This morning, the “Dave Krok Experience”–Dave, Jack, Ron, Jessica, Stephanie, Keli, and Lauren–one of First Central Bible Church‘s worship team played on the stage at the Chicopee Downtown GetDown. From 11:00AM – 12 Noon, they were the featured band on the stage in front of the old library. A number of FCBC folks were present to encourage and worship along with the team. Our presence led to a number of conversations during the concert and afterwards.
Category Archives: Chicopee
You know those signs that say, “Call before you dig”? Well, there is a reason for the warning.
Thursday morning, about 9:30AM, one of our Admin Assistants at First Central Bible Church came down the hallway to say we didn’t have any water. Looking out the window, we saw three City of Chicopee trucks in the parking lot. She went outside to find out what was going on. The apartment complex next door was renovating their playground. The person doing the work was using an auger, probably digging a footing for the new equipment. As you can guess, he hit a water main. Instead of building a playground, he now had a swimming pool. 😉 The city came to the rescue, but first they had to call Dig Safe to find out what else was underground. Fortunately, the water was back on by noon.
A little bit of excitement and humor for a weekday morning.
Growing up, I scoffed at churches engaged in a “social gospel.” They are not “true evangelicals,” I concluded in my high-minded ways. “They have compromised the Scriptures,” I stated as I looked down my nose at them.
I have since grown up and discovered that a “social gospel” is a valid approach to ministry, provided it comes with a few caveats. (1) It is a supplement rather than substitute for the gospel. (2) It is part of a holistic approach that meets physical, spiritual, emotional, and other needs. (3) It is an entry point that demonstrates caring and earns us the right to be heard when we address spiritual issues.
Christ taught and demonstrated a balanced approach to ministry. Jesus gave us the Great Commission, to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). He also said that when we give a cup of cold water to someone, we are ministering not only to the individual but to Jesus himself (Matthew 25:31-40). Jesus preached repentance and healed people of their diseases. We are to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2) as well as live as salt and light, doing good works to glorify God (Matthew 5:13-16).
This philosophy of a multifaceted approach to ministry explains why First Central Bible Church offers a tutoring program to neighborhood children in addition to our Awana program. This approach illustrates why we preached the gospel and celebrated communion during our Good Friday service and then served coffee, snacks, and water at the City of Chicopee’s Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday and then preached about how to move from skepticism to belief during our worship service on Easter Sunday. A balance of spiritual and social is why we have Bible studies for seniors and why we pull weeds and help with gardening at the Chicopee Senior Center. Taking a holistic approach to ministry is why we sent a short-term ministry team to Ghana to do evangelism and also sent work teams to camps in Shutesbury, MA, and Warsaw, OH, to help reroof several buildings and build a deck. It is why we offer Camp KidConnect and Awana Camp in the summer and Trunk ‘R Treat in the fall.
We want to be like Abraham in Genesis 12:2, to be a blessing to the world. We seek to bless the community by preaching the gospel and making disciples. We seek to bless the community by teaching children to read and succeed in school. We seek to bless the community by helping people grow deeper in their faith. We seek to bless the community by building camps and adding beauty to senior centers.
We want to fulfill the Great Commission, to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19-20), as well as practice the Great Commandment, to love God and love people (Matthew 22:34-40).
In past years, First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, held an Easter outreach on our property. We had train rides, puppet shows, and food. This year, we decided to participate in a community event, the Chicopee Easter Egg Hunt at Szot Park. The parks department coordinated the egg hunt, had a bunny foot contest, and provided balloons and an appearance by the Easter bunny.
The city gave us permission to have a refreshment table and put our labels on the coffee and water. Robin Dolbow put together a team that served coffee for adults and provided snacks and water for kids. We also had brochures about our children’s ministry and church programs. It was a ministry of presence where we could serve the community. Rocco, the husky/lab mix put on a T-shirt and dressed for the occasion. Our presence naturally led to conversations about who we are and why we were there. Thank you to the team who made it all happen and to those who donated the snacks and drinks.