The Encourager


The Encourager
Countryside Christian Church’s
The Encourager
Chad Laughrey, Senior Minister
Arlene Stoner, Secretary
November’s Events
9:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship
7:00 pm Larsen’s Small Group
6:00 pm Family Supper
6:45 pm Momentum
6:45 pm Kingdom Kids
6:45 pm Choir
9:00 am Breakfast with the King
(BK North)
November 1
10:15 Communion Servers
November 8
Elder’s Meeting
Lamplighter’s Potluck
November 13
6:30 pm McDowell introduction
Dinner (RSVP by the 8th)
November 14
7:30 Praise & Worship Night
November 17
6:45 Choir practice (upstairs)
7:00 Jostie’s Musical performance
November 22
Annual Thanksgiving Potluck
November 24
6:45 Choir Practice
November 25
No Wednesday Activities
November 26
Happy Thanksgiving
How important is involvement in the body of
Being active and involved in the body of Christ is critical for every
believer. Perhaps one of the biggest problems in the Western church is
the notion that “getting saved” is akin to getting a ticket to heaven. This,
for many, is the ultimate purpose of the cross and the real essence of
Christianity. While I would never want to diminish the significance of
eternally dwelling with God, this notion certainly misses the heart of what
the Bible teaches about what it means to be a Christian. Christianity is
not merely a ticket to heaven (as important as that is). Jesus did not call
his disciples to go out and convince people of the legitimacy of the resurrection, pray a “sinner’s prayer” and then go about their merry way. Jesus told his disciples to make other disciples, not converts.
For instance, look at Jesus’ interaction with the rich young ruler
(Matt. 19:16ff). When this young man came to Jesus looking for eternal
life, Jesus did not tell him to believe a list of facts about him and pray a
prayer to assure himself of eternal life. Rather, Jesus told the man to sell
his possessions and follow him. Jesus called the man to make the Messiah the center of his life, rather than merely something he added on to
his intellectual checklist in order to obtain eternal life. Jesus is not
something we add-on. He is someone we surrender to.
What does this have to do with service in the body of Christ? Everything! Many Christians act as though the church is something to be
consumed. The idea is that we “get saved” and then go to church in order to feel better about ourselves and to have people on staff take care of
our mental, emotional and spiritual needs. While this is part of church,
it is only a part. When we become part of the body of Christ, we become
part of something that is bigger than ourselves. Our lives are no longer
our own; they belong to Christ. Therefore, our lives are to be given to
serve and build his body. The notion that someone could get “saved” and
then not connect with other believers but only focus on their own spiritual and emotional welfare is contrary to the very nature of Christ. Growth
comes through service. Consider the following:
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists,
the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the
unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature
manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so
that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves
and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by
craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
(Ephesians 4:11–14, ESV)
It is through the “work of ministry” that we are all built up. As a part of the body, you do
not belong to yourself anymore. You belong to Christ. The eye does not exist for the eye’s own glory and benefit. It exists to aid the rest of the body with its unique function of seeing. Likewise, if
the mouth decided it only wanted to talk but wasn’t interested in eating food to fill the belly and
nourish the other members, the whole body would be in trouble.
Another problem with the consumer Christianity that is prevalent in our culture is that it is
highly selfish and leads to a very dangerous type of spiritual immaturity. Growing as a Christian is
serious business. Peter says that our faith is of “greater worth than gold” (1 Peter 1:7). Peter essentially says that the condition of our faith is so important to God that he is even willing to allow
His children to be persecuted so their faith can be refined. Yet many believers treat their faith as
though it is tin rather than gold. They are careless with this precious faith and do not nurture or
grow in it. The author of Hebrews warns that those who did not grow into maturity were dangerously close to turning away from the truth and giving up the precious faith that saves them. If they
did this, it would be impossible to restore them to repentance (cf. Heb. 6:1-8). We need to add to
our faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. Peter says that this will keep you from being “ineffective and unfruitful” in your Christian life and assure you an entrance into the eternal kingdom (cf. 2 Peter 1:5-11).
Finally, we need to heed Christ’s warning about not diligently being about his business.
God has given you a gift with which to serve and bless others in his body. If you do nothing with it,
you are acting wickedly with what you have been entrusted. Jesus tells the parables of the seed
and talents. Both parables point to the importance of cultivating what God gives you in order to
live a fruitful life for Him. If you allow selfishness and the riches of the world to consume you, it
will choke out God’s Word in your life (cf. Luke 8:1-8). The servant who took the Master’s gift and
buried it in the ground was deemed wicked because he refused to act faithfully and seek to please
his master while he was gone with what had been entrusted (Matthew 25:14-20). The teaching of
the NT reveals that God desires us to be passionate disciples who take up our crosses and give our
lives away to build others in a knowledge of the truth through the gifts God has given us. He is not
looking for people with facts about Jesus. Rather, he wants people who use the truth of Christ to
drive them toward holiness, godliness and service to others. This shows the world the power of the
Gospel and God’s Spirit as we love one another and give our lives to our brothers and sisters as
Christ gave himself for us.
May your November be filled with thanksgiving to our great and glorious God!
Wednesdays Family Meal
Menu for November:
4th—Chips & Quesadillas
11th—Biscuits & Gravy
18th—Grilled Ham &
Cheese and French
25th—NO MEAL or
Wednesday Activities.
The choir has been working hard on the
Christmas Cantata “Light out of the Darkness”. They practice each Wednesday
evening at 6:45 pm.
There is more room for more voices!
They would love to have you come join them.
Annual Thanksgiving Potluck
Sunday, November 22nd
following the worship service.
Please check the sign up sheets at the
Welcome Center to see where you can help out!
Come meet the McDowell Family
Friday Night November 13th at 6:30 PM
Lasagna and salad will be served, but only to those
that R.S.V.P. by Sunday November 8th.
We must have an accurate head count, so please R.S.V.P. to be
included in the meal.
Sign up at the Welcome Center, reply to the e-mail I will send out, or reply
on Facebook but we stress that we MUST know if you will be joining us so
we have enough food to feed everyone. Hope to see you all there!!
Josh &
Alexis &
Silver Ring Thing
November 11th
7—9 PM
Buffalo County
Christmas Child
Check out the awesome display of sample boxes in the fellowship hall and
guidelines for you to take with you as
you fill the box and bless a child.
We had a HUGE response and ordered
200 more boxes this week but they will
not be in for at least a week. So please
know that more will be arriving so you
can take one for sizing (or use any shoe
box) and the OCC boxes will be here
soon and you can take as many as you
would like to after they arrive.
If you are unfamiliar with OCC please ask
at the display table, or contact Rob Stoner at (308) 293-8454 or Becky Stoner at
(308) 293-8688.
Join us on
at 6:45pm.
There will be no
Activities on Wednesday,
November 25th so you can
spend time with your family!
Thoughts from the secretary’s messy desk:
Sometimes things just start to weigh heavy on my heart. I was talking with an Elder recently about
things and the topic turned to welcoming people (especially newcomers) and making them feel like
they can find a church home here at Countryside. He told me about Dennis…now some of you will
not remember Dennis but he always stood out in a crowd…you could not help but notice Dennis…
he was the town “bum” He was hit by a car several years ago and passed away and he died as he
lived…on his own terms. But that was not what the elder shared with me…he told me about a
church family that invited Dennis in for the potlucks, that gave him a warm meal and a cup of coffee
and showed him real Christianity. Out on the streets of Kearney, Dennis was ridiculed, made fun of
and people walked by and shook their heads…I was probably guilty of the head shaking myself. But
this church welcomed him in and to “repay” their kindness, when the retaining wall was put up on the
South side of the church Dennis showed up to help.
The moral of my story is not, “Yay for our church!” The moral is…do we still reach out to people who
don’t look like us…who might not have had a bath recently, pierced people who show up covered in
tattoos…people who show up broken and need a hospital…that is what we should be…a hospital
for sinners…not a club for saints.
I am urging you all to reach out on Sunday and shake the
hand of the person next to you…are they new? ...then greet
them…have you seen them in church but never learned their
names...go ask. That little touch of kindness can mean the
world to people.
It is said that people come to church for 4 reasons; Death, Divorce, Displacement or Disaster. Why they are here is not relevant…showing them kindness and the love that I know is
here and in this church is what is important. When people visit…they are looking for a friendly place to grow in Christ…I am
asking…can YOU be that to another person, are we that as a
church family??
If this man showed up Sunday,
how would you greet him?
Go forth and be a blessing,
Do not neglect to show hospitality to
strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2
4—Gwendolyn Smith
6—Janet Steffen
4—Mary Schanbacher
9—Barb Burwell
11—Sam Laughrey
12—Joyce Linn
14—Jared Shields Jr.
14—Carrie Miller
15—Crystal Stocks
15—Kristi Eschleman
17—Katie Simmons
17—Kris Thompson
17—David Morehead
18—Eileen Tiede
21—Rachelle Warner
27—Quin Oberg
29—Christie Weinberg
DON’T FORGET...Ray Shields would like to meet with
all the current and prospective Communion Servers on
Sunday November 1st at 10:15 to review the changes in
the serving policy. Please be will only take a
few minutes so please be prompt so you don’t miss it!!
9:15 am
Sunday School
6:00 pm
Family Supper
6:45 pm
Small Group
7:00 pm
9:00 am
Breakfast with
the King.
(North Burger King)
6:45 pm
& LocoMotion
6:45—8:15 pm
9:15 am
Sunday School
Small Group
7:00 pm
6:00 pm
Family Supper
6:45 pm
& LocoMotion
Sunday School
6:45—8:15 pm
Small Group
7:00 pm
& LocoMotion
on Youth Minister
7:00 pm
Sunday School
9:00 am
Breakfast with
the King.
(North Burger King)
7:30 pm
Praise &
Worship Night
9:00 am
Breakfast with
the King.
(North Burger King)
6:45 pm
26 Thanksgiving
6:45—8:15 pm
6:45 pm
& LocoMotion
Sunday School
6:00 pm
Family Supper
6:45 pm
6:00 pm
Family Supper
6:45 pm
Small Group
7:00 pm
9:15 am
RSVP by 11/8
National Organ
Donor Sunday
9:15 am
6:45—8:15 pm
6:30 pm
Dinner for
the McDowell
6:45 pm
Elder’s Mtg.
9:15 am
11 Veterans Day 12
Small Group
7:00 pm
& LocoMotion
November 2015
3203 8th Ave
Kearney NE 68845
Email: [email protected]
Winning Lives ~ Maturing Christians