This weekend, Donald Whitney will be on campus at First Baptist Rogers. He will preach at our Pleasant Grove campus on Saturday night at 5:00 and Sunday morning at 8:00, 9:15, and 10:30. He'll be back Sunday afternoon for the 2016 Grow LIFE Group Leadership Conference. Here is a short preview of some of the things we might discuss.
Launching LIFE Groups Together
Part of what we do at First Baptist Rogers is launch LIFE Groups. We can't over emphasize how important this is. Launching LIFE Groups gives others an opportunity to lead and exercise their spiritual gifts. It gives current leaders the ability to disciple other leaders and reproduce themselves. It increases spiritual growth by keeping LIFE Groups small enough to facilitate good, open, and honest discussion about real issues in life. It creates more space in individual LIFE Groups for growth. It creates more "boats" for Jesus to fill with fish. We need to launch more LIFE Groups!
Bible Intake Together
In LIFE Groups at First Baptist Rogers, we teach the Bible. Nothing more, and nothing less. By doing so in small groups, people have the ability to hear the Word of God. They have the opportunity to think about it as engaging questions are asked and discussed. The Bible is and must remain central to everything we do in LIFE Groups.
It would be very difficult to pray for every person in the church every day. However, when we get in small groups, we can pray very specifically for the people around us. We can go to the Father and petition Him to meet our needs according to His purposes together. We must be praying for one another together in LIFE Groups.
Evangelism and Service Together
"Sunday School" (what we now call LIFE Groups) was originally created as an evangelistic organization. We shouldn't lose that aspect of life together just because we changed the name from Sunday School to LIFE Groups. We should come together to serve our community for the purpose of showing them the love of Christ and building relationships through which we can share the good news that Jesus Saves.
Encouragement and Accountability Together
Most of us probably get involved in relationships for the purpose of encouragement to a certain degree. There is a comfort in relationship that builds us up and refuels us in some way. But part of encouragement in the Christian life is accountability as well. If we encourage one another in sin, we're not encouraging one another to good works. We also have to hold one another accountable to those good works, loving each other as spiritual siblings and co-heirs of the universe with Christ.
We need all current and future LIFE Group leaders, including our preschool, children, and student leaders to attend this annual leadership conference. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!
Christmas has come and gone. All the Christmas stuff has been moved to the clearance aisle, which means that the colors of the holiday aisle have been transformed from green, red, and gold to pink, red, and white. It's time to start thinking about Valentine's Day already. Why not invest in some real, quality time with your spouse or fiancé this Valentine's Day by attending Marital Matter, a 2-day marriage workshop at First Baptist Rogers? Here are 10 reasons why you should come.
1. Decrease the risk of diabetes and obesity. A quick google search indicates that Americans will spend over $1 Trillion on candy, including over 36 million boxes of chocolate and over 8 billion of those chalky candy hearts. Don't contribute to the risk of diabetes and obesity of your significant other (or yourself if you're like me and eat what you bought your spouse)!
2. Make the world smell better. Google also shows that over 200 million roses will needlessly die in February. Can you imagine how much better the world would smell if we wouldn't kill so many beautifully smelling plants?
3. Increase cotton supplies. I don't know how many teddy bears are sold each Valentine's Day, but it's a lot. Let's keep cotton prices down by not increasing demand and decreasing supply so much in February.
4. Break the consumer cycle. In all seriousness (or at least some), Valentine's Day has become a bit of a consumer holiday. Some studies estimate that as a couple you'll spend around $225 on stuff this Valentine's Day. Marital Matter is substantially more affordable!
5. Get a better return on your investment. Ok seriously, you'll get a better return on your Valentine's Day expenditures by coming to Marital Matter, where you'll discuss budgeting, your view of money, and other ways in which money comes into marriage. If what you learn saves you just $100 per month, next year you'll have paid for the next six Valentine's Days. In 10 years you'll have saved $12,000 and in 50 you'll have saved $60,000. Are those bears, candies, and roses going to do that for you?
6. Spice it up. Ok guys - you know what Valentine's Day is really for. Let's just say there's a reason why pregnancy test sales double in February. At Marital Matter, you'll learn that there's so much more to sex than just sex. There's intimacy, connection, romance, affection, and so much more. You'll hear what the Bible has to say about the incredible gift of sex.
7. Tone it down. Now I know most of you have never gotten into an argument with your significant other. Ok, that's a lie. I know most of you have. At Marital Matter, you'll learn how to resolve the inevitable conflict that comes into your relationship in a manner that both of you don't walk away feeling awful, and hopefully without any screaming, yelling, pushing, shoving, kicking, biting, or other less productive activities.
8. Get it out. Are you tired of hearing her say, "share your feelings with me" or something similar? When he's talking are you already planning your comeback? At Marital Matter, you'll discuss the two components of communication (assertiveness and active listening) and learn skills that help you do both better than you do now.
9. Bring Him in. My Dad officiated my wedding ceremony, and he described marriage as a triangle with my wife and I at opposite ends of the bottom corners and God at the top corner. His point was that the closer we got to God, the closer we'd get to each other. At Marital Matter, you'll learn why spiritual beliefs are a key component of marriage, and what marriage is itself more of a spiritual union than anything else.
10. Know where you stand. My former boss told me on my first day of my first job out of college that you can't manage what you can't measure. At Marital Matter, you'll take an assessment that identifies the degree to which you agree on several different components of marriage and how satisfied each of you are in those areas. This is a very fruitful and wise exercise. Knowing where you stand and learning skills to improve your marriage will help you walk away from this workshop ready to make 2016 the best year of your married life!
Sign up here!
On February 21 from 8:30-11:00, First Baptist Rogers will host its Annual Epic Evangelism Conference. You'll be entertained with comedic skits demonstrating how not to invite someone to church. You'll be challenged with powerful devotionals from several pastors at First Baptist Rogers. You'll be equipped to share your testimony and the gospel with others, and you'll practice both in a safe environment with other believers. Breakfast will be provided on a first come first serve basis. Come join me at the 2015 Epic Evangelism Conference. It is certain to be a great event. I look forward to seeing you there!
I follow Christ. I have a beautiful wife Megan and three wonderful children, Harrisen, Rebekah, and Carter. I am a candidate for a Ph.D. in ethics from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, have an M.Div. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a JD from the University of Arkansas, am licensed to practice law in several state and federal courts, and live in Rogers, Arkansas. I write a blog and produce a podcast. And I do it all that others may know Christ.