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Spare Change November 2017

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As I sat at our annual food pantry training I looked around and realized that I was the youngest person in the room.  There were food pantry ministries from all over the tri-state area and many of them were run and staffed by senior adults.  That got me thinking about how much seniors serve.  I truly believe that without senior adults, retired adults, and disabled adults churches would not be able to offer the amount of ministry that we do and subsequently not help as many people in the community.  From this we can understand two important things:

  1. Seniors Are Valuable
    Seniors (I am primarily thinking about those 60 years and above and in most cases retired or semi-retired) are not valued in our society.  Our culture values youth over experience.  There is so much talk now-a-days in church life about engaging millennials, which means the seniors can go quietly unnoticed.  Many people don’t care what seniors think or, at the very least, think they are outmoded.  However, seniors offer a unique life perspective.  They realize that life is a marathon. They realize what’s important in life. Young people have a lot to learn from them and need to value them.
  2. You Never Retire from Ministry
    Many seniors also never retire.  Sure, they might retire professionally, but it is hard to go from working every day to all of a sudden doing nothing, so they naturally look for something to do.  You look at any volunteer organization, including the church, and what do you see…seniors.  Retirees are the ones working at the food banks, they are helping to fix things around the church, visiting shut-ins, spearheading mission’s offerings, and the list goes on and on.  Seniors that love God and love their church never retire, they continue to serve often until they just physically can’t.

Young People (I use this term loosely, anyone under 60) need to be challenged by the involvement of senior adults.  There are three ways in which we are challenged:

  1. Are You Too Busy to Do Ministry?
    I know what it is like to have the stresses of life and the pressures of work and family.  We often feel like we are meeting ourselves coming and going.  Busyness seems to be a way of life, but is it the right way?  I think we need to step back and realize that we don’t have to schedule ourselves every hour of the day, especially to the exclusion of ministry.  If you’re too busy to serve the Lord, then you’re just too busy.  You need to cut some stuff out and find time to serve somewhere.
  2. Serve Now and You’ll Serve Then
    I remember someone telling me that if you want to build a lifelong habit then start it when you're young.  Want to be a saver? Then start saving from the first time you get paid for mowing or babysitting.  Those habits will stick with you for the rest of your life.  The same is true with serving. If you don’t make it a habit now you will never do it, there will always be an excuse, or another thing that takes precedence.  If you want to serve the Lord then do it now, don’t wait.
  3. Today’s Young People are Tomorrow’s Seniors
    Finally, I just want to remind all the young folks that today you are relevant, but tomorrow you may be feeling forgotten by our culture.  Realize that seniors are valuable: get to know some of them, listen to them, help them, and serve alongside of them.  You may just learn something new.  


Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

Student Ministry November 2017

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Dear Church Family,

         This time last year I wrote my first Oakleaves newsletter article. The past year has been a wonderful and challenging year. Kayla and I love living in Evansville and serving here at Oakhill Baptist Church. We have fallen in love with the students and families here and we plan on getting to know the families of our church even better over the next year. We hope that we have been a blessing to you and your family in some way, because you have certainly been a blessing to us.

This month is Thanksgiving month. It is incredibly easy to think of things to complain and gripe about, but what is less natural, and infinitely more beneficial, is for us to consider what things the Lord has blessed us with. I’ve been thinking about this regarding the lives of students in today’s world. I look around and see all the worldly influences they are being inculcated with and I am tempted to complain. But that doesn’t really get us anywhere. So recently I have been trying to focus on how thankful I am that there is at least one place they can go to be nursed back to health with the truth; and that is the Church. The more I think about this, the more I am thankful that there is a place that I can go to be comforted, encouraged, grown, challenged, and rescued by the truth that our society is quickly jettisoning. I see the problems in the world and I cannot think of  anything that will sufficiently remedy the issue except for the gospel of Christ. And we, His Church, are the ones who are to be equipped with that truth so we can be a lighthouse to a dark world. I am thankful for our church and its commitment to equipping disciples to be lights in the darkness. I am thankful for the students, their families and the joy we bring each other in Christian fellowship. And I am thankful for the blessing that we can find our joy in Christ rather than in the world where it cannot be found.

I would like to stir you to think about these things as well. Be careful, this is a busy time of year (what time of year isn’t busy?) and that means that we can easily be distracted from what’s most important. The enemy does not want you to think about how wonderful it is to belong to a family of believers that meets regularly to speak truth and encourage one another to go out and keep living for Christ. He wants you to be focused on other things, good things, but not eternal things. If you are a parent or grandparent reading this, think about how wonderful it is that this family of believers here at Oakhill Baptist Church is committed to teaching the younger generations the truth and equipping them to live it. There is nowhere else in this world that will teach them eternal, life changing truth like the Church. I am abundantly grateful to be able to teach   students several times a week truth that gives life and joy and peace. They need that desperately!! So do you and me. Could you imagine living in the world not knowing where to find life, joy, and peace? Our culture tempts students to think they can find those things in relationships, social media, entertainment, sex, money, social status, and even suicide. We, the Church, know better. A gospel centered home and the Church are the only places where the younger generation can go to learn where they can find their true joy. Apart from God and my family, there is nothing I am more thankful for than the Church. My prayer is that, when you really think about it, you would feel the same.



Posted by Brian Van Doren with

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