Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Berean Prays for Medical Community

At Berean Christian Church our goal is to connect with God, connect with each other and connect with our community. We know that through prayer we can connect with God, but connecting with community can sometimes be difficult. Yes, we attend various civic events and sponsor the school supply giveaway and other events, but how do we incorporate a more spiritual connection?

Pastor Troy, through some prayer of his own, has come up with a great idea that the whole church has embraced. We are praying for a different segment of our community every month of 2017. For the month of February each and every day members of our church will be praying for the medical community in and around Murphysboro. What a great place to start! We will be in prayer for doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians, staff and anyone else that works hard keeping our community healthy. Also, each Sunday we will place the needs of doctors, nurses and staff members of care facilities before God at our worship service on Sunday at 10AM!

How can you get involved?

  1. First of all regardless of your church, please join us in February praying for our friends in the medical community. 
  2. Let us know if you have a friend or family member in the medical profession you would like us to pray for. Just click here to fill out the prayer request. 
  3. Let someone in the medical field know they are important and that you are praying for them!
  4. Join us each Sunday at 10AM. 
We have wonderful medical personnel in our community that work in hospitals, doctor's offices and all sorts of medical facilities throughout our region. We need to be in prayer for them join us in prayer all this month!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Roughin' It a Guys Guide - New Bible Study

Every month we have a Men’s Bible study at Berean. It is a time that just we guys get together and discuss how we can be better men and more effective leaders in the church.  We have been using Mansfields Book of Manly Men as a discussion starter and guide. It looks at the lives of historically significant men and what propelled them to greatness.  It was very informative and instructional.

However that study is coming to a close and a new one is beginning so now would be the perfect time to jump in as a New Year’s resolution.  The book we will be using this year is Wise Guys:  Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You.

It shows that for guys, more than ever, its a confusing world.
Your GPS doesn't offer any maps showing how to get to the point of wisdom -- and who likes asking for directions anyway? But, there are ways to get that guidance you need. The book argues that answers may be all around you, in the form of guys you already know. Wise guys. More experienced guys. Better-traveled guys.

The question it asks is “Could there be ways to tap Into their invaluable knowledge without enduring dull lectures or taking pages of notes? The answer is yes and it tells you how.

The author, Kent Evans has surrounded himself with these wise guys his whole life and they have shown him all the back roads on the way to wisdom. With a great deal of humor and an endless supply of stories, he wants to show you how to gather life-enriching truth from the guys in your own circle.

The Bible study is open to any man of any age that has a desire to fellowship with other Christian men and to try to grow in His word and strength.  This does not have to be relegated to only Berean Christian Church members, so feel free to invite other guys as a way to introduce them to our church or for inter-church camaraderie.

We hope that you will take advantage of the study and attend the last Sunday of every month at 6:00PM in the fellowship area near the classrooms. Yet to be announced, but it looks like the official kick off for the new study will be on Saturdays for breakfast once a month starting in March. We will let you know.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Elder's Perspective - New Year New Commitment

Berean Christian Church welcomes every new year with a congregational meeting that gives an accounting of the previous year. It goes over the books, talks about the numbers and the various ministry teams, goes over their accomplishments of the previous year. Those are fine things to do and we need to look back in some respects. It is good to see the positive to get encouragement and look closely at what we need to fix for the future.

However, if we dwell too much on past success we may miss the bigger point about being Christians at Berean or Christians anywhere. We are to look to the future, not just the past.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” - Psalm 23:6.

I think one of the implications of the verse is expressed in the word “follow”. It implies that we are not to be static in our Christian walks, but instead we should be in motion, ever moving, ever progressing. In other words, if we were expected to stay in one spot spiritually and physically, why would goodness and mercy have to follow us? Wouldn’t it just rest on us? This philosophy is not just relegated to the Old Testament either. There are around 60 verses in the New Testament that are about following Jesus.

In Matthew 4: 18 - 20 we see this played out in real terms when Jesus called a couple of simple fishermen to become Disciples. “Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”

We sometimes think that Christianity is motionless, but we see here that Jesus commands the brothers who would become Disciples to follow him. Could Jesus have given Peter and Andrew everything they needed while they pulled in their nets, sitting in a gently rocking boat? Of course he could, but actions were needed to fulfill God’s plan. Jesus spoke and they took immediate action.

So this year at the congregational meeting let’s relive some of the past successes and challenges we faced. But, let’s not dwell on them as we are tempted to do. Instead let’s look to the future and vow to follow immediately the leading of Jesus.

This may mean doing things completely different than what we normally have. It may mean failing and then learning from our shortcomings. But, it should also inspire us and give us new excitement for the possibilities.

So if you are a ministry team leader, try to include in your report what you and your team is hoping to accomplish in 2017. What success are you wanting to see and how you can accomplish great things for the Kingdom. Be bold, take chances and follow Him, knowing that he is following your every move with grace and mercy.

If you are a congregational member come to the meeting, but not just in the capacity of raising your hand and saying “aye” when prompted by Jim Siefert (he will be running the meeting). But, instead think of your role and how you can plug into a great and bright future at Berean.

The Annual Congregational Meeting is January 25, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the auditorium. Everyone is welcome and input appreciated.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Berean to Host Candlelight Service

Murphysboro, IL / November 17, 2016 - Berean Christian Church in Murphysboro will be hosting the annual Candlelight Service on Saturday December 24, with service starting at 10:00 PM. The Candlelight Service has be a yearly tradition at Berean since its founding. Pastor Troy Humphrey will be focusing our attention on the true meaning of Christmas with a short sermon. There is a time for quiet reflection during the singing of traditional carols and communion will be offered... For more info read here

Monday, August 22, 2016

Emily Ward Welcomed to New Post

Berean Christan Church is pleased to announce that Emily Ward has joined the team as the Children Ministry Director and Administrative Assistant. Emily has been a life long member of Berean and looks forward to contributing to the mission of connecting people to God, each other and the community.

Many of the programs and ministries will remain the same. For instance the successful BASH (Berean After School Haven) program will continue. The after school program that ministers to children each Wednesday during the school year with homework help, a good meal and plenty of fun time will not change. BASH continues to grow through the efforts of the congregation through donations and volunteering time.

Also the popular day time Vacation Bible Study will continue as well as many other opportunities to connect. If you would like additional information about Berean Christian Church you can visit their website at www.bereanconnect.com.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

New Bus to Help Berean Ministry

Kids from the last BASH showing off the new bus!
Berean Christian Church has raised the funds and have purchased a bus to help out with the ministry of the church. The goal of Berean Christian Church is to connect with God each, other and the community and in several ways the new bus does just that.

It helps connect people to God as it will be used to transport people to and from church events including Sunday Connect and the Sunday service. It will connect Berean with the community by providing transportation for school children through the BASH after school program and help with community transportation needs. It will also help us connect with each other at Berean as relationships will developed as we travel for missions and ministry where ever that leads us.

The bus project was headed up by the deacons at Berean. They raised the funds and did the research. Chris Groded led the effort and was assisted by Dan Mann, Lee Marks and Scott Ward. In addition to the deacons a big thank you goes to Mark Berger for his help in giving the bus a thorough check before the purchase was made.

The bus still has to get the logo and other designs on the exterior but was ready for use during the last BASH of the school year. Also the bus is part of the Fresh Start program that continues to raise funds for new exterior doors and an upgraded kitchen. To be a part of the Fresh Start program ask for a brochure and pledge card at Berean.

Friday, February 5, 2016

God Cares Who Wins the Super Bowl - Maybe

I just read a release from the Baptist Press and they polled 1000 Americans asking them "Does God determine winners and losers in the Super Bowl?"
The results were 88% said no, 8% said yes and 5% did not know. At first blush it seems that the vast majority of people, at least according to this survey want to have a separation of Church and football. I don’t blame them, why invite God to a party with beer and gluttony? Seriously, all of this is fun to discuss, but this question leads to a deeper understanding of God’s role in the small things in life. 
For instance as a Protestant I was always curious when the Catholic basketball teams crossed themselves before each free throw. I would like to see the stats on that. Do Catholics that pray before each free throw tend to have a higher percentage made? If they do then Shaq should have converted. But, who knows. 
A more accurate perspective on God and the Super Bowl is that God can or does not have to care depending on His divine will. In other words I have no idea if He cares but if the game has a purpose in His Kingdom then He does. 
Too often we myopically feel that God has no role in the small things just the big things. We pray about who we should marry, what we will do when we graduate (if we do) and where we will live. But not whether we should fix our hair or wear a hat and a pony tail. I’m not saying that we should lock ourselves in a prayer closet and go on bended knee about hair styles. But I am saying that we need to recognize that God can and does care about minor things in life, like a silly little football game.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Fresh Start Gets Fresh Start

At Berean our fresh start program got a real boost with a sizable donation at the end of 2015. An anonymous donation of $10,000 for purchase of a van was received. This amount will not be enough to purchase a van, but we must have faith that God will bless us and provide as we need and the need is definitely there.

Our youth mission is growing as evidenced by our Christmas program and New Years celebration for middle school age children. We currently have more children participating in the exciting things going on at Berean and we are reaching the children of our community in higher and higher numbers. The Berean After School Haven, better known as BASH is also increasing in popularity. On Wednesday nights it is not uncommon for over fifty children and adults to be present, learning about God, getting a good meal and connecting with each other.

Besides the old van is getting pretty run down. It has gotten to the point that repairs are a continuous concern and it is out of date. The leadership of the church has restricted the use to local only because the reliability is an issue. However, as our youth ministries continue to grow, opportunities to minister outside of our region will increase. Conferences and missions trips are complicated by not having suitable transportation.

Not only that, but the old van's use has largely been restricted to youth activities as it is difficult for adults to enter and exit the van. The deacons will begin the process of shopping for a used van that has steps and easy access to the seating. In this way we will be getting more use out of the vehicle.

Now all we need is you! We need you to help further the mission of the church by contributing to Fresh Start. We have come very far with Fresh Start but we have some major projects left. We have, with God's help, carpeted the Connect area, placed security cameras, purchased new lights for the auditorium, added exterior lighting and signs and installed an additional storage area to name a few completed projects. We are now ready to move one big step further by purchasing a van.

Giving to Fresh Start is a way to support the mission of Berean to connect with our community and to provide a great environment where we can connect with each other. Be a part of this by committing a monthly pledge above you current tithe or offering.  To find out more Fresh Start brochures are available at the church office.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

If You Didn't Want to Be a Missionary, Surprise!

Better lighting is needed for Christmas plays and a van for BASH
and other youth activities.
Sometimes churches, even really great churches like Berean, have it all backwards. We think that we are to be catered to and kept comfortable in church with padded chairs, soft sermons and music just the way we like it. Being stretched is not what we want and reaching out to people in the community is for the paid professionals in ministry.

But, this is completely the opposite of what we should be thinking as a church. Church should be each and every member stretching and growing in faith and reaching others as we fulfill the great commission given in Matthew 28:18-20 and stated again in Acts 1:8.

We need to be vocal about our faith, talking about Jesus to our friends and families, even if they have rejected Him before. We need to pray for the lost we know and don't know in our community as we tell others and prepare ourselves to talk to them in words and deeds, helped by studying the Bible and meeting together each Sunday.

But, also part of that stretching is to make sure that the church has the infrastructure to welcome non-Christians to our building and effectively minister to them. Colossians 4:5 says, to "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity." We need to have the resources that help us do this, and because of this vital mission we are starting the Fresh Start ministry up again to specifically invest in some better lighting in the auditorium and ultimately a church van. As funds come in we will also be improving the entrances and repairing the heating and air conditioning systems throughout the church. This giving needs to be above your normal offering and if you aren't giving regularly you need to prayerfully start.

Keep in mind through Fresh Start we have come a long way. We have already improved the Kingdom Kids area with new carpeting, replaced old outdated signs and exterior lighting, put in a security system and added additional storage to name a few things. Now we need to tackle the final pieces of Fresh Start. It is hard to believe sometimes that God will bless us with the resources we need, but our community is a great field that needs to be harvested and as long as we stay focused on that, He will provide us with what we need to accomplish great things. We know this by faith!

Sometimes it is difficult to stay positive and upbeat as we see swings in the attendance and overall giving. It is easy to get caught up in the negative and weekly numbers and live in fear, but our God overcomes that fear! However, if you are struggling with the negative come to church on Wednesday nights. Fifty children from our community get to hear the gospel proclaimed! We are making a difference for His Kingdom at Berean. For you "number" people, if you add the Wednesday Night BASH and Connect to the Sunday morning numbers we are impacting Murphysboro more than ever. For this great work to continue we need a new van and lighting for plays and special activities. We need you to get involved in reaching others for God. After all whether you like it or not you are a missionary for Christ.

If you want to contribute for the lighting please put "Fresh Start" in the memo on your check or on the envelope. We will be starting Fresh Start in full and providing more information after the first of the year.

 

Slow Down for Christmas

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... and the busiest. It seems like we run from one party to another, shopping has to be done, decorating, cooking, cleaning, the list never stops. But it should stop!  How can we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, when there is no peace just a hectic schedule crammed full of must do's and mad dashes from store to store?


Believe it or not one of the best ways to add the peace we all seek, is to add some things to your already busy schedule. I know it sounds crazy. Adding stuff to do at Christmas time makes no sense. But, we need to add times when we can celebrate, remember and reflect on the fact that a baby was born to save the world.

In the logic of the world adding things to do would only stress us out more. But with God's logic remembering Jesus will lift our hearts and draw us closer to Him. At Berean we have three great opportunities to remember Jesus this holiday season.

Celebrate

Meet me at the Manger is a children's play presented by the BASH Kids, Kingdom Kids (Berean Youth) and Servants for Christ. It will truly warm your heart to see children tell the tale of the simple manger that calls us all to God. This performance is a must!

I know if you don't have children or grandchildren you might be tempted to skip the show. Big mistake! Because you are in the family of God you will have a couple dozen "grandkids" to see, all with shining faces, singing their hearts out and bringing a message of hope and joy to all that attend.

There are two performances, Friday December 18th at 6:30 PM and Sunday December 20th, during regular worship at 10:00 AM. Both performances will be at Berean at the corner of 16th Street and Illinois Avenue.

Please plan on attending and invite your whole family and friends. Believe it or not people in our community are waiting for someone to invite them to find God, especially this time of year. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Remember

If remembering Jesus and the significance of his birth is what you need, then doing so on Christmas Eve in the glow of candlelight is a perfect match. It is a simple service with the singing of carols, a time of communion and a message of hope through Jesus.

Every year once the parties are done and the children are a bit groggy, we go to the candlelight service as a final reminder of why we celebrate. If it has been a while since you have been to the candlelight service come see us at 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve. Everyone that attends is glad they did as hearts are warmed in the stillness, hours before Christmas day.

Reflect

Reflection and quiet contemplation is crucial to our faith. We should be still and listen for His voice yet in the busy holiday season with the music blaring, the TV on and constant chatter from those around us, it seems like it is tough to find the time to sit quietly in His presence and hear His voice.

On New Years Eve at Berean we offer the community the opportunity to come into a darkened auditorium, sit for a moment and pray. There is no sermon or music to distract us, just a quiet time before our heavenly Father.  A communion tray is set out for each to partake as they are led and an Elder will be available if you would like someone to pray with or have a special need.

It is a time that we can look back in our hearts at 2015, search ourselves, ask for forgiveness and remember the positive spiritual moments of the past year. We can also look forward to 2016 and pray about our world, community and ourselves. This quiet time is a perfect place to go before God.

So there you have three opportunities to make this busy time more about God and His son whose birth we celebrate.  It does sound a bit crazy that adding things to our schedule will help us find peace, but if we shift our thinking to seeking the Prince of Peace we will surely find the peace we are all looking for this holiday season.

From the Elders at Berean Christian Church, have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!