St. George Community Church 

435-673-2302 | 95 South 800 East | St. George, Utah 84770        Pastor Ray Schroeder

Pastors Corner

Be Active Witnesses to Jesus Christ

Posted on February 22, 2018 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

THE COMMUNICATOR

MARCH 2018

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Recently this country experienced another tragic shooting in Florida at a high school. There are calls to do something more than ‘just pray.’ People want tangible results that bring about change and which limit the shootings we seem to experience more and more. Yet, we need to remember the world in which we live is a fallen world filled with sin. Even at the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem sin raised it’s ugly head as Herod killed the infants under two years of age. Sin is the cause of evil and satan will deceive anyone he can and enlist him or her in his evil plans. On the cross we see sin and satan trying to do their worst to the Son of God only to be defeated by the resurrection on Easter morning. What can we do to be an active partner in this fight against sin and evil? 


As we approach Good Friday and Passover on the final weekend of this month our minds should turn to contemplating and meditating on the death of our Lord and Savior on a cross. In this is love, that God sent his only son to be an atoning sacrifice for us, and to give His life that we may live. By his death He paid the price of sin and he calls all sinners to repent and believe in him for everlasting life that begins as soon as one turns to Christ.


The thing the church is called to do is to lift up Jesus Christ and call all people to repent and believe in Him. And, yes, we are to pray. But that’s not all. We are to be active witnesses to Jesus Christ. One of the most frightening phrases a police officer can hear coming over his radio is ‘active shooter.’ We, as born again Christians, need to become active witnesses. We can no longer be passive witnesses for Jesus Christ, thinking that people will come into the church and be saved if we just open the doors. No, we must reach out to the community about us, to the stranger, and call them to faith in Jesus Christ.


I know it’s hard. I struggle with witnessing myself. I can always find a reason not to bring up the subject of Jesus with someone. We all have a number of excuses that all seem valid as to why we are not active witnesses. But if the troubled youth (or the troubled person of any age) is not reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ, then satan will use him for his own evil ends. There is no in-between. We can no longer sit inside the four walls of our church building and think the people who need Jesus will come to us. We must go to them. Church isn’t simply about increasing membership or adding on to the building or creating more programs inside. Jesus calls us to seek and save the lost through the work of the Holy Spirit. What will you say to Christ when He asks you what you did in the war against evil?


Let us contemplate the victory Christ has won for us on the cross and let us pray about how we and this church can become active witnesses reaching others in the war against evil and sin. Let us encourage one another and build up one another in the faith to go and seek and find. To the glory of God!

My love be with you all in Christ,


Pastor Ray


Christ Over the City

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 2:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:

January 2018


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

On the first day of 2018, Monday, January 1st at noon, thirty-four Christians from different denominations and congregations met downstairs at our church to join in prayer. The gathering was called 'Christ Over the City' and it was a time of prayer in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and to lift up Jesus Christ as the only name under heaven by which men must be saved and to pray that many would find salvation in Jesus Christ this coming year. It wasn't a time to honor local dignitaries or to recognize the various ministers and pastors who attended. It was all about Jesus Christ and the need to find forgiveness in Him and to pray for others to find new and eternal life by believing in Him.

We prayed aloud and we prayed silently, agreeing in our hearts and minds with those who were praying. We knew we were one in Jesus Christ.

We knew we were one in the Holy Spirit and we experienced that unity that comes from believing in the only begotten Son of God. Hearts were warmed and spirits were encouraged as we looked toward the start of a new year and all that it had to offer in the way of reaching out to the unsaved with grace and truth. We prayed to show love to all even as we prayed to be bold in sharing the message of the gospel. We sang 'Amazing Grace' at the beginning of the hour and we finished our prayer time by singing 'There Is a Fountain.' A local bagel shop provided free bagels and 'shmear' and we shared over bagels and coffee after our time of united prayer.

God blessed our time together in a unique way that only those in Christ Jesus can know. We prayed that all may come to know Him and His love. There is something more important than ‘the common good’ of a city or community and that is that people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. To know Jesus is eternal life. We give God all the glory and praise for the time and the prayers we shared. My continued prayer for this year is that Bible-believing Christians and congregations will join together for a united witness--a witness that does not compromise the name of Jesus in any way. I pray that you will have a blessed year and that you will face it with a renewed hope in Jesus Christ and the power of prayer in His name. May God richly bless you and yours in the love of Jesus Christ this day and throughout the year!

My love be with you all in Christ,


Pastor Ray

Whatever Happened to the Altar Call?

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

THE COMMUNICATOR


March 2015


A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Whatever happened to the altar call? Some have asked me why I have rarely used an altar call. Many people grew up in churches where the pastor, at the close of his sermon, would invite people to receive Christ as Lord and Savior and come forward to the front of the church (the ‘altar’) and acknowledge their faith in Jesus before the congregation. Well-known evangelist Billy Graham would always end his crusade services with a call to come forward and say a prayer to receive Christ.


The altar call grew out of the Camp Meetings that were popular in the early 1800’s. The practice continued in revivals and was sometimes referred to as ‘walking down the sawdust trail.’ Churches adopted the practice at the conclusion of their weekly services to allow a regular opportunity for sinners to repent and confess Christ before others. For some the practice became psychologically and emotionally manipulative as the pastor pleaded for souls to come forward as ‘we play one more verse’ of the closing hymn. However, I believe that the altar call is Biblical and can provide an important function in the worship service.


Jesus said that “whoever confesses Me before men, him will I also confess before my Father in heaven.” He also called the Apostles to come and follow him, and they left everything immediately and began to journey with him. But there are other uses for the altar call, including that of a public recommitment and rededication of one’s life to Christ for those who feel they have not retained the fervency of their love for Him from the beginning. Other reasons to respond to a public invitation to come forward include the following: to join the church fellowship; to repent of a specific sin that is hindering fellowship with God; to pray for a lost person; to request prayer for a personal need; and to respond to a specific challenge issued in the sermon.


My prayer is that each of us will be attentive and always listening for the prompting of the Holy Spirit--ever ready to respond in faith as we feel led by Him. May I hear the Spirit as He leads me to offer an invitation for those whom He is calling! And may we grow in love for one another and for the One who always listened to His Father and who gave himself for us!


My love be with you all in Christ Jesus,


Pastor Ray