Be sure to read the Pastor's Blog. A new blog will be posted at the beginning of each month.

If you are a member of Oakland and receive the monthly newsletters, then this will be a repeat for you.

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Let the Church be the Church

Dear Church,
 
In a few weeks I will begin a new series I’m calling “Let the Church be the Church”. It is the study through First Corinthians. The lessons and principles certainly apply to today’s generation. My prayer is that God would strengthen us individually and as a church as God’s Word confronts us with various issues. Let’s face it, there are no perfect people and no perfect church. There are only two kinds of churches, a healthy church and an unhealthy church.
Just as we go to the doctor for a check-up to see how we are   doing physically, we also need to have a check-up spiritually     speaking. If the doctor sees something that is not right with us, they will make recommendations to us to get us back on track to good health. The same is true spiritually. We are examined by God through the Word of God where many times we see what we must do though repentance and obedience to get us to a place of good spiritual health.
Mark Dever in his book “What is a Healthy Church?” defines a healthy church as “a congregation that increasingly reflects God’s character as his character has been revealed in His Word”.
Being healthy is much more than a performance of duties on the outside. It is a reflection of what we have become on the inside, as a result of God’s transforming grace and power.
Church, let’s come together for a check-up and a word from the Word as to what God says we should be doing.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike

Statistics

Dear Church,
 A few weeks ago, about 30 of us went to the community, next door and we placed bags of information, talked with many, prayed with many, collected hundreds of cans of food to be given out to the less fortunate. We also invited them to church. That was one contact per home, 530 homes. It was a great outreach effort. Thanks to all of you who participated in this great outreach effort. 
Statistics show that there is the law of seven touches. It takes seven touches usually to get someone to come to church that you do not know. But, for those we know, it only takes on touch. We can’t stop inviting people to church, especially those we already have a relationship with.
Recently, the 2018 SBC Annual Church Profile Data came out and it showed:
 
  • Membership 14,813,234 (down 192,404)
  • # of churches 47, 456 (-88)
  • Attendance 5,297,788 (-22,700)
  • Small group or Sunday School 3,247,681 (-97,845)
  • Baptisms 246,442 (-7,680)
 
We are not every church or all the churches, but we are one of them, and we are a part of those statistics. These stats should stir our hearts to pray and to take action. The goal has always been souls and nothing has changed. The Lord came to seek and save those who are lost. As His ambassadors, we are to join Him in that effort. May God stir our hearts to win the lost to Christ.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike

Neighborhood Reach

Dear Church,
Wow! That is the word that describes the last couple of weeks. Our music ministry knocked it out of the park with their Easter celebration. Thanks to Michelle for a job well done. Then, Easter weekend, starting with the Egg Hunt. God provided the weather, you provided the eggs, and Debbie provided a great Easter story. Thanks Debbie. We had great attendance for the Sunrise Service and many joined us for breakfast. Then, I had the privilege to baptize three and two more were saved that week. We had over 200 in attendance for worship including our children’s church. That is the first time since I’ve been here. That shows us we have the potential. Thanks Church!
Well, what we have been anticipating for a while now is about to happen, Neighborhood Reach. Thanks to all of you who said yes to reaching out to the community. It’s not to late to say yes. We can use all the help we can get for this outreach effort.
On May 18, we will have a cook-out for the neighborhood we reached out to. We need everyone to come that day, rain or shine, to meet our neighbors and eat a grilled hamburger and/or hotdog. We also need those who can come at 9:30am to help setup and stay after and help clean up.
Be praying much that God will go with us as we reach out to our neighbors. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Discipleship Challenge

In the Discipleship Challenge book I chose the gratitude challenge. It’s a 30 day challenge to find something that the Lord has blessed you with and to thank Him for it. One of the things I’m thankful for is “you”, each and every one of you. I’m thankful for your attendance and attentiveness. I’m thankful for your faithful service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for your smiles and laughter. I’m thankful for your kind words of encouragement. I’m thankful for your fellowship. As we continue to grow together and God increases our faith, my prayer is that we would believe Him for greater things. We have a great opportunity to reach many people. If we will all come together to go out in the community to the east of us and meet the people and invite them to join us for a neighborhood meet and eat. The more people we have the less time it will take to accomplish the task. Please sign up on the bulletin board and plan to come to the training meeting April 28 @ 4:30pm in the Family Life Center. Then we will go out on May 4. We will meet at the church at 9:15am to get ready then go out at 10am. We want to have a cookout and games for the kids on Saturday, May 18. We need all hands on deck that day to help and to meet the people from the neighborhood. The time for the Meet & Eat is 11am to 1pm.
Easter is right around the corner. Let’s make that a big day by inviting our friends and family to join us for Easter Sunrise Service @ 7am, followed by breakfast, Sunday School @ 9:15am & Morning Worship @ 10:30am. We will not have an Evening Service that day. Let’s honor God!
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 

Revival 2019

Have you ever been so excited about something that you could hardly wait for it to happen? Well, that is how I have been waiting for our revival meetings with Bucky Kennedy and Mike Stone. Both of these men love God and love people. God has gifted them to proclaim His word.
        This is a great opportunity to invite lost friends and family to join you this Sunday through Wednesday. Each night our service time will be 6:30.
        Another great opportunity is right around the corner. The mission team has been busy planning and working to connect with people  outside the walls of our buildings. We have now fed teachers     breakfast at Warner Robins Middle School and Russell Elementary. We are ministering to the people at the Lodge. Our next project is to reach out into the homes to the east of our church. There are 550 homes. We are asking any and all church members who are able to walk and knock on doors, pray with people and give them a packet (that we will have made up) and invite them to a community wide cookout at the church on May 18. We will canvass the neighborhood on May 4, starting at 10:00am. A sign up sheet is on the board for all who can participate. The more we have, the less time it takes. I will do training on what we will do and how to do it on Sunday, April 28 at 4:30pm in the Family Life Center. I believe this could be one of the greatest events this church has done. God said, Go and Tell and that is what we plan to do. Kingdom work for the King of Kings.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike

Are You On Track?

Dear Church,
      How is it going in the start of the New Year? Are you having that daily quiet time with the Lord each day? If you set a plan to read through the Bible this year, are you on track?
        I made a commitment to be focused more on what the Lord wants than what I want this year. We all make commitments related to all kinds of things, but many times we only commit for a short period of time and then we stop. The Christian life is more about life change. We can’t do it on our own. It’s when we surrender our will to His, that it works. You see, we must die to self daily and take up our cross and follow Him. May God strengthen us all.
Revival! Revival! Revival! That is what we need in our church, in our city and our nation. I’m asking God to let it begin in me. March 3 will kick off our Revival meetings. Bucky Kennedy will preach Sunday morning and Mike Stone will preach Sunday night through Wednesday night. I believe these will be some of the best meetings we have had since I have been here at Oakland. Both of these men are and have been pastor’s. They    understand church life and they love people. If you haven’t invited anyone yet, please do. Let’s get as many people here as possible. That will take work, but it will be worth it.
I’m believing God to pour out His spirit in these days. We are praying more, reading and listening to the Word more. There are   exciting things happening at Oakland. God honors faithfulness.    Sunday, we had a number of guests who said they would be back. Let’s pray that they would stick. May God send us many more!
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike

Reflect

Dear Church,
 
Another year has come and gone. It’s a time to reflect on our lives and what we had set out to do at the beginning of the year. Maybe it was to read the Bible through or to help others more or be an encourager to someone or serve the Lord more faithfully. It could have been to pay off debt or control your temper more. Maybe it was to read more, walk more, have a date night with your spouse, memorize a verse a month, begin to tithe or to increase giving, or maybe you were going to spend more time with family. What ever it was, did you do it?
Without objectives and goals, we will never hit them. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” We set goals for the church and we accomplished many of them. On January 6, 2019, I will give the state of the church message. We will reflect on what we did together in 2018 and I will lay out our plans for 2019. I want to ask each member to be present that morning for Sunday School and Worship. Let’s begin the New Year on the right foot. Let’s let the devil know he will not have the victory in our life. Invite friends to come with you. It’s a great time for them to see and hear what we as a church are doing.
Thank you church for your faithfulness and sacrifice of time and resources, we can do much together. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” I look forward to seeing what God will do through the people of Oakland Baptist Church in 2019.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Favorite Time of the Year

Dear Church,
 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We certainly did. It comes and goes so fast, then it’s time to move right into the Christmas season, which is one of my favorite times of the year.
        I mean why wouldn’t it be?  The Creator of the universe came to earth, born of a virgin, in a manger, with one purpose... to live a perfect life and die a sinless death, that whoever believes in Him would be saved from their sins and be guaranteed eternal life with Him in heaven.
That is the true meaning of Christmas. Each of us has the opportunity to share that with others. Many know what Christmas means and they will hear the songs being played, the signs that are up around town, but they need to be invited to church where they can hear about Jesus. Invite people during this very special season. Pass out our church cards, invite them to the Live Nativity. Let’s be faithful to do our part. Ask them to come as your guest.
This past Sunday, I talked about purchasing and installing cameras at the church for security purposes. We certainly would not want something to happen and then have to say, we should have done this or that. We need to be proactive. Let it be a Christmas present to the church.
I want to thank each person for your faithfulness, your hard work, your generosity, your love, your kindness & your fellowship.
Jane and I love each and everyone of you. We count it a privilege to be a part of OBC. We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Faithful

Dear Church Family,
Jane and I want to thank you for the kind words, cards and gifts we received for Pastor Appreciation. We love each of you and count it an honor to serve along side you in the Lord’s work.
        I also want to thank each and everyone who helped with the Fall Festival. The weather cooperated. Thank you, God! Everyone seemed to have a fun time. We were able to talk to a number of visitors. We will visit and send out letters to them. Many showed an interest in the church. Pray the Lord will speak to them about attending here.
We are entering the busiest time of the year. Let’s be faithful to Sunday school, worship services, to giving,  serving and sharing Jesus with people. Invite them to be your guest at church.
I’ve been asked by Pete’s SS class to teach a class on sharing your faith with others. I want to open this up to the whole church. If you would like to be a part of this, there will be a sign up sheet on the bulletin board. The material I will use will be continuing witness training. There are 13 lessons.
Don’t forget, November 18, we will have our annual Thanksgiving meal together. Everyone bring your favorite spaghetti sauce, lasagna, or any other Italian dish. Let’s   celebrate Thanksgiving as a church family.
On November 25, we will come together that evening for our annual Hanging of the Green. Our new members may not know what this is. It is where we celebrate the    traditions of Christmas and why.  It is also a time where we decorate the sanctuary together.  Invite people to come with you.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday with a Bible in your hand, a smile on your face and a friend by your side.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Victory in Jesus

Dear Church,
        Do you have Victory in Jesus? I was reading that hymn this morning. It’s one of my favorites. He is the victor. He gives us the victory.  “I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from    glory, How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me: I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning, then I repented of my sins and won the victory.”
        1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”         Sometimes we don’t feel victorious, do we? I’m so glad that my salvation and my walk with God is not based on my  feelings, but on facts. The facts are the Word of God. The Word of God says, anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ has victory! “
I have been in a great battle with the Devil lately. He has been whipping up on me. 1 Timothy 6:12 came to mind, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life. Where unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good          profession before many witnesses.” The Christian journey is a battle. I want you to know that I am battling for Oakland Baptist Church.  I’m believing God for souls,  faithful members, changed lives, young couples with kids, God’s house full of people who love God and are seeking Him. No debt, monies to do what needs to be done. Worship that ignites, draws and encourages people to walk with God in these days. Let’s be God’s church! I love you church!
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 
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