In Deuteronomy 4:9, we read,
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
This month we will see many of our students go back to school, and it brings to mind the responsibilities that parents and grandparents have toward children. But the fact is that the cultural deck is stacked against parents who want to teach their children a Christian world view. There are no magic formulas for raising godly children, and there are no guarantees, but to find our way through the raging waters of our times, we must be people of the Word of God and those who understand the nature of the times in which we live.
In the verse quoted above, the parents and grandparents have a calling that takes us beyond our own understanding. There is a call to pass on our understanding of the Word and our faith to our children. When you look for the principles we are to pass on to our children as given to us in the broad sweep of Scripture, we see that three things emerge:
Of course, in order to pass along these principles, we adults need to live by these principles ourselves. This is a life journey of faith that we are all involved in and why the church exists – to help us live out these principles and pass them along.
I want to thank our Adult Education Department as well as the Children and Family Ministries Department here at Quail for the great attention they bring to these issues. Soon AWANA and Pioneer Clubs will get underway, as well as the full program of our Junior High and Senior High Ministries. I encourage parents to enroll your children and remember to pass it on!
At Quail, we are totally dependent on our wonderful volunteers for the excellent ministry for the Lord that takes place on the campus and beyond, week after week. But I am aware that there are a few myths about volunteering that need to be dispelled, so that many more of us can participate in a way that blesses the Lord and brings us joy.
Myth #1 – There are not enough volunteers to go around.
I believe that the Lord has brought to Quail just the right amount of people to engage in the ministry and serve Him with excellence. To make sure that we see the maximum mobilization, however, leaders have to make sure that we invest the right value in volunteering. Sometimes people don’t serve because they do not perceive there to be a need, or have taken a break from past service and have not been approached to be involved again. Leaders, raise the level of value for those in your ministry and pray like crazy that the Lord will allow us to see potential volunteers who are under-mobilized and allow them to serve.
Myth #2 – Volunteers only do the “busy work” of church ministry.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s take the Elder Board for an example. That is the board that I work with which is responsible for the overall oversight of the church program. They decide on policy and budget recommendations, exert spiritual discipline when needed, and much more. Every one of them is a volunteer. Another example would be our teachers in the Bible classes for kids and adults. Nothing is more important than the right teaching of the Word, and all of them are volunteers! As I said, if it were not for these and the many other volunteers, the work of the church would cease.
Myth #3 – Volunteers want to serve in one role for a lifetime.
I realize that very few volunteers hit the jackpot the first time they try serving. That is why we have the “Explore and See” program. In this program, you can try something for a while in an uncommitted fashion, and then if it seems to be a good fit, you can stay. If not, you can try something else. We want you, as a volunteer, to be in a role that you love and one that brings you joy!
Myth #4 – Volunteering is all output and no input.
Volunteering for the cause of Christ will not diminish the quality of your life. It will not be just one more burden on your back. Volunteerism done right, biblically and wisely, will do precisely the opposite. It will positively transform the life of the volunteer, and will turn into the most joy-producing, spiritually enriching opportunity in life. Volunteering for the cause of Christ grows faith, builds relationships and clarifies life commitments in the light of eternity. Like we say, “People who GO, grow!”
A great big thank you to all the volunteers here at Quail. And if you want to get involved, but do not know how to start, shoot me an email and we will begin a dialogue about how you can get involved.
You might have noticed the construction going on in the area between the Activity Center and the Education Building, as well as the parking spaces occupied by materials and equipment. This was not a planned project, but an urgent response to a critical PG&E transformer failure.
On Thursday night, March 22, the transformer started to smoke. The fire department was called and both buildings were evacuated over concern that the transformer might explode. Smoke was also discovered to be coming from the main panel in the Activity Center. PG&E’s transformer had malfunctioned and sent high voltage into our main electrical panel in the Activity Center. The fire department kept people out of the area until PG&E turned off the power. An estimated 4,200 PG&E customers were also without power for several hours. With the power off and the smoke cleared, the fire department allowed us back inside to start assessing the damage. Richard Carr from Carr Electric, who is one of our church members, and a technician from the company who installed the solar generation system, SEL, were on site to help with that assessment.
God was watching over our church as no one was injured, and no fire occurred. During the night, PG&E removed the old transformer and installed a new one. They made a valiant effort to pull new conductors and restore power to our main panel, but they quickly determined that the stray current had damaged the underground conduits that brought the cables into the building. This left the Activity Center and the Education Building without PG&E power, and without any expectation of it being restored any time soon. Fortunately, the sanctuary and the church office are on a different transformer and were not affected by this incident.
The reason most of our church family had no idea of the severity of the problem was that SEL made arrangements to connect power from a generator through one of the solar disconnects, and had temporary power restored by 8:00 am the next morning. To accomplish this, with our solar panels off-line, a large diesel powered generator was rented and connected to a component of the solar generating system.
During the next weeks, we worked with Carr Electric to create the most cost-effective design to get PG&E approvals, acquire building permits from the city, and get our power restored. As more details were uncovered, the design continued to be adjusted. We also filed a claim with our property insurance company to pay for the costly damages.
In addition to the relocation of PG&E’s new transformer, the final revision included a new exterior main panel and a new distribution panel inside the Activity Center. By the third week, we had received the necessary permits, ordered replacement equipment, and we were able to start digging. Without going into the complications of the specifics, on Saturday night, April 21, 30 days after the transformer failure, we were able to turn off the generator and run on PG&E power. It was my privilege to turn off the big, expensive generator, and on Monday morning it was hitched up and sent it on its way back to the rental company.
The rest of the panel work was completed during the week of April 23rd, so the only things remaining for us to get back to normal are the reconnection of the solar panels and a few cosmetic details. We hope to have this completed soon, so please continue to excuse our dust. Please continue to pray for the quick payment of our insurance claim. In every construction project, the end result is worth the temporary inconvenience. The new electric infrastructure is up to current city codes and should last for many years to come.
In His service,
Tim Ankcorn, Executive Director of Operations
I want to talk to you about the “on the job training” that God provides. Back when God called Moses to leave the sheep he was watching and stand before Pharaoh and declare “Let my people go,” Moses was not so keen on the promotion. He responded by saying, “Please send someone else to do it.” (Ex.4)
Maybe that is how you feel today. Maybe you are pushing a calling that God has brought to you, or a job that He is giving you, back across the table of your life saying, “No thanks, that is not for me.” Or maybe you are putting something off that you know God wants you to do, saying, “I just don’t have the skills or the smarts to pull it off.” If so, let’s remember how God replied to Moses: "Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Ex. 4:12)
You see, when God calls you, He equips you, but He does not do that in advance. He provides on the job training, but to get it, you have to be on the job! The qualifications and abilities that you need to do any job that God has in mind for you are His strength and His ability working through you.
This does not mean that you will never be afraid or that everything will come easily, but it does mean that God is true to His word and he will show up and provide the help you need when you step out in faith in obedience to His command.
What will He use to guide you? He may use the advice of praying friends, the example of Godly people, or even the lessons learned from mistakes made in the process. But all along, he will be there. If God called you to do something for Him, then automatically you are the right person for the job! He will provide the training. So, if God is nudging you to serve, say “Yes!” and leave the rest to Him.
This month we will engage in our first 2018 “GO - Lift Every Church” project. I am sure that you know by now that these projects are designed to bless and lift up other churches in Stockton so that together we can effectively reach this city for Jesus as well as enhance our unity with other fellowships.
These projects not only include doing physical labor on another church’s campus; however, it also includes a joint prayer ministry the Saturday prior to the project as well as a “block party” at which the host church is able to share their vision with the community.
So here is the schedule for this month’s project at Greater Christ Temple, 8800 Thornton Rd., 95209.
Saturday morning, April 14th – “GO Pray.” Listen for announcements regarding specific time but this will be a united prayer time on the property of Greater Christ Temple asking God to bless the project and our work together as congregations. This will last about an hour and transportation is provided from the Quail Campus if desired.
Saturday, April 21, 8:30 – 12:30. “GO Lift” project work day. Go ahead and meet us at Greater Christ Temple 8800 Thornton Rd., 95209. Wear your “GO” shirt and come prepared to do some painting, gardening, cleaning and other light chores. At 12:30 or so, we will start the block party and you can enjoy some relaxed time and good fellowship as the event winds down.
We will be signing up for this event real soon, so save the date and plan on joining us to “GO Lift Every Church!”