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January 7, 2021 9:11 am
Good morning it's good to see you in the house of the Lord, the Saints gathered to worship our great God Dr. Monroe asked me to speak little bit about this unforgettable year in the life of Calvin Churchville in the body life at Calvary and as he said earlier he goes really without saying that 20/20 has been very challenging year year that we couldn't have imagined four years ago we began this community life ministry with the idea of making sure that every person comes on this campus is connected that the front doors open, but the back door so to speak is closed.
We want to be very intentional about making sure that every person who comes on this campus has a place to learn and grow in their faith.
A place to fellowship a place to become a part of this local body of believers at Calvary church and many of you play a huge role in this ministry to ushers and greeters in particular think of Malcolm weeks and Jeff McNees and so many of you who served faithfully this year, including on the Christmas Eve services and so all of this leads us to help connect people in this local body now prior to the pandemic.
If you been around Calvary church long enough you know it seven days a week.
This place is teeming with life, seven days a week.
There's always something going on. People come on this campus for worship.
They come for Wednesday night electives. They come to drop their kids off at the CDC over champs sports and the key places that we wanted to connect our people were the ALG's and the membership class. These are the places where people learn and grow in fellowship together and so these.
These are the key places that we wanted to connect people now. In fact, before the pandemic. The ALG attendance was record high, we had almost 1400 people each Sunday going to an ALG.
In fact, we were almost out of class space. If you can imagine that in this building. All of our ministries, practically regrowing more and more people were taken, the membership class that Wednesday electives were high. There was a waiting list on the Ravana.
There was a waiting list to champ and for CDC. By all accounts, Calvary church was thriving and growing, and then March came and you know what happened and all of a sudden this place that was booming with activity seven days a week was completely quiet, no programs, no ministries. Dr. Monroe was preaching to an empty sanctuary. So how do you connect people when they're not here. That was the question will we still have this mission.
Don't wait to be and to make authentic disciples of Jesus Christ.
That mission does not stop because of a virus, and so while our programs and our ministries are very important. These programs and ministries ultimately connect people to a person and that person is Jesus Christ himself as of the first thing we did as leaders. This church was lift up our prayers and supplication to our leader, the head of the church of Jesus Christ and we prayed and we prayed and we prayed more and then we made a decision to reach out to our membership is over 3000 people in the membership roster Calvary church and so between the pastors, the elders and the deacons. We all divided up this list.
We all reached out to you to make sure that you're doing okay and hopefully every single one of you least received at least a couple of calls. So we wanted to reach out to you and make sure you're okay and off you prayer and encouragement, and in fact I found personally and I'm sure my the pastors and elders and leaders can attest to this as well that you offered us much. We were blessed to hear that through this trial. You were experiencing joy that you trusted the Lord in his sovereignty and his goodness. But you know others in our Calvary family got pushed further into that refiner's fire. We said goodbye, dear friends, we said goodbye to brothers and sisters we think of Samuel Kail and Phil Devine and Doug Aldrich and others in many of you through all of this have shown your love and support of these families and you continue to do so. You continue to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
And that's why were here right for each other and brothers and sisters I will tell you the hospital report is long in the prayer report is long. I don't think I've ever seen at this long we can't go out and visit because a hospital restrictions we call, we offer a word of encouragement. We pray with them. We let our brothers and sisters know that we love the that we are here for them. One other thing we did was we started to open up many of our other ministries champs sports student ministry. The children's ministry. We wanted to make sure you knew where here and we want you to be connected still learning still growing, still a part of this church family. But we also look outside these walls to a world that seemingly disintegrating right before our eyes. We had to show this world was watching us by the we do care where the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Not only do we care, but we have the answer and the answer is Christ himself. And so this is what we did as a church family.
This is some of the things many of you contributed to the medical bags that we distributed to the medical workers in the community. Hundreds of nurses and doctors and others in the medical meet community receive these gifts bags, which also contained gospel tracts we hosted blood drives the food pantry provided for 240 families and over 200 children, including families and our children in title for title I schools. The street ministry continue to serve the homeless on Saturdays, the prison ministry serve meals to over 700 inmates in many of those inmates have reached out to us and want spiritual guidance already to be a light ministry is been praying for over about 300 household and discipling is already taken place through these ministries and the good news clubs which began in the schools still took place online and all of this was this body coming together for the cause of Jesus Christ. This is what were called to do to share the love of Christ and proclaim his gospel. Now, as I mentioned, calories, ministries were growing rapidly. I would say steadily almost across the board are numbers regrowing and they do give us a good indication of how the church is doing, but they don't tell us how the hardest and that is very true. And it's true that this year. Every single one of us, both individually and corporately have been put into that refiner's fire. None of this that's going on is random, not one bit of God is sovereign. Every single thing has a purpose and you can be sure that this that this is a test of our faith. A test of our endurance. A test of our trust of the Lord a test of our love of the Lord and our love of each other, and every single one of us has been put into this vice grip so to speak, and some have radiated the light of Christ, and we see and for others. Some there's been anger and resentment and bitterness and fear in some have fallen way. Jesus told us that he's going to build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against his church. A politician can't stop the building of his church.
A virus can't stop the building of his church, and in fact in times of intense trials and persecute persecutions church actually thrived. Radiates light of Jesus Christ.
The only thing that would hinder the growth of the church is if you and I are not being and making disciples of Jesus Christ. If we take our eyes off of Christ, set your mind on the things that are above pulses and as we do this as we stay focused under the headship of Christ, we have to remember we have to put in place all those one another's. The Scripture tells us about and I want to read one of them to you. This is Hebrews 10 verse 25 let us consider how to stir one another up to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another all the more as you see the day drawing near and I'll remind you that the law of the roles away from the fire, will smolder out. It is very important as we see that day drawing near that we come together as the Lord's people. This is time to draw near the Lord and near to each other. Now I don't negate the series discovered my wife is a nurse. She works in infection prevention. I know a serious but I'm even more serious about this that that day is a day closer than it was yesterday in my LG I have a young lady in her 20s who this year. Talk about it hard year was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. As much as she can as much as the doctors will allow her, she comes to my LG. On Sundays we meet in the banquet room and as long as these doors are open, and as long as the Lord allows I'm gonna be there for her and for you and for everybody else is my brother and sister in Christ, and I know Dr. Monroe and all the other pastor say the same thing.
I'm not gonna let anything stop me, not a mask if I have to do zoom. I'll do some I will not forsake the gathering together of the saints, and is not because I'm a pastor it's because I'm part of a greater priesthood, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own possession were called to care for one another and bear one another's burdens in Christ praying himself that we might be one so that the world will know we belong to him. So I want to invite you if you're able. If you're not at health risk to come on, come on back to fellowship with your brothers and sisters. If you not able take advantage of zoom where here and we need to draw close how prescient it is precious it is when brothers dwell in unity. My privilege to serve your calorie church. The joy of my life and if I can do anything to help you do let me know. Thank you very much, and we remain committed a Calvary church to the ministry the mission given to us by God. And even though COBIT has certainly made some changes. Yes, it's definitely unforgettable year's an unforgettable year for discipleship as well.
So what have we been doing and how if we met some of the challenges and that the mines of this new era in which we are now back in March when the lockdown came and we were all had to stay home. We we began to pray. So how we can continue to minister to God's people how we can continue to disciple the people of God and we were most concerned about their support for number reasons. First of all, that the commission to the church was given to us before COBIT ever came into place before COBIT visited us we had the great commission. Therefore, the question we could ask is with cold. How did God change the mission to the church and the natural answers that that the mission did not shades of the mission to make disciples of all nations remained the same evil and with COBIT 19. Ever notice how the birds never stop looking for worms in the mornings. They didn't notice the trees continued to grow the weeds in your yard in your garden.
They continue to grow so we also had to continue to disciple.
Also our mission here at Calvary church to be and make authentic followers of Jesus Christ remain the same because the word of God had not changed the great commission to the church had not changed our commitment to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ had not seen the wheel not saying some thankful for the opportunity of being a part of Calvary church. So then we began to pray Lord. How then can we minister to her people and so you know, we discovered zoom, much like many of you I didn't know about zoom.
Of course my kids there would you do note zoom.no I didn't but I'm glad to learn about zoom so we learn about zoom we introduce zoom to our people are LG leaders quickly got on board and by that the third week all four elegies were muted abuse zoom so that was wonderful and we thank God for that.
We continued with our personnel and discipleship. In fact, throughout this year, one on one discipleship relationships were born. Many were born. Group discipleship relationships were born.
We continued to interview prospective teachers to teach in various areas of adult discipleship.
We met over zoom. Many were approved. Some were still going through the process so that continued or electives. Also went virtuoso out we continue that. And God is blessed that our men's minute Bible study classes met over zoom or support ministry classes minutes virtually as well in and out like pastor reset.
We also took to the phones and we began to call and minister to her people, encourage, or people and and I personally have had some wonderful conversations over these many months and so God continues to work among us here at Calvary church and and and and we continue to thank him for his commitment to us his love to us, and therefore our commitment remain strong to the body of Christ will wise the that we are committed so we know the great commission hasn't changed week we were very much convinced that this commitment of God to us.
It began many many years ago and thankfully it hasn't changed. In fact, I think this began. We have a commitment because first of all, he was committed to us, and remains committed to us, we see that as early as back in the garden of Eden. After sin entered over our spear. Darkness descended upon mankind. When Adam took the food you noted in Genesis 3 verse seven when Adam took the fruit and it we are told both their eyes were open and then what do they went and hid themselves so we were troubled by darkness and and God made us this promise in chapter 3 verse 15 that the seed of the woman shall bruise the seed of the serpent, the head of the seed of the serpent so we know that commitment began their I believe it runs as a low, even as that animal trough into which our savior was placed shortly after birth and and even still be on that as a vertical as a cross on which our Savior died that commitment of God to us remain the same. He never change, as he himself is immutable is unchanging and on changeable.
This commitment also could be seen as deep as the borrower to into wheat or saber was delayed after he died, but also that commitment remains as torturous as the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. So we have the commitment from our God and so we also would remain committed, so COBIT are no COBIT Calvary church remain open even throughout the COBIT. We know some churches grows with no we had to do things differently, but I'm thankful for the fact that we remain open so yes is this on unforgettable year, but Calvary remains committed to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ and with thankful again to you. Are pastors or elders or deacons everything a member of Calvary church for your prayers for your encouragement and for coming alongside us to serve as well.
So the gospel is very important. Discipleship is very important that we know that darkness came into our world during the meter. Isaiah 9 and verse two we read there that the people who walk in darkness have seen a great light.
A great light, those who dwell in the land of deep darkness on them has lights.
They walk in darkness because they live in darkness and so the light of Jesus Christ came into all words to provide the light for us that we could not otherwise have outside of them.
So we remain committed to the call to make disciples, but also because the sun called his followers to live in the night. John eight in verse 12 tells us that Jesus spoke to them saying I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but we will have the light of night, so we no longer walking in darkness we will born in this darkness of sin. We are no longer walking in darkness in Christ. And so then also we are told in Matthew five in verse 14 through 16 that we are, of course, verse 14, the light of the word city hid on the hill so we therefore must sign our lights for Christ.
So we been doing so in our various ministries at Calvary church taken a different platform are different format.
If you may but we've continued to doing so would. And of course our great commission calls us to make disciples of all nations, and so get through Calvary church would be able to read too many people, some who have left Calvary church and have been able to join us again. Several of the Lord of Calvary church. Throughout this period of time. Join us on Lifestream for worship.
Some of our discipleship classes. Some of our Bible study classes.
We have people joining us from all over the world. We also have this exemplary leadership to men who have gone ahead of us disciples the apostles. They themselves may disciples. We have a Paul reminds us in second Timothy 22 we see there for generations of disciples and disciple makers. Paul, who was discipled he discipled Timothy Vinnie called Timothy to go and to disciple others. Faithful men, who in turn would disciple other faithful men. So you see why Ormiston cannot send you see why we remain on this path because of the word of God given to us and the call given to us a thank you again for those of you who continue to serve alongside us will encourage us along the way. Within a part with this challenge to us. How would you serve. How you been involved in the spirit of the gospel with a neighbor or friend, a family member and also the discipleship of someone.
How have you been growing in your wall and your relationship with Christ throughout this difficult arrow, 20, 21 is just a few days away.
My challenge to myself and to you is that we will grow and continue to grow and help others to grow as well. In Christ, thank you. You would please turn your Bibles to Revelation chapter 7 Revelation chapter 7 the song we just saying you're not I that was introduced new to us here in 2021 of the blessings of this year and every year adding new music that means so much to us a great song for the life of discipleship and also life of worship essential to each one of us for make comments about 20, 21 to look at other things that are constant in worship and this is a great passage that represents so many important things.
Let me read this for you. Revelation chapter 7. Beginning in verse nine after this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice. Salvation belongs to our God into who sits on the throne and to the Lamb and all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving, and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen. The book of Revelation we have several of these places where we can peel back the window and looked into the perfect worship of the future and us were told of the word his will on earth be done as well on earth be done as it is in heaven.
It gives us a taste or a picture of our future and also of our worship on earth a couple principles from here there constants for us for small notice that our our worship is to be God centered here standing before the throne and before the Lamb. The Lamb of God is the center of our worship is to be focused on God. Our worship is to be filled with content about God. It's to be given to God. It's to be to be pleased to for the Lord to be pleased and offered up to him.
Notice here as well that a multitude from every nation, from all tribes and peoples another privilege in our worship. The people from so many generations from so many backgrounds can all come together and unite in worship. It's a constant force of exceeded even this year here at Calvary and I'm so grateful I took this a couple minutes yesterday to look at the rosters even from our Christmas Eve service for those who served in music and we had about that.
I think it between 85 and 90 people between the three services serving on the platform here and is looking at the breakdown from bad and we had like 14 high school students, and 12 college students in right on through every decade.
Equally represented and people internationals I think over 20 internationals and just representative of any given Sunday at Calvary church and what a privilege we have an especially during the year when there's been so much division and hurt and brokenness in our country and our world. We celebrate that we can worship is one body. Also notice that the message that is in worship of focus is the gospel of salvation belongs to our God and in verse 12, all these great attributes of God. The content in our worship. I noticed that there there around the throne of the work that fell on their faces and they worshiped wholeheartedly or worship us to be wholehearted and die here as well.
At the end of verse 12 for ever and ever worship is to be eternal. So we have is constants for this 2019 2020 for the future and I prayed it would been faithful. I believe that we have been here Calvary and a priest appreciate your your focus in that regard, and maybe maybe continue to be God centered in our worship so uniquenesses of 2020.
The disorders are a couple of challenges and maybe a couple of specific choice and trials in her back and I we would found herself saying things in that we never thought we would say back in March right when the pandemic began I think was the first Sunday when we did. We only live stream the service and at that point were allowed to have 100 people in the sanctuary worship trying to be very specific with that and I think we had pastors and their families and we had a student choir and we had music music team tech team and we had guest list and the students were here rehearsing in the service was was yet to begin. We got up into the 90s and so Jordan Shar Chief of Staff said hey if you the kids. If you have parents coming to the service call them and tell them don't come. Go to Starbucks instead and so something we thought we would never say don't come to church go to Starbucks instead. But this one of many things where everything was just upside down on some of the challenges that we've had in worship. And thanks to state the obvious worship so greatly enjoyed as the body of Christ and being together and we didn't have that privilege for so many months and even now as we come together we have these masks which are necessary. These mass fogged up our glasses. We can't read the lyrics and so it's is it. It's not as fulfilling as it was in seasons past.
We look forward to the season and I had and I think it's a reminder to us as well that are imperfect worship here on earth, even as we give our hearts to as best we can and we might be looking through foggy glasses but we know that that one day we will see clearly perfectly for all of eternity. When we see him face-to-face has a challenge as well of the number of musicians and we began the way back in March and April allowed have four people serving and that that number has grown, but a golf course.
The challenge and I think think my teammates for for working to that and and many others I will head many challenges this season, so the course. Rob mentioned the other trials and habitat loss within the worship ministry within our church. The passing away of summer brothers and sister.
Some have moved away.
We miss them. We didn't get to sale property by some and maybe some of the choice that we've had in this season as well. I've enjoyed like Nathaniel saying know much about zoom in January like I know more about it now, and I've enjoyed the collaboration that we have with our staff and our worship ministry not only the fellowship we've been able to experience through that but also the collaborations we work together, staff, volunteers, everyone. It's been very helpful. I'm thankful for all the students of the great job that we do if we are think of those who are educators and students of every agent knows been incredibly it's still is challenging season has brought many of our college students home so the study from home and I thankful for so many of them who serve faithfully in our worship here is representative of the that what we have going on here Calvary. What a blessing with the next generation. Just like any Sunday. Procure from high school, playing keyboard, so it's a college student was home playing cello like she does so many times for us. Ben Smith here just finishing up at Cedarville is good to be coming on, or worship staff in January.
Jonathan Freeman I hear on base are playing today came up through Calvary serves as a worship leader with pastor Khalil you down in Florida now home for a day and is representative of so many others in our God is at work in the next generation seen that even expanded during this during this difficult time. I think of the many other joys. I think 11 stands out to me though. From this entire. That's the people that I work with in the worship ministry and know that such churchwide thing here purchased all of the work that has gone into the logistical and planning component of every element. He saw many of the things on the screen and in the video that worked on the virtual choir's virtual orchestra, organ concerts, the music camps. All of these events which to obviously take planning but in this particular season take not only planning but also trying to be safe as safe as possible. All the protocols which are necessary and under so grateful for the people that I served with in their wholehearted service. You seem seen over the past couple months we've been able over the past couple months have been able to have certain sections of the choir and of the orchestra into our worship and Ron Elmore, who were filler and instrumental music I were pulling the orchestra members to see if how many were able to come back in November and Ron said that one of her works. Member said I would crawl through broken glass to play again know and I thought that that is. And that's the attitude of the people that I serve with the greatest people and thank you. Here Calvary for for your desire to worship and for your hard work and I think our worship staff.
Our full-time staff Brian Harrison Chelsea Hathaway Mr. Driscoll several part time in all of our volunteers for all of the planning and the work in the prayer that has gone into this entire season takeaways as we look ahead, I think, make sure that we keep God at the center of our worship. Another element in we've we've used technology this year. Zoom in becoming and with our services being virtual which is a great privilege, but the same time have to be careful that we don't have take a consumer mindset. With that which can lead to just being critical were watching a voice on TV or whatever element where we just become critics. But given all that we can to be engaged in worship to assemble when we can pastor Rob already challenged us in that regard, we know that many cannot be here for health reasons distance reasons we completely understand that for those who can be in this room there's no substitute for the assembly of the body of Christ.
Favorite song of -73. And it's where the psalmist he's looking at the wicked and wonder why didn't one of the wicked prosper. I wasted my life so to speak. Then he goes into the temple and it says his perspective is restored and he goes on to say God is a strength of my heart and my portion forever. It's a great illustration of the of having our perspective restored and how often I've had that experience, especially this year when were discouraged, lost me get off focus feel weak becoming were strengthening the preacher, pastor, Monroe, the experience of worship and at to remind me of this. The importance of value. Thank you all for your for your partnership and worship him excited about the season ahead and set one verse here to read as I close, Romans 15 five May the God of endurance and encouragement grant us to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus, that together we may with one voice glorify the God and father Lord Jesus Christ may redo that 2021 and beyond.
Thank you again. Three pastors have well and giving us an extensive review of 2020. The challenges majorities and of our continuing commitment.
If you have your Bible turn to second Timothy chapter 2 and I want us to read two verses.
Verses eight and nine right at the beginning of culverts as we began to realize the seriousness seriousness of it, though none of us knew was going to last a long these two verses. What impressed by the spirit of God on my heart to remember Natalie Natalie on Greg hombre could just joined us as a media director and he needs to extend the job. A particularly through the cold and and ongoing. He asked if he would do a little video of me of my study just to give some encouragement to people of beginning of Corbett and artifact to these two verses and they have been an anchor to me and I trust to you through the culvert.
We thought it was just the last couple of months and likely be back to normal and the people of reacted all kinds of ways to culvert even the congregation with people who think that the ideal culvert is some kind of communist conspiracy doesn't really exist to others who believe that the church should be shut down and we should all say no homes and I believe that the Lord has led us leadership by fellow pastors and elders to the congregation. The deacons and to do what is right. We have not close the church. I felt very strongly although many churches have been closed that we should not do that that with hard from a fellow pastors the injunction that we should meet together and not neglect the assembling of ourselves together, is the manner of some, we realize that may not always be possible, but we believe strongly that culvert 19 on the government or enemy, Satan would not stop at the spread of the gospel and this is what Paul is saying here in second Timothy two verse eight. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, that is, and that Timmons reminded us at the very center of our worship is the line is our Lord Jesus Christ which I remember him what together eyes on him over and over again with to look to Jesus Christ communion this do in remembrance of me. But I can read Hebrews looking unto Jesus the author and the perfecter of our faith.
And this is essential, particularly difficult times and sadly and our worship yes at a difficultly just her problems yesterday challenges. Yes, we can be.
This bonded but we are going to remember Jesus Christ that we worship a risen Savior, a Savior, who is greater than Corbett West Concord dad therefore we the people of God are not to fear with the remember our Lord Jesus policy risen from the dead, the offspring of David is the son of David is going to come as the King of Kings and Lord of lords. As prophesied in the Old Testament as he is the son of David, as preached, says Paul in my gospel know elsewhere.
He said it is not his gospel is the gospel he received from God, but he owns it is been saved by this magnificent gospel he preaches the gospel.
So here he does what he normally doesn't do it refers to it as my gospel. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel. Central to worship central to preaching as our Lord Jesus Christ, for which he says I'm suffering bonded with chains as a criminal for the preaching of the gospel. Paul is bound just put in prison. They tried to silence and the stone them to bring him before the judge's was of you know the story of Paul as presented in the accident is towards the end of his life writing his last letter is going to say I finish the course.
I've run the race. I fought the good fight.
In chapter 4, and so he realizes this snow is coming to the end of his life and he's been imprisoned for the gospel that his opposition to the gospel. The Roman Empire is against them. They want him to say that Caesar is Lord, and of course as a follower of Jesus Christ.
He can't do that is being saved by his gospel is committed to the gospel and then he says I wonderfully that although he is blind with changes. A criminal bought the word of God is not bound and that's the best I can.
Throw in mind the beginning of culvert with all that is going on yes with suffering suffering and personal cases. Suffering as a church suffering for the gospel. But we must always remember the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel is not the word of God is not bound or FEMA calibrated is for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, you cannot bind the gospel. You cannot stop the gospel. You cannot stop the building of the church of Jesus Christ because it is being built by Lord Jesus Christ himself at the very gates of hell will not prevail against the right of the beginning of the school over this week madness. We decided what to do with the weight of government would where we want to respect our government would not loose cannons we want to be good neighbors. We want to be responsible citizens, but our first commitment is to the gospel. So we met a few weeks. I preach to that, and some of you actually watch that you even from Starbucks. I can see is a link to the common November big mug of coffee and just thing was Monroe saying today. We saw you so you watched and I placed an empty sanctuary for a few weeks. Tim was here to relate people worship Brian and the few, the tech team couple people on the common. A total of about 10 people in the whole building that I got a strange experience, but we did what was right and why did we do that you and God's gracious a few years ago that had been the debates. He had a columnist with her knowledge of lifestream and the termini as we mentally began to think yes we should do lifestream but people say about that involves money, why would you do that you do lifestream people are going to send the home and not come to church and we said no we don't believe that about you can reach people to lifestream in the God's goodness before the coated we were set up for licensing and someone in the technology brine that others have lent us in the wonderful thing is then that when covert can we as a church ready to lifestream.
Do you realize that there people all over the world who watch the service watch the worship and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ that is wonderful, marvelous, just a few years ago that we have been thought inconceivable.
Similarly with zoom in that it is you talk to these little with the prayer time with the elders and pastors this morning is going to bubblegum their lip service. Here we were on zoom and were praying we see these little head and shoulders as an ideal know it's not ideal, we want to to meet but the technology has enabled us to do ministry with Allied troops and different ways that we can keep together is the body of Christ of Robert said that nothing, nothing, to be the substitute for actually bequeathing together couple of times and I were on vacation. We watch the service lifestream and the estimates that is very easy. All he sees is easy to be critical as the welding worship rather was this person wearing it was this person saying and so on. And this just not the same sitting at your home watching us Canadian as opposed actually being here and let me tell you as a preacher. It is very very different but totally different experience reaching to that camera tonight empty sinks actually and I thank God for the lifestream but it doesn't compare to preaching to people that I can see with your masks as I conceive your way cannot preaching to people who are there totally different.
We feel, yes, this you know that when we come together.
Paul says we are the temple of God, we have the house of God. God is always with us.
That's true. Holy Spirit indwells us as individual Christians.
The Scriptures clearly teach that whether scriptures also teach that when we come together as the people of God. God the Spirit is in their midst. We come through the doors is not because of this signed today.
We appreciate this marvelous sanctuary.
Of course, some because we got a big platform and very gifted musicians.
Not because I'm here at all any particular pass that is is because we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. When we come in the regions to Scripture and we come together humbly to worship God and worship is focused on the Lamb is with this focused on the greatness and grace of God and this word is opened and the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached.
The Holy Spirit is here we can sense the difference kindly that God is at work. The spirit is convicting people.
The spirit is challenging people yesterday lifestream through the radio. All of these of expanding and so it is in the grace and the goodness of God, that though the challenges of culvert have been great on us, particularly leadership in all of us get through that Calvary church is reaching more and more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ that we've ever done in the history of this church and praise God for that. I want to thank you as we come to the end of the year as well. I remember way back in March and April.
As I met with my fellow leaders and elders and the executive committee and so on. We thought would be going to survive financially. People are just not going to get. We have been that the giving will go die. Remember singlets mistrust every 15 years as a pastor of Calvary church is not the perfect church of the perfect passenger met order of the imperfect pastors. It is easy to find fault. Yes, we Calvary church but one thing I know over the 15 years of being a Calvary church God has always meant me this week. I got to in this congregation is a very very generous congregation.
And when people are presented with a need. The people of God have responded and you have responded magnificently more than we actually believe God once again has surprised us with his grace, so we give thanks to God for your generosity. As a pastor I have to say with the urine challenge some of your sitting on very big checks are done we can do with. I'll tell you what to do with give generously and cheerfully to the Lord, because you did that today.
Today's end of the year with praise God for that with a particular challenge with the child development center overnight to close done and the tuition stop coming.
Of course I could you charge parents when we weren't able to to have them enter the building is locked on the presented a tremendous challenge because whether by the hundred and 50 employees. Some of them full-time. Something part-time. Some of them single mother single. This is the only source of income. The presented us as a church with a tremendous challenge.
Yet in the goodness of God. With continued CDC close done. We've reopened that suddenly the less children suddenly we had to make some difficult decisions dealing with the state with their requirements within God's grace the child development center is continuing, and we believe that it will continue through the covert plastic covert and God's goodness will continue to grow and grow. Another great item of praise.
While work went into that behind-the-scenes and we have so many people to thank for that wisdom for that advice for the generosity and for their hard heart. God has done amazing thing that Calvary church is been an unforgettable year been very difficult to be a pastor in the attitude culvert. 19 but in God's grace we are committed to meet to worship God, despite his word, not just in this building, but throughout the community and the admissions program continues and thrives in plastic casualties here tell us how it is continue to thrive even to culvert 19. We give thanks to God than for this unforgettable year and we sat thank you we sign committed, and if you knew to Calvary.
Let me tell you what Calvary is about with target from brother Nathaniel Pierce or passive discipleship that other mission is to be unmake authentic followers of Jesus Christ in the following Jesus Christ. We want to tell you but Jesus Christ is the son of God is the Savior of the world in the Savior and to transform John a believer in Jesus Christ. We want to help you in your growth as a disciple to tell others about Jesus Christ. At that Christ, and we have hundreds of opportunities for you to serve Calvary church.
What's the basis that what theological basis what what anchors Calvary church through the storms through culvert 19. What is it is said that he simply nursing verse for the word of God. We take the Bible series I would preach on this text on the Lord willing.
But God's word. We take this very, very seriously.
This is not just a book is the living word of God would committed to the word of God that anchors us everything we do is to be biblical with a significant but with a pastor worship stood here a few minutes to tell us about what was the first thing he did talk about a style of worship to say whether you like a toddler are or our problems are on Argonaut or bagpipes which always has my vote but would it every time is not my style event was to the word of God in the counseling in a discipleship in the community alive. Whatever we do is anchored in the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. We exalt our Savior.
We do not preach ourselves, but we are your servants for Christ sake, and my fellow pastors my elders and deacons. All of us join what Rob Lisa said that we are here to surgeon to stand committed for the word of God for the gospel of Jesus Christ will be raised by you will fall in love with Christ. Not only will you proclaim Christ, but you will display Christ as you go back to work tomorrow wherever you do wherever you go, but people will see something of Jesus in you. That is our commitment and that remain strong through 2020 and Lord willing of the Lord doesn't come that will continue to be a mission 2021. Thank you for your support for the way so many of you worked hard many many ministries. Much of it unseen as we are committed to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
And we praise God that has worked the gospel, the word of God is not bound continues to Nevada but I got on this world and point people to Jesus Christ because we firmly believe that God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life breach of trust in the Lord Jesus will save you forgive your give you eternal life and you'll join us. Being in making authentic followers of Jesus Christ. Father, help us, we do pray you've surprised us with your grace, your mercy has been poured on us. Thank you for your patience with us sometime self-willed. We sometimes want their own ideas rather than yours. Today is a congregation we renew our commitment to your words, when you love for Jesus Christ and we say is Paul that when he was convicted. Lord, what would you have me to do continue to protect Calvary church father. We do pray continue from this church Sunday.
The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray