Northside Baptist Church
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Craig's Blog

Craig's Blog Email craig@nbc-bwk.org

Chic-fil-A and Family Values

Monday, July 30, 2012 View Comments Comments (0)
       
        It’s all over the news and people are taking sides on Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy’s stance for family values. I say it is a crying shame in America when a privately owned company CEO makes a statement supporting family values and he gets attacked for those views. “Asked about the company's support of the traditional family, Cathy said in the Biblical Recorder story,  
 
     Well,  guilty as charged.   We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit,"      Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We      give God thanks for that." (Baptist Press)
 
            What is so awful or discriminatory about this statement? It is simply a Biblical stance. It reveals how far our country has shifted in culture and the influence especially of media, Hollywood, and liberal politicians. I call on all believers to take a stand with Chick-fil-A and support them. I just returned from there for lunch with my family and the local Chick-fil-A was packed!
 
            Even my wife was attacked recently on a social network page for responding to someone’s comment that God hates fags. She simply made a statement that God loves all people. Of course God doesn’t hate homosexuals any more than He does adulterers, tax cheats, or any other immoral person. In fact, the Bible is clear that God loves all people. (John 3:16) He loves them so much that He gave His One and only Son to die on a cross for their (our) sin. What God hates is the sin within the person, and that is true for all of us. But we can never assume because God loves people that He will overlook, dismiss, excuse, or tolerate rebellion against His Word.
 
            Perhaps Christians should try to get the attention of other CEO’s because of their open embrace and support of the homosexual agenda and boycott their products.
 
“This year especially, Chick-fil-A's stance on traditional values stands out.  In June, General Mills -- whose products include Cheerios, Pillsbury and Green Giant vegetables -- announced that it is opposing a Minnesota constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Voters will decide the issue in November. Also in June, Nabisco's Oreo brand posted on Facebook a picture of an Oreo cookie with six colorful layers representing the gay pride rainbow. The caption: "Proudly support love!"

Target has sold gay pride T-shirts this year and recently began selling greeting cards with gay marriage themes. And JC Penney has placed pictures of gay dads in its catalogue. (BP)
 
            I read another article where a pastor and church are being targeted by the school board’s superintendent because the church rents space from the school for worship services and the pastor preached against homosexuality. (American Family Association, AFA.net) The superintendent wants to break the contract and kick the church out because of the Biblical views they espouse. The AFA website also reveals J.C. Penney, Sears, and Home Depot’s support for homosexuality among other things. Whatever happened to free speech? It want be long before the liberal bias and propaganda machine attempts to hold the pastor and church in contempt for preaching the Bible. And this is the country that was founded on Biblical principles? Well it is, but we need to reclaim it and it is time for revival, another Great Awakening, or face a full reckoning by God’s wrath and judgment.
            It would be a beautiful sight to see other Christian CEOs come out and stand with Dan Cathy on Christian & Biblical values like Hobby Lobby. Thank God for these companies and may their tribe increase. Pass the Chick-fil-A chicken, and no thank you to the Green Giant vegetables, Pillsbury bread, or Cheerios.
            I personally have family members, and so does my wife on her side, who are homosexual. We don’t condone their lifestyle, neither is it our job to condemn, but we love them as our family members. We pray for them and for deliverance from this deviant lifestyle that is so openly accepted and promoted today. I believe there is a lot of truth, especially today, to Billy Graham’s statement years ago: “If God doesn’t judge America, then He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” It is simply a fact that if God held one people accountable for their deviance, rebellion, and outright sinful lifestyle, He would hold all people to that same standard.
 
Bro. Craig Hartzog

Our Church Strategy

Thursday, February 18, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
 
Our goal is that every member and ministry of Northside Baptist Church be built around and upon this strategy. All five purposes of the church are a part of this strategy, whether it is worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship or ministry (which also includes mission). Every member in exercising their spiritual gift(s) should be a part of leading people to Encounter God, Experience Growth, and Exercise their Faith.
 
“Encountering God is the first phase of our three phase strategy for ministry at Northside Baptist Church. Our goal is that when people are invited to join us for worship, and/or fellowship events and activities, that they “encounter” the living God. Our worship should be an experience of engaging the heart, mind, and soul of the believer in praying, singing, giving, and exalting God through the preaching of His Word.
Our love for God and His Word should be evident and easily recognized as a priority of our lives in our gathering as the body of believers whether for worship or a fellowship event. We should invite and engage the non-believer to join us for worship and/or fellowship events and be a witness to them through the dynamic of our relationship with God and with one another. We know that once they have encountered the living God they will never be the same and will walk in the newness of a born-again life.
 
“Experiencing Growth” is the second phase of our strategy. The goal is that every person who comes to Northside Baptist Church and “Encounters God” is to put them on a spiritual growth track and we call that “Experiencing Growth.” Traditionally we have tried to place people in a Sunday School class immediately and give them some materials that will help disciple them in their new faith. We will offer a New Members Class where this strategy will be taught, spiritual gift inventories will help direct their spiritual growth and service, and we affirm their new journey of faith with supportive materials and counsel. It is imperative that every believer is growing in their faith as they seek to live in obedience to God’s expectations and desires revealed through His Word.
 
“Exercising Your Faith” is the third and final phase of our strategy. After someone has “Encountered God” and started their path to “Experiencing Growth” in their walk with Christ our goal is to see them begin to “exercise their faith” in ministry and mission. Every born again believer is “called” by God to be active with a ministry and to have a mission. It is a natural outgrowth and outlet for a growing faith to want to serve God by touching the needs of others whether through a ministry and/or a mission that God gives us to do. Our goal and prayer is that every member will learn this strategy and apply it to their life and desire to help others “Encounter God,” “Experience Growth,” and  serve Him through the “Exercising of their Faith.”
 
Bro. Craig

July - August 09

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 View Comments Comments (0)
Intentional Witness
            Hardly anyone is ever a witness for Christ unless they are intentionally seeking to be one. We must keep alert to those around us and be sensitive both to their needs and their language. The very things people speak about will reveal their hurts, pains, sorrows, disappointments, and needs. As believers, if we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit He will point these needs out to us and show us entry points into people’s lives that we might share their burdens through prayer, offer words of encouragement, and most importantly share our faith. As we are truly committed and concerned for people they will respond to the message and most importantly to the love we show them through Christ.
            Effective evangelism is intentional evangelism. We will be effective in reaching people for Christ if we are intentional. There are plenty of people all around us today who do not have a church and most importantly who are not saved. Our North American Mission Board reports that an estimated 70% of our population is spiritually lost.  Imagine what God could do with a congregation of believers that were intentional in being witnesses for Him. How many hundreds of people does a congregation come in contact with in one day? Could you imagine the impact that one church body could have if they were really serious about outreach?
            The outreach efforts of a healthy church should flow out like a stream of living water to those spiritually thirsty. As we GO through our daily routines we encounter many people who live without the hope of eternity and desperately need to hear the Good News! Through surveys of people currently not attending church the overwhelming majority reported they would attend church with a friend if invited. Just think of that, if every member of the local church were intentional in inviting and bringing their friends to church we would see scores of new faces regularly. Who will you invite?
Follow Up
            So often the person visiting a local church is not followed up on and will simply not return. However, if the church is intentional in follow-up as well as in inviting people the return rate is much higher. The greatest place for follow-up is through the Sunday School class because it is an age appropriate contact. One effective strategy of evangelism is “like reaches like”. Simply put the people in the congregation that have the most in common with a prospect, i.e. age, experiences, backgrounds, will have a better chance of reaching them. A person of the same age, background, experiences etc . . . will typically create a closer bond through relationship than someone who does not. A Sunday School class needs to be intentional in outreach, follow-up and ministering to prospects. A class that is more inwardly focused upon themselves hardly ever reaches new people, and that is no surprise. How well is your Sunday School class organized, energized and attempting to reach new people? What if anything is ever done to follow-up visitors to the class?
Visitation Ministry-Sunday School
            There is clear evidence that a church that has an on-going visitation ministry usually does a better job at reaching new people than those that don’t. It is time that we get back to a visitation ministry and ours will be based through the Sunday School. The Sunday School is the largest group in the church, age divided, and already has a biblical foundation of reaching, teaching, and ministering. A good visitation ministry will identify new prospects, contact them regularly, pray for the prospects and seek to minister to their needs. Also, a good visitation ministry will visit church members whose attendance has been sporadic and encourage their attendance. I hope you will plan on being a part of this ministry through your Sunday School class. We will be looking for every Sunday School class to have an Outreach Leader.
God bless,
Bro. Craig