Apprehension about being a voice 4 God's Word!
Shining Light Baptist Church (SLBC) is a local church, located in Danville Va, which happens to be one of seventeen cities in America identified as "the city of churches". If you google the term City of Churches you will find that title is used to identify cities throughout the world that have a large number of churches. The question we had to answer as a congregation is "why do we exist?" Obviously there are a number of generic responses we could offer, such as: "for the glory of God", or "to preach the gospel", etc.. but those responses felt superficial, and our question came from a desire to establish our vision for the ministry. We had to ask ourselves "with so many churches in our city preaching the truth, why does God need/want SLBC to be here in Danville?" As you read this we want you to understand we were not questioning if we should be here but rather determining our specific purpose. You see, on paper our church should not have made it these twenty years! Twenty years ago our church had to be replanted (if you are not familiar with this term it refers to a church that is like a dying plant that someone uproots and plants again in fresh soil, and is nurtured until it grows into a strong plant again). Anyway twenty years ago we were dying, and got a new start. Not only did God give us a new start, He continues to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the funds to support the ministry in ways that remind us it's all His doing. Have you every heard one of those stories where someone goes through a sickness or near death experience and decides that God left them on earth to do something special for Him? Well that is the story of SLBC! We know we only exist because God keeps us going; and we know we have a purpose in His Kingdom work.
This brings us back to the original question "why do we exist?" We have sumemd up that answer in nine words that have a lot of meaning to us: We believe SLBC exist to be Voices for God's Word & Hands for God's Work. These nine words now help guide our decisions about ministry. We strive to invest our time and resources in ways to use our voice and our hands to further the Kingdom of God.
Social media and the internet provide a platform for using our voice to speak God's word to people near and far from our community. Video's of our sermons are streamed live on Facebook, and audio recordings are posted on Faithlife.com and can be found by searching SLBCofDanville. This blog is our next experiment!
Thank you for reading this far into our first blog because here is where we reveal the purpose of this experimental blog. We find it easy to say we are voices for God's word, but very challenging to speak up and speak out on issues where God's word is needed to be voiced. In a world where a post, or a tweet, can cause intense and immediate backlash, SLBC desires to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) but find we approach this goal with apprehension. Does it sound strange that a church is apprehensive to speak Gods word? Before you write us off as compromising, or classify us as cowards read our next blog post where we clarify our apprehension.