Hello Friends!

Here is your Fellowship Focus Newsletter for May 2020. 

MAY 2020 – WAITING …

Todd Malone

God does not operate a fast food restaurant, as much as that frustrates us. It would be nice if we could turn in our order to God and enjoy it 10 minutes later. God doesn’t work that way. We want quick solutions and fast results. God often wants us to wait.

King David Waited

Think about King David. David was young when Samuel anointed him to be the next king of Israel. David’s next assignment after being anointed? He went back to tending sheep. I wonder how that felt for David. What would it be like to be told you were the next king and then go back to the daily routine? We don’t know exactly how long David waited, but we know he was 30 when his reign began.

Everyone Waits

We wait in lines at the store. We wait at stoplights. We wait for packages to arrive or for the rice to cook. Kathy Silvertooth is waiting for me to get this to her. Waiting is a megaphone for our powerlessness. We are at the mercy of something out of our control. Our hands are tied by circumstances, and we feel a little smaller.

Seasons of Waiting Serve God’s Sovereign Purposes

God has us in a season of waiting. I have placed my order: End the virus and get us back to normal. God’s not serving up my order any time soon. That is because waiting is one of God’s most important tools. He needs us to sit in our powerlessness, so we will remember that we are powerless people. We live and breathe at His will. He also uses waiting to prepare us for what is next. Do you remember what David said to Saul when he explained how he could defeat Goliath? “’Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.’ 37 And David said, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you!’” [1 Samuel 17:36–37]

Remember that God is Active 

It was in the season of waiting that David killed the lions and bears and experienced God’s deliverance. David learned firsthand that he was waiting, but God was not. God was at work to prepare Him for what was next. You might be frustrated by your waiting – I am. But remember that God is using this time to prepare you for what is next, whatever it is.

We will keep you updated as guidelines and requirements are announced for our city and county. Check back at LONGVIEWFBC.COM and make sure to sign up for the MIDWEEK MOMENT from Pastor Todd. 

From the Elder Board

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ!

We find ourselves in a situation we could not have imagined at the beginning of March. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our daily lives. The staff and board of Fellowship Bible Church are working diligently to continue ministering the Gospel. With each passing week, we discuss and seek to address the challenges and limitations of meeting on-line only.

One challenge that most non-profits and churches, as well as many small businesses, are facing right now is finances. When the Elders met on March 31, to discuss the state of FBC, the picture was bleak. FBC receives typically about $20,000 per week in donations. During the first three weeks of on-line services, donations were $7,124 per week less than expected. If this pattern were to continue for three months, which seemed likely, we would have a budget shortfall of about $85,000. In addition to COVID-19, the price of oil, which affects the economy in East Texas, is very low and negatively impacting some local businesses.

Is it Biblical for a Church to Borrow?

The Elders met via video to examine the issue of whether it is Biblical to apply for a forgivable loan from the government, and if Biblical, should FBC  borrow?

After prayer and discussion, the Elders agreed that it is Biblically acceptable for FBC to apply for a forgivable loan from the government. Pastor Todd wrote a position paper to explain the Elders’ understanding of the Bible’s teaching related to this question. You can access the position paper here: Thinking about Government Support

Board Action

With this picture in mind, on April 2, the Deacons and Elders of Fellowship Bible Church voted to apply for a $100,000 forgivable loan from the federal government via the Economic Security Act. This money is designated to be used primarily for staff salaries, as the Act is also called the Paycheck Protection Program. The amount applied for is roughly equal to the wages of the current staff for two months. While it is uncertain if we will need the paycheck protection, the action was taken at this time because the program opened on April 3, and the demand for the forgivable loan was anticipated to be high. If we had adopted a “wait and see” approach, the program would likely not have been available when FBC could have needed it most.

 We promptly applied for the loan and are waiting for the loan process to play out.

In Closing

We find ourselves in unprecedented times. But even with a worldwide pandemic, we believe God is in control and working all things to His glory. Please know that the board and staff pray for you. We would love to know how we can minister to you. We would also love to hear your stories of how God is working amidst all the uncertainly around us. 

Alex Stanton, for the FBC Board

Alex Stanton
Chair of the Elder Board
Fellowship Bible Church

4600 McCann Rd.
Longview, Texas 75605
(903) 663-9591 
“Experiencing Jesus, Transforming Lives”

From the Deacon Board

As a Deacon and a member of the Benevolence Committee, the Elders have asked me to address and explain benevolence as we practice it at Fellowship Bible Church. – Dan Roessner

Galatians 6:10 ESV  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Regarding Benevolence at FBC

In normal times, many of you might recall that we set aside the undesignated cash portion of the 5th Sunday Worship Service offering for the Benevolence Fund. These funds are then administered by the Benevolence Committee, which consists of three of the current Deacons and one of the serving Elders. The goal of the committee is to help meet the needs of FBC’s members and regular attenders who are suffering with physical/financial hardship, after exhausting other means. We also pray for discernment and God’s grace, so that His money will be best used for His purposes.

These days, with the many restrictions on daily life and routines, we are unable to fellowship and share with each other in person in ways that help to feed and strengthen the body of believers. We also miss opportunities to help bear each other’s burdens as well as rejoice in the victories God brings. Please make every effort to maintain contact with those in your circle of friends/influence as this health crisis strains the threads of connection to each other and the church. At its heart, benevolence in the church is about community – caring about and for each other.

In Closing

In closing, it might have occurred to you that with our church services being conducted online, we didn’t give you the opportunity to give to the Benevolence Fund in March. As the economic toll of this crisis continues to mount, and as God has blessed you, please consider giving to the Benevolence Fund so that FBC can bless others in the Church through your giving. As you are led, please share needs and/or a desire to volunteer at benevolence@longviewfbc.com.

Blessings!

Dan

Dan Roessner
Chair of Deacon Board
Fellowship Bible Church
4600 McCann Rd.
Longview, Texas 75605
“Experiencing Jesus, Transforming Lives”

P.S. You can still give through physical means. Just mail your check to our PO Box and put “benevolence” on the memo line.

Fellowship Bible Church
PO BOX 9340 
Longview, TX 75608

WANT TO SUPPORT FBC FINACIALLY?

Click HERE to give a one-time gift, or schedule recurring giving. It’s easy!

Coming Events

Mother’s Day Video Challenge for Dads and Kids

 

Okay FBC Dads! Here’s your chance to shine. We are doing a special video blast for our moms. All FBC dads – gather the kids, grab your video recording device, and record them as they answer these 3 questions:
1. What is something Mommy always says?
2. What is Mommy doing when you’re not around?
3. How do you know your mommy loves you?

 

  • Be sure to tell us who you are!
  • Upload your video to the FBC Facebook group (this is our private group!) so we can all enjoy together.
  • Make sure to use #FellowshipMoms when you post
  • This is a private group, but there are still lots of folks who are part of it. Make sure you are comfortable with your kids being on FB before you post. 
  • It may be a quarantine kind of Mother’s Day, but we can still celebrate our wonderful moms!! ❤️❤️❤️

Mother’s Day Drive-Thru Gift Booth

Mother’s Day at Fellowship is definitely different this year, but we want you to feel special just the same!

Slade Rinehart and crew will be out in front of the offices on Mother’s day from 2-4pm to celebrate MOM and give you a special gift as you drive through.

No getting out of the car, completely safe exchange, and lots of smiles for our special moms! So watch the service that morning, have a great Mother’s Day lunch with the family, then load everyone up and come to the Mother’s Day Drive-Thru Gift Booth!

If you are a mom who is concerned about exposure, and would like us to drop your gift by your house instead, we can certainly do that. Just let us know and we will arrange for a “social distance friendly” drop off.  Contact Kathy Silvertooth at kathys@longviewfbc.com.

We love our moms. Where would we be without you!! 🥰🌷🌹💐🍫

Kids’ Ministry News

COMING THIS SUMMER!

VBS 2020: Rocky Railway

 
Dates and details to be determined.

VBS: Rocky Railway! At VBS, kids discover Jesus’ power can pull them through life’s ups and downs. Rocky Railway is filled with incredible Bible-Learning experiences kids see, hear, touch and even taste! Sciency-Fun Gizmos, team-building games, cool Bible songs and tasty treats are just a few of the standout activities that help faith flow into real life. Plus, we’ll help kids discover how to see evidence of God in everyday life – something we call God Sightings. This is one of our biggest outreaches that shares God’s message in a powerful way! We need many people of different skills to help this be a success – WE NEED YOU!

Rebecca Simcox; rebeccas@longviewfbc.com or 903-445-0472