Fresh Thoughts from Sunday

Yesterday was a great day at Suncoast Baptist Church, and here are a few of my fresh thoughts from the day.

Praise Team

I am so thankful for all of the faithful servants involved in the praise team. They practice consistently, and they really add a great dynamic to our worship services. Thanks for all your hard work praise team!

Touching Tomorrow Together

Can you believe that our Touching Tomorrow Together campaign was 5 months ago? That is so hard to believe! It is amazing that we have raised over $70,000.00 since then. I am so excited about paying off our building and beginning the next steps of growth!

Youth Group Sunday School

In Sunday School we summarized the book of Song of Solomon. We decided on the statement: “A love story between Solomon and Shulie (the shulamite woman), to show Gods love for us”

Baptism

4 Baptisms!!! It is so amazing! I may be biased, but I thought it was amazing that our teen ministry was the main influencer in 3 out of the 4 baptisms! Praise God! I am so glad he is using our youth ministry to accomplish great things!

Youth Band

Last night was a blast! I love leading worship with the teenagers! I have been nervous about some of the teenagers graduating and moving on, but it has been wonderful to see some of the other teens rise up and learn new things so that they can fill in the gap. Great job Jake, Lucy, and Jonathan!!

Missions

The missionaries last night were such a blessing! Did you notice that the size of India is 1/4th the size of America? But, the population of America is 1/4th the size of India’s population! What a mission Field! 1.2 BILLION PEOPLE! That just knocked my socks off! I am excited that bro. Winston has the chance to go back to live among his people and share the gospel with them!

Personal Growth

God really spoke to me last night about my comfort zone. I committed to Him again that I am willing to leave and go wherever he will lead me and my family. I would love to serve Him in another country and in another culture! Where he leads, I will follow! 🙂

What are some of your own FRESH THOUGHTS from yesterday?

A Walk Through The Bible… PART 1

I have often been bothered by Sunday School. In my experience growing up, there were many different churches that I was a part of, both big and small, where the Sunday School program was simply a mini church service before the real church service. Frankly, I never understood the purpose of it. I did not appreciate getting up extra early to attend a lower quality and less organized mini church service where we sing, take an offering, go over announcements, and listen to a message, before the “real” main service where we did the same thing again. In fact, as I try to remember the lessons that I learned in Sunday School growing up, I realized that a lot of time was wasted.

In my opinion, Sunday School should exist for one main reason: DISCIPLESHIP

Sunday School should be a time and a place to LEARN about Gods word. Not necessarily to be preached to, the pastor is already going to take care of that, but it is an opportunity to teach our Biblically illiterate world about the Bible. Hence the name: Sunday School.

At Suncoast Youth Group we take this seriously, in fact, we are methodically walking through every book of the Bible memorizing a concise summary about each book. Each Sunday morning we fellowship for a bit, and then we go through the books of the Bible. Many have asked about our list of books and the summaries we have chosen. I have basically read John Phillips commentary and chosen something very similar to his summary. I would never claim that these are comprehensive summaries, but they are definitely more thorough than most people in our church would know. Most of our teenagers are learning more about Gods word each Sunday than I knew even after four years of Bible College, and we do it in a relevant, fun, and exciting method of learning. I am so proud of our teenagers, and I am thankful that they are so diligently learning about God’s word!

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Genesis: Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

Exodus: Getting God’s people out of Egypt

Leviticus: Getting Egypt out of God’s people

Numbers: Census, Complaining, Change

Deuteronomy: Moses Preaches: Backwards look, Inwards look, Forward look, Upward look

Joshua: Authority Change, Battle, Conquer, Divide

Judges: Judges

Ruth: Kinsman Redeemer / a Romance between Ruth and Boaz

1st & 2nd Samuel: Eli, Samuel, GIVE US A KING, Saul, David

1st & 2nd Kings: One nation divided into Israel (North) / Judah (South)

1st & 2nd Chronicles: A Parallel to I and II Kings but from Gods perspective

Ezra: The Second Exodus

Nehemiah: Gods people build a wall

Esther: Esther, Mordecai, Haman, Gallows

Job: He Had it all, Lost it all, Gave God the Glory, Got it all back

Psalms: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Proverbs: Practical Wisdom for all ages, comparing the wise and the foolish

Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities: All is vanity / He had it all, and it was not worth it.

The greatest thing about this study, is that the teenagers did not just memorize a list of information, but they use the list of information to explain the story of the entire book in their own words. I tell our teenagers that they know more about the Bible than their parents do. Is that the case in your home? Get studying Gods word! Sunday School teachers? Let’s not waste time!

Liberty Baptist Fellowship Pastor Scholarship – Liberty University

This site has moved to www.leetomlin.com

Please follow this link to see a more updated post about the Liberty Baptist Fellowship Pastors Scholarship

http://leetomlin.com/?p=547

The most common excuse that I hear in regards to why pastors do not continue their education once they are plowing through the ministry is because they are too busy and there is just not enough time. The second reason that I have heard is that the cost of seminary is just too expensive. I know that both of those are huge factors in whether or not pastors are able to continue in their advanced learning. But what if the cost was not an issue? Do you think you could make the time to work on a class here and there if the cost were drastically reduced? How about a 100% scholarship?

Jerry Falwell and the Liberty Baptist Fellowship have offered a 100% scholarship for any full-time pastors of any LBF supporting baptist church. This is a remarkable blessing that many pastors have already taken advantage of, and many full time pastors are currently working through, including myself.

About two years ago I began looking for information about this scholarship by searching for information online and asking other pastor friends who were already taking advantage of this scholarship. I was shocked at how hard it was to find information about this scholarship considering the incredible blessing it has been. Eventually, I made it through the sign-up process and I am now taking classes online working on my Master of Divinity degree.

I decided to use my blog this month to share the process I went through so that others who are interested can find everything they need on this page to begin the registration process and get on the waiting list to begin the process of growing through advanced degree courses.

* For an info page about the Liberty Baptist Fellowship CLICK HERE 

* To read more information about the LBF Scholarship CLICK HERE

* To fill out the Partner Application for the LBF Scholarship CLICK HERE

In short, to be supported by this scholarship one must be on full-time staff at a church of like faith that would completely agree with the Baptistic doctrine found HERE. The church of that pastor must support the Liberty Baptist Fellowship $100.00 per month for each pastor receiving the scholarship. Before you will be eligible for classes you will be placed on a waiting list. I signed up a year and a half ago and waited on the waiting list for 10 months.

If you have any more questions about this incredible blessing you can contact the LBF by clicking HERE.

This has become another one of the greatest blessing of my life and I am thrilled to be able to share this opportunity with you. Please comment below if you were able to use this information for anything. Thank you!

Wilds or Bust!!

This is a blog that we wrote for our church last year to share specifically, how to pray for our teenagers and sponsors while at camp. The information is still completely relevant! Please pray for us! Thank you!

 

Well today is Friday and we will be heading to the Wilds in just about 48 hours. I cannot express my excitement in words. We have gone two other years since I have been the youth pastor at Suncoast Baptist Church, but for some reason there is a little bit more excitement this time than before. I believe it has something to do with the fact that God has really been working in our youth ministry and in our church for the last two months in a very special way, and I believe that God has been preparing hearts and futures for this week.

I have been begging our church to pray for our teens for the upcoming week and if you are reading this before camp, or during camp then I ask you as well to lift up this week of camp in prayer. Here are some things you can pray about.

Pray for Safety

We are leaving Sunday night after church around 9:00pm and we will be driving overnight in 4 large passenger vans. It is a 12 hour drive , so please pray that we will get to camp safely with no issues at all. We will leave the camp on Saturday morning around 8:00am and we will be driving all day long to arrive back at the church sometime around 10pm or so.

Pray for Good Attitudes

We are traveling for a long time with 49 people. There will definitely be frustrating issues and stressful situations, so please pray for our teenagers and our chaperones that we will all be long-suffering and very patient.

Pray for Tender Hearts

God will do the greatest work in the teenager that has the most responsive heart. I believe that God will change our teenagers and our church and our city if our teenagers will soften their hearts to the Lord and completely surrender to Him.

Pray for Salvation

We are taking several teenagers that have not began a relationship with Christ. Please pray (especially on Wednesday) that they will clearly hear the gospel and turn to Christ. PRay that their salvation will be powerful, memorable, and genuine!

Pray for God’s Calling

I believe that God will call some of our teenagers to attend Bible college, and some even into full time service into the ministry. Pray that our teenagers will see that not only as an option, but as an honor and a privelege.

If you have not been praying, please start right now. We are leaving in a short time, and it is going to be the best week of some of these teenagers lives. I know that the summer that I graduated from High School, I went to the Wilds, and that week was the turning point in my life. I know that God wants many more turning points this next week!

Thanks for reading! Now Pray! 🙂

What about Isaac?

I am reading through the Bible in 90 days with a few other people in my life and I have already been blown away by some of the things that I have seen and discovered for the first time, and I am now on Day 2. 🙂 The plan that I am using can be found HERE. As I was reading yesterday and this morning, I came across a new thought that I would like to share.

Last night I spoke to the teenagers about the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. I thought about in a new dimension that I have never thought about before. It is easy to see that God was testing Abraham, after all the Chapter begins by introducing Abraham, and clearly places the main focus on Abraham.

I think that often times our churches tend to do the same thing that we do as we read Genesis 22. We focus on the older people, and the young person who is just as important tends to get overlooked. Have you read this story behind the eyes of Isaac?

God wanted to do great things in the life of Abraham and all of his descendants, and he used Isaac in that test just as much as he used Abraham. Yes, clearly the instructions were given to Abraham, but due to Isaacs respect, obedience, and willingness to surrender, God blessed their family line in greater ways than they could have ever imagined.

I believe that God wants to do something great in our Church, I believe that God wants to do something great in our local schools, in our cities and on and on the list goes, but what if He plans to use our teenagers to do it, like He did with Abraham and Isaac.

We look at the faith of Abraham in this chapter, which is absolutely amazing, but what about the faith of Isaac: the “lad”. Isaac needed more faith than even Abraham, after all, he WAS the sacrifice. (And he was simply trusting in the words of man, not the voice of God directly)

Isaac, a lad (vs.22), was a huge part in the blessings of his family, and the world as we know it. I assure you, had Isaac not responded with obedience, respect, and surrender, the story could have been very different.

How does God want to use our teenagers to accomplish great things? Last night I explained to the teenagers that God wants to do great things in our church and He may very well use them to do it. I explained to them that I want to invest my life into those teenagers that want to grow, that want to make a difference, that want to be used by God, even if it is just a few. The great thing is that there were three teenagers that came up to me after the service and said: Pastor Lee, I want to be one of those teenagers! How exciting!

So I end with this: Pray with me and for me, that I will be the mentor and the leader that these teenagers need to accomplish great things! Pray for these three names: Phillip, Michael, and Jon… Pray that more teenagers will tell God, I want to be used by you to do great things! Pray that these teenagers will be serious about their decisions!

Sorry that my thoughts were so “scatter-brained”, but I just had to share in some way what God has showed me and what he is beginning to do in the hearts and lives of our teenagers!!

I am not sure who you are reading this, but if you know a teenager, or if you are a teenager, you need to get this book: Read it and then come talk to me about it 🙂

Word of Life SUPERBOWL 2009

2009superbowl_logoOn Friday, Suncoast Youth Group loaded up the trucks, cars, and vans and headed to Orlando, for one of our favorite activities of the year. Every Fall, Word of Life hosts an incredible activity called the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is an outstanding activity where our students have the opportunity to go to a Professional Sports Game, hear a clear gospel presentation, enjoy a youth rally with great games and prizes and then finish the night off with two great venues.

We have gone 3 years now, and this year I took a moment to stop and appreciate all of the effort that was put into making it such a great event. That is what I want to share on my blog today.

As a youth pastor, with many hats to wear, there is always pressure to come up with great activities. We have done many exciting activities at Suncoast Youth Group, and every single one takes hours and hours of planning and preparation (many of which can go seemingly unnoticed). Generally all that work goes into planning something simple like an Ice Skating Event, or a Scavenger Hunt of some sort. I can barely imagine all of the work that goes into planning the Word of Life Super Bowl.

To imagine an activity with a NBA Basketball Game, an Awesome Youth Rally, Bowling, Wonderworks, the RDV Sportsplex (including: Ice Skating, Broom Ball, Wally-Ball, Basketball, Inflatables, Dodge Ball, and even the Wii), Funspot (including: Go-Carts Everywhere, and every other fair ride that you could imagine), and enough Pizza for thousands of student and chaperones is quite a phenomenal feat!

Our teenagers enjoyed the Word of Life Superbowl this year even more than ever, and I, a busy youth pastor, want to thank you for making my job even more fun, and a little bit easier. Thank you Word of Life, Andy and Nancy Anderson, Chris Finchum, Marge Salemme, and all of the faithful servants and Word of Life students that made the 2009 Super Bowl so great! Thanks a lot! Your work has not gone unnoticed.

Thanks for making such an impressive activity where we can bring students to learn about Christ!

Suncoast Baptist Church

Great Time in Orlando

Today Pastor Chip and I drove to Orlando for the November BBF Meeting at Orlando Baptist Church. It was a great meeting, in fact it was probably the best meeting that I remember going to in quite some time. It was a great encouragement and also a great source of great mission ideas. Here is a summary of some of the information that walked away with. The second speaker was Kirk Nowery, and the information that he shared was fantastic. A few specific quotes that he mentioned are this:

“There has been no great cause ever accomplished by one single person”

“If you want to know what a leader is thinking: Ask him!”

“It has never been about you or I, it has always been about Jesus”

“You will only be as good as the team around you”

“Sacrifice: When you give up something you love for something else that you love more”

“Billy Graham said: The three keys to my success: Prayer, Prayer Prayer”

Kirk Nowery was a great communicator and a true blessing: I am looking forward to checking out a few of his books:

making the most of your life

revolutionary generosity  

After lunch, the youth pastors went into the OBC Solution Youth Room where we were encouraged by OBC youth pastor, Wesley Beacham. He shared a testimony about how God has worked in his life throughout the last few years. Wes shared personal lessons that he had learned about Ministry Success, Ministry Killers, and Ministry Fences. Wes shared how we can kill our ministry when we do not put our family first, and he also told us about a great book he finished reading called: “Running on Empty” by Fil Anderson. I am excited about reading it and learning first hand some of the things that he spoke so passionately about today.

I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting today including the speakers, my family (who were visiting Orlando, from Jacksonville) the youth pastor session, and all of the creative aspects of the meeting throughout the day, but more than all that, as usual, I really enjoyed the 5 hours of fellowship, brainstorming, vision casting, and dreaming with my pastor on the way to Orlando and on the way home.

We talked about several important and exciting things, including future staff members, future building projects, upcoming building campaigns, books, preaching styles, upcoming events and lots more. I really enjoy the monthly BBF meetings, but more than anything, I love the travel time with my pastor.