This past Sunday (8/25) Pastor Joel talked about building a faith that would survive the fire (listen to the full sermon here.)
If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.
- 1 Corinthians 3:12-14
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? - 2 Corinthians 13:5
Paul’s metaphor of building a house reminds us that our faith, like a house, requires a strong foundation, sound materials, careful workmanship, and ongoing maintenance.
It is a good faith practice to regularly audit your faith life, or have a ‘building inspection’ for your faith building. Are there materials at your disposal that you didn’t have when you first started building your house? Have you used some building materials that are worn out or unsturdy? Regular faith examination can be painful, but is an important part of spiritual health.
Consider asking yourself some hard questions about your faith life. Determine how sturdy your building is, and do the hard work of making repairs where needed. Below is a list of questions to help you do a ‘building inspection’ for your faith.
John Wesley’s list of 22 Questions for Self-examination that you may adapt to the purpose of a “building inspection”:
Prayerfully consider each of these questions, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything that you may need healing in, that you may need to repent of, or that you are unaware of. Contact the church office if you have any questions or would like to discuss the questions above. You can email the office at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (802)483.2531.
How to be a Good Building Inspector
Self-examination is important, but we all have blind spots and gaps in our knowledge. Building inspectors are tasked with intentionally seeking out faults in a home in order to strengthen the whole structure. This can be a painful process for the homeowner, but is beneficial to the longevity and usefulness of the home.
Christians have a role to play in building each other up. This is no easy task, and should be done prayerfully and delicately. Below are some guidelines for how to lovingly assist your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Principles for building inspectors:
We are all being built up in the faith, and came to Jesus broken and sinful. The beauty of our Savior is that he has saved us (past tense), but is also actively saving us (right now!) in our daily lives by building us up to be more like him. It is our privilege to grow our faith in Him daily, and to reach out to those around us to know him more deeply. As a church we are committed to making more and better disciples: more by sharing our faith and blessing our community, and better by encouraging and equipping each other in the faith daily.
Questions? Would you like to have a ‘Building Inspection’ done? Contact the church office. You can email the office at: email@example.com, or call (802)483.2531.
Furnace Brook is blessed with many things, one of which is our Pastoral Intern Abigail Elliott. Abbey has been focusing her efforts at the Brandon Campus this summer, but will be transitioning to a more to the Pittsford Campus as the Brandon service winds down this fall.
Below is an update on Abbey as it pertains to her Ministry and our Church.
Your Pastoral Intern is still alive. Life is crazy but I wanted to take some time to update you with some things going on in my life. I finished my undergrad at Castleton in December. Since then, I’ve started my second construction season with the Agency of Transportation and started working at Head Start preschool. I’m loving both jobs. The fall sports season is underway; I’m coaching cross country at Otter Valley and cheer on the Rutland Raiders because Cody [Abigail's boyfriend] coaches football.
On top of that I started my Masters of Divinity program at Wesley Seminary in June and started my second semester a week ago. It’s a crazy, exciting, and stressful journey. I’m excited for what God has in store for us.
This past summer, Furnace Brook held a service in the Brandon Town Hall. It was an amazing growing experience. I loved the less formal environment, the interactive teaching, and taking communion every week. Unfortunately, we were a smaller group than I intended it to be, but I believe God planted seeds for better things to come.
Here are some things you might want to know about what is happening in my life:
1. I am currently attending Weslyean seminary at Indiana Wesleyan.
I'm passionate about sharing the Gospel, and I'm excited to see how God is going to seminary experience to bless my community. It’s exciting to be excited about something. My undergrad classes were interesting but I wasn’t eager to learn. My seminary material is thought provoking, applicable to my current ministry content, and it’s encouraging. My classes so far have focused on spiritual health and changing the culture of evangelism in the church. These things are essential for a healthy church so I’m looking forward to sharing my findings with you all.
2. I'm staying in the Word and feeding myself spiritually with blogs, devotional, and podcasts.
Here are some of my favorites:
My time reading is consumed by seminary material and construction specification manuals. Work work work. If I have free time, I enjoy reading DCF books, Jane Austen, and running/health books. I like short and sweet because I’m rather impatient.
3. God is teaching me through leadership experience, and growing me in ways I didn't expect.
I can’t do everything and not everything is going to work. It has been extremely difficult to let things die so that better things can be born. It seems to be a season of praying and waiting. As I mentioned before, the Brandon Campus did not go as well as I hoped it would. As a result, we have decided to take a break from meeting at the Brandon Town Hall to enter into a season of prayer and evaluation. It’s hard to stomach but I’m confident God will carry us through. And honestly, perhaps less stress will be good for me ;) . Zechariah 4:6 says, ‘“Not by strength or by my might, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of Armies.’ God has ample strength and I’m grateful for the strength He gives me.
4. I am praising God for his work, and seeing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my ministry.
I started discipling two women who are young and eager in their faith. I’ve been praying for discipleship opportunities for about 6 months as the initial people that I wanted to disciple fell through. Discipling these women happened organically and is totally providential. I’m thrilled and humbled to be able to disciple these women. Both women see spiritual formation as an essential ingredient in their spiritual lives.
Discipleship is so important to me because I care deeply for the spiritual health of the people around me. Spiritual maturity isn’t something we can do ourselves. During discipleship we implement spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, scripture memorization and time alone with God. This process of spiritual formation creates a life lived with intentionality. As we work through the tough stuff, the Holy Spirit reveals to us our purpose and calling. As a result of this maturing process we become rooted and grounded in love which leads to a desire to share and invest in other people. It is an internal process with an external reaction.
I can’t wait for the time in the life of Furnace Brook where every person is either discipling or being discipled. Please be praying for us!
Please Pray for me.
Please be praying for time management: having the proper priorities,and patience. During my busy days I can lose sight of what is important or sometimes I take on more than I can handle. Please be praying that I prioritize the things God wants me to be dealing with rather than what I deem as important.
Abbey Elliott, Pastoral intern
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog