In my message Sunday morning I shared of my conviction that we need to pray more together at Olive. So I have set a time for us to do so.
On the first Wednesday of each month at noon I plan to be in the OBC Chapel to pray with anyone who will join me. This is community wide. Invite your friends to join us. We are praying for revival in America and in our churches and in our lives.
Some cannot join us because they are out of town or just cannot get to the Chapel. Pray where you are. Take time to call out to the Lord. Get a couple of Christian friends together and pray. One man told me he would not be at Olive because on the first Wednesday of the month for a long time believers at his office have been praying together at noon. AMEN! That is what I am talking about. JUST DO IT!
Join me Wednesday at noon on your knees!
When one studies revival, you can only come to the conclusion that awakening is a sovereign act of God. Yet, there are some actions we seem to always find when we find revival among God’s people. One of those actions is unified prayer.
I have come to a conviction. We do not pray enough at Olive. So, I have sought to take some action. As pastor I am calling us to unite in prayer on the first Wednesday of each month at noon. The first gathering will be next week December 5 in the OBC Chapel.
It is open to anyone who wants to pray. I will lead out in the meeting. And I invite you to mark your schedule and join me. You could skip the noon meal if you like. Or you can eat before or after with some friends at a local restaurant. We just need to pray. We need to invite our friends, be they from Olive or other churches. Or invite a lost friend to join you if they want to be a part.
No doubt many will not be able to get to the church campus. You may be across town or away from Pensacola. I ask you to set aside the noon hour on the first Wednesday and pray.
United prayer is important. You never know what God may do. O Lord, make Isaiah 64:1 a reality among us!
Christmas decorations are going up at Olive. Volunteers and Olive staff have been hard at work. The campus is looking great. This weekend we move into the Christmas music season. It is going to be an amazing month at Olive. Do not miss it. Be here as we worship the New Born King!
Christmas is a season of gift giving. And it is a time of year when the church is blessed by special gifts from many people. The ongoing budget will get a boost. International missions benefits from the SBC Lottie Moon offering. And this year we are taking a special offering to build a clinic in the Ministry Village at Olive. I am looking for 200 people to give $2000 over the tithe to build this clinic. We can do it! We will receive the offering Christmas Eve. You can send it early if you want to. But that evening will be a joyous occasion. Pray about your part.
You never more like Jesus than when you are giving! Give your funds, your service, your love and of yourself.
Many individuals, churches, families and organizations help the poor on Thanksgiving weekend. Those are good and commendable actions.
I never come to these days without memories of my good friend Jean Rae. She was the catalyst to beginning the Ministry Village at Olive. She turned a deaf ear whenever people asked her for a needy family to help at Christmas. I can still hear her saying,
“If you do not know anyone poor, you are just making yourself feel better by giving some food one day a year. People are just as hungry on February 25th as they are December 25th. We should be doing ministry year round.”
Those words stuck in my heart. So now we feed the hungry, provide clothes, pay light bills and more five days a week. My wife says Jean is smiling at me from heaven as she sees the work going on at Olive. I hope so, because she never smiled much at me here!
I love and miss Jean. I am going to name a building for her one day. Just to make her mad!
Yesterday I returned from Olive’s pastoral/director staff retreat. WOW! What a great team. We met and sought the mind of the Lord for the future. There are some bright days ahead. Pray for our team.
Bob Bumgarner, Director of the Church Development Division of the Florida Baptist Convention, led our Tuesday sessions. It was a great day of challenge and fresh ways to evaluate ministry.
This was my 20th retreat at Olive. The team has changed and so has the church. However, the vision is the same. Olive is here to fulfill the Great Commission and obey the Great Commandment.
It was twenty-two years ago I moved to Pensacola. It was a Wednesday night. Our family stayed in the Holiday Inn University Mall. Kids were out for Trick or Treat. Rachel and Bennett were just small kids. My, how things have changed. But one thing has not: my passion to serve as Olive’s pastor. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead this great church.
When I first pastored during college I was the only staff member at the church. Since that time I have had the pleasure of leading churches with multiple staff members. These relationship are critical in the life of a church.
Next week the Olive Baptist staff team will be on retreat together. I ask for your prayers. This annual event is an important time.
What is KEY to staff relationships?
7. A leader who knows where he is going—Pray for ME!