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3.21.20 Update

Dear FBC Family, I want to give you a few thoughts on preparing for online worship tomorrow morning. 1) Treat Sunday morning with the same priority you always do I encourage you to get up, have breakfast, then join your Sunday School class online, and join us at 10:30 for our online worship service. Don't just plan to watch the service sometime later; keep Sunday morning set aside for worship. 2) Turn your living room or office into your sanctuary Have your bible, notebook, and pen with you and eliminate distractions wherever you will be. Do not be a spectator, but rather, be a worshiper. 3) Gather your family and worship together This is an incredible opportunity for the heads of households to gather the family, and lead out in worship. This is not "every man for himself." Instead, this is a time for God-centered, Christ-exalting leadership. Lead your household well! 4) Engage in each part of the worship service Sing along with us. Yes, it will be a bit odd at first. But, join in. Words will be on the livestream so you can participate. As you watch the livestream, sing when we sing. Pray when we pray. We will have a children's sermon as a part of the livestream. Help your children participate with us. When there is preaching, listen as attentively as you always do. Do not just watch. Instead, engage! 5) Worship through giving This is a bit more tricky. We are used to passing an offering plate and it is a reminder of the joy and responsibility to give. We cannot do that now, so we must be intentional. In days of uncertainty and instability, what a great time to trust the Lord and prove our faithfulness and commitment to Kingdom work. You can mail in your offering to the Lord, drop it by the church office, or give online at fbcmustang.org . However you choose to continue your faithful giving, ensure you do so with a heart of worship and joy. Perhaps we will learn more about true sacrificial giving. We will be the better for it! 6) It will not be the same as being in person And you know what? It is not supposed to be. The reason is that "online worship" is a great gift for moments like this, but it is never a replacement or substitute for gathering with God's people. If you watch online and think to yourself, "That was ok, but not nearly as good as normal", it's alright. We don't want this to be something we ever view as just as good as being in person. On the contrary, if you watch it online and think to yourself, "Hey! I could get used to this!", well, please don't. This is the best we have right now, but watching online is not the ideal and it never will be. It is a gift we will utilize for a season, but Lord willing, we will soon be back to gathering in person to stir each other up to love and good deeds. One last thing... Trust me, I, like you, am ready for this to all be over. I am concerned about the health of our members, especially our senior citizens. I am concerned about keeping everyone together and not having any members slip through the cracks or drift away. I am concerned about the finances of our church as our ministry and mission partnerships must continue. I am concerned about other churches and their ministry. But...I am finding myself increasingly excited about what God is doing. The church is being tested and we will see how we respond. Here's the great news! We've been preparing for this. In God's providence, we began studying the book of James last August. We've been taught from Scripture about how to endure trials, how to increase in wisdom, how to be steadfast in our faith, how to take care of orphans and widows, and how to live out a faith that is proven by actions and not just in words. The Lord, in His good kindness, has prepared our church for this very moment. Now, it is our opportunity to trust. It is our time to be doers of the Word. It is our chance to show our confidence in God. Do I want this to end? Yes, I do! However, I'm eager to see how our church family responds. God is growing us, God is helping us, God is stretching us, God is perfecting us, and OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL! With all of my heart I will miss not seeing all of you in the morning. Yet, my heart is full of joy and excitement. God is at work and the safest place to be in any storm is with our Father. He IS with us. FBC Family, this is our time to live out all we have studied and put into practice all we say we believe. I'm praying we will be found faithful. Why am I joyful? Why am I hopeful? Simply put, I trust the Lord and I believe in you!!!!! I love you, church family! Pastor Michael

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