As I sit, still waiting for inspiration as to what to blog about, it occurs to me that I have not updated you all on what Lakeside Christian Ministries has been up to (or if this serves as an introduction as to who we are, that’s great too!).
First, let me say that we chose our name with much prayer, and recent events have made me more aware of how God wants to use us for His purposes. When we started out some 5 years ago, we were sure of only one thing: that God did not want another small church that was 75 % empty on Sunday mornings. Hence, we went with ‘Ministries’ in our name in hopes of letting people know we were up to something a little different than the other faithful, yet small, local churches were.
At first, we thought having home ‘church’ was going to be the answer. An intimate setting with no stain glass or pre-set conditions was what we offered. The idea, however, was greater than what occurred. This is not to say we didn’t experience some sweet ministry in the name of Jesus in our home. We met some new folks and even held a baptism in the living room!
And yet, at the end of two years, we had experienced no growth. Back to God in prayer we went. As we did, it became evident to us four founders of LCM that God was calling us out into our community to be a resource for the existing ministries/churches in our area. God has blessed this as we continue to build relationships with local pastors and leaders. As we get better acquainted with them, we express our desire to help. Also, by visiting various churches on Sundays, we have been able to renew old friendships and make some new ones. In fact, several of these churches have taken us up on our offer to help by asking Betsy and me to come lead worship and preach.
Even with those exciting opportunities, we were still missing something. After all, lending our help on a Sunday morning is all well and good, but it is still only Sunday morning. What about the other six days of the week?
The Bible is filled with accounts of God always being faithful. I continue to read these knowing this to be true. God is faithful! He is so faithful that He decided to let us see how much first-hand! Lakeside Christian Ministries was about to go on the road.
It started when a retired work acquaintance, Ken, with whom I had stayed in touch through Facebook, saw we were hosting a study on Paul’s letter to the Colossians on Wednesday evenings. He and his wife starting coming, traveling some twenty miles to get to our home. The study was blessed by God as He opened our hearts and minds to more of His truth, as well as deepening the relationship between my Ken, his wife and Betsy and me.
As the eight-week study was concluding, they asked if they could bring their son-in-law, an unsaved man, to come meet with us. Of course, we said yes and to make a long story short, after several months of bi-weekly discussions, answering questions as best we could, this man gave his life to Christ!
Soon after, Ken called to see if we would be interested in beginning a bible study in his home. We did (we’re now on our 2nd study), and LCM was on the road! We continued to press in through prayer for more opportunities, and sure enough, God showed His faithfulness once again.
A family I have come to know as I provide pastoral care through Hospice inquired about the possibility of starting a bible study at their apartment complex. These are hungry people, both spiritually and physically. Once again, we knew God was providing us a way to show His love to people who are often overlooked or down right forgotten.
Along with being faithful, I have come to realize God’s timing is always perfect too. A little over a year ago we prepared a seeker-friendly study titled, You’ve Got Questions, the Bible Has Answers. As excited as we were to offer this in our home, there was little to no interest shown by the community. I simply shelved the idea as a good one that didn’t work out. God had other plans for it though, as we now meet weekly at the ‘Projects,’ answering questions and talking about the things of God with a group of people.
As the folks present at these meetings have gotten to know and trust Betsy and me, they have opened up their hearts to the Lord, which culminated in a answered prayer for healing this past week. A woman with a badly swollen and unusable hand from arthritis was relieved of her pain and regained much of the use of it. This all happened about an hour after we had prayed for her. She was so happy she called her mother to tell her she was doing the dishes, something she had been unable to do up until then! In speaking with the family since then, I have been able to encourage them to thank God for his touch, for it is from Him, not us!
Lakeside Christian Ministries is indeed on the road. We look forward to whatever God has in store for His kingdom here in Fulton New York, and doing whatever part He has for us to do in it.
For more information about us, we have a Facebook page under Lakeside Christian Ministries. You are also invited to check out our website: www.lakesidechristianministries.org. There you will find a more detailed description of the ministry God has us doing as well as uploads of all the preaching/teaching I have done over the last several years. If you do stop by, let us know what you think and please pray for us that we faithfully carry out God’s plan for Fulton.
But pardon me if I don’t get back to you for a couple of days, I will be on the road somewhere!