Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bethany Community Church Update

With the upcoming church plant, I've decided to change the focus of the blog. I'll link to it from the new church website (should be up by the end of May) and create more of a community forum. This may cause me to edit what I post a little more carefully as well! So, here's the update I sent out last night:

Dear Bethany,

This is a long update…feel free to read in installments!

Today I was able to use my toes and fingers to count the days remaining until the church plant ABC begins (20) instead of having to pull out the calculator.

Our purpose as a church is to Proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. The purpose of the church plant ABC will be to help us prepare to begin that proclamation in a new community. That is why we are calling the church plant ABC “Preparing to Proclaim: Planting a Church in 15 Easy Steps.” I would like to encourage you to be meditating on these words of Paul in Colossians 1:15-18:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

I pray this evening that Christ, the preeminent One, truly is the head of the church that will begin shortly on the east side of the river.

Associate Minister

I apologize in advance for the “tease.” Within the next few days, I will have some further information about God’s provision of a man for our associate minister position. The associate minister’s primary responsibility will be to oversee our family ministries, but will be involved in a variety of ministries as the church plant begins. I am confident you will be excited as you hear about how the Lord has been working.

“Preparing to Proclaim”

The Church Plant Sunday School will begin meeting May 18th in the gym during second service. I would encourage you to come in the gym early to maximize our fellowship time. During the coming weeks we will cover various topics, such as…

· What is a “Church”?
· Evangelism: What is the Gospel?
· Evangelism: Bethany Community and Evangelism
· Worship: God’s Glory in the Church
· Worship: God’s Glory in the Pulpit
· Worship: God’s Glory at Bethany Community
· Discipleship: Presenting Every Person Complete in Christ

Ministry Opportunities

Are you looking for a ministry to be involved in right away? Are you so excited you can barely contain yourself? Contain yourself no longer! If you would like to be involved in helping set up and tear down the gym for the Church Plant Sunday School, please hit “reply” to this email.

Also, I thought it might be helpful to give you the names of the members of the leadership team again, their email addresses, and the ministries they are overseeing. Feel free to contact them directly and begin asking them questions about ministry opportunities.

{I deleted this to protect the privacy of these guys...}.

Bible Translations

After mentioning that I would be preaching from the ESV Bible, I’ve received a lot of emails asking, “What is an ESV Bible? Is it some super-special, super-spiritual translation? Does ESV stand for Every Saint’s Version?”

As you may know, we are blessed as English speaking/reading people to have an abundance of quality Bible translations in our native tongue! There is nothing super-special about the ESV translation. For those of you who are familiar with some of the various best-selling translations, the English Standard Version is very similar to a New International Version of the Bible and probably even closer to a New American Standard Bible. As I said before, there is no need to go out and buy a new Bible just because I’m preaching from the ESV. Your current well-loved and well-read Bible will do just fine!

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, I’m speaking this Sunday night on various modern Bible translations in my elective, “How We Got the Bible.” I’m looking forward to this class and am sure all the versions I’ve mentioned in this email and more will come up!

By His Grace,

Pastor Daniel

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ESV climbs to number 4...

Saw an interesting statistic tonight on the ESV Bible. As many of you know, I've decided to use this Bible as my translation of choice for the church plant. Here's what I found at the CBA site. If you rank Bibles in terms of dollar sales, here are the rankings for the month of April 2008(http://www.cbaonline.org/nm/documents/BSLs/Bible_Translations.pdf):

1 New International Version
2 King James Version
3 New King James Version
4 New Living Translation
5 Holman Christian Standard Bible
6 Today’s New International Version
7 New American Standard Bible update
8 English Standard Version
9 The Message Eugene Peterson
10 Reina Valera 1960 (Spanish)

Note the ESV is a lowly number eight on this list. But look at the list based on units sold:

1 New International Version
2 King James Version
3 New King James Version
4 English Standard Version
5 New Living Translation
6 Reina Valera 1960 (Spanish)
7 Holman Christian Standard Bible
8 The Message Eugene Peterson
9 New American Standard Bible update
10 International Children’s Bible

On this list, the ESV climbs to number 4! Does this mean that Crossway (publishers of the ESV) are making less of a profit than HSCB, NASB, etc. publishers? Or is their Bible just really low quaility/cheap packaging? I hope its the former! Whatever the reason, I'm excited to see that more people are buying this excellent translation. Of course, the real story is how blessed we are to have access to so many amazing translations.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wow, this is kinda brutal..

This is from my friend Abe ( http://ingolds5.blogspot.com/

I don't know what "The Steve and Kathy Show" is, but this stuff is pretty funny.