Back to School

As most area kids head back to school this week, check out this article about the importance of knowing who your kids are hanging out with. We especially love the reminder to ask your kids how their friends are affecting their friendship with Jesus. What a great thing to teach kids to have an awareness of from an early age! And if you like this article, pick up a copy of August’s HomeFront magazine from the parent resource board across from the cafe. The theme this month is Modeling. This is an awesome resource available to you each month completely FREE!!

Gospel Shaped Worship: "What's Shaping Your Church?" pt. 2

At Gateway Church, we want our worship to be shaped by the Gospel and that needs to stretch out into our everyday lives. Learning about what that means beyond a Saturday or Sunday service can be challenging. Below is part 2 of a 2 part video by Pastor Jared Wilson on “Gospel Shaped Worship”. Here he begins the discussion and pulls back the curtain a little bit to reveal the extent to which worship is supposed to exist in our everyday life. Please watch this short but very informative video.

Mike Norman
Worship Resource Director
Gateway Church

 

Song List for August 20
How Rich a Treasure We Posses
Come Ye Sinners
His Mercy is More
How Deep the Father's Love for Us

Permission to Speak

Who has permission to speak into your life? Every month, I have a video phone call with Karl. He’s a pastor friend of mine who lives in Florida and is leading JesusChurch. We’ve been doing these monthly phone calls since 2011. That’s (give or take) 70 times we’ve intentionally connected even though we live miles apart. We also get together at least once (or more) a year as I visit his church while visiting family who live in the area.

During our conversations, we ask about how we’re doing personally, how our families are doing, and how our ministries are doing. We encourage each other, run ideas by each other, and are willing to challenge each other if we see any unhealthy patterns. Something else important is that my wife, Emily, knows she can go to Karl if she and I ever have issues we can’t resolve.

Who can your spouse go to when you’re having unresolved issues? Who can challenge you if they see unhealthy patterns in your life? Who regularly checks in on how you’re doing spiritually?

None of us are meant to do life on our own. Who has permission to speak freely to you?

 

Gearing Up for Fall

COME JOIN US!

It won’t be long until students start school! We may be enjoying the August weather, but fall will be sneaking around the corner. Even though someone may not have a school calendar to plug into their schedule, life can still be altered by the coming of fall. Yes, Findlay traffic will increase, families will prepare for a new routine and many enter a new pace and rhythm of life.

At Gateway Church, we are also “gearing up” for a new routine… new service hours, two campuses and more. Yet, our mission remains the same - We desire to connect people to Jesus Christ and to one another. Life Groups are the “hub” of our church and a way for us to connect with one another. We desire to see everyone plugged into a Life Group, to get to know God through studying the Bible, to care for one another and to develop friendships.

The recent flood presented examples of one of those key values of our Life Group ministry… to care for one another. We witnessed how Life Groups rallied around and took care of their own members in the wake of the flood. One family took in one of their own Life Group's families when they could not live at their own home.  The host family provided meals and graciously used every room in their home to lay out pictures to dry. Thank you to all who cared for others during this time. And thank you to those who allowed others to bless you. It may have been difficult to allow others to help you or simply to ask for help, but what a blessing they received when they were able to lend a hand, wipe down toys, move furniture, wash clothes or provide meals. If you need additional help, don’t be hesitant to ask for help. God did not intend for us to walk this journey alone.

Spend some time praying about being involved in a group if you are not committed already. For more information about getting plugged into a group, contact Connie Lyon or Scott Miller.

Engage College Ministry at Gateway Church

I love this time of the year.  Summer is coming to a close; football is around the corner; fall air is crisp; colorful leaves sweep across the yard.  However, as great as these events are, one thing trumps them all: the advent of college students returning to campus.  I love the new opportunity to build relationships, share the Gospel, and see God transform individuals. The college ministry of Gateway Church, known as Engage, is super blessed with great leadership, both student and adult, plus a great “new” location.

Engage has three major components; Thursday Night Dinners, Life Groups, and Church attendance.  Thursday night dinners  is exactly like it sounds, a home cooked meal for college students where they can let down their guards and be transparent and honest about life.  This weekly event is very laid-back which means we have a lot of students who do not know Jesus. For a lot of students, this is the first time they have had meaningful interaction with Christians.  
Life Groups are the place where college students come to grow and ask questions about the faith. Here they grow in their faith, can ask questions, and learn about the relevance of the Bible to their lives.  This is where they also experience biblical relationships.  Life Groups are the backbone of the ministry.  

Church is central to what we do and what we are about.  We believe strongly, and there is research to back this up, that college students who have a healthy church experience while in school, will continue to walk in their faith.  Conversely, students who do not have a healthy and strong relationship with a local church are very likely to leave their faith when they leave college. 

In summary, each of these components (Thursday Night Dinners, Life Groups, and relationship with the church) occupies an important part of college students faith journey toward Christ and His church.

8/6/2017 Q&A Are You on the Right Road?

During the sermon this morning at the 9:00 service, Pastor Ben talked about different beliefs people have. He mentioned about people who believe they will be reincarnated and get a "do over" in some other form. It felt as if he was saying that those beliefs are OK and if you want to believe that it is alright? It seems to me that would be the perfect opportunity to tell folks that regardless of what they want to believe, what will happen when they die is they will meet GOD and have that time to give an accounting for their beliefs and their life. From there, it will only be two choices, Heaven or hell. Eternal separation from GOD. Maybe it's just me, and I took the inference incorrectly?

Re-incarnation is not a biblical view of the afterlife.  It’s actually a version of works-righteousness – if you didn’t get it right the first go-round, then you will get another chance to work your way to God.  And it’s also a ‘spiritual’ sounding avoidance of the clear Bible teaching that there is heaven and hell.  In the context of the message, however, I didn’t think it was stated as somehow an ok belief system.  Perhaps I could have provided more clarity, but I hope and pray that no one left Sunday morning with a wrong view of eternity.  Thanks for a good question.

Gospel Shaped Worship: "What's Shaping Your Church?"

As Gateway Church, we want our worship to be shaped by the Gospel and that needs to stretch out into our everyday lives. Learning about what that means beyond a Saturday or Sunday service can be challenging. Below is part 1 of a 2 part video by Pastor Jared Wilson on “Gospel Shaped Worship." Here he begins the discussion and pulls back the curtain a little bit to reveal the extent to which worship is supposed to exist in our everyday life. Please watch this short but very informative video.

Song List for August 13:
You Make Me Brave
How Great You Are
The Greatness of Our God
Be Thou My Vision

 

Sermon Feedback

Preaching a sermon is hard work. It’s also very rewarding. Often, a pastor is given much encouragement from their listeners. I receive encouragement often from you, Gateway Church. Thanks!

Yet there are times when, instead of encouragement, feedback or criticism is shared. Often the feedback/criticism is valid; yet there are times when it isn’t.

At Gateway, those of us who preach are always open to feedback and/or criticism, as we want to be growing in our preaching skills and maturing in how we communicate God’s Word. We spend time evaluating the sermons of each other and provide encouragement and feedback/criticism as needed.

I find this article to be helpful in providing questions that shape the type of sermon feedback/criticism I give to others, so my words help them grow in their preaching skills without discouraging the preacher. These questions have given me a good filter as to what should be most important for me as I listen to and evaluate the sermons of others.

In case you don’t click the link, here are a few of the questions that I think are the best. Feel free to ask them of any sermon I preach and I’d love to hear your feedback.

  • Was there something said or implied that is contrary to the teaching of Scripture?
  • Did the preacher have a good grasp on the main point and purpose of this passage?
  • Was the main point of the sermon clear?
  • Did the application get practical enough?
  • Was the Gospel made clear in the sermon?
  • Were unbelievers addressed and welcomed to repent and put their trust in Jesus?
  • Was the aim of the sermon clearly the worship of Jesus?

To Serve or Not to Serve...

One of the ‘hats’ I wear here at Gateway is to assist people in getting plugged in somewhere to serve within the church. It might surprise you to know that on any given Sunday morning we have anywhere from 100-150 people who serve in various roles throughout the morning worship services. That’s a ‘small army’, if you will, and things wouldn’t work well at all on Sunday mornings without them. Their service, utilizing the gifts and skills that God has given them, is invaluable on so many levels!

The thing is, serving, as an overall concept, need not be and absolutely is not limited to just the church. Any given community, no matter how large or small, has opportunities to serve its citizens, if you are willing to look. The Findlay area, for example, has a multitude of agencies who serve the underprivileged in a variety of ways. Be it meals, clothing, foodstuffs, utility bill help, housing or other ways, they are vital to those in the community that need them.

The core, simple definition of service as a noun is “an act of helpful activity, help, aid…” (Dictionary.com). You can engage in service to the church, community and/or wider geographic area…you just have to want to. As well, Scripture is pretty clear that God has a distinct purpose for His people in serving (check out Ephesians 4; there are many other passages as well.)

I encourage you to prayerfully consider what God may have for you to serve Him, whether in the church or community. 

God bless you and yours!

Scott Long
Business/Admin. Team Leader
Administrative Pastor

Exciting Changes THIS Sunday, August 6th!

This Sunday brings many new and exciting changes here at Gateway Church!  Please take a moment to make sure you are aware of all of the changes THIS Sunday, August 6th!

 

New Service Times

This Sunday, we start our new service times at CR9.  Service times are 9am & 10:45am.

 

Promotion Sunday

This Sunday, Aug. 6th, is our Kidway Promotion Sunday. Your elementary-aged kids will finally get to check into the grade they are going into this fall, and your preschoolers will move up to their new classes. (This includes 2 year olds in the Toddler Nursery who will move over to our preschool hallway.) Preschool classes are assigned based on your child's age on August 1st, as well as the month they were born. Check out this "cheat sheet" for preschool check-in. 

 

Youth Student Lounge Opens

The Attic will be open from 8:30 - 8:55am AND between first and second service.  Middle schoolers and high schoolers are welcome to come up to enjoy snacks and connect with their friends!  Five minutes before each service, students will be dismissed to the Worship Center for worship time.  Middle schoolers will sit together in the designated Middle School section in the back right side for a time of worship before heading to the Attic for classes during the meet-and-greet time.

 

Middle School Classes Begin

During both services, middle school students will start in the Worship Center.  There is a designated area for middle school students on the back right side.  During the meet-and-greet time, they will be dismissed to the Attic where they will begin their classes.

 

7/30/2017 Q&A The Good, The Bad, and the Impartial

Do we believe that there are two hells? Will there be a second chance for those currently in hell? I was asked this at Joshua's men and I felt dumb for not knowing about 2 hells.

I know that Joshua’s Men participants are reading through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology this year. I’d encourage you to read chapter 41 (particularly the section titled “The Souls of Unbelievers Go Immediately to Eternal Punishment”). This should clear up the “are there two hells” part of your question. However, to answer your second question, there will not be a second chance for anyone to repent and receive Christ after they have died. That’s why it is important for us to share the Gospel while there is still time for them to turn from the sin and turn to Christ.

You mention God answers your question. How does the answer come? Is it a generic feeling?

God speaks to us in a variety of ways. Most clearly, He speaks to us through the Bible. That’s why it’s important for us to read, study, and memorize God’s Word. Additionally, God will speak to our spirit. This may be what you mean by generic feeling. The caution here is to always check these feelings with the Bible, as God will never contradict Himself. Finally, God speaks to us through others. That’s why Christian community (Life Groups at Gateway) are important.

Where did Josh's view on heaven and our eternal bodies come from?

My (Josh’s) view of heaven and our eternal bodies comes primarily from the Bible. I’d encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 and also the last two chapters of Revelation. Also, as I said in the sermon, Jesus’ resurrected body gives us clues, as well, as to what our eternal bodies will be like.

 

Intentional Worship: How we Create The Flow of a Worship Service

Imagine, for a moment, the unimaginable. Colors so vivid and deep that they seem as though they may never end. Songs so sweet that it seems as though you are hearing them for the first time. Beings so impossible, that your eyes must be lying to you about what they are seeing. A voice so powerful that the ground beneath you rumbles and shakes you to your very core. Is your first reaction one of how of much you have accomplished in life? The prophet Isaiah found himself seeing, hearing and feeling all of this. Isaiah 6 tells of how Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord and was not moved to see say how amazing he himself was but, by seeing the glory of the Lord, was immediately shown how much of a sinner he was by crying out, “Woe to me, for I am lost, For I am a man of unclean lips!”

This is the beginning of the Gospel and where we begin our worship services. We attempt to point a congregation to see the greatness of our Lord through songs of adoration. In doing so, we see His greatness, not our own. His greatness will always lead us to confession and repentance. During our services, our congregation will read aloud a prayer of confession or sing a song of confession. John Calvin spoke on why we do this as a congregation in his “Institutes of Christian Religion”:

We see (corporate confession) observed with good result in well regulated churches: that every Lord's Day, the minister frames the formula of confession in his own and in the people’s name, and by it he accuses all of wickedness and implores pardon from the Lord with all.

Once we have confessed and find ourselves under the redemption of Jesus Christ, we enter into songs of worship, thankfulness and preparation for the message from the pastor. Preparation for the message can be accomplished through prayer, bringing people up to date on the life of the church through announcements and the receiving and blessing of the offering. After the sermon, we respond to the message in songs of adoration  and prayer. And we close with a sending of the congregation with a benediction with adoration.

It all begins and ends with adoration and glorying in the majesty of our great God! That is the vision behind the flow of our worship service at Gateway. Now, I will show you in a practical way how that is carried out by showing you our service flow for this week.

Welcome with Congregational Reading - Psalm of Adoration and Confession
I’m Going Free (Jailbreak) - Song of Celebration of forgiveness
Love Come Down - Song of Thankfulness
More Than Anything - Song of Worship
Announcements and Offering - Where we are and and who we are as a church
Message - Romans 2:6-11
More - Song of Response to the Word
Benediction - Sending of the congregation with adoration of the Lord

I pray that as you read this, that you would see that our desire as a church is to not be legalistic or dogmatic in our practice of service flow, but that we desire to be intentional about presenting orderly adoration of our Lord and the Gospel message of redemption in every service that we plan. Paul speaks in depth on orderly worship in 1 Corinthians 14, and I’d encourage you to read through that, but allow me to direct you to 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace.” We begin and end with adoration and glorying in the majesty of our great God!

 

Growing at Gateway, Pt. 2: How to Grow

Last week, we talked about our first two values here at Gateway: Worshipping and Connecting. This week, let's talk about our third and fourth values: Serving and Growing. We will also spend a few minutes discussing two other areas that are close to our heart here at Gateway: Giving and the Next Generation.

How to Grow: Chapter 3 (cont.)

Value #3 — Serve
This value specifically focuses on serving within our church. The Bible teaches us that every follower of Jesus has been given a spiritual gift. If we continue in the Ephesians passage, the pastor’s…

“responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Ephesians 4:12-16, NLT).""

We are to serve each other. You are to serve the people of this church because, when you don’t...

  • You are keeping this church immature.
  • You are keeping us from unity.
  • You are keeping us from measuring up to the fullness of God’s love.
  • You are not using your gifts that God has given you.

So our expectation is that all of our members will serve this congregation.

Children’s ministry, youth ministry, worship team, tech team, greeters, ushers, parking lot attendants, Life Group leaders, prayer ministry—if we do it—you can serve there. We are a church that serves one another. This is what we expect of our members. We don’t have this expectation of non-members, but this is what sets apart our members from people who have not made a formal commitment.

Value #4 — Go
Finally, we want everyone to be “goers.” In Matthew chapter twenty-eight, Jesus says, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18b-20, NLT).”

Jesus said, “If you believe in Me, be sure of this, I am with you for all eternity.” That is an amazing promise. So do you believe in Jesus? If so, He will be with you forever.

But you cannot ignore what Jesus said before His promise to always be with you. He told you to go and make disciples. And the reason why you are to go and make disciples is because Jesus is with you. See how that works?

Jesus was a disciple maker. He had the twelve disciples and hundreds of others. And Jesus is still making disciples. The only difference is that today you are the means by which Jesus makes disciples.

That means…

  • To be a Christian is to be a disciple maker.
  • To follow Jesus means that you follow His disciple-making lifestyle.
  • It’s impossible to follow Jesus and not make disciples.

So we expect all of our members to be goers. We offer both local and global missions trip opportunities for you to go and make disciples. We have “Family Go and Serve” nights every month so our families can be “goers” together no matter the age of your children.

Why do we do all of this? Because we desire to be a going church and to be a member at Gateway means you make a commitment of being a goer along with us. We don’t have this expectation of non-members, but this is what sets apart our members from people who have not made a formal commitment yet.

Giving
Although giving is not one of our four values, we do expect that all of our members will be givers. God’s Word is clear that the members of a church are responsible for providing financially to their church. But giving is not only an expectation, it is also a warning. God has been gracious in warning us about the deceitfulness of wealth and our weakness in being more dependent upon money than we are on Him.

One way to fight that temptation is by being generous. So each week, we pass the baskets to collect our tithes and offerings.

  • This time of giving is a time of worship.
  • This is where we get to participate in and support all that God is doing in and through Gateway.
  • This is where we go from consumers to contributors.

Everything you have is God’s. Every dollar you have is on loan and you are to be a good steward of it. So everything that your purse or wallet represent—your wealth, income, finances—are really God’s. You’re just managing His money.

So the question is not, “How much am I supposed to give?” The real question is, “How much of Your money, Jesus, do you want to spend on me?”

When we realize that we are not the owner of our finances—we are stewards of Someone else’s finances—the question changes. And at Gateway, we believe that every member will be a giver because Jesus wants to use His finances to continue accomplishing the mission He has for Gateway Church.

Next Generation
Our ministry for kids and students (birth through high school) is called our Next Generation ministry. It has the same values that we have just explored. We want our kids to value the same things that we value as adults.

So our kids have a time of worship every Sunday—during Large Group for elementary age students and Wiggle Worship for our preschoolers. They have Life Groups that meet while the adults are in the worship services and opportunities to serve and go during our Family Go and Serve nights. We also encourage elementary age students to serve as greeters and in other ministries at Gateway because our kids are an important part of this church.

The same is true for our middle and high school students. For worship, our youth director wants every student to attend one of our worship services. Parents should not let their teen(s) skip out on the worship service. It is their first discipleship step at Gateway.

Youth Life Groups meet every week. These groups are where our students connect to one another and to an adult leader. We also want our youth serving in the church. We have youth serving in the nursery, the children’s ministry, on the tech team, and in many other ministries.

Finally, our youth are goers. We have mission trips every year for the youth. They have been overseas and to various places in the US. If you have a teen, be sure to support them in going.

This isn’t everything that we do as a church, but the point is that no matter your age, here at Gateway we want you to worship, connect, serve, and go. This is what we value. This is how we help you grow in your faith. And this is how we accomplish our mission of helping you “connect people to Jesus Christ and to one another.”

What's Happening Now... In Youth Ministry

The mission of Gateway’s youth ministry has always been “to connect students to Jesus Christ and to one another,” and that is not changing. There are a lot of great, effective ways to accomplish this mission, and we aren’t saying our way is the only way, but our plan is rooted in convictions we hold about youth ministry and in our desire to help students grow into solid lifelong Christ-followers. If you have a student in middle school or high school at either Gateway campus, here is what you can expect for them this coming year...

Worship
No matter what campus you attend, this fall there will be a middle school program offered during each weekend service. Students will participate in worship with the congregation for the first 15 minutes, then be dismissed to their respective “Attics.” During the rest of the service, students will break into smaller groups and participate in an interactive Bible-based class.

While we will not be offering a specific program for high school students during weekend services, we encourage our 9-12th graders to attend the main service and serve within the church. The heart behind this change is help students make the transition from youth specific worship services/styles to becoming active members of the church body.

CR9 campus note: To continue to allow time and space for students to fellowship and connect with one another, we are in the midst of updating the Attic space to more available as a hangout area for our youth. The “Attic Student Lounge” will be open to ALL students (6th-12th grades) starting 30 minutes prior to first service, and between services. The Lounge will close 5 minutes before services start to allow students time to get downstairs for worship.

Connect
Students will continue to connect in age & gender specific Life Groups on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm. Due to the unique situation of our two campuses being located in close proximity to one another, at this time we will not be splitting our N Main and CR9 students into separate Life Groups. Instead, every 1st and 3rd Sunday, youth Life Groups will meet at our N Main campus (620 N Main St.), and every 2nd and 4th Sunday, groups will meet at CR9. The format for Life Groups will remain similar to what it has been in the past. 

Life Groups will kickoff on August 27th at our N Main Campus with a pizza party @ 5pm and Life Groups from 6 to 8pm.

Serve
Our desire for all students is that they would be active participants in the life of their local church by regularly serving at their campus. There are many opportunities for students to serve on our First Impressions teams, in Kidway, at special events, or even on the worship and tech teams.

Go
Throughout the year the youth ministry will host several local serving opportunities to allow students the chance to “go” into the community and serve alongside their friends. All students are encouraged to participate in church-sponsored family mission trips, and high school students also have an opportunity to participate in bi-annual international youth mission trips. We also want students to be invested in their local school communities and encourage them to get involved in the parachurch organizations (Youth for Christ, Young Life, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, etc.) at their specific school. (For a list of parachurch opportunities in our area, contact your campus Youth Director or check out our Next Gen Parent Resource board across from the CR9 cafe.)  

Welcome Our Preschool Assistant Director: Martha Davis

Martha Davis

Martha Davis

Last month we introduced you to our Kidway summer intern, and this month we would like you to meet our new Preschool Assistant Director, Martha Davis. Martha is stepping in to take over for Laura Fagan as Laura makes the transition over to our North Main campus to run Kidway there.

Martha and her husband, Brian, have been at Gateway for over 12 years and serve as Life Group leaders. They have 4 children in our Next Gen ministry - Noah, Brennan, Anna and Autumn. Martha taught at Blanchard Valley school for 11 years, so we are so excited to have her giving leadership to our Special Needs ministry! In her free time, Martha likes to read, play outside with her family, and spend time “living life together” with her Life Group. We’re excited to have Martha on our Kidway team!

 

7/23/2017 Q&A Our Judgement; God's Judgement

Q&A.png

Could you please send me the Gallop or Barna poll you eluded to on shifting morality? Thanks.

Here’s a link to the article on our nation’s shift in morality.

Here’s a link to the article on the shift being due to the 55+ age group.

 

How do you stand up for moral issues without appearing as if you are judging others? There is so much accusation of hate when you only state what we hold as the truth.

What I tried to stress in the sermon is that the best way to stand for moral issues is to tell the truth while living according to the moral issues you are standing for. For the Christian, though, we can’t pick and choose the biblical morals we want to follow. When we do, we lose our moral authority, because it appears as if we’re picking and choosing the moral behaviors we want to judge others with while ignoring the moral expectations in the Bible that we’re not living up to.

One example that may help: When it comes to our biblical stance on marriage being between one man and one woman. This is a truth that we cannot back down on. Yet our words of truth will be more compelling if our Christian marriages were all the Bible calls them to be (see Ephesians 5:22-33). Without vibrant, grace-filled, abounding-in-love Christian marriages, the world hears our words, but looks at what we’re doing in our marriages and says, “I think I’ll pass.” But if we Christians show the world what a biblical marriage is — in flesh and blood — then they may want to hear from us because we’d be showing them something that’s desirable.

 

What is the difference between opinion and judgement? Can you have an opinion without being judgemental?

An opinion would be “I like vanilla ice cream more than chocolate.” A judgement would be “Everyone who chooses chocolate is an inferior human being.” So, yes, you can have an opinion — “I like vanilla ice cream” — without being judgemental — “people who like chocolate are OK, too!”