complacent. I sure hope not. We get complacent when we lose sight of God. When we lose perspective, we begin to go through the motions. We just attend. We don’t worship. We neglect our duties, our devotions and our disciplines. We get complacent when Jesus becomes routine for us. And this is scary. It concerns me for our church.

Too many churches have too many people who are involved but are not close to God. I do not want that to be us. And I do not want to pastor a church that is not close to God. I want to pastor God’s people. And God’s people are to be zealous for God, passionate about Jesus changing lives in the world. The Glory of God is an all-consuming fire, and I want to be a part of many, many people drawing close to God.

Please be warned to look for your sins. Find them. Address them. Repent of them. Turn from them. Look to Jesus. See how great He is. See how gracious and patient He is with us. Run to Him. Believe in Him. Go follow Him. Live a life that is an all out effort to get close to God.

Psalm 73:28 says “But for me it is good to be near God”

I challenge you to believe that verse and then to make that your life’s desire. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Again, my desire is for us to be a church that helps people get near God. Let’s focus on that. You and me both. All of us together. May God draw near. May God bless us. May God fill us up.

I love you guys!

With all sincerity,
Pastor Josh Greene

August Newsletter Column

Dear Church Family,

This summer has been a good one for our church! We thank God for His blessing!

Here are some highlights:

  • VBS – Summer began in a strong way! We had our annual VBS, and it was a success! So many kids were here to grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus. As we have seen in the past, our workers came out in full-force, and we were all encouraged and built up in the faith. I think it was our best VBS in years!
  • Ecuador – Our Ecuador team had a God-centered trip. We are told it was the hardest trip yet, and still God worked mightily. Many are coming to faith in Ecuador, and our team members are stronger in their faith because of the trip. May God continue to grow our hearts and efforts for the nations to know Him.
  • Parking Lot – In usual God-fashion, the Lord is answering our prayers. What seemed to be a huge goal to attain ($35k), now is just in reach. I am humbled and excited to think that our new parking lot is this close. It has been a long time coming, but it is near. Please continue to pray that God will help us see this project to completion.
  • Pastoral Intern, Drew Dillman – It has been a blessing to have Drew serving us all summer. Drew has gotten a lot of experience in this role. Drew’s final Sunday with us will be August 16th. We look forward to him being back with us soon. Having a summer intern has been a nice step for our church. May God continue to give us opportunities like this one!
  • Prayer – The Wednesday night prayer meetings have been soul stirring and faith strengthening! God has taught us to pray, and He has told us to do it always! Our desire to obey him and pray a lot is very encouraging. Thank you for being a prayerful church! On August 14-15, we will do another 24 hours of prayer. If you are able, please sign up for a slot.
  • Anticipation – We do not merely look back at a good summer. We leave the summer months ready for a Godward fall season! Now is the time for us love and serve our best. Now is the time for us to proclaim Jesus! Who will be saved in the coming months? Who will find a church home here with us?

I am praying for us as we move into the next season of 2015. May God’s hand be upon us. We need Him. May He use us here for His glory!

With all sincerity,

Pastor Josh Greene

July Newsletter Column

Dear Church Family,

On July 9th our church will send a mission team to Ecuador.

This will be our 6th straight year of sending a team to Ecuador. This is a strong mission partnership for our church, and I am especially encouraged about how God is using these trips.

We have a solid team of eight of our church people going on this year’s trip.

1) Pastor Troy Harrison   2) Jodi Cleaver 3) Drew Dillman 4) Issac Domenech 5) Chelsey        Pomeroy 6) Kyle Pomeroy 7) McKenzie Pruitt and 8) Krista Ward

Three of those eight team members are going to Ecuador for their very first time. The other five team members have been to Ecuador at least one time before.

I am especially excited for this year’s trip for two main reasons:

  1. I am not going. Let me be clear, I wish that I were going! But due to us having a little baby, I am going to stay home this year with my family. This is a good thing for our church. It is an opportunity for Pastor Troy to lead this trip, and it is an opportunity for our church to go overseas and serve the Lord without me in charge. That is great! And it is yet another sign of how much God is growing our church spiritually. We thank God for the leaders in our church. And we thank God that He continues to raise up more leaders.
  2. This trip the team will be serving in both the jungle and the mountains. This is a great opportunity. Our church has served in the jungle once before, but we rarely get the opportunity to serve in both. Our team members will get to see and experience a lot. They will get to observe and participate in what God is doing in Ecuador. I am praying that God uses them mightily there and that they come back more focused on Jesus than before.

Our church’s mission statement, and therefore our commitment, is to “exist to proclaim Jesus while loving and serving both God and people.” This trip to Ecuador is a powerful example of how our church is doing this. I hope we all know how much we are living out this mission in the Louisville area, but may we all also be concerned for our church’s involvement globally. Please join me in praying faithfully for this year’s mission team and trip.

I am humbled and proud to be your pastor.

With all sincerity,

Pastor Josh Greene

Message from Pastoral Intern: Drew Dillman

Dear Church Family,

If you all haven’t already heard or seen, I am back home for the summer and am so happy and excited to be surrounded and involved with the body of brothers and sisters in Christ I call my church family. I can say with much confidence that I have a church family that sure does love me. I have received many cards and letters this year from people that encourage me and build me up when I am away at school. I couldn’t be more grateful for the love and support that my church family so graciously pours out upon me.

While home this summer, I am the Pastoral Intern for our church and have already been busy working with Pastor Josh the past several weeks. And since you all have already been so supportive, I’d like to list a few ways you can continue to support me this summer as I gain experience and knowledge through this position:

  • Prayer: It is so encouraging to come home and to see my name on the prayer sheet knowing that my church family is praying to God and making supplication on my behalf. Prayer is the life blood of the Christian, and I know that the prayer and encouragement from you all has blessed me in many ways. Continue to pray for me and the ministry I will be doing this
    summer in our community. Also, how can I pray for you? Please just send me a short email or note giving me ways I can do the same for you. I want my prayer life to grow and flourish this summer, with your help.
  • Talk: If we have not met or talked, please try to find me so we can just talk and get to know one another a little better. Since I am away most of the year, there is a lot that goes on while I am gone; and as our church grows, I feel somewhat disconnected from new members that I would love to meet and grow closer to you. And if you have someone you’d like to connect me with, I’d love to do that.
  • Serve: As the Pastoral Intern this summer, much of my position evolves around our community and ways to get more involved. If you have any ways I can serve you or others in the Fairdale community, please contact me and I’d love to do what I can to be a servant to you and the community. This could involve anything from volunteering, cutting grass or
    talking to kids about the Bible. Just connect with me so we can try to get it set up.

Again, thank you all for your unending love and support. I hope to be an encouragement
and blessing to you, our church, and our community this summer with the main goal of
furthering the name of Christ to Fairdale. And please know that I love you all, too.

In Christ,

Drew Dillman

May Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

This past Sunday night, Josh Wamble preached a great sermon on how we are to treat people.

One verse that stuck with me is Titus 3:2 “Show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

I love, love, love this thought! It is our desire as a church that everyone we encounter and interact with would receive sincere courtesy from us. Remember, our mission statement says we desire to love and serve all people.

And while we may think, or hope, that we are courteous, we need to further consider whether the community around us recognizes us as God’s courteous people.

One of the best ways to show our sincerity, our love, our courtesy, is to serve people. When we are humbly putting people before us, and as more important than ourselves, it is precisely then that they see our courtesy and therefore, feel our love. Jesus’ life and ministry show us this quite clearly.

So, serving is a big deal! Let me suggest several newer opportunities for you to serve:

  • Volunteering in the Concessions Stand at the Fairdale Youth League. Our church is sending a group of 4-5 people each Tuesday night. What a fun way to be around kids, impact the community, and represent our church.
  • Volunteering at the Elmcroft Assisted Living Home. All summer long, we will send a group there every other Wednesday night. Loving on elderly folks is such a rich blessing.
  • Volunteering at Vacation Bible School. I expect this year’s VBS to be our best yet. For 5 nights one week in early June, we will serve the kids of this community. There are many different jobs to do. There is a spot for everyone.

If you are moved by God’s word for us to be courteous to the community around us, and you agree with me that serving them is a great way to be courteous, then will you please consider signing up to volunteer in any of these three areas? We would be thrilled to have you there. Please let me know.

With all Sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

 

 

April Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

The Easter Egg Hunt this year was fantastic!

I was so proud of our church. I am estimating about 50-60 people who worked hard contributing together to make this event successful.

2014 was the first year that we did the community-wide Easter Egg hunt. At that Egg Hunt we had a little over 100 people. We were pleased with that turnout. This year we planned and prayed more, and we saw great growth. We had roughly 300 attend this year.

It is not easy for us to make this event happen. And it is not easy for us to make this a quality event. We are thankful to God for our community partnerships. Fairdale High School and Dairy Queen both contributed greatly to the Egg Hunt.

Let me explain to you why I am excited about this event. Our church mission statement is:

“We exist to proclaim Jesus while loving and serving both God and people.”

Through this Easter Egg Hunt we are able to live out our mission statement in a clear way. The event is free. The event is quick and smooth and simple. There are lots of candy-filled eggs for all the kids. We give away great prizes. And we give away lunch to all adults and children. The people who attend are happy to see us, a church, loving and serving them.

While we are hosting this Egg Hunt, we take the time (usually about 5-10 minutes) to introduce myself and our church. Then I also preach to the entire crowd about what Easter is really about. I was able to explain Jesus’s death and resurrection. And I was able to emphasize the need to be right with God and be ready for His return. In short, we were able to proclaim Jesus to them. Even better, we were able to proclaim Jesus to them while loving and serving them.

And that is what our church is all about. That is our mission. We are committed to that. And we are united in that mission. It took a lot of working together to pull it off. But that is what we are all about! Church, I am thankful for you and your heart, commitment, and devotion. I am looking forward to next year’s Egg Hunt!

With all Sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

March Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

Easter is coming! Jesus is risen from the grave!

This is a meaningful holiday to those who love the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the most meaningful holiday for Christians. This is our holiday!

Sunday, April 5th, is Easter Sunday this year, and we are looking forward to it. We have a lot planned for that weekend:

    • Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 28th at 11:30am at FHS Football Field
    • Good Friday Service – Friday, April 3rd at 6:30pm
    • Easter Sunrise Service – Sunday, April 5th at 7:00am with Breakfast to follow
    • Easter Sunday Worship – Sunday, April 5th at 10:30am

No doubt, we are looking forward to this meaningful holiday weekend!

Let me encourage you to make the most of it. Bring your kids to the community-wide Egg Hunt. If you can, please sign up to volunteer at this event. It’s a great way to serve our community. Also, make plans now to attend the Good Friday service. This additional service will be a rich blessing for you and your family. Attending an extra service allows emphasis on Jesus’ death and resurrection!

And then most importantly, be ready for worship on Easter Sunday. Invite some friends, neighbors and family. This is our biggest day of the year! We need to be ready for it. Prioritize this special Sunday! I do not preach the Homecoming services in October, and many of our guests then do not hear me. But I will be preaching on Easter, and I ask you to bring some people with you to be a part of that service.

Our sins are forgiven through what Christ has done. And we are praying that this upcoming Easter season will give us a huge opportunity to share this message with a lot of people. Let’s make the most of it!

With all Sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

February Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

Praise God there are many, many new people among us!

We are experiencing an increase in our church attendance. Each week there are first-time visitors. And each week we have people returning to worship with us. We thank God for this growth.

Our church offers 3-4 New Member’s Classes a year. This class is available to anyone who desires to understand more in-depth what it means to belong to a church. This month we have another New Member’s Class going. It has 16 people in it.

These 16 people are from all walks of life. Some are older and some are younger. Some are saved & baptized already, and some need to be baptized. Some are new to church, and some are coming from another church. This variety of people is a good sign that our church is growing in all areas with people from all walks of life. We thank God for working in their lives and for bringing them to us.

I want to encourage you to think about what this growth in our church means for you. Please hear me – a growing church means that there is involvement expected from you!

These people need relationships. They need to know people and be known by people. They need encouragement and accountability. They need love. They need real brothers and sisters in Christ who will help build them up in Jesus. In short, they need a church family.

Please be mindful of these needs. Make it a point to get to know people. Arrive to church services a few minutes early. Seek out new faces. Welcome them, get to know them, become their friends, pour into them. Let’s work hard to help new church people become seasoned church people. Let’s be a church that makes disciples. Rather, let’s be a church that makes disciples that make disciples! That sounds awesome! Let’s be about that!

We thank God for this growth – now let’s work hard to maintain it and grow on it!

I love our church!

With all Sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

 

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