blog stuff 692

Update: Capital Campaign Approved

CBC Family,

I’m excited to let you know that on April 22, the congregation voted to approve a fund-raising campaign for a building expansion and the continued development of a design for the expansion, and to authorize the expenditure of funds needed to develop that design.

The vote was overwhelmingly positive. A 2/3 majority of members present was required to pass the motion. The result was a 98.3% “Yes” vote.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the listening sessions and who were a part of the congregational meeting yesterday. I feel that God used those meetings to bring us together as a congregation. And thanks a lot to Eric Omdal and his team for their leadership over the past couple of months.

The next steps in the process will keep us busy over the summer:

  • A design committee will refine the design of the building expansion plans taking into account much of the feedback we received from you during the listening sessions.
  • We will start recruiting volunteers and planning for a capital campaign that will take place in the fall.

I and the elders and staff are excited about what lies ahead. The capital campaign will be a great opportunity for us to seek the Lord together and grow together as a church. Please be in prayer for God’s leading, provision, and direction as we move forward.

Sincerely,

Danny Leavins

Calvary Bible Church: Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world.

A Vision For Dependence On Jesus

by Elder Norman Fox

This is part 4 of a series on Calvary's vision.

Our church vision is "Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world." Within our vision, we have core values that describe the identity of our church and the way our vision will be carried out. They define the culture and beliefs that make up our church.

The values that define the identity of Calvary include:

  1. Dependence on God’s grace alone
  2. Surrender in joyful obedience to God and His kingdom
  3. Christ-centered teaching – transformation through study and teaching of God’s word
  4. Gospel-shaped community – fostering redemptive relationships among believers
  5. Inter-generational culture – unity across age groups for worship and service to the Lord
We will be a humble and prayerful congregation with a deepening dependence on God’s grace in Christ and directed by the Holy Spirit.

Dependence is agreeing with God that He is God and I am not.

God is the creator of the universe and of me. God is sovereign in all things including my life. He is in control and I am not. My eternal life depends on God’s grace alone. My daily life depends on God’s grace alone. As the Five Solas of the Reformation state: truth in Scripture alone, by God’s grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone, for God’s glory alone.

A movement to greater dependence on God starts with the heart and moves into our behaviors.

Here are some of my favorite verses that draw my heart to dependence on God.

  1. "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
  2. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
  3. "In Him we live and breathe and have our being." Acts 17:28

What Dependence Looks Like In My Life

Back in September, we moved into a new house. I also started a Masters program at UWO and I became the Interim Associate Pastor of Missions/Evangelism. Just dealing with one of these things is overwhelming. Combine them all together and my struggle to depend on God shows up in a tendency to panic, be anxious and remain paralyzed in what comes next.

But God is gracious. He is bigger than me and always in control. I can tell myself the things I know are true, but my feelings can still run amuck. When I look at Scripture, I see God’s character. He is good, loving and gracious. Dependence is about choosing to TRUST God over choosing to FEAR, even when my feelings believe differently.

Another way I often struggle to depend on God is when I think, “Ok, God, I can do 80% of what needs to be done, but I really need Your help for that last 20%.” This is me depending on me, not on God. When I study the Scriptures, I see my weakness and God's strength. It becomes easier for me to stop relying on myself and instead fully depend on God. I can rest assured that God is in control.

In a state of dependence, I say, “God, I will do all that is humanly possible to take care for my house, study for class and pastor my church well. BUT I depend fully on You to lead and direct me through the Holy Spirit. I rely 100% on You for the ability to do and act. I lean completely on You, Lord, for the results.”

How Will You Exercise Dependence On God?

How do you depend on God in your life now? Do you see ways you can grow in your dependence on God?

Calvary Bible Church: Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world.

Core Values Of Our Church Vision

by Elder Norman Fox

This is part 3 of a series on church vision.

Before we outline the core values of our vision, let's review our church vision and tackle a few questions the elders had to toss around to bring shape and definition to our vision statement:

Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world.

The Great Commission

On one hand, every church in the world has the same Biblical vision and is fueled by the same motivation. That shared vision is commonly called the Great Commission and it's to “go … make disciples of all nations” found in Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Great Commandment

The motivational fuel behind this decree is commonly called the Great Commandment, a calling to love God and others, found in Matthew 18:37-40:

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Without the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, the church of Jesus Christ would be without the pathway to fulfill its purpose to glorify God.

The church would be a cultural institution that bends to the purposes and motivations of the world rather than that of God. This is also true on a personal level for you and me. Without these two commands, you and I would be without the pathway to fulfill our purpose to glorify God and His kingdom.

Those who claim the name of Christ around the world have a common vision fueled by a common motivation.

Why are there so many different churches?

God has called all churches for His common purpose to glorify Him through the Great Commission fueled by the Great Commandment. But consider that He has also called various churches to reach various people in our communities and around the world. So the “what” and the “why” should be the same among churches, but the “how” may be different as God has called various churches to reach different types of people. Our church vision and values are “how” we think God is calling Calvary Bible Church to carry out the Great Commission and Great Commandment in the world and our communities.

So with this in mind, let’s look at the core values of Calvary:

What are core values?

Core values are short statements that define the identity of a church. They are the key planks that make up the platform of the church. They are the culture and beliefs that are the distinctives of a church.

The five core values of Calvary Bible Church -

As the vision team and the elders talked and prayed about the vision, we agreed on five core values that define us:

  1. Dependence on God’s grace alone.
  2. Surrender in joyful obedience to God and His kingdom.
  3. Christ-centered teaching that transforms God's people.
  4. Gospel-shaped community that fosters redemptive relationships among believers.
  5. Inter-generational culture that fosters unity across age groups.

Calvary Bible Church: Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world.

A Vision To Make Disciples

By Elder Dennis Prothero

This is part 2 of a series on church vision.

Our church vision is intended to be a bridge between the present state of our church (with our strengths and shortcomings) and where we would like to be in 10 years. To make this happen we need to paint a compelling picture that will generate a healthy frustration with the status quo and a desire to grow in the direction God is leading us. The end result should be tangible, positive changes that glorify God's kingdom.

What if each one of us made The Great Commission our life's mission?

What if we saw The Great Commission as a dream job with infinite opportunities to serve God and love others?

Our vision points to the church's greatest Jesus-given mission of making disciples. What a joy to work alongside God, building Christ’s kingdom through lives that are transformed by the beauty of the Gospel!

In order for our vision to happen, there are three spiritual shifts which must occur in each of us.

  1. Christ as life planner, not just Savior.
    If our greatest joy is found in submitting to Jesus’ kingdom, we need to shift our thinking from simply being a receiver of salvation to becoming a whole-hearted follower of Jesus. We need to be willing to let God change our heart so much that we hunger to walk in Jesus’ footsteps more than anything else.
  2. From learning to preparing,
    Sermons, adult Sunday school classes and Bible studies are a strength of our church. There is tremendous benefit in this kind of learning until it becomes a replacement for pursuing our call to serve. We should view Bible study as preparation for building God's Kingdom.
  3. From consumer to ministry partner.
    It's easy to start viewing church the way we look at a grocery store. A grocery store is a separate entity designed to make money by servicing our need for food. The church, on the other hand, is made up of Christ followers, we are a Body to glorify God's kingdom. As such, we need to make disciples because God calls us to in The Great Commandment.

Our vision includes building a strong community.

We have a great community at Calvary through our adult Sunday school classes, small groups, children's ministry and other social gatherings. We do community well, but this can be both a strength and a weakness. The best context for disciple-making is a dynamic community with intimacy, transparency and love.

When community serves as an end to itself, it turns the church into a country club.

Authentic community is hard to achieve, but once it materializes, we have only just begun! Community establishes the soil bed for the real work of making disciples in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors and throughout the world. Our vision challenges Calvary to make strong community purposeful.

We do a lot of disciple-making within the four walls of our church. We need to continue that ministry and find ways to do it better. But we can't stop there. Our vision challenges us to disciple-making a part of our daily life: To make our homes a place of discipleship. To befriend neighbors so they can see our faith lived out in action. To live (and speak) our faith in the workplace.

If Jesus wants to grow His heart in us, we need to ponder the heart revealed by the words: “God so loved the world.”

There is joy in pursuing Jesus and building His Kingdom.

Here are three quotations to ponder as you think about Calvary's core values:

“Vision begins with a holy discontent with the way things are.” John Stott

“The one indispensable requirement for producing godly, mature Christians is godly, mature Christians.” Kevin DeYoung

“Your current situation and workplace are your personal mission field. Why? Because you can reach people a church can't. You're on the front lines!” Jarrid Wilson

Calvary Bible Church: Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world.

Calvary Bible Church

1450 Oakridge Rd
PO Box 799
Neenah, WI 54957
Phone: (920) 725-3896

Office Hours

Monday–Thursday: 8 AM to 4:30 PM
Friday: 8 AM to 4 PM