We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God's ways of handling money. Through video teaching by Dave Ramsey, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you've dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more! Click HERE to register!
How Will FPU Help Me?
The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 within the first 90 days. You will have a workable plan that builds on baby steps to help you achieve financial freedom and peace.
What Will I Learn?
Lesson 1: Super Saving (Common Sense With Your Dollars and Cents)
Lesson 2: Relating With Money (Nerds and Free Spirits Unite!)
Lesson 3: Cash Flow Planning (The Nuts and Bolts of Budgeting)
Lesson 4: Dumping Debt (Breaking the Chains of Debt)
Lesson 5: Buyer Beware (The Power of Marketing on Your Buying Decisions)
Lesson 6: The Role of Insurance (Protecting Your Health, Family, and Finances)
Lesson 7: Retirement and College Planning (Mastering The Alphabet Soup of Investing)
Lesson 8: Real Estate and Mortgages (Keeping the American Dream From Becoming a Nightmare)
Lesson 9: The Great Misunderstanding (Unleashing the Power of Generous Giving)
Register today for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University or The Legacy Journey at Fort Caroline Baptist Church. Classes begin the week of January 17, 2016 for FPU, and February 1, 2016 for The Legacy Journey.
Fort Caroline Baptist Church exists to help people love God, love others, and serve the world. Every single penny given helps fund our ministries to people.
Weekly, people are discovering freedom from life’s hurts, habits & hang-ups through Celebrate Recovery.
Our Benevolence Ministry partners with families providing meals and financial aid.
Our Counseling ministry provides care for married couples, single adults, and children.
Hundreds of orphans receive food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and love through our partnerships with Cabaret Haiti Mission and The Baptist Homes For Children.
Grieving individuals and families receive support and comfort through our GriefShare Ministry.
Hundreds of boys and girls learn about Jesus' love through our weekday academy and through our Next Generation Ministries.
Missionaries around the world receive financial support through your donations to our church.
These are just a few examples of how we’re partnering with people. We don’t just talk about loving God, loving others, and serving the world, we’re living this out.
I know that for some, developing a heart of generosity can take time. That’s why to help you take that first step, our church developed the Online Giving Team. Simply start by giving $20 or more online each week. I believe that once you commit to make that small sacrifice, you will begin to build the foundations that will help you get on the way to obedience in this area of your faith. This is only the beginning of the journey toward becoming a generous person with your finances and in your life!
Visit our Online Giving portal HERE to get started. When you register, you can even sign up for TEXT TO GIVE. Hundreds of people have already joined the Team. Thanks for loving God, loving others, and serving the world!
Approximately 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
The average American household is spending $1.26 for every dollar they earn.
Financial stress is one of the leading causes of marriage problems and divorce.
Approximately 70% of the average congregation is made up of people with approximately $30,000 of debt, not including mortgages.
Can you relate to these statistics? Most of us can.
Help Is On The Way!
We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God's ways of handling money. Through video teaching by Dave Ramsey, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you've dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more!
I will be leading our church through an emphasis called, “Unleashed!” My goal is to connect 80% of our regular attenders to a FPU class beginning in January 2016. I want to see our people UNLEASHED from the burden of debt, from the stress of living paycheck to paycheck, and from the guilt of wanting to be generous but not having margin in their finances to follow their heart. Right now Donna and I, along with our staff and several church leaders, are taking FPU. We meet each Sunday afternoon. I can tell you that Donna and I have already benefitted from FPU. It has given us clear steps on how to tackle debt, save for emergencies, make wise decisions, and communicate about our finances. So mark your calendar and plan to attend an FPU class that our church will sponsor. We will provide more details later.
How Will FPU Help Me?
The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 within the first 90 days!
You will have a workable plan that builds on baby steps to help you achieve financial freedom and peace.
A pastor will face many challenges and demands as he serves the local congregation. He will be expected to prepare and preach weekly sermons, conduct weddings and funerals, make hospital visits, organize outreach efforts, raise funds for ministry, manage conflict in the congregation, conduct business meetings, counsel church members in crisis, oversee staff and volunteers, and attend to the legal issues facing the church. These are but a few leadership tasks that confront the pastor. It is obvious to the objective person that one individual cannot do the work of ministry alone. Pastors have limited time, skills, gifts, energy, and knowledge that hinder their ability to accomplish the work of ministry alone. However, pastors and parishioners often assume that it is the pastor’s job to do all the work of the ministry. Church members may feel that they pay the pastor to do all of these things. Pastors may feel that it is their responsibility to perform all of these tasks.
While a pastor in such a role is to be commended for his good intentions, there are dire consequences if he does not learn to delegate responsibility for certain ministry tasks. First, he will burn himself out by trying to do too much with too little help. Tasks will not get done, or they will not get done with excellence. The pastor will become frustrated and fatigued because he has too much to accomplish. He will feel overwhelmed and stressed as he tries to determine what his priorities for the moment ought to be. He will typically manage by crisis, giving his attention to what is most urgent at the moment. Many important tasks will go undone. The stress of competing demands will affect him personally and professionally as he struggles to manage his time. The second consequence of the pastor’s failure to delegate is the burnout his leaders and congregation will experience. They will become frustrated with the pastor over the inadequate spans of attention and care given to the issues of ministry. Members will complain that the pastor did not care for them during a time of need. Leaders will complain that the pastor is not moving the church forward through executing plans.
The situation described above is paralleled in the experience of the Old Testament leader, Moses. In Exodus 18:14-23, Moses is described as spending most of his waking hours dealing with the issues of leadership among the Hebrew people. He sat all day as the people brought their complaints, dilemmas, and questions to be settled by him. His father-in-law, Jethro, saw that Moses was wearying himself and his people by trying to do too much alone. Jethro keenly advised Moses to focus his time and energy on representing the people before God, instructing them about the statutes and laws, and on teaching them how to live for the Lord in daily life. Jethro advised that other leadership needs could be addressed by delegating them to qualified persons to assist Moses. The leaders, Jethro noted, could be set over groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. These leaders would handle the daily tasks of serving the people, they would be accountable to Moses, and would bring major issues to Moses that needed his attention. Jethro noted that in following his advice Moses would be released from bearing the burdens of the people alone, and that the people would be satisfied as their needs were met.
The principles Jethro advised Moses to adopt are equally applicable to the pastorate. A pastor must recognize that he cannot bear the burdens of leadership alone. Instead, the pastor must devote his best time, attention, and energy to his primary calling which includes overseeing the congregation, representing the people to God in prayer, teaching people the Word of God, and helping them apply the principles of Scripture to their daily lives. Even the Apostles had to recalibrate their ministry in the early days of Christianity in order to maintain their focus on the priorities of prayer and the Word of God (Acts 6:2–4).
The pastor must select qualified persons to assist him. He should consider their character, competency, and giftedness before entrusting them with responsibility. These people may be volunteers, paid staff, or a combination of the two. As the leaders are organized to best serve the congregation, they must have clear instructions on their part in accomplishing the task. An effective leader will help a ministry partner understand the vision of the work, who is responsible for the overall project, what specifically needs to be done by the partner, deadlines for tasks, measurements of success, parameters of authority, and means for providing feedback to the project leader. For example, a pastor may need to organize the congregation into small groups for pastoral care. He could then assign these groups to deacons who are trained to care for the membership’s pastoral needs as an extension of his ministry. The deacons would have a chairman who oversees their daily work and routinely reports back to the pastor how the work is going. The pastor would offer guidance for the major issues facing the deacon ministry. The pastor should organize the church and delegate responsibility for all of the areas of need outside his primary calling. These areas include, but are not limited to, worship planning, financial oversight, the education ministry, fundraising, hospital visitation, and outreach. In doing so, the pastor is not refusing responsibility for these tasks, but is fulfilling his responsibility through oversight (Ephesians 4:11-12).
If a pastor will strategically implement the Jethro principle of delegation the church will be strengthened as communication is maximized, conflict is minimized, and ministry effectiveness increases. The pastor’s load will be lightened as he is freed to do what only he can do as the God-called leader of the church. The people will be satisfied because their needs are being met and they have the joy of serving in ministry. The transformation to delegated ministry will not occur overnight. It will take effort and grace for the pastor and the people to adjust. However, most people will come to see the value of this biblical approach to ministry.
The Church is not a building for weddings and funerals. The Church is the body of Christ. It is the community of the redeemed for which Christ died. Believers gather together for worship, for ministry, for building one another up, for confession of sin, for prayer, and for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We gather to celebrate baptism as people trust Christ as Savior. We gather around the Lord's Supper table to celebrate His death which made possible our union with him and with one another. The Church is made up of imperfect people who have experienced the redeeming grace of God. The Church is on mission in this world to tell everyone the Gospel of Jesus and to make disciples. Jesus loved the Church and gave Himself for her on a bloody cross. Therefore, I love the Church and will dedicate my life to playing my part in the local expression of it. Will you?
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” (1 Corinthians 12:12–26, NLT)
Off-campus Life Groups for adults are a fairly new option for us at FCBC. We have only been offering this option for the last several years, but nearly 150 people now meet each week in these groups! Here are three reasons off-campus Life Groups are beneficial to our mission to help people love God, love others, and serve the world.
1. Beneficial for the Group.
A home is more personal and relaxing than a classroom. Some people feel anxious about walking into a classroom setting with rows of chairs and a podium up front for the teacher. However, you can teach the same content in a living room and suddenly the participants relax and open up. Conversations flow freely. Masks fall off. A spirit of hospitality permeates the group. An off-campus group doesn’t feel as “churchy” to many people. Instead it feels like real life with friends and neighbors who happen to be studying the Bible together, praying together, and building friendships. People can be authentic about their questions, struggles, needs, and hope. Andy Stanley describes this phenomenon when he states, “Life-change happens better in circles than in rows.”
Of course, an off-campus group can meet in a coffeehouse, a restaurant, a bookstore, etc. While these environments are not as casual as a home, they are less formal than a classroom.
2. Beneficial for the Church.
The church is made up of believers. The church is not made up of brick and mortar. We must not limit ourselves to the amount of space we have on our property to grow. At FCBC we only have 9 acres of land. Parking and classroom space is limited. We can only build a new worship center on our property before we are out of land. Some of our existing education space may have to give way for this expansion. We believe the Great Commission of Jesus commands us to never stop reaching people with the Gospel. We will not allow our facilities or land to limit our growth. That would be like allowing the shoe to tell the foot how large is can become.
Believers can gather nearly anywhere! When believers open up their homes they are modeling what the early church did for the first three hundred years of Christianity. When you view it this way you realize the church has nearly unlimited growth potential! Groups can meet any day of the week, at any time of the day or evening! We don’t have to spend millions of dollars on more land and new buildings to foster growth. In the future we will give our best on-campus space to our senior adults, preschoolers, children and students as we continue to grow by forming off-campus Life Groups. The money we save can be invested in helping more people through our ministries and mission partners.
3. Beneficial for the Neighborhood.
We are discovering that many of your neighbors and friends who are not connected to a church are more comfortable attending a gathering in your home than a formal classroom environment at church. I am convinced that when people experience authentic Christian community in a small group of Christ-followers that it will cause them to want to know more about the love of Christ. I look forward to the day when every area of Jacksonville is dotted with our Life Groups! I’m not kidding or exaggerating. God has called FCBC to take it to the streets, and that’s what we are going to do! Imagine hundreds of groups penetrating the neighborhoods of Jacksonville. Imagine the people who will come to your group who might not come to a church campus in the beginning. Imagine this city covered with Christ-centered Life Groups!
Within five years we will have 80% of our adult groups meeting off campus. We are not going to force or split your current group. However, I am asking you to consider joining or starting an off-campus group to help us reach more people with the Gospel than ever before. By being in an off-campus group you can worship each Sunday, serve in a ministry each Sunday, and participate in your group during the week. And you will help us reach more people for Jesus! Contact Pastor John Shultz to learn more about this movement of God. Be a part of the miracle that God is doing through this church!
I had lunch today with a man who has recently visited our church. I was amazed as I listened to his story about a life of drug addiction, gang involvement, Satan worship, prison, and hate. He said, "Two years ago I would never have given you the time of day. I would not have looked you in the eye or even spoken to you. And here I am now having lunch with you, a brother in Christ. My life proves that if I can be here with you today no one is beyond hope or the grace of God."
What a testimony of God's amazing grace! Perhaps you need to be reminded today that no matter who you are, where you have been, what you have experienced, or what you have done you are not beyond the grace of God. He loves you and can change your life when you trust Christ as your Lord and Savior.
The apostle Paul also believed his life was a testimony to the power of God's grace to reach the vilest sinner. Before he became a follower of Jesus Christ he was a persecutor of the church. God's grace turned this murderer into a missionary; this persecutor into a preacher of the good news of Jesus.
“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:15-17 NLT
If you reprint a post on this site or repost it on your own blog or website you must include the following attribution: C. 2015, Richard E. Powell, used by permission. Originally posted at www.pastorrickypowell.com.
The posts on this weblog are provided "as is" with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.