All You Wanted to Know about the BHBC Music Ministry (and more)

MUSIC NOTES: 12.12.17

THIS SUNDAY, Dec. 17th

Choir:  Festival of Hymns & Carols (the one with the Hallelujah Chorus)

Preacher:  Jason (primary text is Isaiah 7:14)

ADULT CHOIR NEWS

THANK YOU for your tireless work and prayer, all of which made for a wonderful and powerful musical celebration of Christ’s birth this past Sunday.  Far too many compliments were shared to list here.  Suffice it to say – Christ used you mightily

ALSO:  NO REHEARSAL Dec. 13, 20, 27, or Jan. 3rd.

IS MOVING THE U.S. EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM RELATED TO BIBLICAL PROPHECY?

This past week, in light of recent news, I was asked the following question:  “I would like to know if Pres. Trump’s deal to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel has anything to do with prophesy of the end times.”

I am very careful when talking/teaching about biblical prophecy.  As with the nearing of Y2K (remember that?), preachers and pundits were spouting off all kinds of irresponsible interpretations of scripture.  Some comments made by religious leaders about moving our embassy to Jerusalem have produced more of the same; or, as one editorialist described, “one more example in a long line of Christians saying stupid things that make the rest of us look bad.”

Here was my response to the question I was asked:

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem by Trump has no connection with specific biblical prophecy. However, it has what I like to refer to as biblically prophetic implications due to the event being a “first of its kind” with regard to Israel i.e. Trump is the first sitting U.S. president to (1) visit Israel on his first trip abroad, (2) visit the Temple Mount Western Wall, and (3) recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Additionally, moving the embassy to Jerusalem exacerbates an already present hatred of Israel by the Arab nations who are relentlessly looking for any reason to wipe Israel from the face of the global map.

Let me be crystal clear:  Does the information in the above paragraph have any connection to specific biblical prophecy.  No.  You won’t find any doomsday predictions here.  Does the Bible clearly state that Israel will play a primary role in the return of Christ?  Yes.  So should any global news related to Israel be of interest to believers.  I believe it should.  (The fact that, in May 1948, Israel became a recognized state for the first time in 2500 years when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, is, I believe, of tremendous significance.)

Now, back to last week’s news…

The controversy surrounding the move of the embassy to Jerusalem dates back decades. A law passed in 1995 under the Clinton administration considers Jerusalem the capital, and even mandates the move of the embassy there. But no sitting president has had the courage to actually follow through with it due to fear of opposition and intimidation from Middle Eastern Arab states. (The UN is in full panic mode and has called for an emergency meeting.) One editorial stated, “There was a time when 16 countries maintained their embassies in Jerusalem. Succumbing to Arab pressures, however, they relocated their embassies to Tel Aviv, where the U.S. and other countries have long kept their embassies.”

Israel is almost always in the news. (Prime Minister Sharon described the Temple Mount as “the most volatile square kilometer on the planet.”) But, because of how the Bible describes Israel’s role in end-times prophecy, any news that centers around Israel on a global scale (such as last week’s news) should be watched closely.

I could offer much more commentary but this is already too much :))

These are exciting times. God is “moving the chess pieces into place.” And one day the trumpet will sound as God says “checkmate.”

As Jesus, himself, said about his imminent return – keep watching; keep praying.

Maranatha, nw

POPE FRANCIS & THE LORD’S PRAYER

Both mainstream and social media exploded last week in reaction to the publication of a conversation between Pope Francis and a Catholic prison chaplain regarding one line in the “model prayer” (commonly called the “Lord’s Prayer”) cited by Jesus in both Matthew’s & Luke’s gospels.  (You can read the context of the story from the National Catholic Reporterhere.)  Rather than  link an article for you here, simply google “Pope and the Lord’s Prayer” and you’ll find all the news you care to read about it.

So, is the Pope really – actually – suggesting we rewrite a line in the Bible?

The National Catholic Register quickly came to the Pope’s defense with an editorial entitled, “No, Pope Francis Is Not Changing the Lord’s Prayer.”   While I agree with part of the Register’s defense of the Pope, I must disagree with some of it as well.  Even if the Register is correct and the Pope had no intention of rewording the Lord’s Prayer, it’s the Pope’s commentary on the passage with which I take issue.  The Pope states,

It’s me who falls. It’s not Him who pushes me into temptation, as if I fell. A father doesn’t do that. A father helps you to get up right away. The one who leads into temptation is Satan.

At first glance, this seems perfectly logical.  Certainly, Satan is the tempter – not God.  Jesus’ half-brother, James, wrote, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” (James 1:13).  However, God – for His own sovereign reasons – can, and will, permit us to be led into tempting circumstances – which is precisely why Jesus chose to word the model prayer the way he did.  After all, Luke records in his gospel in chapter 4, verses 1-2: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” (emphasis mine)

There is much in the Register article about the accuracy of the English translation of “lead us not into temptation”.  This I can tell you:  as far as the modern English translation of Jesus’ words, “do not lead us into temptation,” goes – the phrase is an extremely accurate and responsible translation based on the oldest and most reliable manuscripts.  And, as cited above, Jesus’ words complement fully the passage found in Luke 4.

I read one headline that claimed the Pope’s reason for his comments was because the idea of God “leading us into temptation” makes God “look bad.” After researching, I cannot find that article – so it may well be the Pope never said that.  But, while we’re here, let’s address a statement like that. That logic would necessitate the rewording – or removing – of many passages in the Old Testament.  For example: God ordering the annihilation of Israel’s neighboring tribes, or God’s “hardening of Pharaoh’s heart,” not to mention the entire doctrine of an eternal hell reserved for those who reject faith in Christ.  One is faced with the ultimate question: “Where do we draw the line in rewording biblical passages where, based on human opinion, God looks bad.”

“We preach Christ crucified,” Paul wrote.

Focus on the cross – not on passages that, in myopic human opinion, cast God in a bad light.In sum, whether the Pope’s words were taken out of context or not; whether he really did mean that we should reword part of the Lord’s Prayer or not…

With my utmost respect for my Catholic friends: Pope Francis (and anyone else unsatisfied with the accurate wording of the Bible) – don’t be “led into temptation” to mess with God’s Word.  nw


The holidays can be magical. But, they can be just as much – or more – stressful. I sometimes sing to myself, “It’s the most anxious time of the year..”

Satan is deftly skilled at using panic and stress to make us forget the most elementary things of God – at least he has done that with me. So allow me to offer a very quick reminder of what is true.

Isaiah wrote, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is fixed on You.” (26:3) The Hebrew imagery for “perfect peace” is the idea of the stillness of the ocean floor while a hurricane rages on its surface.

Jesus is whispering to you, “I’ve got this.” nw

LOOKING AHEAD:  HOLIDAY CHURCH CALENDAR

Sunday AM, Dec. 24th:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No Small Groups)

Sunday PM (Christmas Eve), Dec. 24th:  Christmas Eve Worship Service at 6pm

Dec. 25th: Offices closed

Dec. 26th – 29th:  Offices open 9am – Noon

Sunday, Dec. 31st:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No Small Groups)

Jan. 1st:  Offices closed

QUOTE of the WEEK

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE 🙂

Q:  What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney?

A:  Claustrophobia

Q:  What kind of motorbike does Santa ride?

A:  A Holly Davidson

Q:  What do you call Santa’s little helpers?

A:  Subordinate clauses

GRACE NOTES:  Being on the Receiving End of Gossip

I received a call last week from a distraught friend who’d just discovered some horrible – and untrue – things said about them.  As I counseled them as to what to do (and not to do) I was reminded of this blog I wrote some time back.  Perhaps someone needs to be, this week, reminded of these biblical principles where gossip is concerned.  You can read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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MUSIC NOTES: 12.5.17

The passage cited above is Jason’s primary text for this Sunday, 12/10.  Take some time to read it over in your preferred biblical translation and allow the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart for Sunday. 🙂

 

THIS SUNDAY, Dec. 10th – “Joy! Unspeakable Joy!”

Christmas Musical Rehearsal & Performance Schedule

Wednesday, Dec. 8th – 5:30-8pm (rehearsal in Worship Center)

**IF NECESSARY**Saturday, Dec. 9th – 10-11:30am

PERFORMANCE:  Sunday morning, Dec. 10th – both worship services

NO REHEARSAL Dec. 13, 20, 27, or Jan. 3rd.

We WILL sing Sunday morning, Dec. 17th.  We will sing a selection from our musical.

 

100% AGREED!

Saw this photo this past week.  Couldn’t agree more.  Due to social media ranting much of our culture has no clue how to use critical thinking to engage in civil, respectful & intelligent discourse.

 

LAST CALL: “License To Carry” training at BHBC:  Dec. 8-9

The training will be in two parts. 

The first part, “Date Night with your Gun” (not required) is Friday night, December 8 from 6:30-8:30 – this is an opportunity for new gun owners to become more familiar with a firearm i.e. stance, grip, loading/unloading, overall function of your firearm, etc.  NOTE: ** If you choose not to attend date night, make sure that you can shoot, you are proficient with your handgun, and you are proficient with safety.

The second part, LTC Training, will be Saturday, December 9 from 8am-1:30pm, take a break, then schedule times that afternoon to meet up and do the shooting part.

COST:  $30 for the “Date Night”; $100 for the LTC training & licensing.

NOTE:  I have further info regarding this event, including a “what to bring” list to the LTC Training.  Should you plan on attending simply shoot (pun totally intended) me an email and I will send that info to you. nw

 

LOOKING AHEAD:  HOLIDAY CHURCH CALENDAR

Sunday AM, Dec. 24th:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No Small Groups)

Sunday PM (Christmas Eve), Dec. 24th:  Christmas Eve Worship Service at 6pm

Dec. 25th: Offices closed

Dec. 26th – 29th:  Offices open 9am – Noon

Sunday, Dec. 31st:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No Small Groups)

Jan. 1st:  Offices closed

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like an inflatable dog relieving himself on an inflatable fire hydrant.  And for only $79 (plus tax) it’s yours. 🙂

 

GRACE NOTES:  After Suicide: What We Needed; What They Need

(1) At first glance, this appears to be a very gloomy topic for the Christmas season.  However, the holidays bring a spike in this type of tragedy.  (2) I was asked specifically by a mom who lives in Ft. Worth to write this blog after her daughter came home and said, “I have a friend who is suicidal.  What do I do?”  The blog has been viewed over 1000 times.  May it bring help and hope.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 11.28.17

 

THIS SUNDAY, Dec. 3rd (December is here!)

Choir:  Carol of the Bells

Preacher: Jason (see sermon info immediately below)

 

Throughout December, Jason will be preaching a series he’s entitled, “Foretold”.  You will be blessed as we, together, make our journey to the manger.

 

Christmas Musical Rehearsal & Performance Schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 29th – 5:30-7pm (note later dismissal time)

Sunday, Dec. 3rd – 3:30 til 5pm (in choir room; we will work in sections)

Wednesday, Dec. 8th – 5:30-8pm (rehearsal in Worship Center)

IF NECESSARY – Saturday, Dec. 9th – A.M. (there’s a very good chance we will need this extra rehearsal)

PERFORMANCE:  Sunday morning, Dec. 10th – both worship services

NO REHEARSAL Dec. 13, 20, 27, or Jan. 3rd.

 

Our mid-week Adult Bible Learning has concluded for the Fall semester.  However,…

Beginning Wed. evening, Jan. 10th, we will begin mining the riches of God’s Word contained in the book of Revelation.  The last of the 66 books of our Bible, God has much to tell us regarding “what [has been] seen, what is now and what will take place later.”  (1:19) We will take this learning experience slowly, studying approximately 1 chapter per week.  Over the Christmas/New Year holidays, in preparation for our scriptural journey together, read through this fascinating “revelation/unveiling” of Jesus Christ.  And then join me on Jan. 10th.  Nick

 

BHBC will have a “License To Carry” training:  Dec. 8-9 (formerly CHL or concealed handgun license).  The training will be in two parts. 

The first part, “Date Night with your Gun” (not required) is Friday night, December 8 from 6:30-8:30 – this is an opportunity for new gun owners to become more familiar with a firearm i.e. stance, grip, loading/unloading, overall function of your firearm, etc.  NOTE: ** If you choose not to attend date night, make sure that you can shoot, you are proficient with your handgun, and you are proficient with safety.

The second part, LTC Training, will be Saturday, December 9 from 8am-1:30pm, take a break, then schedule times that afternoon to meet up and do the shooting part.

COST:  $30 for the “Date Night”; $100 for the LTC training & licensing.

NOTE:  I have further info regarding this event, including a “what to bring” list to the LTC Training.  Should you plan on attending simply shoot (pun totally intended) me an email and I will send that info to you. nw

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

From C.S. Lewis’ book, Miracles.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

This next one is so me…

 

GRACE NOTES:  The Gospel According to Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”

I saw Dickens’ A Christmas Carol over the holidays. Afterward, I couldn’t stop thinking about the hope of redemption we all have because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

THIS SUNDAY, Nov. 26th – ONE SERVICE @ 10:30am; No SUMMIT GROUPS

NO CHOIR

Preacher:  Jason (Final week of his sermon series, “The 9.”  This week: self-control)

 

Wed., Nov. 22nd – No activities (Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!)

Sun., Nov. 26thOne Worship Service at 10:30am; No Choir; No SUMMIT Groups

 

Christmas Musical Rehearsal Schedule

Sunday, Dec. 3rd – 3:30 til 5pm (in choir room)

Wednesday, Dec. 8th – 5:30-8pm (rehearsal in Worship Center)

IF NECESSARY – Saturday, Dec. 9th – A.M.

PERFORMANCE:  Sunday morning, Dec. 10th – both worship services

 

BHBC will have a “License To Carry” training:  Dec. 8-9 (formerly CHL or concealed handgun license).  The training will be in two parts.  The first part (not required) is Friday night, December 8 from 6:30-8:30 and is called “Date Night with your Gun.”  The LTC training will be Saturday, December 9 from 8am-1:30pm, take a break, then schedule times that afternoon to meet up and do the shooting part.  We need at least 10 but there is a limit of 40 participants.

 

Outer Kitchen (view from hallway outside FLC)

Main Kitchen Area

Restrooms Outside the FLC are completed

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” Mark Twain

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  “Where are the other nine?”

Only recorded in Luke’s gospel.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 11.13.17

 

THIS SUNDAY, Nov. 19th

Choir:  Say Amen

Preacher:  Jason (this week: gentleness)

 

Pray for Don Baldwin, his outstanding team of youth leaders and, of course, our students, as they prepare for a weekend (Nov. 17-19) of intense fun and intense discipleship.

 

Sun., Nov. 19th – Regular schedule

Wed., Nov. 22nd – No activities (Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!)

Sun., Nov. 26thOne Worship Service at 10:30am; No Choir; No SUMMIT Groups

 

Tuesday, Nov. 14th, I will speak at Wheeler High School & Shamrock High School up in the Texas panhandle.

Continued thanks for prayers.  Together we are giving hope and saving lives.

 

WED EVENING TEACHING THROUGH END OF FALL SEMESTER

Wed., Nov. 15th, we will begin spending a couple of weeks studying “the Bible Jesus read”: the Old Testament.

Jesus, himself, continually used the Old Testament scriptures (the only Scriptures in existence at the time) to give evidence of Himself as messiah and God.  To the religious leaders of the day, Jesus said, “You study the Scriptures [the Old Testament] diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”  (John 5:39)

Nov. 15th – Introduction & Job

Nov. 22ndNo activities due to Thanksgiving holiday

Nov. 29th – Psalms & Proverbs

NOTE:  So as to avoid the lengthy holiday break, we will begin our systematic study of Revelation when we resume in January, 2018.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“A scared world needs a fearless church.” – A.W. Tozer

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Finding one of her students making faces at others on the playground, Ms. Smith stopped to gently reprove the child.  Smiling, she sweetly said, “You know, Bobby, when I was a little girl I was told that if I made ugly faces my face would freeze and always stay like that.”  Bobby looked into her face and replied, “Well, Ms. Smith, you can’t say your weren’t warned.”

 

GRACE NOTES:  Christ in the Old Testament

christ-in-ot-4

To whet your appetite for Wed. evening’s study…  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 11.6.17

As John recorded in the passage above, when Christ is lifted up – as has been the primary objective at BHBC for 50 years – people are saved.

This coming Sunday, Nov. 12th, we are commemorating the inception – and subsequent half-century of growth – of the local Body known as Bacon Heights Baptist Church.

SCHEDULE:

10:30am – One worship service.  No SUMMIT Groups. 

Noon-3pm – “Come & Go” reception in the Family Life Center.

FORMER STAFF WHO ARE ABLE TO JOIN US:

Jerry Joplin:  Lead Pastor; 2002-2014

Darold Baldwin:  Assoc Pastor; 1985-1988

Mike Bedford: Music/Youth:  music 76-80 and youth 76-78

Truman Johnson:  Senior Adult;  2008-2016

Stace McEWin: Children’s Pastor; 1993-199?

Zane Bartel: Ed/Admin;  1984 – 1997?

Mika McDaniel: Preschool;  1997 – 2004

Reagan Miller: Education; 2000 – 2005?

Paul Kenley:  Music 69-70; Music/Youth 72-24

 

THIS SUNDAY, Nov. 12th

Choir:  The Majesty & Glory of Your Name (with video background)

Preacher:  Jerry Joplin

 

I listened as one commentator asked, “What makes a person walk into, of all places – a church – and begin shooting people??”

I looked at my wife and said, “The same thing that makes a person abuse a child.  The same thing that makes a husband beat his wife.  It’s called evil.”

A friend called and asked, “Are y’all ok?  Is your church safe?”  I replied that, in addition to having hired a uniformed policeman to patrol our hallways on Wed. evenings, we have a number of armed church members.  “Are you scared?”, they asked.  I said calmly, “No, I’m not.”

John, the disciple, reminded his readers that, despite Christ having ultimately conquered death and the grave, for now “…the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”   In other words, until Christ returns evil will always be present.  But we should not – we cannot – live life in fear.  Paul wrote to Timothy, “God did not give us a spirit of fear.”   Should we be smart? Cautious? Prepared? Absolutely.  Fearful?  No.

So, the question should not be, “Are you afraid?”, but rather, “Are you ready?”  Because whether it’s a nut-case walking into a church with a rifle, or being hit by a drunk driver, or a sudden heart-attack, we all know that death is a part of life.

God prompted the author of Hebrews to give us a sobering warning:  we all have an appointment with death; and after that, judgment.

The question is:  Are you ready?

 

WED EVENING TEACHING THROUGH END OF FALL SEMESTER

Pastor Jason will be teaching this Wed. evening (11/8) due to my needing to be out of town.

On Wed., Nov. 15th, we will begin spending a couple of weeks studying “the Bible Jesus read”: the Old Testament.

Jesus, himself, continually used the Old Testament scriptures to give evidence of Himself as messiah and God.  To the religious leaders of the day, Jesus said, “You study the Scriptures [the Old Testament] diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”  (John 5:39)

While it would take years to systematically study all 39 books of the Old Testament, we will, following a brief introduction to the Old Testament, zero in on three books: Job, Psalms & Proverbs.

NOTE 1: We had a tremendous crowd last Wed night for our study on Heaven, specifically studying what our passed-on loved ones are doing there now.  If you missed, you can access the Bacon Heights Facebook link here.

NOTE 2:  So as to avoid the lengthy holiday break, we will begin our systematic study of Revelation when we resume in January, 2018.

Join me on Nov. 15th as we dive deep into “the Bible Jesus read.”

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“The enemy…makes a tour of inspection of our [character]… Where he finds us *weakest and most defective*…he attacks at that point… Little by little, he tries to achieve his own purposes, by dragging the soul down to his secret designs and corrupt purposes.” Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556, writing of the subtle, systematic, almost unnoticed wiles of the devil

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

 

GRACE NOTES:  Purging Purgatory from “Biblical” Teaching

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

NOTE:  What follows is a simplified version of what was presented Wed. evening, Oct. 25th, in our Quarterly Business Meeting.  All of the pastors involved in this restructuring (Jason, Jim, Nick, Mike & newly hired, Shawn Coleman) were all given as much time as needed to share their convictions and excitement.  Should you desire a more detailed account of the meeting please contact Gail White by either calling the church office (806)795-5261 or emailing her at gail@baconheights.com.   Finally, I will be writing in 3rd person at times so as to attempt to make my wording as clear as possible.  nw

 

THE PRESENTATION

Last Wed. evening (10/25), during our Quarterly Business Meeting, Jason presented the restructuring of pastoral staff roles & responsibilities.

This was precipitated by the announced retirement of our Executive Pastor, Jim Gerlt.  Jim set a retirement date of no later than April 1, 2018. 

Rather than “replace” Jim’s exact pastoral role the decision was made to “farm out” his pastoral responsibilities to other pastors presently on staff.

Space here does not allow me to explain in detail all the reasons and logic that supported this decision.  But this I can tell you: 

(1) It was prayed through and discussed at length.

(2) Not a single pastoral move was forced or coerced.  This was a team decision.

(3) It is a decision 100% approved by our Personnel Team and all involved pastors, including myself.

 

WHO & WHAT?

You can access a PDF file of the complete, new Flow Chart by clicking on the following link:  ORGANIZATIONAL CHART FOR BHBC STAFF

In brief, here are the changes taking place…

Mike Lewis will become our Pastor of Operations – this involves the oversight of all logistics related to our facilities & facilities staff.  Additionally, Mike will continue to oversee our First Impressions Team (Sunday morning greeters) as well as our Friends of God Ministry.

Nick Watts will become our Pastor of Ministries – this includes “all things related to Adult Biblical literacy & education”, as well as equipping, training & resourcing all Adult Small/SUMMIT Groups.  This also means Nick will permanently take over the weekly Wed. evening teaching role in the Worship Center as well as supply in the pulpit when Jason is out.  Finally, Nick will serve as Staff Point Person for our College/University Ministry and Missions Team.

Shawn Coleman has become our newly-hired, part-time University Associate Pastor.  I am thrilled to have Shawn on our team.  Leslie & Keno Martin have worked tirelessly the past several years as volunteers to help establish a foundation for this ministry.  And we are now finally able to bring someone on part-time.  Shawn and his wife, Kimberly, are expecting their second child in only a few weeks.  Shawn is originally from Lubbock while Kimberly hails from Montana.  Shawn & Kimberly formerly served with the North American Mission Board to reach university students in Arizona.  Already having a full-time job, Shawn requires no “benefits” package from BHBC such as insurance, retirement, etc.  Due to my having spent decades working in student ministry, I have been asked to serve as Shawn’s immediate supervisor, and have happily accepted that responsibility.

Gail White will become our Administrator, taking on the day-to-day financial operations Jim Gerlt has been supervising.

FYI:  The pastoral roles of Don Baldwin (youth), Dana Kluzek (children) & Janyth Brannon (preschool) remain unchanged.

 

WILL THIS RESTRUCTURING EFFECT OUR CURRENT CHURCH BUDGET?

No.

What will become Jim’s former salary covers every part of this restructuring, meaning that no additional monies are necessary.  In short, all salaries are already included in the budget voted upon by BHBC last March for the 2017-2018 Church Budget.

 

WHEN DOES ALL OF THIS COMMENCE?

The short answer is “immediately”.  The long answer is more involved.

This is a very unique transition of pastoral roles that will require several months, if not longer, to complete.  “Dominoes have to fall” in an orderly fashion.  Let me explain…

Obviously, Mike Lewis cannot fully take on the role of Pastor of Operations, relinquishing his role as leader of Adult Small Groups, until I am first able to fully make the transition from Worship/Music Pastor to my new role of Pastor of Ministries.  And, I cannot fully commit to my new role, leading all aspects of Adult Small Groups, until a new Worship/Music Pastor arrives (I’ll get to that in a minute).  And…., a new Worship/Music Pastor cannot arrive on site until Jim retires since Jim’s salary will be used, in part, to pay the new Worship/Music Pastor.  Is that clear now? 🙂

So, this transition will be a very gradual one that will not be fully completed until (1)  Jim Gerlt retires, and (2) a new Worship Pastor arrives on site.

Bottom line:  It is entirely plausible that I remain in the Music Pastor role through Easter, 2018 (unless, of course, God provides a Music Pastor sooner than that.)  By the way, Jim stated, both, to our Personnel Team, and to our church Body last Wed. evening during our Business Meeting that, should BHBC find my (Nick’s) replacement before April 1st, 2018, he would like to retire when that person arrives on site.  Jim & Judy have already purchased a home in Yukon, OK, near their children and grandchildren and are looking forward to spending time with them soon.

 

PASTOR OF WORSHIP & CARE

So, my changing role begs the question, “Who’s going to be leading our music?”  (I’m glad you asked.) 🙂

The new pastoral role/position will be called Pastor of Worship & Care, combining all aspects of the music/worship ministry with Sr. Adult ministry and pastoral care (hospital visitation).  This in no way suggests that the new pastor will be a senior adult, but rather that the new pastor will simply take on that particular pastoral role in addition to the music ministry responsibilities.  As I have done these past 9 years, this new pastor will oversee all audio/visual personnel.  Additionally, they will oversee the “church hostess” ministry.

 

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR FINDING THE NEW PASTOR OF WORSHIP & CARE?

The BHBC Bylaws were updated and ratified a couple of  years ago.  Those Bylaws state that the Search Team for all pastoral staff (except for the role of Lead Pastor) will include four individuals presently serving on the Personnel Team.  After those individuals are decided upon, three will be “voted on from the floor.”  Because the Personnel Team already comprises a number of music-ministry-related personnel, Jason recommended that the present Personnel Team simply serve as our Pastor of Worship & Care Search Team.  The church voted on this recommendation at last week’s Business Meeting and it was approved.

The Pastor of Worship & Care Search Team comprises the following members:  Larry Vialle, Melba Crutcher, Farley Reeves, Mike Smith, Todd Brashears, Jim Barber, and Harry Bruton.  Alternates are: John Gardner and Cindi Cobb

Additionally, Jason has graciously asked me to occasionally sit in on Search Team meetings, serving both as a representative of our Praise Team, as well as a general consultant.  I happily accepted this task.

 

WHEN DOES THE SEARCH FOR A NEW PASTOR OF WORSHIP & CARE BEGIN?

It began Oct. 30th.

Our Search Team met Sunday, Oct. 29th, for the purpose of prayer, covering basic procedural steps and agreeing upon protocol.  Postings (“advertisements”) for the new pastoral position were made public yesterday (10/30).

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Searching for a new pastor to one’s church staff is an exciting, yet intense, responsibility. 

We here at BHBC enjoy something extremely unique: our staff genuinely loves one another.  Sadly, that’s rarely the case – trust me.  We are one pastor away from upsetting the “sweet, sweet spirit” we so enjoy here.

That said, we must allow our Search Team as much time as needed to pray, interview, and pray some more before they come to a decision.  Additionally – and this is vital – we must pray fervently for that person God has already selected (they just don’t know it yet). 🙂

Until then…. you’re stuck with me.

 

Love you all, Nick

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