February 2007 Newsletter Article

Much in my life has changed since I last wrote an article in The Branch. That article would have been in the Youth News section sometime in the summer of 2000. God has since blessed me with a wonderful wife and three terrific daughters. Still, one thing that has not changed is God’s faithfulness. Whatever stage of life we are in, God is faithful. As I have been your pastor now for two months, I am excited about where our Faithful God will lead us as a church family in the months and years to come. Each Sunday, it has been a joy for me to gather with God’s people here at First Baptist Lipan to worship our Heavenly Father. I want to challenge each of us to come each week expecting our God to faithfully meet us with His presence and power as we honor Him and open our hearts to hear from His word. Then let us commit to be His presence to our community throughout the week.

You may have noticed on the back of this month’s newsletter “Our L.I.P.A.N. Purpose.” The New Testament, especially the book of Acts, describes the five-fold purpose that we have as the body of Christ. The five purposes of the church are: worship, evangelism, fellowship, ministry, and discipleship. We are called to do these five things. Nothing less. Nothing more. “Our L.I.P.A.N Purpose” uses Lipan as an acronym to remind us what God has called us to do. Lift reminds us to exalt our Heavenly Father in everything we do. Invite reminds us that the good news of Jesus is for all people and we are to continually encourage others to come to Him in faith. Partner reminds us that as followers of Jesus, we need each other. Act reminds us to use our gifts, talents, time, and resources to minister to the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of our community and world. Nurture reminds us that we are not all that God wants us to be yet, but that we are committing to become more like Jesus daily as we study and apply His Word. I encourage you to read “Our L.I.P.A.N. Purpose” and challenge all members to commit that statement to memory so that when someone asks why our church exists you can say, “First Baptist Church of Lipan exists to. . . Lift. . ., Invite. . ., Partner. . ., and Nurture. . .

For the Sake of the Name,
Bro. David

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