From the Pastor

From the Pastor

20/20 Vision

With January we start the year 2020. I would expect that many companies and even churches will capitalize on the concept of having “perfect” (20/20) vision for the upcoming year. Wightman is going to join that crowd as our goal for the upcoming year will be to have a “clearer” focus on God’s calling in our lives. It is important to note, however, that 20/20 vision does not mean “perfect” vision. It simply means you are able to see what…

Christmas “Traditions”

We get them in the mail all the time. Sometimes it is a reminder to “Save the date,” other times it is a formal invitation to a wedding or a graduation. These invitations are usually to events that are “life-changing.” A couple coming together or a graduation marking the end of one phase of life and the movement to another. Invitations are a signal that something so important is about to happen that you won’t want to miss it. This…

A Season of Encouragement

Sunday, October 27, was a great day at Wightman United Methodist Church. We held two worship services, we had people joining our church, we celebrated a baptism, we held our church’s annual charge conference, we had over 20 people serving or attending Emmaus Walk, an intense spiritual weekend, and we enjoyed kicking off our first week of UpWard Flag Football. Sunday represented the very best of Wightman. Following our church’s charge conference, I walked across the road to see the…

Fourth Quarter

With the coming of the Fall season many people turn their attention to . . . . Football! South Carolina is a football-crazy state as evidenced by the passion the fans show for their favorite team. As I watch games on television, I sometimes see players huddling together at the end of the 3rd Quarter and they are all jumping up and down and holding up four fingers. This practice originated in the 1950’s with coach Bear Bryant at Alabama (my…

We are Standing On Holy Ground

I write this article having just returned from Israel. I am drawn to the Holy Land because of the Biblical stories of telling how God encountered His people in that place. Numerous times as we stood in places where our Savior walked we mentioned, “We are standing on holy ground.” In the second book of Kings, chapter 5, we read about a man named Naaman who was healed of his leprosy by the ministry of the prophet Elisha. After washing…

The Come Back Effect

While I was on vacation in Missouri I attended a church that was in the process of taking their welcome of new guests to a new level. They realized that while they had good children’s and youth ministry, great programming, inspiring worship services and good preaching, there was still something needed to retain the guests who visited their church for the first time. They had studied a book titled, “The Comeback Effect” by Jason Young and Jonathon Malm. This book not…

From the Pastor

Like most churches, Wightman had a great celebration of Easter. We did some things we have traditionally done, like the egg hunt. We did some new things, like Journey to the Holy Land. We also did some traditional things in new places, like sunrise service on the Langford Street property. It was great to see so many people coming together to make these things happen. During one event I overheard a person thank someone for their leadership, the one receiving the complement…

Toward the Resurrection

On the 21st of this month we will join with Christians all over the world to celebrate the risen Lord! Of course, we will be focusing on the resurrection passages in the gospels and looking at what happened at the tomb of Jesus on that first Easter morning. In the gospel of Matthew, the women come to the tomb to finish the job of anointing Jesus’ body for burial. When they get to the tomb they find an angel who tells…

Lent

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which is March 6 this year. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter Sunday (not including Sundays) where the church focuses on repentance, fasting and preparation for Easter. It is a time when we focus on the cross—that torturous means of execution employed by the Romans. Why would anyone want to focus on the cross? The cross, of course is the place where Jesus died for the sins of the world…

Lenten Study – The Gospel of John

Christina Walker works for the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. A couple of years ago she took part in a research project studying effective outreach of churches. The findings: The first and most important activity of effectively evangelistic churches is to offer a welcoming, inclusive environment most importantly on a Sunday morning. When I was coaching churches who had taken the Natural Church Development survey, not one church thought they were “unwelcoming” even though the survey, which they filled out, indicated…

Going Deep

In the fifth chapter of Luke Jesus tells the disciples to “put out in deep water.” The disciples are tired, they have fished all day and not caught anything. They really don’t want to spend the effort and energy only to come up empty once again. Yet, because Jesus asks them to, they obey and they experience a catch so miraculous it almost sinks their boats. Simon Peter’s response is to fall at the feet of Jesus. He realizes Jesus’…

Presenting the Gospel Story in a Clear Way

With the coming of December, many people’s thoughts are focused on Christmas. The town of Prosperity has already started decorating, the stores have set out specialty items, parties will be aplenty and “goodwill” towards our brothers and sisters reaches a yearly high. Of course the church is no different. Without Christmas, the coming of God’s Son to earth, our worship of God and our relationship with Him would be quite different. I picked up a book this past week about…
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