Lead Pastor Michael J. Paris

 

A child of God, Husband of Sue, Father, Grandfather, Pastor and friend.  Pastor Mike longs to lead men and women to live like they are God’s most treasured possession and grow in their faith all for the Glory of Him who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

 

Hey Church –
 
This next phase of church life is going to be different.
 
What did your heart rate and breathing do right there? Did it quicken and feel like you were facing something scary? There
is a certain level of anxiety that goes with change. There are all sorts of fears that plague us when it is time to begin
something new or to adjust to a different method. But here’s the good news – we have just spent the last year changing
how we shop, bank, eat at restaurants, and go to the doctor’s office. We are change professionals!
 
The second part of good news is that we are not the first church to ever go through methodological changes. The early
church, as described in Acts 6, hit one of those change moments. They found that there was a need in their congregation.
The Greek widows weren’t being cared for! How did they handle a “We’ve Never Done It That Way Before” moment?
 
       1. The people saw a need and reported that to leadership (6:1)
       2. They allowed leadership to propose a solution to the congregation (6:2)
       3. They appointed leaders (good reputation, spirit-controlled, wise) and gave them a green light to minister (6:3-5)
       4. Prayed about it (6:6)
       5. Went for it, knowing that God would help them do what was most important (6:7)
 
And God blessed something new! We at FBC@A have a different sort of problem. These are the needs that we see as our
opportunity to shift our “program” or form to match our gaps or functions.
 
       1. A need to increase application of truths learned, not just increase the information distributed
       2. A need to build deeper relationships with people, going beyond just “knowing your name”
       3. A need to foster accountability for change and growth (stronger discipleship)
 
We think that small groups, at-church, in-home or online groups of people who are building trust with each other, who pray
together, and who support/encourage each other, is an answer to these needs. We (especially the Christian Education
Ministry Team) are attempting to launch these groups instead of our old form of Sunday School. This doesn’t mean that
Sunday School is wrong or bad; it just means that we feel the need to refresh the form to meet these needs. We believe that
small groups will be better for helping us grow spiritually.
 
So, what are your questions or concerns? Would you risk asking your question? Would you be honest and tell us why you
are scared to take this next step? What really bothers you about changing our format? What needs are not on the short list
above? What are we missing? Help us think this through!
 
On the other hand, maybe you want to give feedback on the other side. Maybe our list is exactly what you have been
observing and you are excited to see something new come about. Maybe you are so excited about the possibility that you
are ready to sign up to attend or even to host such a group during the week. Maybe you just like to try new things! Let us
know! Often the only voices that are heard during change are reserved or resistant ones. A cheer of encouragement will go
a long way.
 
Blessings,
Pastor Mike → pastormike33@yahoo.com, 607.220.9911, 38 Genesee St, Attica NY 14011