A Message from Pastor Ken
Plans Moving Forward
Dear Church Family,
Friday morning, March 20th. The very first thing I want to do is to encourage you to trust the Lord in this national health emergency. Look to Him and trust Him in what He is doing. Personally, I’ve been praying for you and asking God to keep you in good spirits, to give you strength and keep you in good health. I’ve been praying that God will provide you with encouragement in this time of self-distancing. There is a purpose in what God is allowing to take place. As you can imagine, I have been asked countless times, “What is happening to our world?" The best answer I can give anyone who asks that question is; God has certainly got the world’s attention.
1 Cor. 14:33, 40. Looking at the situation before us, it may not seem like there could possibly be any purpose in this health crisis. But God is not a God of confusion, everything He does is done in His time and in His order.
2 Tim. 1:7 tells us that, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Now, considering what the healthcare professionals of the CDC are advising and the Governors request of religious endeavors, and because of our considerate love and protection of you our church family; we will not be having church for the next two weeks. We will continue to evaluate the situation throughout the next weeks and at the end of the month will advise you on our (elders) decision. As you are aware, the world seems to be in flux, therefore, we will do our very best to make decisions that honor the Lord. Many in our congregation have health issues or their families have weakened immune systems. Also, you are aware there are those in our congregational family that are in the age bracket (60’s-80’s) that have been advised to self-distance. I too, am in the category. I never imagined that we would have to make decisions like this. We (the elders) have spent specific time in prayer for you and your families, our nation, our leaders, our president, and the health care providers and national health care advisors . We are praying that you and our nation will look to God to answer their questions. In this time of self-distancing, especially on Sundays, would you take the time as a family to read your Bible and pray, pray specifically for all of the issues I have mentioned? We are not going to do anything video related. But, I would like to suggest you that you look at these passages this Sunday. 2 Cor. 4:8-9, Psalm 139:13-17, Jer. 1:5, Isa. 49:15. The theme is-“Do I Trust God? We are going to honor those whose particular job is to protect the health of the state’s and nation's health. During the weeks we are not meeting as a church body we are asking you to remember the special-ness of meeting together as a church family.
Remember the importance of those quick chat’s you have before and after church. Remember those whose hands you shake and the joy you share together as you raise your voices in praise. Thank God for the privilege of being able to meet together and worship our Savior. Church is a building but you and I are the “church”. Paul, in. Phil. 1:3-6 wrote, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you. I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I want to encourage you to remember to continue, to support Dover Baptist Church with your tithes and offerings. We are ministry supported by the gracious gifts of God’s people. I must be practical here; the church may not be open ,but the bills do not stop because we are not in the building. You can send your offerings by mail to DBC or you can go onto our website and enroll in our e-giving program, called RebelGive. You can give one-time gifts or you can enroll in continuous weekly giving. Your gifts/giving is an act of worship. Let's keep the church strong during this time of testing may we continue to fund our God sized vision. This is a tremendous upheaval in our lives but I want to encourage you to put a song, a hymn in your heart and sing it throughout the day. I want to conclude with 2 Cor. 5:7, “We live by faith and not by sight.”
All regular events have been postponed until further notice.
Our Sunday Worship Services, for the next two weeks (March 22nd and March 29th) have been cancelled.
We will not have virtual services for these two Sundays.
The Elders and Pastor will be constantly evaluating the situation in the weeks to come.
We are in unprecedented times, Pastor Ken said in our last budget meeting and he is right. We Americans haven’t experienced anything like the current world environment. The Coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on our economy, our social network, on our lives and on everything we are accustomed to having and doing. But as Christians we have been through this before.
In the first century, Rome, there was disease and pestilence, persecution and difficulties for anyone professing to be a Christian but for all people. What set Christians apart was how we reacted to that environment. Christians ran to the sick and needy and took care of them. They gave of themselves and their money to help others get through the challenges of the day.
It was this sacrificial giving that set them apart and was a reason the early church grew in that period. They were full of the Holy Spirit and they heeded the call to be Christ’s hands and feet to heal the sick and love the unlovable. They didn’t have Facebook, Instagram or Twitter back then, but they still had social networks of people they knew and talked to.
It was the shopkeepers and vendors they interacted with daily. It was government officials and neighbors they saw each day and people were talking about what those crazy Christians were doing. But what they were doing was trusting in God and living out the teachings of the apostles. This was what was being noticed, they let their light shine.
In today’s world we find it difficult to do some of these things. We are directed to practice social distancing and to not congregate in large groups. We are told to stay home and not risk spreading this disease further and this is wise in this case to follow. So how can we still set the example of the early Christians?
One way is to not let fear overcome you, God will lead us through this, and we are to show our faith in Him. Dave Ramsey says this about showing our faith, “The Bible tells us that tithing is a way to show that we trust God with our lives and our finances. But the tithe wasn’t put in place for God’s benefit—He already owns everything. He doesn’t need our money. Instead, tithing is meant for our benefit because sacrificing a portion of our income helps us look outside our selfishness and makes us more aware of the needs of others.”
Tithing is an act of faith that helps us keep our priorities straight. It reminds us that we don’t own anything in this life. God is in control, and we’re only managers of what He’s given us. We need to keep this in mind when we are considering how to give in light of not going to church on Sunday. There are ways in which to continue to show your faith in God’s will and be faithful in your tithing and offering.
You could mail a check in or you can sign up for RebelGive, our online giving tool. There are no fees to you or to the church if you link it to a checking or savings account. It is quick and easy to do and convenient. You never have to worry about writing that check ,it happens and it shows that you have made that commitment to putting God first.