Welcome to the website of Maranatha Bible Church. We are glad you have chosen to explore whether we are a congregation you might consider worshipping with. We know that searching online is a major part of that decision, so we hope your experience is a wonderful one and we can have the opportunity to meet you in person and get to know you and your family. With this in mind, I would like to provide you with a little information about me and the church.
When I consider what drives my ministry approach, my philosophy is truly embodied in the commitments expressed in my motto, “Teaching heart; Listening ears; Helping hands.”
A heart for teaching is absolutely necessary for meeting the spiritual needs of those in the church as well as outside of it. Paul tells Timothy to “Preach the Word,” and to be ready both in season and out of season to proclaim the hope that he has. The Great Commission has as its main thrust to teach those becoming disciples all that has been commanded. The first qualification of an Elder is the ability to teach. Teaching, preaching, and witnessing are all over the Scriptures in its commands and in the examples it says to follow from the stories it tells.
So to commit to this means that the pastor must use all of the Bible because it is inspired and profitable. A pastor shouldn’t tickle ears even if that is what is wanted. A pastor must preach Christ and him crucified. A pastor shouldn’t do this out of selfishness and/or vain conceit in order that the pastor can be considered an approved workman who handles the Word properly.
Ears willing to listen are necessary to meet the emotional needs of those the pastor comes in contact with. We are commanded to bear one another’s burdens, to encourage one another, to confess sin to one another and then restore gently, to pray for those who are sick in order to bring about healing. How is a pastor supposed to know what is bothering his congregation if he is not willing to really listen to them?
The commitment here is to follow the example of Christ. He met the people who needed him when and where they were. He met them at a well, along the road, at his house and theirs, both day and night. True seekers he never turned away. He responded with compassion. He was gentle with those who needed gentleness and he spoke the hard truth to those who needed a wake-up call, but he always spoke the truth in love after listening.
The other unique thing about Christ was his willingness to touch. He was willing to be seen with and interact with the unclean and untouchable. Not everyone is perfect, after all when doing ministry the well don’t need a doctor only the sick.
With these in mind, a commitment to listening with the ears is a commitment of time and touch.
Finally, hands willing to help are necessary to meet the physical needs of those around us. The command is to do for those considered the least that which they apparently can’t do for themselves. Cups of water, and clothes for their backs are among the simple things that we will be judged for doing or not doing in the name of Christ for those around us. Throughout the Bible one is asked to help the widow, the orphan, and the fatherless. This translates into those in society who do not have a voice, are vulnerable, and can’t offer you anything in return.
A commitment to helping people allows various opportunities to use whatever gift we have received to serve others and in the process faithfully administer God’s grace in its various forms (I Peter 4:10). When we commit to helping others, we show we care and therefore earn the right to speak into their lives when the opportunity presents itself.
It is these things I am committed to as I do ministry in order to fulfill the roles a minister of Christ is called to perform. These commitments allow me to be a fisher of men, an ambassador, and a good shepherd to the flock God has entrusted to me.
Maranatha Bible Church has similar commitments to mine. In Acts 2:42-45 it says that the members of the church devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. They also were intentional about helping other members of the church and beyond when there were needs. In the short time I have been at this church, I have seen all those things in action as the church has gathered together.
We are devoted to the Apostle’s teaching. We see this as a commitment to Bible study. We have several times we study various parts of the Bible in several settings. During the morning service at 10am for sure, but also during the hour before the Sunday service we meet in various age groups including the children to study the Bible. The groups are currently studying the Psalms, Esther, and Psalms. On the 1st
, and 4th
Sunday evening at 6pm we are studying the biblical basis for the Nicene Creed. A document containing essential doctrine written in the 300’s AD. On Wednesday night at 7pm while the children meet for their midweek activities members of the congregation meet to study the Bible. We are currently in a topical study of Proverbs. During the morning service while a sermon is enjoyed by the adults, our children have a time of learning that is for them and their level of knowledge.
We enjoy fellowship. I have experienced and have heard from others that the people in this church love those who come to the church very well. The people truly enjoy each other’s company even though there is much diversity in any way you can imagine. We don’t have an evening service on the 3rd
Sunday of the month because we have a potluck for lunch that day each month after the morning service. Various parts of the church meet other times for meals and events as well.
We are committed to breaking bread. This is a picture of the Lord’s Supper or Communion. We practice an open format of Communion. Anyone who is a professing baptized believer is welcome to join us and celebrate with us what Jesus has done for us through his death. We leave the decision whether older children can participate to the parents. We join together for this celebration the 1st
Sunday of the month during the morning service.
We are committed to prayer. We are very aware of the requests in our congregation and enjoy praising God when he answers our prayers. On Wednesday, before we study the Bible, we are praying through our church directory and for our missionaries on a rotating basis along with those requests that pop up.
We also have a commitment to meeting needs both in and outside the church. Many of our church members do ministry outside the church walls ministering to people who don’t attend our church. These include Bible studies, evangelism, and helping ministries. We also support 11 missionaries who extend our ministry reach across the country and around the world.
This is the atmosphere we have tried to cultivate here at Maranatha Bible Church. If this is the picture you have of a church you can call home we would love the opportunity to meet you, and answer any questions you may have. We hope to see you soon!