NACC–Sunday, June 25, 2006

June 26, 2006 — Leave a comment

I’m officially on my way to the NACC in Louisville. My family and I are in Elizabethton, Tennessee staying with my in-laws.

Church was a blessing today.

My father-in-law, John H. Smith, has been a preacher in east Tennessee for almost 40 years. He’s been the preacher at the Eastside Christian Church for the past eight years. They claim to be “the friendliest country church in Carter County.” I haven’t been to all of the 30+ Christian Churches in Carter County to study their “friendliness,” but I have been to Eastside many times over the past eight years and think they must be right.

Eastside has grown a lot in the past eight years—spiritually and numerically.

They’ve grown spiritually as they’ve diligently studied the Bible. They just finished a four-and-a-half year preaching and teaching program that took them through every book of the Bible. These people know the Bible.

They’ve grown numerically as they’ve focused on loving people in their community through strategic outreach and excellent programming.

Today, they gave out copies of their newsletter. My wife and I have been receiving Eastside’s newsletter for several years. They have one of the nicest church newsletters that I’ve ever seen in any church of any size. It’s a full-color multi-page newsletter that is full of pictures, news items, relevant articles, and member highlights. The newsletter even includes a section for book, movie, and concert reviews.

My wife and I went to the young adult class. Mike, the teacher, told us that he was substituting for the regular teacher, so he was a little nervous. Mike did a fine job. His lesson came from the Standard Lesson Quarterly. That fact caught my attention since I’m doing more and more work with the Standard Publishing team. I was impressed with how well the material was organized, how easy it was for a substitute to teach, and how engaging the lesson was.

I know—and I’ve heard—that the “Standard Execs” view their company as a ministry and themselves as partners in ministry, but I can be a little cynical, so it was really interesting, encouraging, and, honestly, a little surprising to see how Standard Publishing was–in a very real and practical way–a partner with Mike in his classroom at Eastside today.

So, to Mike–and my friends at Standard Publishing–I say, “Well done.”

I’m really proud to be associated with people like you.

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