Sunday, January 20, 2008

upcoming concert with Matthew Smith!

Funny story I’m about to tell.

I took a bold step and emailed recording artist Matthew Smith (of Indelible Grace and solo artist of “All I Owe” and “Even When My Heart is Breaking”) because I saw he has an opening in his tour schedule when he comes through North Carolina, my newfound home state for the last 1.5 years. Turns out he does his own booking, so he called me in person the next day to my surprise. We talk about the possibility of a solo concert at my church here in North Carolina and he gives me information to relay to the leadership of the church. The first person I call next is my pastor to discuss it all. He is in disbelief that the guy called me in person and excited to the point of geeking out because he’s a huge fan of Matthew Smith and Indelible Grace. We talked about it today after our morning service and discussed why our church needs to do this and any concerns, mostly which were financial. It gets voted on officially in a few days but the majority has already voiced their support for it, so it looks like we are hosting a concert and I’m the appointed ringleader of this whole event- putting up posters and promoting it, lining up volunteers, lining up accommodations for Matthew Smith, setting up and possibly running sound or introducing him. This is huge.

To give some background as to why this is a big deal; I have to say that I go to a really small Presbyterian church. We have like….. maybe 50 people on Sunday mornings when our sanctuary could seat 250, or maybe 300. Some pews sit completely empty. And to make matters even worse most are retired, or near retirement age, with hardly any families, children, or college age people. Due to this, it is in fact somewhat….. sleepy and lethargic. Why do I attend and why did I join? Well I love the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America), I love our pastor who is solidly Reformed and preaches with a lot of Biblical integrity, the fact that it’s a fairly loving congregation, and that I have hope for this church. (It has actually existed in some form or another for over 200 years through 4 or more different buildings.) Lately we’ve had some issues in the congregation, and even more recently some budget problems. I need to either help this church with whatever gifts I’m inclined to believe I have, in what areas God enables me….. or I have no business being there. I’ve spent time being ministered to greatly by other men in my old church, now is my time to step up and be on the other side of the table, so to speak. I’ve become the youth Sunday school teacher, and lead music on Sunday nights on guitar with our pianist where we’ve even tackled some new songs by incorporating Indelible Grace tunes into our worship!

Also, literally just yesterday before the elders approved of this, I found out the only other couple under the age of 30 is seriously considering leaving our church. That leaves my wife and I along with a couple guys in their early twenties as the only members between 18-35 years old. We have a private Catholic college a mile down the road from us which drives me to reach out to college students and young people in their 20’s but that’s kind of hard when you lack young people to begin with!

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...


What is the meaning of calling on the name of the Lord? Many assume that believing in Jesus and saying a form of a sinner's prayer constitutes, calling on the name of the Lord. The problem with that theory is none of the conversions under the New Covenant support that assumption. Not one time is anyone ever told to believe and say the sinner's prayer in order to be saved.

The apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost quoted the prophet Joel, Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (NKJV)

The apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon under the New Covenant. Peter did not tell the 3000 converts to believe and say the sinner's prayer.

Peter preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He preached Jesus as both Lord and Christ. When they heard this they asked Peter and the rest of the brethren what they should do?(Acts 2:22-37) Peter told them what to do. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)

How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost call on the name of the Lord and become saved?
1. They believed that Jesus was both Lord and Christ.
2. They believed that God raised Jesus from the grave.
3. They repented. Repentance is a change of heart. Repentance means to be converted so that God may forgive your sins. Repentance is to make the intellectual commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God. (Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38)
4. They were immersed in water (baptized) so that their sins could be forgiven.

How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost not call on the name of the Lord?
1. They did not say a sinner's prayer.
2. Not one person was asked to pray for forgiveness.
3. Not one single man was told to be baptized as a testimony of his faith.
4. No one was told that water baptism was a just an act of obedience.
5. No one was informed they were saved the very minute they believed.
6. Not one person was told that water baptism was not essential for the forgiveness of sins.
7. Not one person was told to be baptized so they could join a denominational church.

Jesus said he that believes and is baptized shall be saved. (Mark 16"16) Jesus did not say he who believes and says a sinner's prayer shall be saved.