Joining a New Church

It has been suggested that adults make upwards of 35,000 decisions each day. Some decisions are trivial while others can be life altering. One decision my wife and I made this year has already proved to be life changing: our decision to join Valley Forge Baptist (VFB).

When Krystal and I moved from Philadelphia to Collegeville, the plan didn’t include leaving our church home. At the time, we were working in Philadelphia and it was just the two of us. We were happily serving at our church, where we had formed close bonds and friendships. However, after four years, two children, and a series of job changes, the realities of our changing life structure became increasingly difficult to maintain. So, after much prayer, we realized some adjustments had to be made that would require us to make some tough decisions.

For months we mulled over the pros and cons of various scenarios, but there was no denying the difficulty of any of the propositions. Nevertheless, after much prayer, thoughtful consideration, and wise counsel, we decided to move closer to my job, which was out of state. In the interim, we would join a local church near our current home until we moved. However, just as Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps,” God had a different plan for us. The plan led us to stay in Collegeville and find our new place of worship there as well.

For a Christian, finding a new church home and becoming a member there can seem daunting and disconcerting. This is especially true when other significant life changes such as moving into a new home or neighborhood are thrown into the mix. During the process, questions arise: How will my (previous) church family and leadership feel about our leaving? Will we feel “at home,” “safe,” or “connected” in our new church? Will the kids like it? Will we find a good church where we can serve God? All these very valid questions can be overwhelming. But thank God, He hasn’t left us to make these decisions alone.

So how does a Christian effectively transition into a new church home? Well, every situation is different, and while the Bible hasn’t laid out a step-by-step process, there are some pragmatic steps we followed—through the leading of the Holy Spirit—that led us to our new home at VFB.

 

Consider your options

There are a lot of churches out there. Not all are created equal and not all are what they appear to be (in name, practice, or belief). For us it was important to identify a few churches within our community that: (1) aligned with sound, fundamental biblical beliefs; (2) provided a place for spiritual growth; and (3) could nurture our growing family so that we could be effective servants in the Kingdom of God. Using those fundamental principles, we visited (i.e., evaluated) several churches in the area.

Each church we visited was unique and delivered a variation of each of our core principles. However, VFB not only met our expectations, it exceeded them. VFB is a Bible-believing, preaching, and teaching church that challenged our thinking and daily living. Furthermore, we encountered a strong presence of families in every life stage that truly seemed to be vital and well nourished.
 

Commune with members

Galatians 6:10 says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” The very first time we visited VFB, we were embraced by various members with such warmth and love; it was reminiscent of our previous church. This was critical.

Over a few months, we participated in several church activities outside of Sunday worship services. Those activities included adult Bible fellowship classes and a couples retreat, and our children attended school at the VFB academy. During this time of fellowship, we found the members at VFB to be a consistent and true demonstration of VFB’s moniker, “the caring church.”

 

Connect with leadership

John Maxwell, a prolific teacher on leadership, once said; “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” Nowadays with social media, just about anybody can call himself or herself a leader simply because of having a few hundred followers on Twitter. For a modern-day preacher, that wouldn’t be abnormal. But what we noticed with the leadership at VFB (i.e., Pastor Scott Wendal and his associate pastoral staff) was an army of several hundred believers representing various cultures, nations, and life experiences actively following the leadership. And even with that reality, Pastor Wendal and the pastoral staff sought us out to connect with us directly.

Whether through a text or email message or through the Sunday message, each associate pastor, with Pastor Wendal leading the way, aligned his preaching with his leading. In other words, there was a true sense of “practice what you preach” going on here. That formed the basis for the connection we desired and have today.

 

Commit to membership

This last “checkbox” would seem like the most obvious to check, but I think it’s worth mentioning because some Christians just don’t do it. Because Krystal and I were leaving a church to join VFB, we felt compelled to speak with the pastor who had watched over us for so many years. We wanted to talk with him about our decision and seek his blessings. After we completed this critical step, we professed our desire to join VFB to Pastor Wendal and the entire VFB church body. Now we are happy and active members at VFB and so excited to see how God will use us here.

Are You Believing a Lie?

Have you ever been lied to? I’m sure you have at some point. Lies are misleading and very hurtful.  What makes being lied to even worse is when we believe the lie we’ve been told. The result? Mistakes, heartache, wasted time, and unnecessary suffering. In my own life, I have believed a few lies that left me with the feeling that I was going backwards.

The first lie I was told is that being “religious” will get you closer to God; in other words, life is about being a good person, and if you are one, you get to go to Heaven. So I completed each sacrament, respected my elders, was polite, and did well enough in school that I was accepted into the college of my choice.

I thought I would’ve been rewarded for my “goodness.” Instead, I found myself attending three funerals. One friend was murdered, another was killed by a drunk driver, and my mentor—my favorite teacher and life coach, the man I wanted to pattern my entire life after—had committed suicide. It was a difficult year to say the least.

I found myself asking a few questions: Why was this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? Where do I go from here?

As a result, I stopped believing one lie and turned to another. I began listening to people who told me that life was about following your heart and making your own way. I began making choices that reflected that change of direction and made me happy. I started “enjoying” the college life and quickly found out that, at the age of 22, I was going to be a father.

I searched for the secret to having a great life and found a hard road. I was taking 21 credit hours of classes each semester, commuting three hours a day to get to school, and working 15 to 20 hours over the weekend to support my child. If I had time between parenting, class, studying, and traveling, I might find a few hours of sleep. I had dreamed of being a parent and sharing the news with my family and friends. This was not the story that I thought would play out.

A few years passed and I was still searching for answers. A friend invited me to a church service, and I gave it a chance, thinking Why not? It’s not like going to church could make things harder. So I went, expecting very little. What I received was far greater than I ever could have imagined.

The pastor delivered a message about surrendering your life to God. The Bible verses that really hit home with me were Matthew 11:28–30. In them Jesus says, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It immediately hit me! First I had tried living life my way, and then I had tried being religious; but during all that time I never went to Jesus himself. I was laboring and heavy laden for sure, and I realized that the rest that Jesus said He had for my soul was what I needed. But the questions I had were these: How do I receive it? How do I get Jesus Christ, the rest to my soul, and the light burden I desire?

The answers to those questions are found in verse 29 of Matthew 11. The phrase “learn of me” implies that there are a few things we must consider:

First, the Bible explains that every person is less than perfect and commits sins against God. Romans 3:10 and 3:23 say, As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Second, the beginning of Romans 6:23 adds that …the wages of sin is death. Because I was living a life where sin was present, I wasn’t, by default, living the life God wanted me to live. Death represents a separation between God and humans as a consequence of this sinful life of ours.

Third, Romans 5:8 says, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus loves us, so He died for you and me—not because we’re perfect, but because we aren’t!

And finally, the end of Romans 6:23 says that …the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, if we believe that Jesus Christ lived the perfect sinless life, died for us because of our sin, and was raised from the dead by God the Father (making Jesus our victorious Savior), each of us can start a new life as a follower of Jesus and know that Heaven is our eternal home. God is calling out to us to …believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (see Acts 16:31). It’s very simple: ask Jesus for forgiveness and accept His free gift of salvation.

Now, as a Christian, I’m blessed to serve the God that died for me and rose again. I’m privileged to share the good news of Jesus Christ with people who find that this life has more problems than answers.

I’m so excited to see what God has for me each day. Every day is a wonderful opportunity to connect with God and people. I have a beautiful wife, three wonderful children, and friends who want to help me along the way. Above all, I have my best friend, Jesus.

Has it been perfect? a bed of roses? Have all my dreams come true? No. Actually, my Christian life has brought me a lot of challenges. The difference between this new life in Christ and what I had before I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior is that now I know God loves and accepts me as I am. Jesus Christ has added an eternal purpose to my life, and one day I will meet Him face to face!

I invite you to come to Jesus, as I did in 2010. Make Him your personal Savior today! Won’t you come? I’ve lived a life without God and now with Him. Living a life for Jesus Christ is beyond better, and that is no lie!

 

The Power of Hope

On February 9, 2011, Dave Davis walked into the hospital for a “routine” diverticulitis surgery. Three surgeries later, he was taken to a hospital near Philadelphia. Infection began to seize his body. After Dave had spent 13 days in a coma, on a ventilator, and his kidneys were failing, the doctors gave his wife, Ellen, virtually no hope. But 80 days later, Dave walked out of the hospital!

The first miracle occurred when God raised Dave from his deathbed. As hard as his team of doctors had tried, humanly speaking, nothing short of a miracle was going to help. Family and friends from all over the world began to pray for Dave. A missionary friend informed Dave and Ellen that churches in China were praying for Dave’s recovery. Friends from Australia to Africa and beyond were praying, as were friends from all over the United States. Dave and Ellen’s church, Valley Forge Baptist, organized a 24-hour prayer vigil through which people signed up for 15-minute segments to pray. Around the world, 24 hours per day, people were praying to ask God to touch Dave’s life.

God had to intervene. Miraculously, He did! Ellen waited by Dave’s bedside while many extremely stressful days passed. Then on March 22, Dave awoke from his coma! By mid-April, Dave was sent to Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital to learn how to walk, eat, and take care of himself.

Shortly thereafter, Dave’s kidney doctor told him to prepare for a life with permanent kidney dialysis. Once again, friends began to pray. On May 2, the second miracle occurred. Dave went for more dialysis, and before his appointment, he underwent some tests to check his kidney levels. As Dave waited for the dialysis session to begin, a nurse came out to the waiting room. In tears, the nurse hugged Dave and said; “It’s a miracle. You don’t need dialysis anymore. You can go home!” Dave was completely off kidney dialysis!

Hope is wonderful! We hope for lots of things. Kids hope for a new toy. Teens hope to be liked or accepted. College students hope to pass the next exam. Young professionals hope to get the next great job that pays well, allows flexibility, and gives opportunity to make a difference in the world. Parents-to-be hope for a healthy child. Grandparents hope for good health and care for their later years. Hope is both personal and shared.

If you “google” the word “hope,” you will find 154,000,000 results.

Merriam Webster defines ”hope” as: trust, reliance

Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment, as in came in hopes of seeing you; also: expectation of fulfillment or success, as in no hope of a cure, when they were young and full of hope; b: someone or something on which hopes are centered, as in our only hope for victory; c: something desired or hoped for.

Expect, hope, look mean to await some occurrence or outcome. expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning (expects to be finished by Tuesday). hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen.

What do you hope for? What expectations do you have? Dave was hopeful for healing, and God gave a miracle.

The most powerful story of hope and miracle ever recorded is given in Matthew 28:1–10.

1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

“The central event of that climax, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is also the central event of God’s redemptive history. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, and everything that we are and have and hope to be is predicated on its reality. There would be no Christianity if there were no resurrection. The message of Scripture has always been a message of resurrection hope, a message that death is not the end for those who belong to God.” —John MacArthur.

The words from the angel in verses 6 and 7 especially stand out. “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead…” Come, see! Go and tell!

Come and see! Hope for you. This is personal; this is for you and me. Hope has become reality! Jesus Christ has overcome death; therefore, all who believe in Him also overcome death and live with Him forever in Heaven.

Go and tell! This is the gospel message that Christians take to the world! Jesus lives, and because He lives all who believe in Him for salvation live also! Truly, this is “Joy to the World!” Believers have the privilege and responsibility to share this joy and tell the good news about Jesus’ resurrection.

Two Greek words are given for hope in the New Testament. Elpis is an expectation or confidence, and its verb form, elpizo, is the act of expecting or trusting. The biblical definition of hope has nothing to do with a personal wish or vague desire. Rather, our hope is an absolute assurance. We are to have unwavering confidence in Jesus, who is our hope, as we patiently wait for His return.

Dave and Ellen had hope and patiently expected God to answer their prayers and the prayers of others on their behalf. They are very grateful for all of the prayers of co-workers, friends, and family. They are forever thankful for the care they received from the great team at Bryn Mawr Hospital and Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital. God worked through human hands to spare Dave’s life. You, too, can experience God’s miracle in your life by placing your faith and trust in His Son, Jesus.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13.

Hope is powerful! What a message to receive and to tell! Join us Easter Sunday—come, see, and hear as Dave leads our choir and orchestra in presenting beautiful songs of the resurrection, and witness even more miracles of changed lives at Valley Forge Baptist.

Help for Parents

Help for Parents

Parenting Classes – Every Wednesday 7;15pm

Technology is a two-edged sword for parents.  Smart phones and tablets bring the information of the world to the finger tips of our children.  But we are all very aware of the dark side of the internet.  WebMD lists the top Four Dangers of the Internet for children and teens:  1)  Cyber-Bullying,  2) Sexual Predators, 3)  Pornography, and 4)  Damaged Reputations.

If there was ever a generation of parents looking for guidance in this very complicated and complex society this is the one.  NYMetroparents.com lists the top current parenting philosophies.  These trends reveal how confused and bewildered so many parents are in this “new day” of parenting.  As you review the list, see which one is most closely associated with your parenting style:

  • Authoritarian Parenting – “Because I Said so!”
  • Authoritative Parenting – “Because I Love you!”
  • Attachment Parenting – “Because I Need you!”
  • Free-range Parenting – “Because I Trust you!”
  • Helicopter Parenting – “Because I Don’t Trust you!”
  • Permissive Parenting – “Because I Believe in you!’”

God has provided the best parenting book ever written – the Bible.  From the Word of God we learn “common-sense parenting” principles that are ageless.  God created the family and the Heavenly Father Knows Best the roles and responsibilities of each family member.  Of the most common parenting philosophies trending today, the “authoritative” style is the one most closely associated with what we find in the Scriptures.  Sadly, too many parents desire to be their child’s best friend during a time they simply need a loving dad and mom not a BFF.

There are basically four different stages of parenting depending on the age and maturity of the child.  1)  Disciplinarian Stage, 2)  Trainer Stage, 3)  Coaching Stage, and 4)  Friendship Stage.  These different stages build upon one another.  If you skip the first or second stage, then you are creating problems for the third and fourth stages.  Add to that the challenge that God has created our children with their very own unique personality.  What delights and motivates one child may have no impact on their brother or sister.  For the Christian, we discover that God “gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).  When a mom and dad look to the Lord for marriage and parenting help, God will give it.  Yet, His help is contingent upon our belief and obedience to what He has given us in His Word.

Come join us for our “Help for Parents” classes every Wednesday night at 7:15pm for one hour – meeting in the Chapel.

 

 

What Is a Church Supposed to Do?

A mission statement has become a popular tool for businesses to clearly communicate the purpose of their existence. Here are a few of the mission statements of some of the largest companies in the world:

Google: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Facebook: Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Microsoft: Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Skype: Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.

Disney: The mission of the Walt Disney Co. is to be one of the world’s leading producers of entertainment and information…we seek to develop the most creative, innovative, and profitable entertainment experiences.

Many in the secular world have the ability to clearly communicate their mission. The Lord Jesus Christ had this same ability when He gave His disciples their mission statement. The mission of the church is to make disciples of all nations (see Matthew 28:18–20).

Over the years, many followers of Christ have redefined His mission. Christians belong to Jesus Christ—we are His followers, not the other way around. We have no right to redefine the purpose of the church. Our responsibility is to believe and obey the commands given by Jesus in what we refer to as the Great Commission.

What is the Great Commission of the church?

The Great Commission is to make disciples (followers of Jesus Christ). How do we do that?

In Matthew 28:19–20, Jesus used three action words to explain how to make a follower of Christ: going, baptizing, and teaching. For someone to become a follower of Christ, it is not enough just to become a Christian, nor is it enough just to get baptized. A true follower/disciple of Christ is someone who makes a commitment to follow Christ (is saved), then is baptized after making that commitment (see Acts 2:41), and then continually grows spiritually by learning the Bible, the Word of God.

Simply Put…

One of the clearest ways to define what a church family is supposed to do is: evangelism and edification. Every Christian is to be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Evangelism = Soul Winning

Edification = Soul Building

From April 30 through May 4, Valley Forge Baptist will be hosting its 25th Annual Missions Conference. It truly is the most important week of the year for our church family. Someone wisely said, “A missions conference is a church in a business meeting deciding the fate of the heathen.” How will you vote? Come and meet some very special people who are willing to leave all that’s familiar in our country to take the Gospel to those in foreign lands.

It’s going to take the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to complete the job of reaching our world with the Gospel.

starfish

The story is told of a man strolling on the beach who spotted a young boy tossing starfish back into the ocean. Along the shore were many starfish that had been washed up by the tide and were sure to die before the tide returned. The man watched as the little fellow picked up another of the dying starfish that had washed ashore. He chided the boy: “I’ve been watching what you’re doing, son. You have a good heart, and I know you mean well, but you’ll never save all those starfish. Does it really make any difference what you’re doing?”

The little boy looked up from the starfish he held in his hand and as he gently tossed it back into the ocean, he replied, “It makes a difference to this one!”

Like the boy in the story, what you do with your life does make a difference to those around you. Jesus commissioned the people of the church to reach the world with the Gospel. The question is this: Will you make a difference with your life and be a part of what the church is supposed to do?

………………………

Article by Pastor Scott Wendal
Senior Pastor of Valley Forge Baptist

How Does Church Help Me?

A  lot of people say, “I want to be a Christian but I don’t need a church.” That’s like saying, “I want to play football in the NFL but not be on any team…. I want to be a soldier but not have a platoon…. I want to play a French horn but not be in an orchestra…. I want to be a sailor without a ship–a bee without a hive.” A Christian without a church family is an orphan. God told the Christians at Ephesus that they belonged together with other Christians in His church (see Ephesians 2:19). A church is not simply a place that you go to every week, but a family you belong to. God designed a church for His glory and our benefit.

How Does Church Help Me:

Five Benefits of a Bible-believing Local Church

1. It Helps Me Focus on God – Worship

Some days it is so easy to be distracted by “life” that we can go through the whole day and not even think about God. Sometimes we can forget about God because we might be too busy, too happy, too stressed, or too whatever. God gave us the 4th commandment: “Every seventh day, refocus on God!” Every time you refocus on God and express your love to God, you are worshiping. Jesus called loving God the greatest commandment (see Matthew 22:37–38). God loves you and He made you to love Him back.

2. It Helps Me Face Life’s Problems – Fellowship

Life is tough! It can be one problem after another! As a result, we all sometimes get discouraged, tired, fatigued, and drained. God never meant for you to go through life all by yourself. He wants you to have a church family for support. The Christian life is not a solo act. We draw strength from one another. Someone once said “A shared joy is a double joy; a shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” We all need fellowship.

3. It Helps Me Fortify My Faith – Maturity

“Fortify” means “to strengthen, to develop, to reinforce.” We have breakfast cereals that are fortified with vitamins. Toaster pastries are fortified with Vitamin A (so we can say they’re health food). A church family fortifies you and helps you clarify your values. It helps you set your priorities. It helps you figure out, what you really believe. A church family helps you develop character, conviction, and integrity. God says a church family is designed to help you grow and mature your faith.

4. It Helps Me Find my Ministry – Service

You weren’t put on earth just to take up space. God expects you to give something back. He expects you to make a contribution with your life. He gave you certain abilities, talents, and gifts that He expects you to use to help other people. Any time you use your talents or what you know to help somebody else, that’s called ministry. A “non-ministering” Christian is a contradiction. You were made for ministry. One day every Christian is going to stand before God and He is going to say, “What was your ministry? What did you do on earth to make a contribution to someone else?” A church family helps you discover and develop your ministry (see Ephesians 2:10).

5. It Helps Me Fulfill My Life Mission – Purpose

God has a grand purpose for your life. You were put on the earth for a reason God chose even before you were born. He chose exactly the parents to whom you would be born and where. All of these things you had no control over because He was making you for a mission. God created you for a purpose, and He says “I want you to fulfill it.” The moment you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God activates your life mission. Part of your life mission is called the Great Commission – telling other people the good news about Jesus Christ.  Someone told you, and so you are to pass it on to others. God wants every Christian to be a messenger of God’s love to others.

I really do need a church… and my church needs me. Find a Bible-believing church family and say, “This is going to be my home.” No church is perfect, but nothing is more important than the church of Jesus Christ! If you do not have a church family that is fulfilling these five purposes, come be our guest.

 

Article by Pastor Scott Wendal
Senior Pastor, Valley Forge Baptist

Why Should I Go to Church?

A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard over 3,000 sermons. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and so are the pastors.” This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

As a child, I attended a formal church that left me counting ceiling tiles and lights in the sanctuary. By the time I was in my early teens, my family had drifted from weekly attendance and I found myself wondering Why should I go to church? It wasn’t until I experienced the new birth (what Jesus called a “spiritual birth” in John 3:3-5) that I discovered that I don’t have to go to church – I get to go to church. When I made a commitment to become a Christian – a real Christian – my desires changed. I wanted to meet with those who gathered every week to worship the Lord of heaven and earth. It was as if the “hour of worship” went by so fast that I could not believe the service was over already. I wanted to learn God’s truth and apply it to my life. The apostle Peter said that a growing Christian hungers for the Word of God in the same way a newborn hungers for milk (I Peter 2:2).

What changed? I did! I was changed by the Lord. I had new desires, new commitments, and new goals. Now I can say with King David the Psalmist, who wrote, I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord (Psalm 122:1).

Who are these people who gather every week to worship a God who proclaims peace and love, freedom and justice, repentance and salvation? Local church congregations are not and never will be perfect, because they are made up of imperfect human beings. I like the bumper sticker that says “Christians Aren’t Perfect – Just Forgiven.” You may have had a disappointing experience with a particular church in your past, but that can never be a valid excuse to give up finding a biblically healthy church family. Being a Christian has nothing to do with finding a place that simply “makes me happy.” From the earliest days, Christianity has been about a church family that comes together to learn, worship, and grow while serving each other and modeling Christ to a watching world. Our goal is to live our lives in such a way that we “make Jesus look good to an unbelieving world.” When I go to church, I find encouragement and help to do just that.

Do you have a church you can call “Home”? If not, come and experience what some of your neighbors have experienced at the corner of Black Rock Road and Rt. 113: people who love God and others. If the greatest desire of the human heart is to love and be loved, then you will only find that desire met in a church where Jesus Christ is worshiped!

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. – Psalm 122:1

Article by Pastor Scott Wendal

Why I Love My Church!

Literally millions of people in the world can genuinely say, “I love my church!”  These people have experienced the blessing of a church family that loves God, exalts Jesus Christ, and shows love and forgiveness to one another.  It is among this kind of church family that people come to know the Lord as their personal Savior and begin to develop a spiritual walk with God.  The results are amazing:  peace in their lives and joy in their hearts.

Unfortunately, too many people have had negative experiences at church. Sometimes it is their fault, but all too many times it is the fault of another.

One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, “I’m not going.”

“Why not?” she asked.

“I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “First of all, they don’t like me, and secondly, I don’t like them.”

His mother replied, “I’ll give YOU two good reasons why YOU SHOULD go to church. First of all, you’re 59 years old, and secondly, you’re the pastor!”

That is a sad situation when the pastor is not thrilled about attending his own church.  My experience has been just the opposite. After pastoring the same church for 29 years, I am thrilled to say, “I still love my church!” I agree with the many in our church who have shared their reasons with me about Valley Forge Baptist – The Caring Church!

They have said to me…

I love my church because…

God is at work here!

We are a family!

I learn how to grow closer to God!

Jesus Christ is exalted!

We feed the hungry and give them the Gospel!

I love the music!

I love the people!

Do you have a church you can call “home”?  If not, come and experience what some of your neighbors have experienced at the corner of Black Rock Road and Rt. 113: people who love God and others. If the greatest desire of the human heart is to love and be loved, then you will certainly find that desire met in a church where Jesus Christ is worshipped!

Article by Pastor Scott Wendal