Deal or No Deal

It was right at one year ago that we were first introduced to the idea of The Story.  Since that time we have been systematically praying, planning, preparing and organizing so that The Story might have the biggest impact for good possible upon our church and community.  Now almost everything is in place.  As was presented in the lesson time this morning, what happens next is in large part, up to you. 

I keep wondering what our church will be like if everyone follows through with the commitments made this morning.  Surely our knowledge will be enriched.  Reading The Story personally and then exploring each chapter in Bible classes will certainly help us to be a more Biblicaly literate people.  I’m optimistic that our families will grow closer to one another.  Nothing builds unity like working together on for a common purpose.  I’m envisioning our families reading together and talking among themselves about the messages they are learning from God’s Word.  I’m praying that our love for one another grows stronger and deeper as we share our lives with those in our Story Groups.  What will happen in our worship services as 400-500 of us all devote ourselves to the common purpose of knowing God and following his will for our lives? 

Finally, can you imagine the 31 week result of every person committing themselves to align their story with God’s story?  You can dream about what might be, but always remember that the only person who’s decisions you can control is yourself.  You can encourage others, teach, admonish, and exhort.  But in the end, you are the only one who do what you need to do for The Story to impact your life.    That’s why I ended today’s message with the words of Joshua, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD”.  Amen, me too Joshua, me too.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


2 Responses to “Deal or No Deal”

  1. I need to be honest. I've been trying to listen for God's guidance regarding my feelings with The Story… and so far, the best intuition that I've got is that I'm both excited to see how excited everyone is about (hopefully) reading the bible (hopefully not just The Story as a product). I'm also excited to see more people and couples becoming more active and leading others into new activities and the growth of small groups. And I'm also excited to witness the power of church unity!

    Yet, despite all the excitement, I'm also a little concerned. The concern has been building little by little throughout the advertisement of our church-wide series. I thought The Story was merely a tool to use for folks to dig deeper into the message of God's story; so i'd assume, the focus ought to be on God working among His people- displayed in how we love one another, but our focus really hasn't been on that, our focus has been on The Story as a product… banners at the door, flyers in the bulletin, and a constant bombardment of Facebook messages and emails. Again, I love the excitement, but my concern is what are we really getting excited about?

    Another concern: how far is our church leadership willing to go to bring The Story (as a product) to our congregation? That is, how much money are we spending on this tool (The Story is a tool, it is not completely scripture)? And, what are we willing to do to get the funding for this tool? Are we willing to sell add space in our church bulletin? The one thing that scares me the most is what could have been done with all that funding?

    These concerns were brought forefront in my mind after yesterdays game show (sermon?).I felt like worship was rushed so that we could see a rehearsed game, when I should have been spoon fed God's word.

    My concerns are breaking my heart, because I love the unity everyone is feeling and I don't know why I can't feel the same excitement as everyone else. But I trust that God can work His will into every situation. And in that knowledge, there is peace.

    I will continue to pray for the success of The Story; that folks will use The Story to focus more deeply on God and His story with us.

  2. avatar Byron says:

    Glad you're going to give The Story a chance. I understand your concerns. If all this ends up to be nothing more than hype it will truly will have been a total waste of time and money. If, however, people catch the vision of God and allow his Spirit to work in their hearts and lives, it will be time and money well spent.

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