by Pastor Peter Witkowski

  

For all its vast complexities, Church ministry consists of two essential elements, preaching and love.

The church should preach the Word even when society opposes the Bible’s sexual ethic, even when the local community deems the Bible’s view of depravity outdated, and even when church members and pastors do not like hearing that God commands us to put the needs of others before our own. God’s Word  is often unpopular. But it is also gracious, joyous, and life giving. Paul encourages Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:13-16 with the following advice:

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.  Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Salvation, hope, joy, kindness, and life are found in the Word of God. If the church loses the Scriptures or minimizes the presence of the Word in worship, Bible Studies, and in the youth group the church will die. Her building may expand, but her people will drift far from the God of the universe into eternal despair. Rather, the church must continue in the Word. If the people of God devote themselves to the Word, they will save themselves and others. The church will grow, succeed, and survive.

As your pastor, I come to preach the Scriptures. During my first year at Amissville Baptist Church, I want to regularly and faithfully preach, teach, and share the Word in all that I do.

But preaching affective cannot thrive on its own. The preacher’s devotion to the Word must be matched by his commitment to love others. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:2:

 “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

Though many associate 1 Corinthians 13 with romantic love that they have commemorated via the artwork hung on their living room wall, Paul is addressing the love of the believer. He is detailing how Christians should conduct themselves. Paul says believers should be known as those who love each other. A man can preach greatest sermons, fill row after row of pews with tech, savvy youth, and break into the conference circuit and still fail to love his family and his congregation well. Such a man is nothing more than a clanging cymbal. He is one who proclaims the majesty of God and then slinks into a hole because he cannot in good conscience encourage others follow his loveless lifestyle. His family knows he never has time to hear about their struggles or complaints or to attend their basketball games. His church members know not to call him because he has little time for talking, counseling, or prayer. And the advice he does give seldom goes beyond “read your Bible and pray more.” Lacking love, the preacher proclaims a gospel that he has not experienced. All people who have been deeply touched by the love of Christ cannot help but love their brothers and sisters.  The apostle John affirms Paul’s teaching and writes:

“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20).”

When preaching is combined with love, the Gospel goes forward with incredible power. When men and women know their pastor calling them to change is himself being changed by the love of God, their hearts fill with joy and encouragement. I have been blessed to experience this joy first hand. Both at the Bible Church of Little Rock and at Fairdale Baptist Church, godly men regularly preached the Word in love and kindly confronted me when they saw sin in my life. God used their love for the Word and for me to shape and grow my faith.  

Though I am definitely an imperfect man with many faults who daily repents, I desire to love the people of Amissville well. I hope to love you as I have been loved.

When I think about all that has happened over the last several months, my heart leaps for joy! April and I our counting down the days till our arrival! We look forward to introducing two (soon to be three) little kiddos to our Amissville family and to getting settled into Northern Virginia!

I cannot wait to worship with you on April 22! To Preach and to love! May God bless us all! 

Missions News


We agreed that our first ever Easter Egg Hunt went well. Close to 30 children attended and we were very pleased with the turnout. More plans are being considered for next year’s event.

The Laila Rose Foundation is holding their open house on June 9th. We need ladies to bake at least two dozen cookies each to help with refreshments. If you can help, please let Karen Ruble know and bring your cookies to the church no later than 10:00 am on June 9th.

We continue to collect items each month for the Hope for Appalachia Ministry . Different items are collected each month. For the month of April toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss were collected. At the end of the year, we will gather to fill the boxes. Hope boxes will be delivered after Christmas but before Easter 2019.

We would like to provide a meal for Amissville Fire Department during their first Wednesday of each month meetings. We could be feeding anywhere from 15 to 30 people. Please consider helping.

Vacation Bible School is scheduled for June 10th through June 14th. Please sign up to help. Many hands are needed to make VBS successful.

We are considering (with leadership’s approval) a Fall Festival and Church Picnic combined. This would be open to the community as well as church members. This will take a lot of work and we would need to start planning soon. We would like to get approval and move forward for a date of September 8, 2018 on church grounds. Hamburgers and Hot dogs, beverages etc. would be provided. We would like to have games such as Corn Hole, Ladder Ball, Horse Shoe Pit, and possibly a Moon Bounce or other such attraction. We would have Bluegrass music(thanks to Bill and Cheryl’s son, Luke).

All are welcome to join our Missions meetings which are held the first Wednesday of every month starting at 7:00pm at the church. We always welcome new ideas and suggestions.


Xtreme Believers


Summer 2018 will focus on investing and strengthening our relationships with God and with one another. Our hope is to allow Christ to not only change us, but everyone whose life we will impact this summer.

Summer plans include:

Hiking

Canoeing/Kayaking down the Shenandoah River

Kingsfest- @ Kings Dominion

Vacation Bible School leadership

Service Projects

Senior Visits

Trip to Noah’s Ark



AWANA


Our last Awana meeting for the year will be our Picnic/Award night on May 6. We will be providing the meat for our meal and ask that those attending to bring sides.

Our summer program for children will begin on June 3rd with schedules presently being worked on. Once our summer intern is in place, notices will be advanced to clubbers for the summer activities.

Our VBS this summer will be Sunday June 10-14 from 6:30-8:30 pm. The theme for this years VBS is “Game On”. We are looking forward to a fun filled summer!