Pastor’s Note 09/29/2022

Loving Lakeside


“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city

to which I have carried you into exile.

Pray to the Lord for it,

because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

                                   Jeremiah 29:7


During the days of Babylonian exile, the people of Israel had been taken by force to live in Babylon. This was a difficult time for the people of God as they lived in a society that didn’t believe in their God nor in the ways of God.


The people of Israel could have resisted their Babylonian captors. They could have tried to overthrow the leaders of Babylon or they could have totally separated themselves from the Babylonians, seeking to be free from the corrupt lives of the people in Babylon. But God had a different plan. He wanted the people of Israel to serve their neighbors and to pray for the city. He wanted the people of Babylon to prosper and to be a great place to live because of the Israelite captives. “If Babylon prospers then you too will prosper.”


This type of serving God’s way applies also to us in Lakeside. We may live in a world that seems un-Godly. We may feel like our neighbor’s lives are far away from God, but the way that we can influence them, the way that we can help them “prosper,” is by loving and serving them.


What if we as the people of God lived in such a way that if we were gone, it would be hard to imagine Lakeside without us? What if we were kind, if we served our neighbors, if we cared for our neighbors? What would happen if we put this into practice in our everyday lives? If we did these things, we would have influence upon our neighbors. It would be a welcomed influence and when our neighbors ask why we do these acts of kindness, we point them to Jesus. When we do these acts of serving others, not expecting anything in return, we do so because of our relationship with Jesus and because this was His way. His ultimate act of serving others was to die on a cross for us. Our response to this great act of love is to provide small acts of kindness to those undeserving. We love Lakeside so that Lakeside will thrive! Our desire is to see Lakeside be a vibrant and flourishing place where people’s needs are met and God’s love shines.


So, as you plan out your day, as you go about the city, do so with an eye for serving others, for loving others, so that they may prosper and so that you may point them to Jesus.

Pastor’s Note 09/15/22


Last Friday I was invited to attend a pastor’s workshop at the Mothers Of Preschoolers (MOPS) Convention, affectionally known as MOM CON.  The workshop topic was on the future of evangelism and how the church can reach people in their community that do not know Christ.


One of the things that I took away from the workshop was that people in our world today crave community. We want a place where we belong, where we are loved and where we are cared for in the midst of all of the stresses of living life today. This is a common need of mothers of young children but it is also a common need for all people of all ages. We want to be a part of a place where we belong and that is what we need to be as a church. We need to be a place where people feel like they belong even before they are ready to believe.


What can we do to help people in our community feel like they belong?


First, we need to pray. It may sound cliché but the importance of prayer can’t be underestimated. Pray for those that you know in your community that don’t know Jesus. Who in your circle of friends and acquaintances need a place where they belong? Pray for them.


Second, we need to pursue friendships. If there is one thing that we have learned over the past few years during COVID and our stay-at-home orders was that we weren’t made to be alone. We are made to be with people, to be in relationships. We need each other. We need rich friendships that invite us to be honest and to be real. When the opportunity arrives, invite someone to coffee. Start slow but grow your friendship and when the right time comes, ask if you can pray for them. If the opportunity arises, invite them to church, to your small group or your Bible Study. That invitation may lead to something even deeper and life changing, an encounter with Jesus.


So let’s be a church that lives out our mission statement by doing these two things of praying for others and pursuing friendships. Let’s see what God might do through each of us as we . . .


Love God, Love People,

and Make Disciples of Jesus


See you on Sunday and have a great rest of the week.