A Word from Pastor Oren - February

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Our lives are filled with seasons. I’m not talking about the seasons of the year or the holiday seasons. Of course those times of year are a regular part of our lives; they always come around and we know when they are here and when they are gone. The types of seasons in life that are more challenging and harder to understand are those that are not planned or scheduled. There are seasons in life that are not determined by dates on the calendar or the lunar cycle or the temperature outside. The seasons of life that we must seek to understand and make the most of are those that our faithful God gives us for a time according to his own will, to reveal his power and patience with us and to train us in righteousness and to make us fruitful. The passage in Ecclesiastes 3 about the seasons of life is a very familiar one for us all. Solomon, in his wisdom, discloses to us how the unplanned seasons of life come to us, and how there is a time designated by God alone, for when life’s events will take place. There is a time for life to be born and a time for life to die (v.2), a time to break down and a time to build up (v.3), a time to keep and a time to cast away (v.6), a time to keep silence and a time to speak (v.7).

These are the seasons of life, as well as the life of the church of God. Here at FBC, we have been through a season of stabilizing the foundation of our church. I’ve had the privilege of serving as your pastor for 2 years now, and I can say with all certainty that God has been at work in my life and in the life of our church. Some things have to be broken down so they can be built back up the proper way. Some things must be cast away so that new things can fill their place. I believe that we are at that point in our church’s life. It is time for us to begin making bold steps in seeing the vision of our church become a reality.

Our church family has made a significant stride forward by calling Jason Haynes as our Pastor of Worship and Music. I want to thank all of you for your support and prayers during the search process. I believe God will honor our patience and Jason will be used in a mighty way to bless this church. But this is only 1 brick (albeit a big one) of the building that Jesus is constructing as his church. There is not a doubt in my mind that you, the body of believers of the First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, deeply desire to see our church grow in to a healthy, vibrant, and biblically faithful church. I hope you also realize that the progress we make in the coming years will require a tremendous amount of sacrifice and service.

If we will reach families, it will take families, of all ages and backgrounds, volunteering to serve. If we desire to see our worship ministry expand and overflow into the community, we will need people to volunteer their gifts of music and song to the Lord. If we want to see our facilities become a welcoming and inviting place for all people, we will have to sacrifice some of the conveniences of our lives for the sake of our church. If our Sunday school will grow, it will come only when current classes start new Bible study groups. This means that some existing classes will have to be divided so they can multiply. If we honestly desire to see the waters of our baptistery stirred, then every one of us must boldly share the gospel message with those who have not believed. Jesus is faithful to save lives when his gospel is proclaimed. Let us be bold and courageous in our task.

Our God is not Lord of the status quo. He is never changing in his holiness, character or sovereignty. But he is always at work in changing lives to “conform to the image of his Son, Jesus” (Rom. 8:29). I feel the Lord God is moving us into a new and exciting season of life here at FBC. It will undoubtedly bring with it some minor and some major changes. I am asking you to pray and seek the will of God. Ask him for understanding and boldness to trust his will for us. I will also be asking some of you to do some different things, and even some new things, for the sake of our church’s health and growth. Change is inevitable, as are the seasons of life. God has ordained it, and he uses those seasons and those changes to grow his people and reach new lives by the power of his gospel. Will you be bold with us in this new season of life at FBC? I am so encouraged by your faithfulness to FBC and I am looking forward with great anticipation to all that God will do in us and through us for the glory of his name.

Your Pastor,

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