Rockport Sermon

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vision for Short-Term Missions

I was reading through the Desiring God Website this morning and like usual, found something that started me thinking. I have been asked the question, who should go on short-term missions and also, what is the vision for short-term missions. Well, here are some posts from John Piper and others at his church. The original post can be found at

February 4, 2009

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

What is the vision for short-term missions at your church?

I said in a previous question that everybody should want to do short-term missions. One of the reasons for that is that we're a global church, and seeing the way the church functions outside of your own culture is enriching, broadening, strengthening, and deepening, and it gives you a bigger picture of God.

So one of the functions of short-term missions is all of those things: more of God, learning to trust him more, learning how he works in another culture, learning what missionary life is like, taking some risks yourself. All those things are good for us.

Secondly we want it to be good for missions. So part of the strategy is to make sure that missionaries want you to come before you go. That would be a part of it.

And, thirdly, many long-term missionaries were birthed through their experience in short-term missions. So for recruiting or inspiring more long-term missionaries, I think a program of short-term missions is important.

The world has become very small. It's a global village, and globalization is an increasingly obvious reality. And for us to be ethnocentric or culture-centric would show that we don't have an appreciation for the breadth of God's kingdom and the complexity of his church.

January 30, 2009

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

Who should consider going on short-term missions trips?

I said last Sunday in the sermon, "Everybody!"

In other words, in America—let's just stick with America—we're wealthy, we're mobile, and we're connected. And it's easy to leave and go somewhere or do something, whether it's going to Pearlington, MS in order to help rebuild a church after Katrina, or whether it's going to the Dominican Republic, or Ireland, or Uganda, or Tanzania. We can go. We have the money, planes, and visas to go, and we can go.

We're so mobile that I think that sometime in every Christian's life in America they should go and do something. From the time you're nine to ninety years old, plan a couple of weeks of short-term missions.

I can't think of any reason why a Christian wouldn't want to build that into a life plan, and then to say, "Maybe God will do something with it that will shape my whole life."

So I don't want to pick out a category of Christians and say that they should do short term missions. I think all of us should.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Among the Elders - May 21, 2009

This is a summary of our most recent meeting. We began, as always, by discussing known needs within the body. We especially gave attention to Doris L and Nancy P, both of whom have been ill. We also discussed the spiritual needs of some of our members, and considered some who may need some kind of follow up.

We reviewed the events that are scheduled for this summer
* Including the week’s pastor Scott will be out of town
* May 31st – Sunday School Teachers luncheon
* Summer Conference for men, scheduled for June 20-21
* Men’s Camp-out / Float Trip in July or August

We then moved on to “old business” – items we’ve discussed before but still need our attention.

1) Sale of property to the Fire Department is Final – and we are now completely debt free!
- We received $125,000 - $ 68,000 (parsonage) = $57,000
- We partially paid ourselves back $10,000 of money used to remodel basement.
- The remaining $47,000 was placed in the Money Market “Capital Improvement” Fund
- That leaves $71,000 + $47,000 = $118,000 total current.
- Extra $500/month savings (from parsonage) put in money market for now

2) A Building Expansion Team is being assembled and will begin their work on June 7th
- Their main task will be to study various ways to increase space for our congregation
- They will then report back to the elders with a recommendation
- The elders will then make recommendation to the congregation for what we must do next

3) We discussed what our “policy” should be for children in the worship service
- We have set up an audio/video feed in the fellowship hall as a “cry room”.
- We plan on mounting speakers in the foyer
- Pastor Scott wrote up our “policy” and placed it in the bulletin this past Sunday

4) We discussed how we might do a better job as a church, in the following areas:
- Discipling young men and young women
- Strengthening our families
- Helping those in financial need through Acts 4
All these remain matters of regular prayer

We then talked about a few minor matters that had come up since our last meeting
- including a policy that we not allow our nice camera to be taken out of the building for events
- And our desire to have a fellowship fro Brig and Michelle before they leave us

We then spent a season in prayer, praying for the body of Christ at Rockport, the many needs we are aware of, and asking God for direction and revival.

Humbly submitted

Pastor Scott for all the elders

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Among the Elders - 4/30/09

Dear Rockport Family,

Your elders met on Thursday, April 30th for their regular bimonthly meeting. After a time of prayer we met to give counsel to one of the men of our church who is seeking the Lord's will and direction for his future. We then spent a good deal of time considering the spiritual and practical needs of the members of our body, as well as reading over several petitions for membership submitted by people who wish to join Rockport. We look forward to presenting several of them to you in the near future.

An evaluation of our recent Camp Meeting Followed. Over all, we believe the Lord has blessed us once again in ways to many to list here. We were thrilled to see the willing service of so many of our members in so many different areas. Over all, we'd have to say A +, though there were a couple of things we saw that could be improved as far as how we register people and how we plan for meals.

During our last business meeting, our church approved the appointment of a Building Expansion Team to begin the researching the future building needs of our body and how we might meet these. We are in the process of contacting those who may serve. The team hopes to start it's work in June.

We are preparing for a men's weekend dealing with various "male" issue June 19-20. More to come on this.

There is a Sunday School teachers meeting planned for May 31st after church.

We also discussed, once again, our desire to see every member who is able to do so participating in our weekly Small Group Prayer Meetings. This is such a vital time of sharing, praying and getting to know one another, that it seems all would benefit. We hope to contact those who are not currently attending in order to encourage them to consider doing so.

A few other matters were discussed
- The fact that it is time to re-activate the Nominating Committee so they can begin filling place of service for the new church year
- Former member James Briggs will be bringing a team of youth through our area and will need to find places for his young people to stay on Sunday June 21st; Friday and Saturday June 26-27. We will ask Rockport members to volunteer as hosts.
- We plan to revise the ministry of our ushers and greeters so that we always have two greeters each Sunday, as well as ushers who are trained and ready to help seat people -- especially on those days when seating gets tight. Brother Bob will be heading this up.
- We have agreed to License Bro Brig Jones to Gospel Ministry. We should have done this at the same time we ordained Bro Brig, but now it is simply a matter of signing the proper paperwork.

Finally, we spent a season of prayer for our congregation and it's needs, and prayed for as many of our dear people as we could remember by name who had a special need of some kind.

One last thing: Since our last meeting we have been contacted by the Fire Department. They intend to close on the sale of the property on May 14th.

Grace and peace,

It is our joy to serve Christ and the members of His church here at Rockport.
S. Scott Lee for the elders of Rockport
Soli Deo Gloria

PS - Our next meeting will be Thursday, May 14th