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March 25, 2017, 12:45 PM

Dear Church,

As your Pastor, I want you to know about what I believe are some exciting changes that you can expect to see in the coming months. My main goal for 2017 is to see Desha First Baptist become an active church. That doesn't necessarily mean lots of activities and programs. It is very easy for a church to become overwhelmed with activities and programs. What I really mean by active church is that we are as an entire body “Serving Christ by Serving Others”. When we as a church begin to Serve Christ by Serving Others, we become a family of believers that is truly being the body of Christ.

We have certainly done a good job of that so far this year. I am very proud of the ministry projects that we have accomplished, and I look forward to many more in the coming months. But it is time for us to turn our attention to another aspect of activating our church, and that is incorporating more people and faces into the leading of our Worship Services. We “Serve Christ by Serving the Church” when we use our God given talents and gifts to lead others toward Christ.

When it comes to the worship service and its style, I believe that every church has what I call a “Heartbeat of Worship”. There may be a wide variety of preferences within a church, especially a church like ours. But in every church, when you mix all of the ages, styles, preferences, and traditions together, you will have a Heartbeat of worship. That heartbeat of worship may not fit any one style or preference, but when a church finds it, it will produce moving worship among that group of people. Worship that is alive. Worship that draws hearts closer to Christ, and that is what we want.

For our Christmas Day Worship Service, I put together a task force to plan something unique and moving, and I believe they did a great job. So, I have pulled them back together to come up with a plan to help our church find its Heartbeat of Worship. After much Prayer and Thought, I believe we have a plan that will work. But in order to pull it off, church, we need your gifts and your talents.

We don't want to change for the sake of change. We certainly don't want to change and become something that we are not. But at the same time, if our worship never grows or develops as our church grows and develops, then eventually we become something we are not anyway. So our plan is structured to allow the flexibility we need for our worship to grow and develop as our church grows and develops, but it is also focused enough to keep us true to our traditional roots.

We are a Christ Centered, Bible Teaching, Family Focused church; and we want our worship services to reflect that identity. Above all else, we want our worship to exalt Christ; anything else is unacceptable. We want our worship songs to drive deep the truths of scripture; anything else is untrue. We want our worship services to engage each member of the family; anything else is unwise.

So what's the plan?

Our plan revolves around putting different faces of all ages in front of the church leading in worship. Blending different preferences, styles, and sounds into one harmonious deceleration of God's Glory and Greatness.

Our plan is to put together 6-8 different “Praise Teams” that will lead worship. Each group will be a mix of different people which will inherently have its own sound and style. The group will be charged with planning the worship service for one week in a quarterly cycle. They will meet with the choir during choir practice 2 weeks prior to “their service” in order to plan and talk about the unique style they would like to add to the service.

Now, I don't expect things to go perfectly from the get go. Like anything in life, there will be moments that are great, and moments that we can learn from. But, I do expect that over time we will grow and develop a worship style that touches the Heartbeat of our church; and that worship will move the hearts of those in our church closer to Christ.

If you are interested in being a part of one or more of those praise teams or participating in any way, we will have a quick initial meeting after the morning service today in the choir loft.

In Christ
Bro. Josh


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