Press On!

Peter and Sara BunnChildren's Ministry

Let’s look at a Wednesday in the life of a Word of Life Olympian or Gopher Buddy: He has worked on a devotional each day this week, has memorized a verse and maybe has even done a service project or has read a missionary biography. Now it’s 6:30 on Wednesday evening and he’s checking in with one of Immanuel’s friendly check-in coaches, excited about a night with friends, learning from a Bible lesson, enjoying small group discussion time, and letting loose in the gym. We truly have a fun time with IBC kids on Wednesdays.

The goal of Word of Life’s children’s program is to help students move forward as spiritual athletes in the great race of the Christian life.

(https://lcm.wol.org/curriculum/olympian)

Just look at all the kids will accomplish this year:

They work on these goals for a prize! Ultimately the best reward is having memorized Scripture. God is faithful in allowing His Spirit to work in our lives through His Word in order to best glorify Him (Psalm 119, Proverbs 2:1-5, Proverbs 6:21-22,  Luke 8:15, John 14:26 …). BUT the kids also have the opportunity to earn pins, patches, medals, trophies, and scholarships. Woo-hoo!

As we encourage the kids toward their Word of Life goals, we remember to have fun and fellowship along the way. We have Inside Out/Backwards Night THIS WEDNESDAY, April 25 and Prayer Pals May 2 (an Olympian favorite!). On May 30 we look forward to celebrating the year of accomplishments with an evening of food and fun.

What a blessing it is to see relationships grow and spiritual disciplines formed in such a fun way! This growth is only possible by God’s grace; the amazing coaches who volunteer to lead small groups, check clubbers in, and teach the Bible lessons; and parents who work with their kids at home throughout the week.  It is a beautiful sight to behold.

We have one more month to see how far you’ll go, Word of Life Clubbers – finish strong!

And may we ALL “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14

Peter and Sara Bunn

Learn more about Word of Life Olympians at: https://lcm.wol.org/curriculum/olympian/

Christ is the Answer

Paul DreillingChurch Blog

This week the Immanuel pastors have been in Louisville at T4G, Together for the Gospel Conference. One of the speakers, John MacArthur, has talked about the moral slide that our country is on.  “In less than fifty years’ time, our nation’s political leaders, legislative bodies, and courts have adopted a distinctly anti-Christian attitude and agenda. The country has swept away the Christian worldview and its principles in the name of equal rights, political correctness, tolerance, and strict separation of church and state. Gross immorality–including homosexuality, abortion, pornography, and other evils–has been sanctioned not only by society in general but in effect by the government as well.”

Someone once said that when we point a finger at someone else, three of our fingers are pointing back at us.  Certainly, during these 50 years, Christendom has not been on the sidelines, out of the game nor innocent.  For each individual who claims to be a Christian, our faith in Christ should permeate every aspect of our lives.  It should affect the way we relate to God, others and the world around us. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24)  We have to put off the old and put on the new.

So what is our responsibility as a church as we look around and see our world disintegrating?  In last week’s Mission RVA, we talked about some tangible ideas about ways our church can be about redemptive ministries that are bridges for the gospel.  Let’s take advantage of this momentum and look for opportunities to let the church be the church.  America’s moral decline is a spiritual problem and we need to apply the gospel as the solution.  The church is Christ’s bride, the tangible body of followers of Christ on this side of eternity. We were put here for a purpose – to rescue the perishing. Christ is the answer.

Paul Dreiling

Gone Fishin’

Paul DreillingChurch Blog

During His three years of ministry, Jesus and His disciples appear to have relied on the charity of individuals to supply their physical needs.  Not knowing how they would support themselves after Jesus’ death, the disciples, went back to fishing. “The fishing expedition plainly reveals the uncertainty of the disciples, an uncertainty which contrasts sharply with their assured sense of purpose from the day of Pentecost on.” (Morris)

Hadn’t Jesus called the disciples to give up fishing to do full-time ministry?  Forgotten were the words of three years earlier when Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” They couldn’t see how this could happen without Him. They fished all night and they must have rolled their eyes as the stranger from the shore said, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” (John 21:6)  What does He know about fishing, aren’t we the professionals?  But they followed His instructions and it worked.

“Perhaps, if they had not fished at night, Christ would not have given them fish in the daytime. He does not often come to bless idlers; he acts sovereignly, as I have said, but he generally gives his blessing to those churches that do the most for him.” (Spurgeon)  God wants to use each of us to expand His kingdom. Your God-given gifts and abilities are needed, so each of us needs to “cast (our) net on the right side of the boat.” May the Lord find us all ministering for Him?

______________________

We trust that you will be with us for the Mission RVA – Reaching our City for Christ conference.  I know you will be challenged by Dr. Bill Edmondson’s three messages about reaching our “Jerusalem.” The final session of the conference will be a Panel Discussion after lunch in the Fellowship Hall.  We have five ministry leaders who will be answering questions about their ministries and how we can partner with them.

Paul Dreiling

Thoughts from the Librarian…

Martha HancockLibrary Highlights

new library books april 2018Check out these books and more in the church library!

We now have the entire 8-volume set of The Wild Brothers Adventures in Southeast Asia thanks to a generous donor. This is a real missionary and homeschooling family in the South Seas somewhere. There’s a mom, a dad and 4 brothers who want to explore EVERYTHING.

SET SAIL FOR A WILD JOURNEY!

The four sons of Mike and Libby Wild are ready to set sail on a WILD journey. Their destination? Home! Months of meticulous planning and careful building are over. The Wild family is now ready to start their long and danger-riddled voyage from New Guinea to the USA on their handcrafted deep-sea canoe! Solar panels have been added to keep the boys’ computers and video cameras energized. Excitement fills the air as they anticipate the breathtaking sights and new discoveries that lay ahead. However, an unexpected impediment suddenly stands in their way. What will God do? How will they respond? Climb aboard the big Polynesian catamaran for an inspiring family adventure!


SAVE THE DATE – READING CLUB

Our 2018 Reading Club will take place July 15 th – August 19 th. Our motto for this year is a jungle theme: Don’t monkey around this summer; go bananas for reading! Bananas will replace stars on the bulletin board in the library and anywhere else we want to put them. I do need someone artistic to draw a banana tree with jungle type features to hang our bananas on as reading goals are reached. Anyone artistic out there? This year, I want to assist those readers who want to read more challenging books instead of a quantity of smaller books. Still working out the details on how everything is to work. I will put out the call for helpers in my next blogpost.


ANNOUNCEMENT

We now have a laptop that will allow people to search our data base through Webopac, our on-line catalog. We will have it open, and on the table after services on Sundays.


library fines

On the issue of fines…
After mulling it over, and over, I have decided to keep our fine structure in place for overdue books. It’s not much (.50 per book max for children, and 1.00 per book for adults).
Special consideration will be granted on a case by case basis such as illness, travel, disaster or the closure of the library for some reason. I don’t personally like fines, but I do come down strongly on getting the books returned. Fine money (paid into our pink piggy or our purple elephant) buys candy for the candy bowl, and special needs for displays that make the library look pretty. Anyway, thought you’d like to know my thoughts on this issue. Any questions, please see me.

To Emmaus and Back

Michael WilburnChurch Blog

To Emmaus and Back

Luke’s Gospel exclusively records a conversation between Jesus and two disciples on a 7-mile dirt road between Jerusalem and Emmaus. It fits within the broader resurrection story and the places, people, and events surrounding it. 72 hours after the crucifixion, death loomed like a fog of traumatic stress over those who followed Jesus. The promise of eternal life grew from possibility (Lk 24:1-12) to probability (vs. 13-25) then from realization (vs. 36-49) to reality (vs. 50-53) in the minds of his followers. Even for those committed to Jesus—disciples who trusted him—believing the resurrection was a staggering, yet essential, element of the Gospel.

The two disciples walked to Emmaus looking like Eeyore the Donkey before Christopher Robin returned his tail (Lk 24:17). Then Jesus restored what Cleopas and his companion lost when he died. Jesus gave a foundation to their faith. Friends, the Christian faith is eternally pinned to the historical event of Jesus’ resurrection. The emotional lows of Good Friday and highs of Easter Sunday find balance in the Savior.

Jesus confronted the two disciples unexpectedly. They did not realize it was Jesus who casually walked up beside them chiming in on their conversation. Just like the 11 disciples (see Lk 9:44-45; 18:31-35), they failed to understand, to embrace, to grasp the signature, climatic event that made all of Jesus’s life and ministry—indeed all of Scripture—victorious. When the One who felt the weekend’s fury spoke, the disciples asked, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know?” When the One who knew all things listened, Cleopas rehashed the story as if Jesus was isolated and ignorant. Ironically, Jesus was the only one who really understood. I image a lot of things we say to God sound foolish. It took his resurrection power to open their eyes, enlighten their minds, and warm their hearts. As soon as the two disciples understood, Jesus vanished.

Life and emotions must be centered on Jesus. Our Lord is the focus of creation, history, Scripture, and the Christian life. Yet Jesus taught Scripture as more convincing than his physical presence. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk 24:27). There is an inseparable unity of truth between Jesus and the Word, the Word and Jesus. One writer expressed it: “What has happened with Jesus can be understood only in light of the Scriptures, yet the Scriptures themselves can be understood only in light of Jesus.” Here’s the point: you will understand Scripture as God’s Word when you see Jesus as God’s Word because he is the fulfillment of all things.

Blessings,

Pastor Michael Wilburn
Senior Pastor


On the Emmaus Road

PREPARING FOR SUNDAY

Sermon:
On the Emmaus Road
(Luke 24:13-27)
Pastor Michael Wilburn

Scripture:
2 Corinthians 5:11-15

No Evening Service



Mission RVA – Reaching Our City for Christ

• Saturday, April 7th, 6:30 PM “An Apologetic for the City”

• Sunday, April 8th, 9:30 AM “A Globalized Cities Initiative: We are Living in a Very Strategic Time for Great Commission Ministry”

  • 11:00 AM “The City-God’s Gift to Great Commission Christians.”

  • 12:15 PM Potluck Luncheon and Panel Discussion

CLICK HERE to register for the luncheon on Sunday

Speaker for the conference:


Dr. Bill Edmondson, BAPTIST MID MISSION

A church planter in Boston whose goal is to network global-urban-church planting by ministering the gospel to the global communities residing in the major cities of the world. He hopes to establish believing, life giving communities in the strategic city-centers of the world. He has a D. Min. in Cross Cultural Missions Strategies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Bill has been married 42 years to Deb and they have five children and ten grandchildren. Website: www.interglo.org

Panelists for Sunday, April 8:
Terry Hammack, SIM Int’l
Paul Manning, RVA Office of Volunteerism
Rebecca Jones, Pregnancy Resource Center
Bill Edmondson, Baptist Mid-Mission



Save the Date for VBS:
July 30 – August 3, 9 AM to 12 PM
If you can volunteer your time, please contact
Gloria Duffey: gduffey@immanuelbaptist.org



Join us on Saturday, April 14th for the Monument Ave 10K. Enjoy one another’s company as we cheer on the participants while passing out fruit and cookies! We are in need of nut-free chocolate chip cookies to pass out. Please bring cookies to the Fellowship Hall Kitchen on Wednesday, April 11th.


Walk for Life Richmond VA
Saturday, April 29
Registration 9:00 AM / Walk begins 10:00 AM

Only a 2 mile walk so bring the whole family! The walk starts at our church and will be held rain or shine. If interested in being part of an IBC team, contact
Renita Like: manyjs1r@comcast.net



Prophecy Conference
Saturday, April 21, Fellowship Hall
Sessions from 9AM – 3 PM

The study will focus on three distinct events; the Rapture, the Tribulation and the Millennial Kingdom. Sign up online at foi.org/prophecy or call 800.257.7843.


Upcoming Events:

April 1 – Deluxe Easter Breakfast
April 7-8 – Spring Missions Conference
April 14 – Monument Avenue 10K
April 21 – Prophecy Conference
April 28 – Walk for Life, Youth Senior Banquet

What is Singing in Church? – Part 2

Brian EvansChurch Blog

Last week, we considered the first two principal purposes of congregational singing, namely, to help us praise and to help us pray. We need constant reminding that God truly deserves our praise, that God repeatedly demands our praise, and that God deeply desires our praise. Since many of the songs we sing are prayers, “let us then be conscious of what we’re doing when we sing such songs, and let us thank God with the depth of gratitude and gladness that ought to accompany the prayers and praises of those who ‘were by nature children of wrath’, but have been loved with an everlasting love, saved by grace through the blood of Christ, and adopted as the children of the living God.”

We continue this week with the third principal purpose of congregational singing, as adapted from a 2012 article by Rob Smith entitled The Role of Singing in the Life of the Church.

 3.  Singing and Proclamation

 Finally, we turn to the subject of singing and proclamation. As well as being a form of praise and a form of prayer, singing is also a form of proclamation. The Scriptures reveal that the life-giving word of God is ministered among the people of God not only by Bible reading and biblical preaching, but also by the singing of “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Col 3:16). This does not mean that the sung word is meant to eclipse the spoken word, or that singing should replace the public reading of Scripture and preaching and teaching (1 Tim 4:13). The sung word is not to rival the spoken word in the church’s preaching ministry, but is designed to function as its handmaid and complement. Martin Luther said, “Music is a vehicle for proclaiming the Word of God… The gift of language combined with the gift of song was only given to man to let him know that he should praise God with both word and music, namely, by proclaiming [God’s word] through music and by providing sweet melodies with words.5

 The apostle Paul was of the same mind. This is why he emphasized the teaching function of congregational singing. For one of the chief things we are doing when we sing together is instructing and exhorting one another. This is clear in Ephesians 5:19 where Paul speaks of our “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” It is even clearer in Colossians 3:15-17 where Paul writes, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

 Here are three points of practical application to ensure that this works out in practice in the way that God intends:

  1. First, we must always sing truthfully. That is, we need to make sure that we’re singing God’s truth. Now, of course, it helps if the tunes are appropriate, enjoyable, singable and memorable. It also helps if the words have a certain poetic flair. Nothing can substitute for a faithful articulation of God’s word. The balance and focus of Scripture ought to be reflected in our songs, so that the things of ‘first importance’ remain central in our singing.
  2. Second, we must always sing clearly. This point is really an extension of the first, highlighting the need for our songs to communicate Scriptural truth in a way that is intelligible to the people who are singing and hearing them. This doesn’t necessarily require a ‘lowest common denominator’ approach or the removal of all archaisms, for words and ideas can always be explained and all of us grow in our understanding of the things we sing over time (as we do of the things we read in the Bible). Nevertheless, if the word of Christ is to dwell richly among us, the songs must communicate effectively to, and be able to be understood by, the people gathered.
  3. Third, we must always sing fervently. This, I take it, is the reason why Paul adds the word “richly” in Colossians 3:16. For it is clearly possible for churches to let Christ’s word dwell in them poorly or ineffectually, not only by singing songs which are untrue or unclear, but (and this would seem to be Paul’s point) by singing them feebly or half-heartedly; that is, without either a profound sense of thankfulness to God or the intention of actively teaching and encouraging others. Paul makes the same point in Ephesians 5:19 when he urges believers to address one another and make melody to the Lord “with all your heart”! This, as we’ve already noted in our reflections on praise, requires deliberate engagement on our part, for communication takes effort.

What is singing in church? Praise, prayer, and proclamation!

In giving us the ability to sing and make music, God has given us a very great gift. In calling us to utilize this gift in our church gatherings, he has provided a way of praising him, praying to him and proclaiming his word to others. This not only unites us together in our prayers and praises, and not only helps us to teach and remember his word, but assists us (both personally and corporately) in embracing the emotional dimensions of the truths we sing, so that we might love and serve God in the fullness of our humanity, with heart, soul, mind and strength. This, then, is a gift to treasure dearly, use wisely and protect carefully.

Brian Evans, Music Director

What is Singing in Church?

Brian EvansChurch Blog

What is Singing in Church? – Part 1
Over the years, I have been instructed and encouraged in the areas of worship and music by writers including D.A. Carson, Marva Dawn, Tim Keller, Kent Hughes, and Bob Kauflin. More recently, I have become acquainted with the work of Paul Tripp, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Rob Smith and Mike Raiter, and Philip Percival. These men and women of the faith have captured from the Scriptures and expounded upon what it is to worship God not only as an individual, but as a corporate body. These times of corporate worship include God’s people singing. What follows is adapted from a 2012 article by Rob Smith entitled The Role of Singing in the Life of the Church. The article will be in two parts: Part 1 will deal with Singing and Praise and Singing and Prayer and Part 2 will deal with Singing and Proclamation.

One of the chief things that Christians are renowned for, both historically and universally, is singing songs and making music. My intention in this article is to focus specifically on congregational singing (rather than Christian music generally), and to open up its three principal purposes: (1) to help us praise, (2) to help us pray, and (3) to help us proclaim.

1. Singing and praise

How should we think about praise? The first thing to note is that, according to Scripture, praising God normally has two faces or aspects to it: we can praise God to God and we can praise God to others. The second thing to note is that praising God doesn’t always have to take the form of singing. Indeed, it would be a mistake, biblically speaking, to equate praise with singing. Whilst praise normally involves words, everything we do should be for the glory and praise of God (1 Cor 10:31; Phil 1:11). But, thirdly, there’s no escaping the fact that singing is a vital form of praise. Many Scriptures (particularly many of the Psalms) bear this out. Not only do they link praise directly with singing, but they frequently speak of the two faces of praise in virtually the same breath. Consider, for example, the opening verses of Psalm 96:

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!

The point could not be clearer. We sing to the Lord, blessing his name, and we sing of the Lord, declaring his glory.

The importance of singing the praises of God is evident from the number of times it is commanded in Scripture (e.g. Ex 15:21; 1 Chr 16:9, 23; Ps 5:11; 9:11; 30:4; 33:3; 47:6-7; 66:2; 68:4, 32; 81:1-2; 95:1-2; 96:1-2; 98:1, 4-5; 100:2; 105:2; 107:22; 135:3; 147:1, 7; 149:1, 5; Isa 12:5-6; 42:10; Jer 20:13; 31:7; Zeph 3:14; Zech 2:10; Jam 5:13). Now, admittedly, most of these exhortations are found in the Old Testament, particularly the Psalms. But given that the apostle Paul expects and exhorts Christians to sing the Psalms (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16), these commands have abiding relevance. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us that praise, like all other aspects of Christian obedience, is a constant battlefront on which God’s people have to fight to be faithful.
Let me suggest three biblically grounded strategies to address our natural (fallen) reluctance to praise, honor and give thanks to God.

First, we need constant reminding that God truly deserves our praise (Ps 7:17; 18:3; 147:1). The triune God, who is our creator and redeemer, our savior and sanctifier, deserves every bit of praise you and I can muster, and then a whole lot more! Praise is his due, it is what he deserves for he is infinitely worthy and therefore it is entirely fitting that we praise him at all times (Ps 34:1).

Second, we need constant reminding that God repeatedly demands our praise. Psalm 47 is but one example:

Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm! (Ps 47:1, 6-7)

These are not mere suggestions, they are commands! But what beautiful, liberating commands they are. This is what we were made for, saved for.

Third, we need constant reminding that God deeply desires our praise. That’s why he described the people of Israel as “the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise” (Isa 43:21). That’s why he describes the church of Jesus Christ as those who have been chosen “for the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:12, 14). Praise is God’s purpose because praise is God’s desire. And he desires our praise not only because it is good for us, but also because it pleases him.

The clear implication of all this is that we need to heed the call of the Scriptures to be people and churches that give ourselves to praise. The God who has held back nothing from us, not even his only Son, deserves far more than the dregs of our attention and the leftovers of our affections.

2. Singing and prayer

We turn now to the subject of singing and prayer. For just as praising God is bigger than singing, so singing is also more than praising God. Singing is also a form of prayer. The book of Psalms, once again, is our prime example here. For a large proportion of the Psalms are, in fact, prayers (e.g. Pss 3-8, 9-10, 12-13, 16 18, etc.). What this means, then, is that exhortations to sing Psalms (such as those we have in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3) are effectively commands to sing prayers. This, of course, does not mean that the Psalms must only be sung, as if they should never simply be read, recited or chanted. But it is instructive to realize that they were sung—the laments as well as the praises, many by the whole congregation, although some perhaps only by the temple choir.

Singing plays a critical role in helping us to bridge the gap between cognitive knowledge and experiential knowledge, and (as many of the lament Psalms illustrate) in helping us process our emotional pain and so bring us to a point of praise (e.g. Ps 3-7). But, of course, we don’t have to restrict ourselves to just singing Psalms. Not only are there other biblical songs (and many other parts of the Bible that can be sung), but Paul urges the singing of “hymns” and “spiritual songs” as well. Whilst it is difficult to make hard and fast distinctions between the terms, “Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs”, taken together seem to cover the whole range of Christian congregational songs, from canonical psalms (at one end) to spontaneous songs (at the other).

Before we leave the subject of singing and praying let me also say something about singing and thanksgiving, for the simple (and entirely biblical) reason that whenever we ask God for things, we should also thank him for the things he has given. (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19,20) Let’s then be conscious of what we’re doing when we sing such songs, and let us thank God with the depth of gratitude and gladness that ought to accompany the prayers and praises of those who “were by nature children of wrath”, but have been loved with an everlasting love, saved by grace through the blood of Christ, and adopted as the children of the living God (Jer 31:3; Eph 2:8; Rom 8:15).

Brian Evans


Church News
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
Sermon:
Proverbs Path: An Introduction
Proverbs 1:1-6
Pastor Michael Wilburn
Scripture:
1 Kings 4:29-34
Evening Service:
Missionary Report, Reception and Offering
Lindsay & Eva Gilliam
SIM Asia

The Three-Penny Cantata
Sunday, March 25, 6:30 PM
The 3-Penny Cantata is an original song-cycle set in Palestine during the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each of the 12 songs is sung by a particular character or eyewitness to the events.
·        What exactly DID Pilate’s wife dream?
·        What were the thoughts of the angel sitting on the stone witnessing the resurrection?
·        How would the centurion at the cross feel, as he realizes he has just killed
the Son of God?
·        How does Barabbas respond as he steps out into freedom?
These songs explore such questions, as well as the fears, doubts, and ultimate wonder of the disciples, and the men and women closest to Jesus. Listeners can easily place themselves in the same situation in real time, broadening their imagination of the life-changing events of the week. In the Epilogue we hear Jesus Himself as He answers each character, turning every doubt and error into healing, hope, and real belief in His name. Various works of art are projected as a backdrop for each song.


Mission RVA – Reaching Our City for Christ
  • Saturday, April 7th, 6:30 PM “An Apologetic for the City”
  • Sunday, April 8th, 9:30 AM “A Globalized Cities Initiative: We are Living in a Very Strategic Time for Great Commission Ministry”
  • 11:00 AM “The City-God’s Gift to Great Commission Christians.”
  • 12:15 PM Potluck Luncheon and Panel Discussion
CLICK HERE to register for the luncheon on Sunday.

Conversational English Teachers – Stephen and Satomi Sakamotos, our missionaries to Japan, are looking for native English speakers who can teach English as a ministry of Ibaraki Bible Church in Japan. One of the positions is 1-2 years (a paid position) and one is for 6 weeks starting July 2018. Please contact Paul Dreiling (pdreiling@immanuelbaptist.org) for more information.


Save the Date for VBS:
July 30 – August 3, 9 AM to 12 PM
If you can volunteer your time, please contact

Word of Life Kids Clubs have the following openings for March-May on Wednesday nights:
– Men: Small group leader for elementary Olympians
– Game Coach to lead game time with 3 different groups, game ideas provided.
Contact Peter or Sara Bunn: peterandsarabunn@gmail.com

Coming Events

March 25 – Three-Penny Cantata PM
March 30 – Good Friday Service
April 1 – Deluxe Easter Breakfast
April 7-8 – Spring Missions Conference

Mission RVA

Paul DreillingEvents

It is with great anticipation that we would like to tell you about our upcoming Mission’s Conference, “Mission RVA – Reaching our City for Christ,” April 7th and 8th.  Last year we decided to have two conferences each year, one in the fall to focus on International ministries, and another in the spring to focus on missions here at home.

During Mission RVA we will be updated about local ministries from our missionaries, hear what God’s word says about reaching out to our neighbors and mutually encourage each other to be involved in ministry.  Our keynote speaker will be Bill Edmondson, of Baptist Mid-Mission from Boston.  Bill and his wife Deb “believe that by ministering to the world in cities (like Richmond), we can minister to the world outside the city. That is to say, we can follow the international relationships made in the city globally, and, thereby, do the Great Commission. In order to do so, we must minister to the whole demographic of the city.”

Schedule:

  • Session One: (Saturday 6:30 PM) “An Apologetic for the City” – God has created mankind as social, moral, rational, and volitional beings and each of these characteristics have important implications for ministering the gospel.
  • Session Two: (Adult combined SS) “A Globalized Cities Initiative” – We are living in a very strategic time for Great Commission Ministry. During this hour, we will present a plan to target strategic cities and train Christian workers to inhabit those cities, and thereby do the Great Commission.
  • Session Three: (AM Service) “The City–God’s gift to Great Commission Christians” – The city has always been a primary means of blessing from God to man and we will be challenged to embrace God’s plan to build his church globally by ministering in the city locally.
  • Mission RVA Potluck Luncheon in the Fellowship Hall at 12:15 PM.
  • Session Four: (1:30 PM – replaces the PM Service) “A Panel Discussion” – how do we apply what we have learned during the conference? A panel of ministry leaders ministering in RVA.

(If you would like to attend the Mission RVA Luncheon, please sign up on the IBC website or Mobile App.)  Paul Dreiling

The Importance of Local Church Membership Part 2

Mike Srisam-angChurch Blog

Why Church Membership Matters

The Importance of Local Church Membership Part 2

Last week we considered the question, “What is the importance of church membership and why do I have to become a member of the local church?” First, what is the local church? It is a group of believers that regularly gather together for the purpose of accomplishing specific, divinely ordained tasks as laid out in Scripture (1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 4:2; Eph 4:7-12; Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:4-31; Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42; Matt 28:18-20). Understanding what the local church is, begins to help us see the importance of why we should join a local church. Yet, we could understand that God intended for us to express our faith in local churches and still not belong to one particular local church. Therefore, we must ask, “Is it really necessary to “join” a church or to “become a member?” Why can’t I just hop around to different churches or come without committing?”

In the previous article, the first biblical reason to join or become a member of a local church was presented, which was that the existence of church government demands formal membership. Please go back to that article for a fuller explanation. The second biblical reason is:

2) The Exercise of Church Discipline Demands Formal Membership
In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus outlines the way in which the church is to seek the restoration of a believer who has fallen into sin – a four-step process commonly known as church discipline. First, when a brother sins, he is to be confronted privately by a single individual (v.15). If he refuses to repent, that individual is to take one or two other believers along to confront him again (v.16). If the sinning brother refuses to listen to the two or three, they are then to tell it to the church (v.17a). If there is still no repentance, the final step is to put the person out of the assembly (v.17b; cf. 1 Cor 5:1-13). The question raised is, “How can you be “put out” of an assembly you don’t belong to?”

In Acts 5:1-14, after the disobedience and subsequent death of Ananias and Sapphira, indeed a case of divine church discipline, Luke records, “And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. At the hands of the apostles, many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number” (Acts 5:11-14). This text demonstrates that people can’t be afraid to join nor can believers be added to the church at Jerusalem without formal membership.

In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Paul admonishes the Corinthians for not removing a fornicator from their midst. The problem was that he was a part of the church, and Paul said he needed to be removed from the church so much so that they weren’t even supposed to share meals. Paul summarizes, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves” (1 Cor 5:12-13). If Paul didn’t intend formal membership, how could he consider some to be “within the church” and others “outside”? How do you “remove” someone from among yourselves if they aren’t formally a part of you?

To be removed from the church you must first be a part of the church. The exercise of church discipline, according to Matthew 18 and other passages (1 Cor 5:1-13; 1 Tim 5:20; Tit 3:10-11), presupposes that the elders know who their members are. For example, the elders of Immanuel Baptist Church have neither the responsibility nor the authority to discipline a member of a church down the street. The Bible’s teaching on church discipline assumes church membership. The third biblical reason is:

3) The Exhortation to Mutual Edification Affirms Formal Membership
The New Testament teaches that the church is the body of Christ and that God has called every member to a life devoted to the growth of the body. In other words, Scripture exhorts all believers to edify the other members by exercising their spiritual gifts (Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:4-31; Eph 4:7-12) and practicing the “one-anothers” (Heb 10:24-25).

Spiritual gifts were given to the committed members of local churches. In Romans 12:3-8, Paul reminds the believers at the church at Rome that they are “members one of another” and as such, they were to be contributing to one another spiritually. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-21, Paul reminds the believers at the church at Corinth that they were each a part/member of that local expression of the body of Christ (vv. 12-14), and as such, they all had different roles and gifts (vv. 15-19) and they all needed one another. In Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul tells the local church members in Ephesus that God gave them pastors/teachers to equip them for the work of the ministry. The original context demands that access to such equipping from these pastors would happen when they were assembled as a church. It is significant that each of these passages was addressed to local congregations, thereby conveying the original context in which the inspired writer intended for these gifts to be exercised.

Similarly, the “one-anothers” were given to committed members within local church contexts in the NT. This signifies that mutual edification and the mutual obligation between fellow Christians can only take place in the context of the corporate body of Christ. Exhortations to this kind of ministry presuppose that believers have committed themselves to other believers in a specific local assembly. Church membership is simply the formal way to make that commitment.

Many Christians seem to think that because they are saved without church membership, and church membership will not make them any more sure of salvation, they need not concern themselves with it. This is a purely selfish point of view. What difference will church membership make to me is the question often in mind. But it is the wrong question. The purpose of church membership is in relation to the local church, not the individual.

Do you see the importance of local church membership? The existence of church government, the exercise of church discipline, and the exhortation to mutual edification all demand formal commitment to a local church body. Therefore, I would encourage you to consider the teaching of Scripture and to become a member of a local church granted that you are a born-again believer. Membership matters!

Pastor Mike Srisam-ang



PREPARING FOR SUNDAY

Sermon:
God’s Patience & Jonah’s Message
Jonah 3:1-10
Dr. Daniel Davey

Scripture:
Matthew 12:38-42

Evening Service:
Walking in the Truth
3 John 1:1-14
Rev. John Corcoran



The Security Committee has been working on measures to make our church safer during our meetings, particularly on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Starting on Wednesday, March 14th the following will be in effect:

Wednesday nights – All doors on the south end of the church (parking lot glass doors, library door, Mizpah Room door and courtyard glass doors) will be locked at 7:15 PM and reopened at 8:15 PM. All these doors have push bars for exiting. If you would like to enter the church after 7:15 PM, please come around to the north glass doors near the office.

Sunday nights – The north and south glass doors and the north transept door will be locked at 6:45 PM. If you would like to enter the sanctuary after 6:45 PM please enter through the Thompson Street doors.

If you have any questions, please contact Bob Andrews or Paul Dreiling



Easter Flowers: We will have mums and hydrangeas available if you would like to order one in memory or honor of someone for Easter Sunday. Cost is $12 for mums and $18 for hydrangeas. Make checks out to IBC and drop them by the office or mail to the church. Deadline is March 5th. Click here to order.


If you have been worshipping with us and would like to learn more about our church, or think you might be interested in becoming a member, we invite you to attend our upcoming new members class Sunday, March 18, after the morning worship service. Lunch is provided so please reserve your spot today.
Click here to Register!



Wednesday, March 7th, 6:45 – 8:15 PM / Annex
The purpose of the meeting is to get more face time with parents as well as go over what we have been doing and what to look forward to. There will also be a time to ask any questions that you might have. No need to RSVP, just show up!



Save the Date for VBS:
July 30 – August 3, 9 AM to 12 PM



Word of Life Kids Clubs have the following openings for March-May on Wednesday nights:
– Men: Small group leader for elementary Olympians
– Teacher’s Helper: Gopher Buddies class (4 yr. olds)
– Game Coach: to lead game time with 3 different groups, game ideas provided. Contact Peter or Sara Bunn: peterandsarabunn@gmail.com


Upcoming Events:

Feb. 25 – Business Meeting
March 11 – Daylight Savings Time
March 16-17 – Church Wide Cleaning Day
March 18 – Membership Class
– Gilliam Report, Reception & Offering, PM
April 1 – Deluxe Easter Breakfast
April 7-8 – Spring Missions Conference

The Importance of Local Church Membership, Part 1

Mike Srisam-angChurch Blog

Why Church Membership Matters

What is the importance of church membership and why do I have to become a member of the local church? This is a common question among believers and even amongst those who are currently members of a local church. There might not necessarily be opposition to it, but rather confusion as to its significance. My primary purpose is to be faithful to the teaching of Scripture and to clearly communicate what God says concerning this vitally important topic as it speaks to the believer’s responsibility to the body of Christ and to the function of the local church.

A secondary purpose is to engage and encourage those who have been attending a church for some time now but have not committed to becoming a member there for whatever reason. On Sunday, March 18th, our church will be having a membership class and so it is my prayer and intention to bring to your consideration the importance of local church membership.

Church membership is a commitment to unite with an identifiable spiritual body of believers who have joined together geographically for specific, divinely ordained purposes. These include receiving instruction from God’s Word (1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 4:2), the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:7-12), serving and edifying one another through the proper use of spiritual gifts (Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:4-31; 1 Pet 4:10-11), participating in the ordinances of baptism and communion (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and proclaiming the gospel to unbelievers (Matt 28:18-20).

So why should you join/become a member of a local church? Why does Immanuel Baptist Church desire for regularly attending believers to become members? Here are 3 biblical reasons:

1) The Existence of Church Government Demands Formal Membership

Each local body of believers is to be overseen by a plurality of elders. The specific duties given to these elders presuppose a clearly defined group of church members who are under their care. Among other things, these godly men are responsible to shepherd God’s people (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2), labor diligently among them (1 Thess 5:12), have charge over them (1 Thess 5:12; 1 Tim 5:17), and keep watch over their souls (Heb 13:17).

Scripture teaches that the elders will give an account to God for the individuals allotted to their charge (Heb 13:17; 1 Pet 5:3). This cannot be done apart from the identification and limitation that comes with formal membership.

Identification: The elders must be able to identify members allotted to their care for the purpose of providing proper oversight. How can they do this if there is not a distinguishable, mutually understood membership in the local church?

Limitation: The elders of a given church are not responsible for the spiritual well-being of every individual who visits the church or who attends sporadically. They are primarily responsible to shepherd those who have submitted themselves to the care and authority of the elders, and this is done through church membership.

Furthermore, all believers are commanded to submit to a godly group of elders (Heb 13:17a). Among other things, believers are supposed to follow their leaders (Heb 13:7), obey leaders (Heb 13:17a), and let them lead with joy (Heb 13:17b).

How can these be exercised apart from formal church membership? To which elders are you submitting? Who are your leaders? This implies that every believer knows who he/she must submit to, which assumes a clearly defined church membership. Thus, the existence of church government as laid out in Scripture demands a formal local church membership. Please stay tuned for next week’s blog for reasons 2 and 3.


PREPARING FOR SUNDAY

Sermon:
God’s Power & Jonah’s Prayer
Jonah 2:1-10
Dr. Daniel Davey

Scripture:
Psalm 32

Evening Service:
– Ministry Presentation – Rita Beale, CEF State Director/
– Business Meeting


The Security Committee has been working on measures to make our church safer during our meetings, particularly on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Starting on Wednesday, March 14th the following will be in effect:

Wednesday nights – All doors on the south end of the church (parking lot glass doors, library door, Mizpah Room door and courtyard glass doors) will be locked at 7:15 PM and reopened at 8:15 PM. All these doors have push bars for exiting. If you would like to enter the church after 7:15 PM, please come around to the north glass doors near the office.

Sunday nights – The north and south glass doors and the north transept door will be locked at 6:45 PM. If you would like to enter the sanctuary after 6:45 PM please enter through the Thompson Street doors.

If you have any questions, please contact Bob Andrews or Paul Dreiling



Easter Flowers: We will have mums and hydrangeas available if you would like to order one in memory or honor of someone for Easter Sunday. Cost is $12 for mums and $18 for hydrangeas. Make checks out to IBC and drop them by the office or mail to the church. Deadline is March 5th. Click here to order.



If you have been worshipping with us and would like to learn more about our church, or think you might be interested in becoming a member, we invite you to attend our upcoming new members class Sunday, March 18, after the morning worship service. Lunch is provided so please reserve your spot today.

Click to register online.



Wednesday, March 7th, 6:45 – 8:15 PM / Annex
The purpose of the meeting is to get more face time with parents as well as go over what we have been doing and what to look forward to. There will also be a time to ask any questions that you might have. No need to RSVP, just show up!



Save the Date for VBS:
July 30 – August 3, 9 AM to 12 PM



Feb. 25 – Business Meeting
March 11 – Daylight Savings Time
March 16-17 – Church Wide Cleaning Day
March 18 – Membership Class
-Gilliam Report, Reception & Offering, PM