As you probably know, Bro. Jeff and Bro. Nick attended this year’s Southern Baptist Convention in Houston, TX.  One of the events that takes place during that meeting is the election of the 2nd Vice President.  This year, as a messenger from Midway Baptist Church, Bro. Jeff gave the nomination speech for Jared Moore who was ultimately elected to the office!  As a result, Midway Baptist had a hand in electing the 3rd officer of the largest Protestant denomination in the world.  Pretty cool.  You can see the video of these things below.

From The Community Blog: The Dear Parents With Young Children in Church:

Dear Parents with young children in church,

You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring.

I know you’re wondering, is this worth it? Why do I bother? I know you often leave church more exhausted than fulfilled. But what you are doing is so important.

When you are here, the church is filled with a joyful noise. When you are here, the Body of Christ is more fully present. When you are here, we are reminded that this worship thing we do isn’t about Bible Study or personal, quiet contemplation but coming together to worship as a community where all are welcome, where we share in the Word and Sacrament together. When you are here, I have hope that these pews won’t be empty in ten years when your kids are old enough to sit quietly and behave in worship. I know that they are learning how and why we worship now, before it’s too late. They are learning that worship is important.

AT MBC we’re thankful for the parents who do what it takes to fill our sanctuary with the joyful noise of children amongst us.  Click Above or HERE to read the rest.

We’re getting fired up about kicking off VBS 2013 this weekend!

At MBC the reason we’re so passionate about VBS is that God consistently glorifies Himself in so many ways during this special time.  We love the opportunity to share the gospel with the young minds that attend, we have a blast doing so, and the Lord has been kind enough to let us see Him call people to Himself in salvation, deeper intimacy, and greater service through VBS.

How could we not be excited?

This year’s theme is Sonrise National Park (fitting, considering how many beautiful parks are close at hand in the Upper Cumberland).  The fun begins with registration at 6:15pm on Friday, June 7th.  You can find all the details on our main site by clicking HERE.

So, who are you (and/or your children) going to invite?  See you this weekend.

This Sunday at Midway Baptist Church will feature additional opportunities for service and fellowship along with our regular times of study and corporate worship.

The day will begin at 8:30am with a special time of prayer for our Townsend Mission Team which takes the gospel to travelers gathered in the campgrounds of Townsend, TN (working in partnership with CHARM).  You can learn more about this ministry in the video below.

Following the special time of prayer there will be a time of fellowship (involving refreshments) for those who participate and the early arrivers for Sunday School.

After Sunday School we will move into our normal celebration of the resurrection of Christ on the Lord’s Day in corporate worship.  Midway will be served by Michael Dickerson in the pulpit.

Tomorrow Evening small groups will meet at 5:00pm (rather than our normal 6:00pm) as the Townsend Team will be demonstrating their Family Fun Night activities for the church family at 6:00pm.  If you are attending Bro. Jeff’s Future Men class please continue with your reading schedule but plan on joining Nick’s Galatians study in the sanctuary.

Have a good rest of the weekend and we will see you tomorrow!

Nearly two decades ago Col Marshall, one of the good Aussies at Matthias Media, gave us an article entitled The Ministry of the Pew.  The truth of the article and its application to life in the local church has not diminished one iota in the intervening years.  Ultimately, the kind of service Marshall describes in this article is that which all Christians, as members of local churches, are called to.  Have you embraced your call to the Ministry of the Pew?  The article below is not short but the reading is well worth the time it takes to absorb it and chew on what it says.

Factotum #1: The Ministry of the Pew


The ‘Pew Prayer’

Some years ago a pastor, Ray Ewers, instructed me in the finer art of how to walk into church. To most people, this might appear to be a rather basic accomplishment requiring little or no tutelage. Perhaps a family with five toddlers would appreciate some advice, but most of us would never give it a thought. Ray’s instruction was very brief: “Pray about where you sit”.

Praying seemed like a great way to walk into church, better than grumbling about the full car park or feeling annoyed that the first hymn, ‘Tell Out My Soul’, was sung to Tidings and not Woodlands. But of all the things to pray about, why should I be concerned with seating position? After all, I sit in my pew every week.

Ray’s advice was based on a particular view of church. He saw church as a place where Christians go to work. Church is a gathering of God’s people to hear his word and respond in faith and obedience. In this gathering, we are in fellowship with each other, through the blood of Jesus, and, because of our fellowship, we seek to serve each other. We use our gifts and abilities to strengthen one another and build Christ’s Church—‘edification’ is the word often used to describe what goes on in church. All believers are involved in building the church, not just clergy or preachers. The New Testament consistently teaches that in the growth of the body of Christ each part must do its work (see Eph 4; 1 Cor 12-14). Because of this, we aren’t to see ourselves merely as part of an organization called ‘St Hubert’s Church’, but as servants of God’s people, eager to meet the needs of others even if it means sacrificing our own.

Ray’s view of church was spot on. With this perspective, his advice to pray about my choice of pew makes perfect sense. If at church we are working to strengthen our fellow believers, where we sit becomes important since part of our work will be talking to our neighbour in the pew, welcoming people, helping each other understand God’s word and praying with each other.

The ‘Pew Prayer’ was a significant turning point in my understanding of what church is all about. It changed my reasons for going to church. The shift was made from being the ‘helpee’ to the helper, the served to the servant. Church is where we seek spiritual food and encouragement in order to become more godly; but church is also where we go in order to feed other people and encourage them. In God’s mercy, we become more Christ-like in the process, as like him we deny ourselves for the sake of others. But our purpose in gathering with God’s people is to strengthen them and build the body of Christ. We look for opportunities to assist the growth of the church in practical ways, which is what Factotum is all about. There are numerous ways in which we can carry out the ministry of the pew. In this issue of Factotum, we’ll look at some of them.

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