I was so blessed to begin our Christmas series with you this past weekend: “Love Came Down.” Through this series, I hope to help us all unwrap the "why" and the wonder of Christmas in a fresh and meaningful way. And please bring someone with you this weekend as we look at the miracle of incarnation! People’s hearts tend to be a little more open this time of year when it comes to reflecting on Jesus and the weightier matters of life. You can find the series graphic and a brief description of it on Bara's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as on our website. Please share, retweet, and link liberally in your networks. Let’s share the good news of great job for all people together this month!
I love so much of what God is doing through Bara but perhaps one of my sweetest joys is His call on us through Growing Givers. In a get more, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, materialistic society, the need to encourage, educate and equip the next generation to experience the joy of faithful, sacrificial, Christ like giving is greater than ever. If you are a parent of a 3 year old - 5th grader, I implore you to get them to Growing Givers this weekend! It is awesome! Read on for more information!
Finally, I want to encourage you to experience the joy of giving for yourself. There are plenty of solid reasons to give your faithful and sacrificial financial gifts to Bara Church such as:
- It's God's money and when you tithe, you return to him what is his. - Ministry such as Growing Givers requires money. - For the church to be able to honor our commitments including rent to the school district and the salaries of the staff. (We need a big offering to do that this month) - So that your heart will follow your treasure and thus be more aligned with Bara's mission to make disciples by knowing Christ and making him known.
But an often overlooked rationale is simply for the joy it brings you when you give! God made us in his image and he at his core is a generous, joyful giver!
I pray that we will experience the joy of God through our giving. For those of you who already have done that through Automate the Important, "Thank You!" For those who will bring your faithful gift to the Gathering this Sunday and who have already determined to give sacrificially above your faithful giving of tithes in the Christmas Offering on the 21st of this month, "Praise God!" And for those of you who's giving is neither faithful or sacrificial, I still love you with all my heart but I've got to tell you that you're missing out!
I'll see you all Sunday as we consider these words, For God so loved the world THAT HE GAVE his Son.
I love you, Bara!
Bara Student Ministry
BSM Serve & Fellowship
This Sunday morning, we're asking a lot from our BSM Students. We are going to serve and fellowship. First off we're asking for all students who are willing and able to come help setup our gathering and B-Kids area. The early birds arrive at 7am, but we will take any who arrive at any time. Secondly, we are asking students to help serve in B-Kids during the gathering time for our Growing Givers event. Students will simply be helping kids go from station to station and encouraging them. Finally, we are asking our students to hang around and help tear down. Once the trailer door is shut, we'll head to Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Roanoke. So bring a few bucks and we'll enjoy a great time of fellowship. Whether you can help us with all of some of it, we'll take it. This will be our gathering for the weekend.
If you have any questions about Bara Student Ministries (BSM), please contact our Youth Pastor, Ryan Bradley at Ryan@barachurch.com.
Growing Givers Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Sunday your child is participating in Growing Givers where they will experience many different ways they can make an impact on the world around them through giving and serving. They will learn that their size and age does not matter and that each and every one of them has been given gifts from God that they can use to bless all those around them. Below I have included a brief description of what they will be learning and experiencing in each of the 5 stations they visit today. This year, they will also be bringing home cookies, bicycles and homeless bags. I encourage you all to come together as a family to use these items to bless those in need all while spreading the Good News of our Saviors birth!
Jingle Bell Station Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all you lands! Psalm 100:1
In this station your child will learn that God has designed us all for praise and worship. We shouldn’t muffle our voices but instead ring out with the joy and praises just like the sounds of jingle bells! They personalized some scripture bells and have attached them to bicycles. They have been challenged to find a child in their community whom they can give the bike to. If you need help in finding someone to bless please contact Stephanie@barachurch.com
Christmas Tree Station In the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. Titus 1:2
In this station your child will learn that the evergreen Christmas tree represents the gift of eternal life we have been given through Jesus. Through the Parable of the Pine Tree they will learn that giving gifts instead of keeping them for ourselves has the power to bring us endless joy. We have adopted angels from The Roanoke Food Pantry and the children will spend their time to get all of the gifts ready by wrapping and putting special personalized labels on them.
Christmas Lights Station Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
In this station your child will learn the meaning behind each of the different colors of lights we see at Christmas. (Red: represents how through Jesus, our sins have been taken away. Blue: Represents the water used to baptize. Green: New and everlasting life. White: Represents that we can be made clean from sin.) They will also learn how the stars they see in decorations represent the star that led the wisemen to Jesus. They will be making and taking home homeless bags. We encourage you to keep these in your cars and when you see a homeless person you can give them one. This will bless them through items they need and through receiving the Word of God.
Candy Cane Station “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14
In this station your child will learn all the different things a candy cane represents! The shape is like a shepherd’s staff. When turned upside down it is a J for Jesus! The white represents how Jesus is pure and Holy. The red represents the blood Jesus shed for us. They will also be making candy cane cookies. They will make one for themselves and one for a friend they would like to share Jesus with! Please help them find someone whom they can give their cookie too.
The Gift Station For god so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
In the station the children will learn about the GREATEST gift we have been given. They will not do an activity in this station but instead focus on the talents and passions God has instilled in all of us and how we can use those passions to share the gift of everlasting life through Jesus! They will explore this through two stories: The Crippled Lamb and Jacob’s Gift by Max Lucado. If you have not read these books, I highly recommend you add these to your Christmas Collection!
Growing Givers is a passion of mine. To be able to empower even our youngest that they can go out into the world and share God’s love and truly make a difference in the lives of those around them is the most AMAZING feeling! I would like to challenge you to continue this throughout the year. Let today be a springboard to an endless year of giving and serving as a family! I wish you all the Merriest of Christmases and thank you for sharing your children with me every Sunday! Please contact Stephanie Harding at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Christmas at Westlake
For the third year in a row Bara Church will be hosting a Christmas Eve service at Westlake Academy on Wednesday December 24th at 5pm. Our Sunday Gathering on December 28th will also be held at Westlake at 10:00am. The address is 2600 Ottinger Rd in Westlake, Tx. Please click here for directions.
3rd Annual Christmas Offering
Bara will take our 3rd Annual Christmas Offering on Sunday, December 21st. We’re inviting everyone connected to Bara Church to participate in our Christmas Offering. This is the time of year when we put feet to our faith; where we show our community the love of Jesus. The idea here is that as we buy gifts for other people, we want our largest, most extravagant gift to go to Jesus. This year we are praying for $50,000 for the Christmas Offering to fund these four objectives:
1. Hello Fund ($7,500) These funds will be used for connecting with first time guests, reaching new residents and improving our physical and virtual visibility.
2. Sow Fund ($,7500) These funds are funds that leave our parking lot. We sow into local and global ministries that share our heart for reaching the lost and loving others.
3. Church Planting Fund ($10,000) From the start, Bara has desired to be a church that plants churches that plant churches.
4. O Fund ($25,000) The O Fund is designated funds for Other Obstacles and Opportunities that we will face in the future including unforeseen financial shortfalls.
Please pray about participating and jump in with us. God has given us a great mission, and we’re blessed to be able to join him in reaching our community for Christ and advancing the Gospel around the world. To give now, please visit barachurch.com/give
Men’s Conference at The Hills
Gentlemen please save the date for The Men’s Conference with Donald Miller & Bob Goff. It will be January 23-24. Please click here for additional information.
Groups at Bara
If you are interested in Groups, please indicate that on your communication card and put it in the Offering Basket. The person to contact for groups is Dennis O’Brien: Dennis@barachurch.com.
Arise and Build
If you love accomplishing a lot at one time (think: one stop shopping) then you need to come check out our Arise and Build Prayer Nights every Tuesday evening at 7:00pm at the BARA offices. In less than an hour, you can praise The Lord for all He is doing in and through Arise and Build while you answer His call to pray audaciously for what is to come and if that wasn't enough: you will get to build new relationships with your BARA family!! One of the sweet byproducts of our Prayer Nights for those of us that have been participating is that we have experienced the joy of getting to know each other better in ways that can only happen by praying and spending time together. Give it a try and see how God can use a time of prayer devoted to building a building to actually build His church! For more information and directions to the Bara Church office click here.
Automate the Important
Would you be willing to set up an online giving profile on our website and automate the important? Not only will you not have to bring a checkbook to church, you will help us grow our ministries during all seasons of the year. If you miss a Sunday gathering or you like to do your finances with a debit or credit card. You might be interested to know that you can go to our website and make an offering online. Any offering you give will be entered into the barabase, which you can look at any time to see the up to date amount given by you or a family member. At the end of the year we will send you a year end giving statement for tax purposes. So jump in today and Automate the Important! To give right now, simply click here.
Love14God is the prayer, passion and promise of Bara Church in 2014. We encourage you to connect with Love14God on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and see the power of love! Click here for more information.