A Note from Pastor Allen
FALL CONFERENCE OCTOBER 2013
Introduction: It is difficult to comprehend that I am beginning my tenth year as your pastor which began on the first Sunday in October 2004. When we purchased our home on N.
Liberty Spring Rd. we had no idea that God’s plan would include pastoring
next door. At that time we were at the Potters Hill Missionary Baptist Church
in Potters Hill, N.C. Having retired from the Navy Chaplain Corps in 2001, we were excited that God would open up other areas to serve our Lord. We were traveling six hundred miles per week to oversee that church, but now God in his sovereign plan, has allowed us to live in walking distance of the church as though He is repaying
me for the many hours of travel to North Carolina. We are so glad to be here!
I want to to present this report in three reflections: yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Yesterday is the past eight years, When Darlene and I began in 2004,
there were many dear people who supported us and were fellow workers, but many of them are now with the Lord. At times I can visualize them in their pews and remember their places of service. Others have moved to other locations and other churches for various reasons, but they still hold a special place in their heart for Liberty Spring Christian Church. They are missed, but we realize that the church is people and people must move in accordance with God’s leading. The only problem of no communication or attendance from these members is how do we respond to their needs.
TODAY the Deacon Board is trying to update the membership list of those who want to be listed for our communication. This will assist the pastor in knowing how to respond in such
difficult times as death or sickness in members or families. An example would be if someone is attending another church and there is a pastoral need, they may not want the Liberty Spring Christian
Church pastor to be there. It is our intent to shepherd the sheep that want to be shepherded. TODAY God has led
so many new people to serve.
was not a Youth Group because there were no youth people attending church. God
sent Steve Butler who established and led an outstanding group of young people.
Steve has been so blessed in his business that this year he had to step aside.
He is truly missed, but we thank God for the work he accomplished in organizing
TODAY we have
Tracy Reed and Emily Asbell overseeing the Senior Youth Group along with Tom
and Angela Canterbury to lead the Junior Youth Group. Since I started this report, we have learned that the Navy is moving the Canterbury’s to North Carolina. Now we are in need a new Junior Youth Group Leader.
YESTERDAY we did not have a Youth Choir because there were no young people to comprise such a choir.
TODAY we have a Youth Choir named The Praise Choir directed by Mary Bryum. We average fourteen (14) young people who are a blessing to our music program. We also have a Junior Youth Choir and a Cherub Choir under the direction of Mary Byrum.
YESTERDAY we called Emily Park as Director of the Adult Choir which averaged twenty (20) members. But, Emily felt led to step aside last year.
TODAY we are very blessed to have Lauren Towers as Choir Director to enhance our worship services. It is such a blessing to have her expertise as director of our choirs and our music programs. I must confess, when we lost Emily I felt we would never find someone to fill her shoes, but God graciously raised up Lauren. We thank God for such gifts to our church.
YESTERDAY we have had many problems with our sound system, but thanks to
John Park and Jason Anderton many corrections have been made.
TODAY we have Jason Anderton, Charlie Jones and Josh Towers blessing us with
sound and tapes. These men make great efforts and sacrifice to enhance our worship with the audio and visual equipment. Praise the Lord.!
YESTERDAY we had Mary Felton as our church secretary for many years who was a blessing.
TODAY we are very blessed with Susie Shirkey as our church secretary. Susie has enriched our church so many ways with her skills and talents. There was some hesitation to bring a member on as the employed secretary, but Susie has proven this to be the opposite. Susie is even more effective because of her love for the Lord and our church. Again, we praise the Lord!
YESTERDAY we had two Women’s Circles: the Lamplighters and Friendly Circle. These Circles did many wonderful ministries for the women. June Holland and a committee worked to maintain a Women’s Fellowship comprised of the two circles. TODAY we have one Women’s Fellowship who has served for two years under the splendid leadership of Brenda Woodard and now under the leadership of Susie Shirkey.
YESTERDAY we had a Men’s Fellowship that has done great things for our church. It is difficult to find better sausage than what our men produce. The proceeds are used to enhance missions and ministries of our church.
TODAY we have the Men’s Fellowship under the leadership of Kevin Veldkamp. TODAY the Men’s and Women’s Fellowship meet jointly the fourth Sunday
of each month for a meal, but divide for their business meeting. This change
had increased attendance for both groups. We praise God for both fellowships
and their combined cooperation. .
YESTERDAY, we went from being in the red financially, when I came to the ministry in 2004 but from that year until 2012 we have met or exceeded the budget. For the first time since 2012 we experienced a shortage of funds for the budget. The economic condition of our country could be what has affected our budget.
TODAY the good news is that in 2011 we came up short on the budgeted amount but we did not spend the budgeted amount. This year we have forecasted to come up short about $30,000. Again, we are not spending the amount budgeted. Our bank account remains in the black and for that blessing we praise God for His faithfulness.
YESTERDAY we did not have a budgeted amount allocated to Missions but
Tracy Frances had a vision to recommend that we designate 10% of our church
income to support missions. This visionary response continues TODAY and we
thank God that 10% of all our income goes to support missions.
TODAY Rich Kovalik leads the Evangelism and Missions Committee which
support the various missions and evangelistic efforts of our church including
Jason and Rebecca Witt and their children serving in Africa.
YESTERDAY the Christian Education Board led many ministries with great blessings. TODAY The Board has broadened its ministries and we are truly blessed with a quality VBS, a Community Picnic, Easter Community Outreach, Fall Harvest Party, a Children’s Christmas Program and Dinner Theater. We are blessed TODAY for such a vision by this Board.
YESTERDAY we had wonderful trustees with a vision, and this has not changed. TODAY we have trustees who are diligently working to find ways to save energy and display good stewardship of our money. It has been discovered that our heating and air system had many defects from the initial installation. This is being corrected and already savings is being realized. We praise God for the Trustees who serve our congregation.
YESTERDAY we went too long without a Wednesday Prayer Meeting.
TODAY we have a weekly Bible study. We call this the furnace of our church
and we thank God for those who come to stoke the fire.
YESTERDAY we went for years with no children to necessitate the ministry of a Children’s Church.
TODAY we have volunteers who give up their time to worship with the congregation to provide a Children’s Church that averages twelve (12) children. We praise God for those who willingly sacrifice their time and talents for this ministry. TODAY we see a need to bring new materials to assist the volunteers and enhance the spiritual growth of our children. New materials have been purchased and a training session is being scheduled.
YESTERDAY we had no need of a nursery for the small children.
TODAY Hope Perry to sacrifice her time and talents each Sunday to provide nursery care. We thank God for this ministry.
YESTERDAY we had many to serve on the Cemetery Board to maintain our beautiful burial grounds.
TODAY this continues under the leadership of Emery Nichols. Due to such efforts, more beautiful grounds would be difficult to locate. We praise God!
I could go on and on and probably have missed some YESTERDAYS AND TODAYS so if I missed you, please blame it on my head and not my heart. God knows you!
TOMMORROW only God knows tomorrow! However, we must maintain a vision for the future. Our church began with a vision to provide a place for the children of the Liberty Spring to
be taught the Word of God. Do we not want to keep that vision?
America is quickly changing, but the needs of people remain the same; people
need the Lord. We must keep our eyes on our church vision and do all we can do to
provide ministries that take the gospel to as many people as possible. I want
you to consider your contribution to our church and see how important you are to
Liberty Spring Christian Church and the spreading of the gospel.
You have at least one motivational spiritual gift and that gift needs to be utilized for the glory of God. You have talents and ability to serve so find your place in ministry and give your
spiritual gift/gifts freely to God in service our body of believes. You have the ability to pray even if your body is limited to serve in other areas. Nothing is more important that prayer because
Jesus said, “without me you can do nothing.” You
have the ability to give systematically as cheerful givers to support the work. May I encourage you to practice what is said every worship service during the offertory take from II Corinthians 9:6.
Each of you possess the ability to pursue love and unity. We must stop the sins that prevent us from enjoying the freedom that comes from love and unity. Would you join me in a consecrated effort to make Liberty Spring Christian Church a light reflector of Jesus Christ, a place for the weary and the lost to find rest and refreshment. May we
live up to our motto “Refresh your Spirit at Liberty Spring Christian Church”. More importantly, may we allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives to enable us
bring great glory to God. Let us not pass through this world and not make a difference!
Let’s set aside YESTERDAY and concentrate on TODAY. Join me in a unified effort to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Thank you allowing me serve the Lord Jesus Christ and his people in the beautiful building called Liberty Spring Christian Church.
Your pastor, Allen
The Little White Church
Recently I had a wonderful visit with a lady in a hospital who is not active in
any church. She mentioned that her best
church experience was when she was very young and attended a “little white church on a hill” in Gloucester, Virginia. She said, “the church was small, but there was great love and fellowship among its members.” I invited her to consider Liberty Spring Christian Church as her home church. I
asked her to see us as a “little white church on a hill” within our brick walls and stained glass windows.
All of us need to be reminded that church is people, not any people, but those
who have surrendered their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. It is God’s grace that begins a work that
radically changes us so that we have the capacity to bless those around us.
Paul said, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).
is important for Christians to be “filled with the Spirit” which means that we allow the Holy Spirit to take control of
us; thus He produces the “fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. Against such there is no law and those
who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit, let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22-26).
Paul also said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, in the bond of peace.”
No matter what the building looks like others cannot be blessed unless Christ is
being reflected by his people. The
“little white church” cannot be a blessing if people are not reflecting Jesus Christ, but the huge cathedral with stained glass windows can be a blessing if the people are reflecting Jesus Christ. Let us continue to be responsible Christians and make Liberty Spring Christian Church the “little white church on a hill”, then people will be drawn to Christ!
Pastor Allen Lancaster
“Pride Goes Before the Fall”
While stationed at Camp Lejeune with the Second Marine Regiment, I attended a social function in which a Marine Lance Corporal attended in his dress blue uniform. I saw that he had a string of combat ribbons which revealed extreme valor and achievement. I noticed the Viet Nam Service medal, the Navy Cross medal, multiple achievement and commendation awards. To say the least, it was most impressive. The problem was that it was a lie because he was too young to have served in Viet Nam and his answers to my questions did not match. He fooled some of the people, but not all. If you remember Admiral Borda had a similar problem some years ago in which he was wearing medals that he had not earned. Human nature desires glory and we allow pride to surface which will be our downfall.
A few months later, while in the Regiment Sergeant Major’s office I noticed a dress blues uniform hanging with excessive ribbons. The Sgt. Major informed me that the Marine who wore that uniform was in the brig. His sin of pride caught up with him and he had to pay the price for his deceitfulness. Proverbs 6:16 reveals that pride is one attitude that God hates. Proverbs 167:18 says that “pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly.” I John 2:16 says “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Walking humbly with God is contrary to our sinful nature, yet to do so will bring God’s blessing, and refreshes those around us. Abraham Lincoln was walking on a path with another official when they were approached by a man coming in the opposite direction. As they came to each other on the narrow path, the president stepped aside to allow the man to pass. The official asked the president why he would give way to that rude man and Mr. Lincoln replied, “if we had not stepped aside we would have been bumped.” It is refreshing indeed to see people with a humble spirit. Let’s work on a humble spirit and ask God to enable us to walk humbly with Him.
Pastor Allen Lancaster
What is Love?
Tina Turner recorded a popular song, "What's Love Got to Do with It?" The words continue, "love is a second hand emotion." Unfortunately, for many, love is just an emotion and may be downgraded to "second hand" but, the Bible raises love to its highest level because God is love. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 that “without love it profits nothing even if one gives everything to feed the poor or give one's body to be burned as a sacrifice.” Paul continues, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks not evil, does not rejoice in iniquity; but rejoices in the truth; bears all things; believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." He declares love to be far more than just an emotion.
Another popular song by Jackie DeShannon in 1965 has the same concept, "What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love" and continues "it's the only thing that there is too little of." This song is correct in that the world needs more love. In this world we have an abundance of hatred, but the world needs the message; "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17.
Let's show the world that love has everything to do with it!
"Where There Is No Vision the People Perish"
Last year was an election year and this coming July 4th we will acknowledge the birth of our nation remembering the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Proverbs 29:19, "Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." As a nation, we are struggling like a ship adrift on an ocean. George Bernard Shaw said, "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." We need to take the time to reflect on our country's history so as to correct our vision for the future.
Our nation did not begin as a democracy but as republic. Webster's Dictionary states that a democracy is, "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." Our early forefathers knew Plato's warning that unrestricted democracy must result in dictatorship.
It burdens my heart to see our great nation adrift because of a lack of vision. That vision must be anchored in Jesus Christ and the truths of Scripture. In the Supreme Court Decision 1892, the Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States, "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon the embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian...This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation...we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth...these, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a christian nation.
George Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." So, what must our response be? We need to look at the man or woman in the mirror and ask God to enable us to correct our vision because the Word of God declares that we will perish. By God's grace let us obey His Word and then reach out to those around us with the truth. Then that will be the beginning of the right vision upon which America will grow and prosper.