Dear Friends,

We can finally announce that our new Associate Pastor of Student Ministries, Cameron Reed, will begin his ministry with our church on Sunday, March 28th.  I appreciate everyone’s patience as we have moved through this process.  He has now given his church his notice and for the next two weeks he will be finishing his time there and working on transitioning to our area.  Please be in prayer for Cameron, Brett and Jordan that God will continue to show them His favor. 

I’ve mentioned this before, optimism is not my natural disposition.  I prefer to be called a realist but that label means different things depending upon one’s perspective.  Since I usually assume that in any given situation something will probably go wrong, my perspective of reality is, let’s face it, pessimistic.

So, when I am feeling very optimistic about something, it is an unusual experience. What I feel optimistic about is the direction and future of our church!  It occurred to me recently that this pandemic, while a terrible plague that has cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives and livelihoods, has worked to the good for Frederica Baptist Church.  God, I believe, has used this unusual time of testing to push us to places we would not have gone on our own.  Mass quarantines required us to increase the use of greater technology to reach out to more people.  Bottoming out interest rates boosted real estate sales which enabled us to sell all but our most essential space in the building at 1700 Frederica Road.  This in turn gave us the ability to support a much-needed student pastor, and forced us to look for creative ways to meet together, pushing us out of our comfort zones.  Four home life groups have been started and more are in the works.  We are taking church directly to those who need it, our neighbors!  This, I know, will make us stronger!

Tuesday night, fifteen people met at my house for our home life group. Six of them have no relationship with Frederica Baptist Church, but I’m optimistic!  We ate together, told stories about our lives to each other, laughed together (a lot), studied and discussed one of Jesus’ parables together, prayed together and made plans together!  This group, I realized, is a melding of my church community and my neighborhood community.  It is amazing!  I want it to grow and expand!  I want all of you, my dear friends, to experience this same optimistic joy.

To do that, we need more groups in more neighborhoods.  This isn’t just about growing our church, although that is one of our goals.  This is about growing our community of friends and neighbors.  This is ultimately about growing God’s kingdom and making sure our friends and neighbors are a part of it!

Each and every one of us who claim to be followers of Jesus are called to be his “witnesses” (Acts 1:8).  Each and every one of us are called to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20).  Honestly, where would you rather go, to your own living room or to a jungle shack with a dirt floor and no AC in Madagascar?  Think about it…  We cannot ignore the calling, we cannot pretend that it’s not there, we cannot say, “He didn’t mean me.”  No!  We are ALL called to go, disciple, baptize, teach and witness.  These things require action, they require speech, they require intentionality.  Jesus said “To whom much was given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48).  My friends, we have all been given very, very much!  Is it too much for our Lord to hold us responsible to follow His universal calling on the lives of all Christians?  Remember the last part of Matt. 28:20 says, “Surely I am with you always…” We need not let fear paralyze our mission!

If you think you might be ready to follow your calling and impact your neighborhood, I want to help you do it!  On Thursday evening, March 11 at 6:30pm, Amy and I will host, at our home, a training small group to show you just how easy it can be.  If you would like to know more about facilitating a home life group please join us.  RSVP to the church office so we can be ready to receive you.  If you are unable to make it at that time, I will meet with you when it is convenient and explain our process.

I am optimistic (really!) that together we can make a huge impact in the Golden Isles for Christ through our obedience to His calling!

Only by Grace!

Pastor Mike