Pastor Letter: July 26, 2018
Dear Church Family:
“Pastor, if there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know and I will do it.” I hear this from almost every member of Buck Run at one time or another. This is the most giving, helpful, respectful, loving, unified, cooperative fellowship of saints I have ever seen, and every day of my life I pray for and thank God for that spirit.
Now I’m calling you on it. There IS something you can do: something that will help us fulfill our mission and calling, that will help us reach new people for Christ, that will ensure that needs in our congregation are met in a warm and timely manner, and that will help us fulfill the biblical mandate to encourage one another and keep each other accountable.
Will you join one of our Community Groups?
If I had made some hard, difficult request, you probably would do whatever it takes to grant it. But will you do this simple, enjoyable, routine, necessary thing?
From the perspective of the pew, it may not seem like a big deal if you are not in a Community Group, but from the perspective of the pastors, our job is MUCH more difficult if you are not plugged in. Let me explain.
Several years ago, we realized that we were asking too much of our Sunday School classes. We expected them to engage in meaningful prayer requests and prayer time, care for and minister to one another throughout the week, welcome and retain new members, and teach the lesson, all in about an hour. We needed a much more significant time frame to accomplish so much. We decided to 1) make Sunday School about teaching the Word in a strategic and systematic fashion that would seriously grow our people in their knowledge of the Bible and of doctrine; 2) use Community Groups for fellowship, prayer, ministry, application of the Word, and outreach; 3) allot the Sunday evening time to facilitate it.
Now three years into this strategy we can see how beautifully it works. It has one serious limitation, however—the same limitation that the old system had. It only works for those who attend! Our Sunday School does not teach anybody who doesn’t use it and our Community Groups don’t minister to anyone who doesn’t join one. Our system works well for those who embrace it. In fact, the greatest outreach and assimilation tool we have is a Community Group. If a family attends on a Sunday morning and enjoys the service and like my preaching, maybe they’ll come back and eventually join. But if a family attends a service and then tries one of our Community Groups, they almost always join the church. Nothing makes them feel more welcome, wanted, and embraced than the small group setting of a Community Group.
Similarly, if a member has a need, the Community Group 1) knows about it, 2) usually takes care of it, or 3) alerts the pastors to the need if the larger church body is needed to help. When someone is in the hospital, when someone loses a family member or friend, when a baby is born, the Community Groups do a great job helping, grieving, celebrating, or praying, whatever the situation warrants.
In August we are about to do a major reboot of our Community Groups, and we are asking EVERYONE to try it. You are welcome to visit around until you find one that is right for you. We have them all over Central Kentucky so even if you live in Lexington, Georgetown, Versailles, or Lawrenceburg, we have one for you. So, if you are one of those who have said to let you know what you can do, I’m telling you: join a Community Group! You will love it, and you will help our church function as the body of Christ!