• published a newsletter

    ReadWe've Made Some Changes
    Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

    We've made some changes at Shelby Center Church and invite both your prayers and participation. 


    Our new website is live you can visit it here.


    We've introduced children's church beginning this Sunday, Dec. 11th - you can learn more about it here.


    We're moving dinner at the church on Wednesday evening from after the service to before. Dinner is at 6pm starting this Wednesday. Snacks and desserts will follow the 7pm Bible Study and Prayer.


    You can invite others and sign up for dinner here, space is limited. Your guests do not have to stay for the study after dinner if they're not ready or interested.


    Our new blogs (Newsletter) can be found here.


    You can also review one of our discipleship lessons - How To Study the Bible - here.


    You can also listen to recent audio messages here.


    There's much more at the site.


    We're building a place near Medina, NY where Church is Simplified, Jesus is Magnified, and People are Edified. 


    We're building a church near you to invite your friends, neighbors, and family. If you're ready to grow we're ready for you.


    Will you join us in prayer, and if possible your participation?


    We're here for you. Let us know how we can help - Pastor@ShelbyCenterChurch.info

    1. published a newsletter

      ReadA Church on Mission is A Church with Tension
      Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

      How does the local church remain on mission and handle the messes of ministry that direct engagement, discipleship, and discipline involve?


      Consider two statements from God’s word:


      • Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: But much increase is by the strength of the ox.


      • Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.


      A church on mission is a church in tension.


      We can desire it so clean we see none come to Christ or we can prefer it so permissive it becomes puffed up.


      We can do better as Bible-believers.


      When we have people in process of coming to or becoming like Christ, we’ll have problems.


      Satan is relentless and the old you and new you are at war! The flesh and Spirit hate each other.


      Add differing views of what church is or should be, what Christians are or should be, personalities, life-experiences, changing views toward sin, levels of spiritual maturity... and problems will occur.


      Handling the tension between toleration and tough love calls for commitment.


      Some want to leave, others want to look the other way, some like things a little looser, others like it locked tight.


      Our response then must be a radical commitment to love - at times tough and at others tolerant.


      Sometimes genuine love requires patient discipleship - people need time to learn, grow, adjust.


      Other times love calls for the pressure of discipline when unrepentant sin remains in the church.


      When serious sin is present conflicted Christians need the wisdom and power of God.


      Calvary speaks and reminds us how to respond to what Jesus accomplished at Calvary (From 1 Co. 5:6-10).


      1. Know - The Background (6). Sin, like leaven is not good. The gospel came at a high price (2 Co. 5:21, Exo. 12:13-21).


      Sin is a problem that Christ takes no delight in. Neither should we.


      2. Purge - The Be (7). To know how to be, know what you are. You’re unleavened - holy.


      Christ made you that way. Now live like it (Heb. 10:19-25). Stumbling is not the same as lifestyle.


      3. Keep - The Blessing (8). Believers celebrate purity out of love for Jesus:


      For what He’s done (passover) and what we’ve become (unleavened - 1 John 3:1-3). There’s no going back!


      We’re freed from, not to sin. In Christ, our calling points to what Calvary accomplished:


      A consecrated life and a compelling community seeking progress. (2 Co. 6:14-7:1, 1 Co. 1:1-3)


      (v. 9-10) When we’re committed to the mission things get messy.


      So, we look to Calvary, the wisdom and power of God and recommit: To love, holiness, and removal of sinful influences.


      Handling the tension between toleration and tough love also calls for sincere commitment to each other:


      A radical love that patiently disciples, and when necessary, adds the pressure of discipline. 


      Some seek to keep church so clean none come to Christ, others prefer it so permissive it becomes puffed up.


      A church on mission is a church with tension.


      We can do better as Bible-believers when we remain on mission while handling the messes.


      

      1. published a newsletter

        ReadTough Love Toward Sexual Sin
        Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

        Think of a time when your concern for another called for tough love.


        Your desire for their greatest good and the good of others forced you to not tolerate the immoral or selfish behavior.


        When people persist in destructive or selfish behavior - especially scandalous sin - it calls for tough love, not toleration.


        People watch and people talk. And what we do as believers is done in Jesus’ name.


        Like Corinth of old, our society devalues a person’s dignity by objectifying them sexually.


        When people are treated as objects to pursue to fulfill raw pleasure, real pain is the result.


        Western culture has normalized being permissive, promiscuous, even pornographic.


        When the church tolerates this, it marginalizes the pain Jesus endured to teach the value of every soul and mars our testimony.


        So, what is to be our response to the toleration and spread of sexual immorality?


        What culture condones the church may have to confront – even with tough love – for the greatest good. (From 1 Corinthians 5:1-8): 


        1. The Dangerous Spin (1-2)


        • A culture complacent with sexual immorality is a society in a death spiral. God’s word speaks decidedly against normalizing sexual sin.


        • If we fail to repent, we become reprobate (Rom. 1:18-32). 


        • Our society glorifies sinful pleasure. The church cannot. It’s wrong, ruinous, real, and must be dealt with.


        • We understand because at times we struggle. When sexual sin is not taken seriously, we suffer.


        2. The Discipline (3-8)


        • Like America, Corinth was sexualized. But fornication (root: porneia / pornography) is not to be the Christian normal.


        • Its destructive influence must be purged. Injuries abound from its affects.


        • Yet it finds its way into the church because cultural values die hard.


        • Sanctification is a process of purging the old, putting on the new, transformational not merely informational (2 Cor. 5:17-21, 7:1). 


        • Those wounded or bound by sexual sin cannot thrive in an environment that tolerates or flaunts it.


        So, what do we do with brazen sexual immorality: Purge it! Tough love! Some guiding principles:


        1. (1 Cor. 5:5). Extreme measures are reserved for extreme malefactors. Not all cancers require surgery.
        2. Charity is our response when repentance is present, chastening when it isn’t. Our goal: Restoration.
        3. Discipline serves as a deterrent. Scripture, not culture or other Christians, shapes our response to sin.
        4. Therefore, we may have to remove the unrepentant before we can restore them (2 Tim. 2:19-26).


        If you’re struggling with immorality, impurity, the power of a pleasure-indulgent life that’s causing real pain to yourself or others, Jesus faced your temptations yet without sin - that’s the power of Christ in you. 


        But when raw pleasure is your pursuit, pain will be the result. If you’re tolerating or trapped in sexual sin the wisdom and power of the cross is the path to freedom.


        Purge the promiscuity before it brings more pain.


        Jesus Christ suffered the pain of crucifixion to deliver us from the destructive power of our sinful passions.


        Ask Christ to free you from the pain of sexual sin to a pure and powerful life that brings glory to God.


        The leavening influence of sexual sin and pain it spreads cannot be tolerated.


        Tough love may be required to rid it from your life before it ruins your life and those around you. It’s for your (and our) greatest good.


        You can help others benefit from these devotions by signing them up here (scroll to the bottom of the page)


        1. published a newsletter

          ReadYou Don't Want Me to Go There
          Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

          Have you ever realized that the person with whom you are conversing is about to go somewhere you don’t want them to go?


          It gets a little tense, right? They go there but it’s not good!


          Paul dealt with divisive pride at Corinth so he can deal with other issues keeping the church off mission. 


          We value humility, people that cooperate, minister, and thrive spiritually.


          So, we work at relationships that flourish in compelling community and making the gospel visible to all.


          Its why the local church exists.


          Therefore, we go to some uncomfortable places that need confrontation, consideration, change, with compassion.


          We might think, don’t go there, but to stay on mission, we must. (From 1 Corinthians 4:14-21):


          The church that is growing is a church that is changing -


          in part because each new person, each family brings a diversity of history, expectations, culture, perspective, goals, hopes… sins. 


          We all have them all. And we need to go there from time to time to stay healthy and cultivate an environment that fosters growth.


          It’s what the rest of 1 Corinthians is about. Allow me to “go there” in two places:


          1. The Mission Gets Misaligned with Too Many Messages (14-16).


          • A key to any productive mission is alignment. Everyone needs to be going in the same direction for the same purpose.


          • So, God places leadership at the local level to motivate not malign (Eph. 4:11-16). 


          • In a culture of “follow”, “shop”, “compare” messages from the convenience of home or phone, fewer remain faithful to our mission of gospel engagement. It produces listeners instead of local laborers.


          • A digital door one click away to every message and messenger in the marketplace of Christian thought runs a high risk of missional misalignment by removing local authority and accountability.


          2. The Mission Gets Aligned with Leadership on A Local Level (17-21). 


          • Paul is going there for the rest of the book! 10,000’s lecture (and listen). Follow the leader laboring locally!


          • A culture that accepts every opinion, preference, and priority risks pride and cannot prevail.


          • Leadership keeps us aligned. Our mission is engagement. We make the life-changing gospel visible locally.


          • We listen to fewer, follow fewer, so that we can labor together more (Phil. 1:27-29).  


          • Christ crucified and risen with one voice aligned is the wisdom and power that reveals and confronts the brutality of pride, self-promotion, and sin - our pettiness, brokenness, reclusion.


          Engagement with the gospel locally is redemption made reachable.


          • It reaches out to heal, to help. It touches, testifies, gets down in the trenches, takes a hand –


          • it restores, rescues, reconciles. 


          What better mission than ours! But we must remain aligned.


          Christ crucified and risen kills the competition and keeps us all on mission.


          It also claims authority over those places we’d rather God not go for our good.


          We all have “don’t go there” things in our lives that require compassionate confrontation to foster healthy growth motivated by corrective love not guilt.


          1 Corinthians goes there. So will we. And it will be good.


          I’m counting on you to make changes and yield competing opinions so we can all align with God’s mission:


          People. Accountable. Humble. Together. The gospel made visible and accessible. Locally. Let’s go there.


          You can help others benefit from these devotions by signing them up here (scroll to the bottom of the page)


          1. published a newsletter

            ReadIf Angels Could Talk About You
            Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

            Have you ever made a spectacle of yourself? You know, silly, foolish, bold in the safety of your own environment?


            If only walls could talk! What would they say about you? 


            Have you ever been big, bad, and brazen around others absent some authority figure or person you fear?


            Then been called out by that figure!? That’s a spectacle. An exaggerated ego brings the wrong attention.


            What if angels could talk? What would they say about what you believe by how you behave when there’s no one that threatens you?


            They’re watching. Oh, if angels could talk! (From 1 Cor. 4:6-13):


            1. When Angels Watch Who You Follow, Is It for The Gospel’s Sake (6-8)?


            · We’re laborers together for one cause - and it is not our own! Be willing to be an example.


            Make it your mission, your goal to be influence for the gospel and glory to Jesus, not popularity or platforms.


            · “Lifetime is training time for reigning time”.


            Don’t live as though you have need of nothing!


            The giftings and goods you bring to the task have been given to you by God for service in His mission. 


            2. When Angels Watch Your Foolishness, Is It for The Gospel’s Sake (9-10)?


            · When angels watch us acting like kings instead of commoners might they wonder…:


            …Why Christ (who could call 12 legions of them) chose Calvary for the likes of us (Eph. 3:10)? 


            (Spend each day finding new ways to express your gratitude that He did and allegiance to Him).


            …Why we are bolder and more excited inside our walls than in the presence of those God sent us to influence?


            Get excited about what God has done, is doing, will do. Be a spectacle for the gospel!


            (Scripture signs, shirts, wall art, on auto, favorite vss. on social media / web posts, tell/talk to others…)


            …Why we disregard what God requires (1 Tim. 5:21)? Seek to reveal the cross, not reign in comfort!


            …Why we take sides and divide when Christ died to make us one (1 Co. 6:1-3, Eph. 4:3)? Go make up


            · When each of us makes the gospel visible both with love and labor, influence grows (Acts 11:21-26). 


            3. When Angels Watch Your Faithfulness, Is It for The Gospel’s Sake (11-13)? 


            · If you’re going to do what is required by the Word, you’ll not be assisted or applauded by the world. 


            (Christ chose to be a spectacle in humiliating death for you. It’s your choice what you’ll be for Him).


            · I need no reputation, realm, or reward. When reviled I remember I’m a minister of reconciliation. 


            · He is no fool who labors for the Lord while keeping His focus on Jesus and longing to see His face.


            To embrace the Christian life in all its glory, wisdom, and power, is to let go of the opinions of others and labor for Jesus no matter what.


            It’s really the least we can do for Christ. Paul made his choice, what’s yours? 


            You’re a spectacle. But for what will you be noticed?


            Love others and labor for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s without making it about yourself.


            The angels are watching; go give them something to talk about!


            You can help others benefit from these devotions by signing them up here (scroll to the bottom of the page)


            1. published a newsletter

              ReadWe're Making Some Changes
              Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

              Thank you for the encouragement you offer by receiving our weekly email devotions to assist with your spiritual development.


              Many who receive these newsletters live overseas or a good distance from our church location. Others live nearby.


              We'd love to meet or hear from you!


              Send me an email at Pastor@ShelbyCenterChurch.info and tell me how we can better pray for you or improve the weekly devotion.


              Better yet, stop by the church for a visit on Sunday @ 11am / Wednesday @ 7pm if you live nearby.


              Maybe it's time for you to take that next step.


              We're making some changes at Shelby Center Church and invite both your prayers and participation.


              We'll soon have a children's church on Sunday morning;


              More events to engage our neighbors, you, and each other;


              Dinner before church on Wednesdays for those who just want some great home cooking and those who wish to stay for the Bible Study and prayer. Desserts to follow!


              Over the next couple months our website will be receiving a major overhaul with many new tools to engage each other and enjoy sound biblical content...


              ... And much more!


              There's still time to join our winter course that will teach you how to better read, study, and interpret the Bible. It's free!


              Find out more by clicking here. It starts Sunday Nov. 13th.


              We're building a place near Medina, NY where Church is Simplified, Jesus is Magnified, and People are Edified.


              We're building a church near you to invite your friends, neighbors, and family. If you're ready to grow we're ready for you.


              Will you join us in prayer, and if possible your participation?


              We're here for you. Let us know how we can help - Pastor@ShelbyCenterChurch.info



              1. published a newsletter

                ReadFaithful is Your Only Option
                Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

                When was the last time you took inventory of yourself? It’s a good practice.


                It can also be painful. An inventory of to what we’re faithful can awaken us to some things that need to be replaced. 


                Some things take up “shelf space” in our lives, collect dust, and prevent us from making room for what is worthwhile.


                A wasted life is a worthless pursuit, especially when we stand before Jesus. 


                Two options only on the shelf, serving God or serving self.


                Consider some inventory clearance so you can stock the shelves with things that really matter and are worth being faithful (From 1 Cor. 4:1-5):


                When this life is over, we’ll not be answering to people we esteem, but to Jesus exclusively.


                Live faithfully for things that please the Lord, not men, as one who will answer face to face to the Lord, not men!


                How might your life improve if you took inventory of what your life is about and adding up to;


                Then removed the waste to make room for what is worthwhile in the end? Here’s a couple things to help you evaluate:


                1. Be Faithful to Jesus (1 Cor. 4:1-2).


                · Ministry is stewardship under Lordship of what God has given you. All that we have, He’s given (7). He deserves our allegiance. Take living to please others off the shelf – serve to please Jesus.


                · It helps to admit you cannot be faithful to everything, nor should you be. Do these to take stock:


                1) Recognize. Not everything has eternal value at the judgment seat (ROI). Identify what needs to be put on / off the shelves, then faithfully make the changes (Rom. 13:14). 


                2) Reduce. Less can be better. Spend more time with things that reveal/magnify God’s mysteries in all their facets - it will keep you enthralled, excited, and enriched (1 Cor. 2:2, 10:31-33). 


                3) Rearrange. Place within reach goals to learn the Bible, pray, exhibit Spiritual fruit, bless others, share the gospel/gifts, serve others… Keep front & center: Engage, Edify, Equip, Evangelize.


                2. Be Forever Before Jesus (1 Cor. 4:3-5).


                · Live in the constant presence of God. You’ll be more committed when you do what you do as though Jesus is your judge, not men, and He’ll judge in the end. Write some good new chapters (Mt. 6:33).


                · We all have things collecting dust that we once couldn’t live without. Invite Jesus to point out what stays and goes. Prayer, His word, and a desire to please will guide you. Take inventory of your:


                1) Passions & Pursuits. Create a God serving mission that directs what is worthwhile. Eliminate whatever conflicts with or does not contribute to that mission (Phil. 1:20-21, 3:7-8, 13-14). 


                2) Possessions. We make a life by abounding in generosity, not accumulating goods. A generous life will keep the shelves well stocked because we can never out give God (Phil 4:18-20). 


                3) Priorities. As stewards you have only two options. Time and Jesus will reveal your motives and the value of what you spent your life on. Start today, put Jesus first in everything (Lk. 17:7-10). 


                Taking inventory of yourself doesn’t have to be painful. When you put Jesus first it will be a pleasure.


                Start today and reduce the excess and waste and make faithful your only option


                All that you have God has lent. Be a faithful steward and when this life you won’t answer to people you esteem but to Jesus exclusively.


                When you add it all up, you have only one option: you’ll want to be faithful.


                You can share these devotions with other by going here, scrolling to the bottom of the page and signing them up.

                1. published a newsletter

                  ReadPrepare to Say Thank You
                  Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

                  What would you do if you spent your life or rest of your life bickering, boasting, or living like a baby only to find out you were going to answer to Jesus who is a strict judge? Wouldn’t it seem worthless? Unwise?


                  Imagine a worker on a farm or on a building project who keeps getting distracted, divisive, or disengaged from the effort. What influence might he or she have on others?


                  What will the likely outcome be for that person when the boss calls them out? We don’t want to be that guy or gal, right?


                  So, God has given meat (not just milk) and grace to not only save us, but to empower us to serve Him faithfully and work together to build up the body of Christ, His church.


                  We’re workers together in the greatest mission ever: Farming for the souls of men and building up the body of Christ. We’re waterers and workers for Jesus, no more. But with that work comes a warning (From 1 Corinthians 3:10-23):


                  1. The Watering and Work (8-11)


                  • The Observation (8-11). Paul uses two illustrations to direct the divided church at Corinth to focus on the mission, not the minutia, on the wisdom of God not men: Farming and Building.


                  • The Obvious (10-11). We’re laboring for the cause of Christ. We build on the foundation Paul laid: “Christ, and him crucified”. So, stop boasting about whose beliefs are better and get back to work! 


                  • The Ominous. Here’s the meat of the matter: We’ll each give account for our own effort in laboring for Christ. We’ll want to stand before Jesus as servants and stewards, not sucklings or sovereigns.


                  2. The Warning and Wisdom (12-23)


                  • The Opportunity (12-15). What if you knew that almost everything to which you gave yourself would be worthless when it mattered most? Wouldn’t it be foolish to continue? 


                  A saved soul but a wasted life is little more than taking the Lord’s name in vain. Reward (14) or Regret (15) is your choice.


                  We’re saved to serve with rich rewards. God’s word incentivizes laboring together for the Lord by specifically identifying five rewards (crowns) that will enrich if we labor faithfully for them: 


                  1) Heeding (1 Cor. 9:23-27); 2) Seeding (1 Th. 2:18-19); 3) Leading (2 Tim. 4:5-8); 4) Feeding (1 Pet. 5:1-4); 5) Bleeding (Jam. 1:12, Rev. 2:10). Focus your life on these for labors that aren’t in vain.


                  When we cast the crowns we’ve earned at Jesus’ feet we’ll have our greatest opportunity to say, Thank you (Rev. 4:9-11). 


                  The rewards will be eternal for the wise, the losses colossal for the unwise.


                  • The Obstacle (16-20). What kind of building materials would you expect to see in God’s holy temple? We’re it! It is no waste of a life to labor for Christ. It pays richly in the end! Wisely waste no more!


                  • The Ownership (21-23). Stop boasting! You / what’s yours aren’t your own (1 Cor. 4:7, 6:19-20).


                  Being distracted in, divisive over, or disengaged from faithful ministry is both foolish and carnal. The wise labor for the Lord knowing our work will be judged strictly and rewarded richly if we build wisely. 


                  God has given grace not only to save us, but to empower us to serve Him in building up the body of Christ, His church.


                  We’ve been commissioned to the greatest occupation known to man - workers together: Farming for the souls of men and building up the body of Christ. We’re waterers and workers for God’s glory. 


                  The rewards are rich for those who build wisely and refuse to waste one opportunity to thank Jesus. Would you pray about being faithful to not boast as you become a better builder of Christ’s body? Start now.


                  You can listen to an audio version of this message by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.


                  You can share these devotions with other by going here, scrolling to the bottom of the page and signing them up.