At a Gospel Light Men’s Prayer Breakfast, we always start with … breakfast! As promised, Chef Jeremiah and his crew served up ground sausage in gravy poured over biscuits and scrambled eggs to boot. Our delicous meal was followed up with hymns, led at first by Pastor Vince Giardino, and then by our song leader, Brother Mateo. Brother Gabriel did a head count during the event; we numbered 75 souls in service for the Lord.Pastor once again took the pulpit and spoke about an old friend who, a while back, had fallen on hard times and had fallen away from God. But acting on Gal 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens”, Pastor determined to help restore his friend’s faith. Revival happened in his friend’s life along with success. Pastor G. read a just received letter from his friend under that friend’s company name, JCS, and it included a check for $1000 to be spent on missionaries. Praise God for friends like our very dear pastor.
All pastors, missionaries, and full-time servants of the Lord were asked to stand up front and introduce themselves. Pastor thanked them for their time and travel with $25 gas cards. Following this, our music special commenced with the song, “The Day that the Lord Hath Made”, sung by Bro. Bard with Michael G. on piano and harmony vocals. Pastor Dickson Beam then took to the pulpit to introduce Bro. Eric Capaci, our featured preacher for the morning.
After expressing his gratefulness to those who showed up, Brother Capaci, spoke of the Pastor Prayer Team at his home church consisting of over 200 members. To encourage prayer, he had brochures, titled “A Foundation for Prayer”, passed out to the congregation. “Prayer is a wonderful gift God has given us”, he said.Brother Capaci began his sermon by stating his goal, which was to “help you grow your church and reach more people.” (Just a side note for those who were not present, this sermon was lively, inspiring, insightful, and full of very funny stories. Yet, there were sad moments also.) He advises churches to be more relationship centered and less program centered; being something rather than doing something. “Growing churches love and loving churches grow”, he said. He listed several reasons why people chose a particular church, however, 50% of people choose a church because of friendliness. Thus, Bro. Capaci sought to teach us about cultivating friends.
“True friendship will sharpen you”, our preacher reasoned, “It will make you a better person.” Brother Capaci continued, “A true friend will stick and stay with you … with love at all times.” Further, “A true friend will stab you … tell you the truth,”; these are “the wounds of a friend.” Also, “True friends are built”, he explained, just as discipleship builds. Borrowing from characteristics of Jesus, Bro. Capaci presented Five Secrets of Building a Friend:
1.) People need to be accepted. A true friend understands how to accept you. Just as Jesus taught us how to love, Bro. Capaci said, “love is my acceptance of you” and “fellowship is your acceptance of me.”
2.) People want to be acknowledged, to know that you care about them. “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Psalm 34:15.
3.) People want to be appreciated. “People have a deep desire to be appreciated”, Bro. Capaci explained, and we need to “build them up” with our sincere praise.
4.) People need to be affirmed. Affirmation is encouraging people for what and who they are; that you approve of them.
5.) People want to be assured. They want to know that you understand what they are going through. We should try to relate with empathy, remembering our own experiences.
Our service ended with prayer requests. Pastors Phil Huber and Scott Strobel prayed for those requests at the pulpit while we prayed along with them.NOTE: Be sure to look for a photo album of this event on the GLBBC web site. Three cameras were clicking away, so photographs should be up soon in the GLBBC Picture Gallery.