Weekly Letter from the Pastor — January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Dear FBCD Family,

It is hard to describe how much FUN church seems to be these days at FBCD. I think the last time church was this fun for me was in high school.

Take Sunday morning, for example. When in my sermon in Fresh Start I said that "Psalm 7 + Matthew 5 = Romans 12," all the scientists and mathematicians in the room just fell out laughing. And then in Sanctuary, when I read Psalm 7:6, which says "Rise up, O Lord," and then someone started snickering thinking of the relevance to the big Falcons playoff game, we all laughed. (Congratulations to our Falcons!) Maybe what we are finding is joy—joy in our shared experiences, joy in our restored sense of unity, and joy in putting our shoulders to the plow and serving Christ together. In any case, Sundays are happy again, and I am grateful to God.

I am also grateful to the deeply committed laypeople who work so hard to run our church's committees and teams. I relate most closely to the Personnel Committee (now chaired by Bill Neal), the Finance Committee (chaired by Ronnie Jowers), and the Deacons (now chaired by Craig Taylor). But dozens of other teams and groups serve our church on a weekly basis, and I am truly grateful for all of you. A Baptist church is ruled by Christ, led by laypeople, served by staff, and spiritually equipped and ministered to by pastors. When all are doing their parts well, it is a wondrous thing to behold.

Keep your eyes open for a steady stream of visitors, and please help make them feel welcome. FBU enters its third week with crowds averaging in the 120s. A significant minority of these are not regular attenders. We are also starting to see some more visitors in the worship services. It takes all of us to welcome our guests warmly and to let them know that FBCD is a place that can be a spiritual and community home for them.

There are also some staff changes on the immediate horizon. Our new Pastoral Resident for Young Adult Ministry, Matt Snyder, will be introduced to the congregation on Sunday and begin work Monday. Applications for our Office Assistant post have closed -- this new front office staffer should begin in early February. And we are very soon to post the full-time Minister to Families with Children position. The deadline for applications on this crucial position is March 1.

This coming week I will preach on "Disciplining Our Hungers." Our texts are Matthew 5:27-30 and Romans 7:15-20. This is an extremely important and neglected issue in church life these days -- the demand for discipline in the Christian life, and how we get there.

As always, remember that all FBCD sermons are available online both in audio and in print versions, and several copies of recent sermons can be found in the church office at all times.

Have a blessed week, dear friends. See you Wednesday!

In Christ,
Pastor David