The Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church service on August 4, 2018 began with Pedro Arce welcoming everyone and making a few announcements. He reminded everyone of the scheduled services and the prayer list usually appearing on the back of most bulletins. Everyone is invited to lunch in the cafeteria where the afternoon’s activities will be announced.
Jeremy Westcott played an introit. The congregation had a silent invocation and then sang the opening hymn. Mark (junior) had the main prayer; the congregation responded with “Hear Our Prayer, O Lord”. Mark (junior) then called for the offering. Daryll Ellis and Haniel Garcia then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Mark prayed for the offering.
Ginny Arce told the children a story about one of her boys who likes to talk with people when the family goes on a trip and give each person a Glow tract. People react to him more favorably than to an adult.
Evanne (junior) then read Amos 8:11 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:” Richie Perez discussed the topic “Comprehending the Mission”. The congregation sang “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder”. Pastor Richar called for those interested to come forward while the congregation was singing. Richie Perez had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Daryll Ellis – Laurelbrook graduate / local church deacon / works for nearby Majestic Stone Company
Ginny Arce – wife of Pedro Arce, the head of the music program at Laurelbrook
Haniel Garcia – 2016 Laurelbrook graduate
Richie Perez – new Laurelbrook campus chaplain and boys’ dean / had been a pastor in Mexico
Following are some notes on the sermon by Richie Perez:
Amos 8:11-12 “11 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it].
We are God’s people, visible when we come to church and sometimes invisible or visible due to our actions during school or work or our ordinary lives.
We should be acting differently because we are Christians and because our mission is to carry the gospel to the world.
John 4:35-36 “35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”
People outside the church want to know about Jesus.
Jesus knew that the Samaritans would react well to Jesus’ teachings, but the disciples didn’t want to do so.
People outside Laurelbrook from other countries want to know Jesus.
The disciples hated those Samaritans, but Jesus loved them.
Some say they don’t have time to preach the gospel because they want something and have to work for it.
John 4:31-34 “31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him [ought] to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
The church is organized to serve and save. Are we preaching the gospel?
Salt goes to the food. We are the salt; the church building is the salt shaker. People living around us are the food. Rice in a salt shaker is like a preacher pushing the members to go out and reach people
Only 20% of church members are really accomplishing the mission - giving Bible studies and witnessing.
Maybe we don’t know how to witness and do Bible studies.
We can focus only on ourselves, but this is not fulfilling the mission God has for us.
We need to take the church to the people. Church membership may explode if this is done by small groups.
In Richie’s Mexican district, these small groups went to people’s houses every Wednesday. Along with this was a radio station.
Ellen White says that the main focus of the church should not be preaching.
Matthew 28:18-19 “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
Our mission is to go to local people to preach the gospel. Laurelbrook people can visit people in the nursing home.
Notice how many people around us are ready for spiritual harvest. What is your response?