4 Things I wish I knew About God

In October at our 11:00am service we will study the book of Habbakkuk. Context makes a difference in conversation, but also when we read the Bible.

Click Here for a file that explains everything on the book of Habbakkuk.

What does Habbakuk teach us?

Main Scripture - The Just Shall Live By Faith - Hab 2:4

The Big Idea - God is not afraid of our doubts and questions

How Does this fit into God’s Story -
-God’s justice does not always look like what we expect, but He can be trusted.
-Even when circumstances seem chaotic, God Is still in control
-God wants what’s best for us, even if it hurts

How Does this fit into my Story -
-Understanding Everything is not a prerequisite for obedience
-Joy doesn’t come from our circumstances, but from being connected to God
-We want immediate results, but God brings change in the right time and in the right way

5 Ways to memorize Scripture

5 tips on memorizing scripture.

1 - Index cards
Write the scripture down on index cards. You remember more than what you say out loud and repeat. Write it on index cards and keep it with you.

2 - Write it where you will see it
post it cards in the bathroom
post it cards on your fridge
post it cards on your car
Anywhere you will read and engage scripture

3 - Make it personal by adding your name to the verse
Make the prayers of the scriptures personal by adding your personal touch into it. Put your name, your families names, your enemies names. Into the text. It will help memorization.

4 - Find a buddy
Friends make the world go round!!!! Add a friend to it. Challenge yourselves and each other. It will enhance your time as friends and your scripture memorization

5 - Find a memory app to download
Fighter verses
Scripture typer
both apps help you memorize scripture by utilizing your phone or tablet.

5 Commonly asked questions about Tithing

5 Commonly asked questions about Tithing

Ever wonder why Christians collect money during church?

We give because God first gave to us.

God is a giver. He’s the source of all our money, time, resources and belongings. He’s given us these things not so we can hoard them, but so we can wisely manage them. God’s so generous He gave us His best: His son, Jesus (John 3:16).

We Get alot of questions about Giving. Here are the Answers to a few. 

Things I Wish I Knew at 21

Our Senior Luncheon group wanted to pour into our next generation and share some things they have learned/wish they knew at 21.  Below is the list! If there is anything you want to add, comment below!

Finish College.
Finish Graduate Level Education.
Ask Questions. Ask.
Push a Little Harder.
Connect with people that are in the field you wish to go into.
Access Colleges.
Take advantage of and in each and every conversation.
Everyone doesn’t need to know all your business.
Don’t ever think anyone is better than you.
Grab Ahold Of Your History - beyond sports and entertainment.
It is Never Ever okay to be called or call someone else the N-word.
Exercise. Seriously. It will change your life and help you live longer.
There are other sports that aren’t Basketball and Football that you can be successful in.
Swim. Learn to Swim.
Computers can make you or break you. Learn how to master them.
No one is expected to give you anything. Work for it.
Your Personality Matters.
Take Chances. 
Mistakes don’t define you. They can refine you. 
Don't be nieve. 
Understand what's going on around you
Watch relationships
Learn and ask others how to handle finances
You're not grown YET. Still listen
Be a homeowner! Save and own a home
Learn another language
Never be ashamed of our history 

 #CJLes Ministries 
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   Recommendations for Vacant Churches  We here at Congdon Street Baptist Church recently elected a New Pastor to our Congregation. Rev. Justin Lester came from Nashville, Tennessee to Providence, Rhode Island.  So far this partnership between Pastor and People has shown favorably for our Church.  As we finished our steps as a Pastoral search team, we thought an awesome opportunity would be to share with other churches who may be vacant, some recommendations we have for your search committee as you search for a Pastor.    Most important   -Prayer! (James 5:16)  We began and continued in prayer this entire process.  Prayer was the most essential and important element in our search.  Prayer is also at Pastor Justin’s core as well.   (Listed in no particular order)  For the Pastoral Search Committee    -Have a diverse board of people making decisions (Acts 13:1-2)   Our board for our pastoral search consisted of varying ages, socio-economic backgrounds, giving patterns, their length of membership the church, and gender.  As you select and pray over the committee, know that this committee is selecting the vision and leadership for the next 20-30 years of your congregation.    -Ask the congregation what they are looking for intentionally and let the church members know the process (Nehemiah 2:11-18)  We had transition meetings throughout the process where we kept the membership abreast on every step.  We knew if we kept everything visible, the congregation would continue to trust us and know we were making decisions for their best interests.    -Be okay with what you want (Mark 10:46-52)  After you have prayed over the process, ask your congregation exactly what they are looking for,  God asks us to be specific in what we pray for.  Praying for specific needs helps us define our needs.  We made a specific outline of who we are currently, where we prayed the Lord would take us, and what type of leader we would need to bring us there.  Be specific! For example: Do you want a praying Pastor? Male/Female? College Educated? Pastoral Experience? Cultural background? Social/Cultural location?   -Mention the things that are unique to your church (Colossians 1:3-8)  In the profile of your congregation mention the items to the candidate that are unique to your church.  When you have a specific and unique profile to give to the candidate, you can narrow down the people who are simply looking to pastor, and those called to your congregation.  Things like: What type of worship do you have? What type of people attend the church? Are you a multi-cultural church? What type of finances to you have?   The Process    Reach beyond the states in your reach (Isaiah 54:2)  Be comfortable with reaching outside of your immediate region to see who the Lord has for you.  While we searched in our state and region, God had our future pastor in Tennessee.  God showed him to us when we expanded our reach.   With that, use connections that your members have in secular fields.  We understood that some of the connections elsewhere in the country would not always begin in the church.  As a team and congregation, we sought friends and colleagues in secular fields of work to connect with job sites and pastors in other states that would spread out our search. We also contacted Academic Deans at theology schools and universities for their insight into understanding courses and curricular.   Take your time (Hebrews 6:11-12)  We were vacant for over a year.  The process needed our patience.  We read through hundreds of applications and rested until we felt we had the candidates that fit best in our culture, present, and foreseeable future. With that, be knowledgeable of your denominational guidelines (i.e. National Baptist, United Baptist, Progressive Baptist, American Baptist, local fellowships etc) They will help guide what may be best according to the denomination and other pastors.  It will complement an informal network of churches that are looking for your best interests.    The Interim Pastor/Period must be focused and intentional (Isaiah 61:1)  Be certain to be prayerful over the interim pastor and period.  The period is not a holding period, it is a period where the church can continue to grow biblically, personally, and sustain her practices. A wasted interim period will delay progress when you select a pastor.   This interim period helps the congregations to truly see themselves through unbiased evaluations.  Sometimes churches will rate themselves higher on their spiritual readiness.  Remember, when you are not honest with yourselves, you are lying to yourselves. Contact your local denomination headquarters (for us, American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island) for possible leaders for the period.  Do not merely find associate ministers to preach, who could use the pulpit to campaign for themselves, select one voice that will challenge and build community for the pastor to come.        -Utilize Technology (Nehemiah 2:18)  We live in a technological world.  Utilize technology to see the candidate preaching, teaching etc.  Most, if not all, preachers have a facebook/twitter/instagram/youtube/vimeo page(s).  Whether or not you know how to use the media, ask them to show you their pages.  Just as secular hires scour through social media before hiring, churches must do the same.  To the unsaved, the Pastor’s words reflect Jesus’ words.  Especially on social media.  At the same time, also ask yourselves do you want a candidate that is technologically proficient? How do they show themselves online? How do they communicate online? Does that fit your profile?   Hiring  We used standard administrative hiring practices during the application screening process. We are more than open to share this with you!   The Candidate  For suggestions on how to prepare to become a part of the congregation from a Candidates perspective, read  Pastor Justin’s Blog here.     His view is not on campaigning, for when he came to the church it was built on prayer.  His view is how he prepared once the church selected him, he accepted, and what he learned from the process.  We pray that this will assist a church who is going through the process of finding a Pastor.  What we pray against is what the children of Israel did when they selected Saul.  Saul was great, but their reasoning was, “He was a head taller than everyone else.” (1 Samuel 9:2) Let your selection be God-driven, God-motivated, and God-saturated.  God knows who he wants to come and take care of his wife, let God share that with you!  If you have any questions or want to talk with us,  contact us here  and let us know so we can reach out to you!          
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We here at Congdon Street Baptist Church recently elected a New Pastor to our Congregation. Rev. Justin Lester came from Nashville, Tennessee to Providence, Rhode Island.  So far this partnership between Pastor and People has shown favorably for our Church.  As we finished our steps as a Pastoral search team, we thought an awesome opportunity would be to share with other churches who may be vacant, some recommendations we have for your search committee as you search for a Pastor.