Categories: Pastor's Page

First Church,

For many weeks now you may have seen or heard of #buildup429.  I even referred to this initiative a number of weeks ago in another pastor’s page.  But I also know there continue to be questions about what this is all about.  Specifically it is a reference to Ephesians 4:29 which says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  More generally this is an initiative we have begun in order to create a culture where we directly build up and affirm one another.

We live in a world that has a bias towards tearing down rather than building up.  As Jesus followers it is our desire to model a different witness to the world.  It is our desire to share in gratitude and affirmation to offer life to each other.

One of the ways we can do this is by intentionally, specifically, building one another up by offering words of thanksgiving for other people—either for who they are or for something they have done.

You will see this reference on the pre-service slides each week before worship.  Sometimes you will see a reference on the communication card in the weekly newsletter.  Other times you will see a reference made on Facebook under this hashtag.

No matter where you see it, please respond by lifting up people, ministries, or something that God is doing that you want to give thanks for.  And please do not wait to see a request for it before you build someone up.  Build someone up anytime by writing a note on the communication card or sending an email to the church office so we can lift them up OR by sending an encouraging word directly to the person.  We want this to be a part of our ongoing culture.  Some of you have started to do this on a regular basis and it is making a powerful difference.

Words are powerful.  God used them to begin ALL of creation.  So let’s use the words that God gives us to offer life.  In a world desperate for such words God offers them in abundance.

First Church, PLEASE know how thankful I am for you.  I continually thank God for the opportunity to serve with people who genuinely love Jesus, are willing to take risks, and seek to be the most rugged disciples they can.  #buildup429

In Christ,

Pastor Matt