Evidence of Faith, Excellence in Walk
“God is light; In Him there is no darkness...”
1 John 1:5
An Important Update
I want to greet you with this letter with thanksgiving. You all have been incredibly gracious to me, and the leadership of the Church during these ever-changing times. We know how uneasy you all may be feeling and the uncertainty as we go forward. We believe God is still very active, always equipping His Church to do His will, and right now, that is our desire.
As you have probably seen, Scottsbluff County has seen its first confirmed case of COVID-19 and as more tests come in there is an expectation for that number to rise quickly. Our Governor has issued a decree that there be no gatherings of more than 10 people until May 11th. To be clear, we believe this will be the earliest time, but sadly, expect it to go longer.
On Monday, March 30th, the leadership of First Baptist Church of Scottsbluff met to discuss this information and how we are going to move forward. I am excited to tell you that we are going to be doing some cool things! First, we are going to begin by proving a full service to our online videos, including music, announcements, kids’ message, and sermon. We are also going to be adding a radio transmitter (donated by one of our members!) so that we can reach our neighbors – within a half-mile! That means that we are going to have the capability to reach more people with the message of Jesus Christ. What could be better?
As time goes on, and we grow in our learning of all that we are doing and can do, we will continue to seek God’s guidance, ask for His wisdom, and eagerly await for His kingdom to grow here on earth. We know much of this is different, and we have been forced to change some things, but the message never does, and that is what our neighbors need to hear.
Here are some changes that we will be making during this time:
1. We will continue to not hold any services together in the building.
2. Easter sunrise service and breakfast are canceled.
3. Easter main service will still be held, and will be LIVE on Facebook, and broadcast over the radio.
Here are some things that will remain the same during this time:
1. Pastor Ben will still be holding regular office hours. (9 am – 1 pm Mon.-Thurs.)
2. All services and announcements will be posted online.
3. All ministries will continue to operate as needed.
I know that we really don’t like change, but this is inevitable. It is hard and it is uncomfortable. We have all been making changes. Some of us have lost jobs, hobbies, time with family and friends, income, retirement, and maybe even hope. It can be easy to fall into a pit of despair and fell like the world is crumbling away. It’s rough, I know it too. However, when I get that way, I dig into the Word, and I always seem to end up coming back to one specific verse, John 16:33 – “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
That is our hope, Church…Jesus – Conqueror. That doesn’t mean we won’t struggle, that we won’t face hardships and trials, but it is a constant reminder that our hope is NOT in this world, but in what is to come. Jesus is the answer and we can place all our hope, dreams and desires. He calls us to live with a different calling, to be different than the world, and He calls us to take care of each other.
One of my favorite parts of our history was the early church and how they invested in one another. That, too, is what I love about you. You are well known far beyond this community for your love and care for others. Word has spread far and wide about the Christians at First Baptist Church! I thank God for that, and I thank God for you. Keep it up!
With that, it is also a constant reality that we are living in a world that is demanding. Though our lives have changed, and maybe even slowed down some, the world keeps going, and businesses still are operating. That is the same thig with the church. We still have those bills, and still need to keep the lights on. But, if you are anything like me, the saying fits well, “Out of sight, out of mind.” If we are not reminded, we easily let it escape our minds. As we are not meeting on a regular basis, it can be easy to forget our giving to the church.
When we first realized that we were going to have to temporarily close the doors for services, I expected giving to go down, we all did, and that is a natural thing that happens. This is a rough patch in our story, but I don’t believe it is the anywhere near the end of our story, or the mission God has brought before us. I believe that once we get to the other side, we will be stronger as a nation, a people and our church will be prepared to continue advancing the kingdom of God here.
As we traverse these days ahead of us, will you continue to join us on the mission at hand? Will you continue to pray diligently for me and my family, for the leadership and their family? Will you pray for one another, for the community, and for the advancement of the Gospel as we try these new mediums to share Jesus?
Will you take another step of faith with me? Will you continue to support the ministry of our church? The truth is that we need you. We need one another, and as we do that, God can use what we give to do more than ever imagined! Now, I know full well how scary this can be. During this time, we can look at our account and our bills and wonder how it will all work. Church, this is where our faith comes into action. My mentor during college always said this, “God can do more with your 90% than you could dream of doing with your 100%.”
Could you imagine what God has in store for you? Will you trust God during these uncertain times? Think of the message you will have for others as He provides in a way only He can.
As things change rapidly here in the valley, and people begin to react in fear and insecurity, remember that our faith in Christ, the joy we have and the promise of Heaven, we don’t have anything to fear. We have hope! We have the hope that they desperately need. The world needs a fearless Church, a people who will go just shy of sin to bring people to Christ.
Will you join me? Will you take great steps of faith with me? I can’t wait to see what God is going to do! I am praying for you all, and remember, Jesus loves you and I love you – and there is nothing you can do to stop us!
In His Service,
Pastor Ben Poole
We Exist to Glorify God!
As members of God's Family,
we will: Worship Him Joyfully;
Train Disciples Thoroughly; Serve Him Diligently;
Reach out Graciously to our Community
And our World with the Gospel of Jesus;
Undergirding all with Prayer.
Monday: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Regular Worship Times
Praise Team Practice