Wayside Chapel Community Church Rosamond, Ca
Why I Teach Jr. High

People ask me that question many times. They wonder what is so special about that age group. They ask:

“Wouldn’t you rather teach Sr. High?”

or

“Is this just a stepping stone to other more prestigious ministries?”

I’m not sure where this sentiment comes from. Frankly I can’t understand why this age group is such a black sheep to some people within ministry. I personally saw a gold mine there. Most psychologists agree that this pre-teen, or “tweener” period is when most kids form the identity and characteristics that will shape their entire life. They are leaving the innocence of childhood but they are not quite mature enough to understand the realities of life. They are in-between, and therefore have a very moldable mind and thirst for knowledge.

This is where we as Jr. High leaders can step in. We can teach them the foundations of the Bible and what it has to say about life so they can hopefully form a biblical worldview. Teachers can show them the importance of regular worship, quiet time, and Godly morals. It is where likeminded tweens can fellowship with each other without fear or intimidation, enjoying the coolness of sharing the same faith.

I love everything about Jr. High ministry. I love the challenges, the attitudes, and most of all the personalities. Their love for God spurs me on in my own faith, and I’m challenged weekly to get kids who seemingly have everything this world has to offer to care about Jesus. It is no doubt at times a difficult endeavor. There are some days where I literally feel like giving up. Still there are other days where the pride and compassion for these kids well up so much in my heart I literally feel like weeping tears of joy. It is that moment where it finally clicks, when young people realize that they need nothing but Jesus and that He is all that sustains them, which is when I feel the most joy.

For I know that young people on fire for God can cause much disruption in the spiritual realm. Imagine the youth of a nation, united in prayer and supplication for a generation that needs Him. It is a dream of mine, and I know that is the goal of all people that work in ministry, even one as quirky as Jr. High. Bottom line, I want to see Jr. High kids going to heaven by the truckload. I’m dead serious about that. In addition I yearn to see the kids under my teaching get sold out for Christ. I want to get them to see that even though this world is against all that we believe in, it shouldn’t bring us down. Ultimately we have victory in Jesus, and that no matter what is thrown our way we can overcome.

So the next time you see me and my team doing something with Jr. High kids, don’t just keep walking. Say a prayer for us. Understand that what we are doing has huge ramifications on the kingdom of God. Yes, there are many times where I’m taking a pie to my face, or eating an enormous amount of hot dogs to win a silly contest. We, as youth ministers, must “become all things to all men, so that some may be saved”. There are many times when the balance of full time job, ministry, school, and family life are just too much to bear. But we press on, knowing that the prize we desire is young people knowing the Lord, and living for Him. There is no greater joy to be had, then when a young person gives their life to Jesus. It makes the struggles we go through miniscule and insignificant, and it is why I do Jr. High ministry. The Holy Spirit has made them my mission field, and I embrace it with conviction and fervor.

Nathan Ash

Jr. High Ministries

Wayside Chapel

ndavidash@gmail.com

 

Phillipians 3:10

The 2 Most Subtle yet Destructive Words You Could Say.

I just found this article online at Faithful Devotions, and felt that it was helpful to me and I wanted to share it.  

Chelsea Dyas

 

What I want to share with you today is very serious and very important to me. Everything that I write is a lesson I have learned or am still learning. What I will share with you today is a personal battle that I’ve fought against for a long time. The two words that I want to share with you can destroy your relationships. These two words can destroy your career. These two little words can rob a leader of his/her title. And these two words can take a great church with a lot of influence to a small church with zero influence very fast. As you probably know, the words themselves are not the problem, rather it is the context in which they are delivered and the heart behind the words. Nearly everyone gets caught up in saying these words. Usually these words get used to take the focus off of us and our imperfections.

The two little words I am talking about are “I KNOW.” Think about yourself for a moment… how often do you say those two words? Maybe you don’t say the exact words but you probably use a variation of them. If you’re like me, I would guess that you say them more often then you’d like to admit.

Most of the time when we are saying “I KNOW,” someone is trying to help us, change us, or teach us something. Our internal negative tendency is to agree and say “I KNOW,” or a variation of. Here’s the problem with that… if we really knew and put into action what we say we know, we wouldn’t be having the conversation about the issue in the first place!

When I get caught up in responding with a version of “I KNOW” to someone else… my response was often rooted in arrogance and pride. I didn’t want to admit I was wrong. Other times, I did “KNOW,” I was simply too lazy to apply what I knew.

So how can the words “I KNOW” be destructive as the title suggests?

1. “I KNOW” is usually a symptom of arrogance and pride, putting you in opposition with God.Here’s a few examples of what God has to say about pride Prov 16:5 Prov 29:3 Prov 11:2 Prov 26:12 Prov 16:18 Prov 25:27 Prov 8:13 Prov 11:12

2. “I KNOW” will push those that can help you away. When I was a sales trainer years ago, I had sales reps who faced struggles. Some reps pulled out of the slump and others never did. Many times the slump was due to lack of activity or a specific skill set that needed refined. When the sales rep was coached on the lack of activity, the answer almost always was “I KNOW” from the reps that never pulled out of the slump. When the sales rep that didn’t pull out of the slump was coached on a specific skill set, the answer almost always was, “I’M ALREADY SAYING/DOING THAT.” As you can guess, they weren’t already saying or doing what they should have been saying or doing. They did “KNOW” what they were supposed to do, or did KNOW but chose to not do it. The end result was failure that was rooted in pride. The attitude and the heart of the sales rep made the trainers not want to help them because advice was falling on deaf ears. I KNOW will push those that can help you away!

3. “I KNOW” will destroy your career. If you are not the boss, you will have a difficult time submitting to authority. If you are the boss, nobody will want to work for a know it all who doesn’t listen to feedback!

4. “I KNOW” will take a great church with a lot of influence to a small church with zero influence very fast. To save space, just read points 1,2 &3 again because it applies to a church. Beyond those 3 points, I will add that a church with a “I KNOW” attitude will tend to have leaders that are not submitted to authority. When church leaders are not submitted to authority, the congregation tends to have little submission to the leadership of the church.

5. “I KNOW” will ruin your relationships. We’ve all heard the saying, “Nobody wants to hang out with a know it all.” I would add, especially your spouse and children!

A few years ago, when I attacked this issue in my heart I found a list called “Signs of Pride.” I do not know who to give the credit to for the list, but I hope it is as revealing to you as it was to me…

Your Dominion?

Creation_of_god_to_man
 

  “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. The God blessed them, and God said to them,”Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the seas, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’ (Genesis 1: 27-28)

  God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the garden, they were to rule, and work the garden God did not give up His sovereignty but He did relinquish the day to day management of what He had created for good or bad and placed it in the hands of his creation.  God did not stop them from making a bad decision, but did hold them accountable for that decision.  That influence that decision had a direct influence on everything and everyone around them.   Every one of us has been placed in a garden and area where we have dominion and area of influence and for some of us that could include such things as family, church, work or just the driver’s seat of our cars.  Every decision we make in each of these areas has an everlasting affect on people and resources around us. We have the choice of that decision being positive or negative.

   The children of Noah faced a point in their lives where they had to make a life changing decision.  They were living in a world that was wicked to the point where God was going to destroy what he had created. (Genesis 6:5-7).  Noah’s sons had to decide spend the next one hundred years building an ark in obedience to God or to join the rest of the world in mocking God and their father Noah.  They chose to follow their father, and that is a great testimony of the influence Noah had on his children. In Noah’s domain he chose to always follow God no matter what was going on in the world around him and that had a direct influence on his son’s and the decisions they made in their lives.

  We live in a world that is growing ever more like the one Noah faced in his day. Charles Spurgeon said over one hundred years ago. “In such an age as this, when there is so little sound conviction, when principle is cast to the winds, and when a general latitudinarianism, both of thought and practice,  seems to rule the day, it is still the fact that a man who is decided in his belief, speaks his mind boldly, and acts according to his profession, is sure to command the reverence of mankind.” How much more true is that today, and if we do not stand on Godly principles and precepts, those within our dominion will suffer. As the world closes in and tries to persuade us to follow its standard, our lives should stand in direct contrast by living a life of righteousness. Blessing those around us by making the right decisions and allowing God’s blessing to be poured out through us into our area of influence. Never underestimate your ability to have a positive impact by being obedient to God.

 Your Brother in Christ

Hiram Withers

Joshua 24:15

Do you have beautiful feet?


Beautiful_feet

The greatest reality one can experience is that of being a member of the family of God. In His love and mercy He sent forth Jesus to pay our debt on the cross. A debt we couldn’t pay regardless of how good or “religious” we behave. I remember the first time I heard the Gospel, the good news of forgiveness and acceptance in Christ, with ears and a heart that could understand what was being communicated. I was both humbled and amazed by God’s love for me. But what floored me the most was the reality that He had been pursuing me for quite some time. I recalled numerous conversations with family, friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers who shared the truth of God’s love even though I was resistant and callous towards them.

I thanked God for His faithfulness in pursuing me and I thanked Him for the faithfulness of His servants who never relented to tell me of His goodness. Romans 10: 14-15, “14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’” I’ve had people in my life who have some very beautiful feet. Their hearts and passion for Christ made them obedient to take the good news to the ends of the earth. These same people’s hearts broke over the thought of me in agony apart from Christ in eternity and that thought compelled them to relentlessly pursue me.

If you are a child of God, you’ve seen some beautiful feet in your day. Whether it was as an adult or as a young child, someone brought you the truth of the gospel. I am sure you are thankful for that person. My question for you is, “do you have beautiful feet?” Is there someone who is thankful for you bringing the truth of the forgiveness in Christ to them? Maybe you just need some help breaking out of your comfort zone.

I want you to know if you have reservations about sharing your faith or don’t know how to even start, we have a class that I would like to encourage you to be a part of. The class is only six weeks long and called “Contagious Christianity”  it will help you discover how to share your faith by being yourself. Amazing concept isn’t it, share your faith by living and being who God designed you to be. The truth is, God made you the way you are for a reason and He will empower you to tell others of the good news of Jesus Christ. Come to the “Contagious Christianity” course lead by Dave Augustine and see how God wants your feet to be called beautiful. 

Why VBS?

It started for me more years ago than I can now remember.  I had a friend called Philip and we hung out and played most days, sometimes at my house, sometimes at his.  I remember many a day at his house playing sardines with my brothers and his family.  His mothers name was Dorothy, and she was a nice lady though sometimes strange to me.  

I did not grow up in a church going family or in a home where we talked about God.  If we did it definitely never really had anything to do with Jesus unless it was Christmas or Easter, so there was not much for us kids to go on.

I don’t know what Dorothy saw in me and my brothers other than a bunch of rowdy kids, but she asked my Mum if she could take us to Sunday school sometime.  My Mum said yes and we spent many Sundays learning different bible stories, while having fun hanging out with friends.  I couldn’t figure out why she wanted a car full of rowdy screaming kids, but she did it week after week no matter and we loved it.

I hadn’t even thought about Philip and Dorothy in years until my wife and I decided to do VBS and as I contemplated exactly what I wanted to accomplish they both came to mind,   Dorothy more than anything.  She put up with my brothers and I every single week and never ever saw us come to Christ or come to know the Lord in a more meaningful manner than just Christmas and Easter.  She never saw any of the work that she was trying to do with us come to anything of substance or meaning.  So why did she bother?  

As I recalled these memories, I felt the Lord tugging at me to be like she had once been for us, be the one that is faithful to reach out to people, children, communities not knowing what your efforts may be doing.  As I thought about what she had done for us so many years ago, it lit a fire within me to reach the kids in this community with the message of Gods love.  How can I be Dorothy to the kids that I see around the neighborhood, the baseball and soccer field, the grocery store, and at school as I pick up my kids.  The answer I found was to serve no matter what.  Serve them when they are being good and bad, smiling and crying, quiet and screaming realizing that I may not see the fruits of what is done, but always knowing that God can use me to do something in a child’s life.  Knowing that a small and delicate seed may be planted that in five years, ten years, or a lifetime may come to grow into something that is meaningful in a persons life.  

I am excited along with my wife to be heading up VBS.  It is something that has become very personal to me.  I attempted to construct a mission statement that I would like to carry throughout the program and it goes like this:

The mission of SKY VBS is to create an environment that is fun, while also being instructional in the truths of the word to nurture relationships, create relationships, and to continue the mission of Wayside Chapel to strengthen and build the Body of Christ here in Rosamond.

I also want to focus on three groups and they are:  Children who know Christ, Children who need Christ, and Families that need Christ.

I have been overwhelmed with the support thus far with leaders that have stepped forward from youth to elders.  I have been overwhelmed with the excitement of what we can accomplish here at Wayside and I hope that if you feel the need to be a part of this then please step forward to serve, and if not then still serve and pray for those involved with this endeavor and for what God can accomplish here at Wayside, and more than anything let’s be the ones that show this community who Jesus really is.  It is all about him.

The Goal of Evangelism

The Goal of Evangelism

Recently, we have investigated the need for evangelism (the world is fallen and in need of the Gospel) and the source of evangelism (Jesus Christ).  This week, we will take a look at the goal of evangelism: taking the Gospel to every nation and people group on the planet. 

We will plant ourselves once again in The Great Commission and, by way of refreshment, here is Matthew 28:18-20 in the English Standard Version:

            “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has      been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing         them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching        them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you             always, to the end of the age.” 

Many associate evangelism with street preaching or door-to-door visitations.  And they are correct.  These methods can be classified as evangelism.  However, preaching the Gospel to someone is only one part of the evangelistic goal Jesus gave His followers.  In fact, evangelism is far deeper than a one-time interaction with an individual.  And while God can and will use your words to a stranger for His glory, Jesus gives three aspects that must be present in our ministry if we wish to meet the God given goal of the Great Commission: discipleship, baptism and teaching. 

The first aspect in reaching this goal is discipleship.  Jesus commands His disciples (students; followers) to go and make more disciples.  Discipleship requires intentional, relational ministry by a mature Christian to one or several new believers who will, over time, grow in their knowledge and devotion to the Lord and, in turn, make more disciples.  Since discipleship is intended for believers, Jesus’ call to make disciples presupposes that we have already shared the Gospel with others.  This is why I said that preaching the Gospel to others is only one aspect of evangelism.  Our Lord calls us to so much more than handing a few verses to someone and leaving them to put the pieces together.

The second aspect of evangelism given by Jesus is baptism.  The words and deeds of the Christian who shares the Gospel with others should not only bring about an inward commitment to Jesus Christ but also an outward commitment.  Baptism has been described as an outward expression of an inward reality.  In other words, the individual who is being baptized is expressing to the world the commitment they have already made to Jesus Christ in their hearts.  Believers should be bold in their allegiance to Jesus and baptism is a clear way to make this proclamation.

The third and final aspect of evangelism is teaching.  The truth of the Gospel is the foundation upon which the entirety of the Christian life is built.  Paul likens the Gospel to milk and all subsequent teaching to meat (1 Cor. 3:2).  As a baby needs milk but soon grows to depend upon solid food, so the new disciple will first be established in the Gospel, but will soon need to build upon these truths and will continue to do so for the rest of his or her life.  This is why teaching is so important.  Our call is to teach younger (or less mature) believers in the ways of our Lord.  Additionally, we need to find ways to be taught as well.  Sunday mornings are a great start to the week: Sunday school and a message from the pulpit are essential…but they are not enough.  Reading good books, listening to sermon podcasts, attending a mid-week Bible study and reading the Bible are all crucial to growth and development.  This is why Jesus doesn’t simply call us to preach the Gospel to others but to also walk the path of faith with them, invest time in them, pray for them, teach them and point them to the Holy Spirit’s continual presence and power. 

The goal of evangelism is clear: take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  How we go about doing that will vary depending on our culture, context, etc.  However, the three elements of evangelism given by Jesus are crucial and unavoidable if we with to fulfill such a great commission!

Prayer Basics


   Prayer on the surface sounds easy yet it is something that all of us struggle with at one time or another. Jim George author of the book “A Man After God’s Own Heart” said this about prayer. “Prayer is a spiritual discipline that is difficult for even the most devout Christian to practice on a truly consistent basis. It demands time, requires focus, which are hard for modern minds and lifestyles to incorporate. To pray also requires us to overcome our natural tendency to try and come up with our own solutions. Prayer tries our patience. We dislike waiting on God’s answer. So we try to manipulate or situation by coming up with our own quick answers” The only way we can hope to have an impact on the world around us is to be totally dependant on God. This type of impact cannot be done on our own power. We are commanded through our Scripture to and yet we find excuses everyday not to pray. Why do we not pray?

    At the top of my list is busyness, there never seems to be enough time to pray. There are so many things to do in a day and trying to fit in a quiet time of pray seems to be at the bottom of the list many times. However, we always seem to find time for other things, whether it is that big game on TV or that movie we want to see. If you are finding it hard to make time to pray I am going to tell you that you have a love problem. I love my wife and enjoy spending time with her every day. For the past 10 years everyday at 10am I call here to tell her I love her and to see how her day is going and share how mine is going with her. How much more should my love be for God? If you love God as many of us confess to do, then you will want to spend time with Him. This will be an act of discipline and you will have to take the initiative. God has already done His part now it is time for you to do yours. When we do not pray we distance ourselves from God. Just like any relationship communication brings us closer together. The more you talk with God the closer you become to God.

  There are also spiritual reasons we do not pray, faithlessness is common to many people. Remember what Jim George said we dislike waiting and take matters into our own hands. This is an act of faithlessness. We doubt God can do what He says He can do. Often this turns out to be our own fault because we just fail to ask God. James tells us “You do not have because you do not ask God” Sinfulness can build a wall between us and God. Psalm 66:18 says “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”  We need to confess our sins, and that is hard at times. We do not want to face God with our sin, but we need to remember that if we confess them He will forgive us. We can then open that wall and our prayers will be heard.

   Some people have a problem because they say they do not know how to pray. I will tell you a secret. Prayer is just talking to God. There is no secret formula; there are no special words that you can say. The more you pray the more comfortable you will become at it. Then the more you will want to participate in a life of prayer. This brings up our last point. What should we pray for?

Pray for direction. I remember when I was a child when we would go vacation my dad being a truck driver would pull out the maps and we would plan our route highway by highway. He was looking for the right direction to get us from point A to point B. Today maps seem to be a thing of the past. GPS system has all but made them obsolete we just plug in an address and it tells us how to get there. The only problem is when we forget to update the GPS as new roads are built you can get misdirected. We all have read stories about GPS systems leading people into all sorts of bad situations. There was a recent story of a couple visiting Australia and their GPS lead them right into the ocean. As Christian we have our own GPS our God Positioning System, it provides as turn by turn direction as to where God wants us to be. It to needs updating and we do that with prayer. God leads us one step at a time and if we do not keep in communication with Him we can be lead astray.

   Pray for wisdom, Solomon was told he could ask God for anything and he asked for wisdom. Wisdom gives us the ability to understand the direction God wants us to go and gives us the ability to handle any situation that may arise. James 1:5 tells us “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” Prayer is the tool we use to ask God for that wisdom.

  There are a few simple things we can do to build a strong prayer life.

1 – We need a desire to grow spiritually mature. It is only through prayer we can grow closer to God and let Him shape us.

2- We need to take an honest look at our excuses for not praying. We all make excuses and need to honestly address these in our lives.

3- Start a prayer list or notebook. This is a practical tool that not only allows you to keep track of what to pray for but you can make notes as the prayers are answered.

4- Set an initial goal. Like any exercise it will take training and discipline so start with an amount of time you know you can do and you will find that you will want more.

5- Talk to God through out the whole day. Keep God on the front of your thoughts.

Your brother in Christ

Hiram Withers

The Source of Evangelism

The Source of Evangelism

Last week we looked at the need for evangelism.  Not only is it vital for the future of the church but, as we will see today, it is equally necessary for the spiritual health of God’s people.  Followers of Jesus must understand that the source of evangelism, the ability for believers to effectively and powerfully share the Gospel with others, is not simply a good understanding of the Bible or several advanced degrees but is Jesus, Himself. 

Matthew 28:18-20 is a popular passage and many even have it memorized.  It is commonly referred to as The Great Commission: Great because it is good and because it is difficult (taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth) and Commission because Jesus is sending His followers out into the world as His representatives.

To refresh our busy minds, here is the passage as the English Standard Version renders it:

            “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  God therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

Often times, people like to jump to verse 19 and the word “Go.”  People like action.  Some like to get things accomplished (“Let’s go and get this over with.  It’s my job and I have to do it.”).  Others get excited (“I can’t wait.  Let’s go!”).  When it comes to the Great Commission, if we skip over verse 18, we miss the most important part of Jesus’ words here: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  In other words, Jesus is making clear that we go out into the world in His power (not in our own), under His authority (not under our own) and, as verse 20 shows, under His care: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The most popular part of the Great Commission, verse 19, is sandwiched between two verses that are often overlooked.  But it is these two verses, 18 and 20, that are absolutely crucial for us to grasp if we are to accomplish the goal of evangelism that Jesus gave.  Without them, we “go” into the world without the power, authority and care of our Savior and King. 

Jesus is the source.  We rely on Him for guidance, direction, discernment, strength, wisdom, etc.  He is our source; not our own strength or wisdom or preferences but those that He gives us!  In other words, we don’t go until we know that He is in control and not us.  The glory belongs to Him.  It is not ours.  And, as we will see in the future, the goal of evangelism is nothing short of calling others out of their sin and into a life of complete devotion to Jesus as both Savior and King.  Without His power and authority and care, a task that is already difficult in its own right becomes nearly impossible.  We continually need to ensure that we are under the power, authority and care of our Lord and Savior.  Are you doing that?

The Need for Evangelism

The word evangelism refers to our ability and willingness to communicate the Gospel (literally “the Good News”) of Jesus Christ with others.  Right away, it must be asked: Do you share the Gospel?  Do you get excited by the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others?  Do you love the fact that Jesus died on your behalf, paving the way for you to reach God, and you cannot help but tell others that He did it for them as well?

The reality is that many of us shy away from telling others about Jesus.  Some of us don’t want to sound “preachy.”  Others don’t feel it is their job (“Save that for the pastors,” they say).  Still others aren’t sure of what to say.  I want to tell you today that if you have ever felt this way, you are not alone.  I have too.  All of us have.  But we still have to look inward and find if our excuses are justified or if they are simply excuses and nothing more.

For those of us that don’t want to sound preachy, the reality is that we need to preach.  I wouldn’t recommend standing on a street corner and shouting at oncoming traffic.  Instead, take the time to share the Gospel with unsaved family, friends, co-workers, etc; people in your own “sphere of influence.”  Imagine how different our nation and our world would be if we all did this.  I encourage us all to be “preachy” and lovingly share the Gospel with others.

For those of us who relegate the spread of the Gospel to the clergy, the pastors, the “trained professionals,” take a second to remember who Jesus called to follow Him.  It was not the rabbis (the leaders of the local Jewish synagogue), it was not the Pharisees or the scribes (the “trained professionals) and it was not the government officials (Herod, Pilate, etc.).  Instead, it was fisherman, a tax collector, a Jewish zealot (a member of the Jewish equivalent of the Tea Party movement), etc.  They represented the common man and were called to share the Gospel with the common man.  We are called to do the same thing today…all of us: pastors, schoolteachers, engineers, doctors, cashiers, men, women, grandparents, children, fathers, mothers and, yes, even those who are retired.  The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), which we will look at next week, is a command for all of Jesus’ followers to spread the news that He is Savior and that He is King.  What a worthwhile calling this is!

Finally, for those of us who are afraid that we won’t know what to say when it comes time to share the truth of Jesus with others, remember that Jesus sent the Spirit to dwell within believers, to guide and enable believers to expand the Kingdom of God here on earth.  You are not alone.  Consider this: our Lord loves His Kingdom far more than any of us ever could and will certainly come to our aid when we faithfully and humbly serve Him. 

 Times are changing and what worked in the past may not be as effective today.  As an encouragement, do not equate evangelism with door-to-door visits or approaching strangers with a pre-meditated speech.  Instead, we need to read our Bibles; we need to know what Jesus did and why it matters.  And then we, as His followers, need to share with others the same truth that someone once shared with us.  Start with close friends, family and neighbors.  Let the Holy Spirit work in, through and amongst you.  And trust that God will direct your steps and you’re your very words.  God is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24), is able to strengthen us as we preach the Gospel (Romans 16:25) and is capable of doing far more than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Farewell from Jen Beich

Greetings Wayside Family,

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. 

The Lord is near. 

Do not be anxious about anything,

but in every situation,

by prayer and petition,

with thanksgiving,

present your request to God.” –Philippians 4:4-6

I have had the amazing privilege of serving here at Wayside Chapel as the Office Manager (and Receptionist) for over a year, and it has truly been one of the BEST years of my life.  That is because of all of you, and how the Lord is at work here.  As many of you may know, my husband Jon and I, along with our almost 3-year-old daughter Esme, are going to welcome our new baby son into this world in the first week of June.  With this new season of life upon our family, the Lord has called me to stay at home with our new son, and leave my position working here at Wayside.  Although I am so extremely grateful to be able to stay at home, I am also filled with true sadness to leave this position at the church that I have grown to love so much. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank you, Wayside Family, for welcoming me, and blessing me with your love, generosity, prayers, wisdom, and friendship.  I want to especially thank Pastors Dave and Brian, fellow staff, AMAZING volunteers, and Ministry Leaders for encouraging me, supporting me, and teaching me just what it means to live, love, and give as Christ did, as well as forever changing my life to truly bring every ounce of my being to the feet of Jesus, and live for Him alone, dependent in EVERY way.  I’m so humbled to have been able to work in such amazing fellowship here and truly have nothing but a thankful heart for this experience. 

Chelsea Dyas is the new Office Manager and is going to be a wonderful blessing to Wayside with her love for the Lord, His people, and beautiful personality.  Although it is so difficult for me to leave this position, I know that it could not be in better hands than hers.  J  Please introduce yourselves to her if you don’t already know her.

I so greatly adore the Lord’s precious Word, and although my Bible is highlighted with favorite verses from front to back, I wanted to close this email with one of the most powerful verses I have clung to this past year.   I love that each verse is short and sweet.  I encourage you to meditate over each verse below. 

16 Rejoice always,

17 pray continually,

18 give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

In Humble Admiration of His Love,

Jen Beich