Weekly Update from Pastor Phil


We had a joyous weekend, worshiping together on Good Friday, as Matt Sliger wonderfully expounded Psalm 22, then gathering again on Easter Sunday to consider the broad power of the resurrection of Christ. I’m thankful that the Lord refreshed us in these days.

We continue tomorrow evening our Wednesday STINT class on World Religions. The past two weeks, our friend Mark Morris has given us perspective on Islamic beliefs and worldview. Tomorrow at 6:30, Wesley B., who served in the Muslim world for over 20 years, will be discussing how to share the good news with Muslims. I can think of few things more pertinent in our day due to the Lord has bringing Muslims to our door so that they might hear and see the good news through faithful followers of Christ.

We look forward to our April version of Mercy for Memphis on April 29th, with a trip to the zoo with local refugees, and April 30th, with our continuing service with our friends at the Binghampton Christian Academy. These opportunities to serve allow us to show Christ’s love and mercy in areas that may not be in our normal routine. We’re grateful for Chris Wilbanks’ leadership in organizing these times of service.

On Mother’s Day, May 14th, we’ll have our annual baby/parent recognition Sunday. I saw a list last week of babies born this year. Wow! We’ve been blessed with a lovely group that we’re glad to recognize and love!

On May 7th, we begin our summer of “Learning to Interpret the Scripture” during the 9:00 a.m. Sunday School time. While Jim Carnes works with our adult and youth teachers in preparation for teaching Isaiah in mid-August, I’ll be leading a study on how to interpret Old Testament prophetic writings by focusing on the book of Micah. I’m glad that Mitch Kimbrell will be assisting me during this time. We look forward to the hands-on approach to interpretation as we did last summer. Mitch and I will take the first three weeks to lay groundwork, then we’re into the digging together through Micah. As we did last summer, I’ll have the “tools” on the tables for your digging into the Word.

I’m thankful to have received advance copies of my new book yesterday, The Mentoring Church: How Pastors and Congregations Cultivate Leaders (Kregel Ministry, 2017). I know that Amazon has it for pre-order for May 27th delivery. There may be other outlets that will have it out sooner. Please pray that the Lord might be pleased to use this book to encourage mentoring through local churches. My friend, Dr. David Dockery, president at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School/Trinity International University, wrote the foreword. If you want to take a peak at it through Amazon, you can do so here. 

I’ll be heading to a European city this week, along with Cliff VanNostrand and Jason Fisher, to meet up with a group of Christian workers who serve in some difficult places. I’ll be teaching through portions of Ephesians, while Cliff leads the worship and Jason discusses business as ministry. Please pray for this time. We need the power and help of the Spirit in our labors so that we might serve well these faithful brothers and sisters.

Matt Sliger will be continuing our partnership in expounding 1 John next Sunday. So pray for Matt as he prepares and opens the Word. I’ll be absent from sending out my sermons for a couple of weeks due to the trip.

There’s always so much to learn about the resurrection when venturing into 1 Corinthians 15. I saw things in the present study that I did not see when preaching through this epistle a couple of years ago. I hope that you find it helpful.

Phil N.