Category Archives: bible study

A Note from the Pastor: Budget 2013

Dear IBCB Family:

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Without a vision the people perish, but the one who keeps the law is blessed.”  Mission determines ministry…ministry is expressed in money.  Our budget being submitted for your review has been prayerfully prepared to reflect something of what we believe is God’s vision for IBCB during 2013. (Click here t0 download our  2013 IBCB Budget (proposed).)

In the budget you will see numbers, but those numbers represent much more than just money.  They stand for an investment in God’s Kingdom by God’s people for God’s glory!  If we choose to invest our time, talents, and treasurers in the purpose and plan represented in this document, we will be blessed!

The most significant changes in the budget for 2013 are:

  • Music Ministry Special Capital Expense – Equipment for Music Ministry subject to prior FiCo approval.
  • Children Ministry – Plans for an older children retreat and a Summer Vacation Bible school are included.
  • Youth Ministry – Youth Mission Project Berlin to encourage and plan for young teenager ministry and do outreach to teenagers in Berlin.
  • Indigenous Missionary Partnership – An additional church planter working with the Mongol people in Budapest.
  • Building Contribution – A 200€ per month increase in our building contribution to our host church.
  • Publicity – A new web design, church logo, and camcorder for promoting our vision and mission.
  • Pastor Salary – An almost 7% raise in the pastor’s base salary.
  • Church Administrator Salary – We are asking Ruth to serve full-time in a new position with greater responsibility.

This budget is a 12% increase over last year’s budget and will require not only commitment but also faith.  Last year, our tithes and offerings were 7% below last year’s budget.  So, the near 20% increase in giving we’re asking will require a deeper commitment to giving and an increased commitment to reaching new people by reproducing.  Though it will stretch our faith, I’m confident that with God’s help and our dedication we can accomplish this God-sized plan as we put into place two strategic initiatives:

1.  Stewardship – I’m teaching tithing in the “Grow in Maturity” workshop and cooperating with the FiCo and with Frank Nikel to put together a preaching and teaching plan that will focus on “Honoring God w/ My Finances.” (sermon series, small group curriculum, workshop, etc.)

2.  Second Worship Service – I believe it’s time for us to do whatever it takes to start a second worship service in our current location.  We’ve prayed about it, discussed it, and considered it, but we haven’t made a commitment to it.  I’m convinced that now is the time; so, I will be working with the leaders and deacons to move forward as soon as possible on this new initiative.

Only God-sized faith can lead to God-sized accomplishments.  May God strengthen our faith and establish his Kingdom.

To God be the glory,

Scott Corwin, Pastor

The Disciple-Habit of a Daily Quiet Time

You will never be a growing Christian until you develop the disciple-habit of a daily time alone with the Lord through Scripture and prayer.”  Scott Corwin

All of us have habits.  Some good, and others not so good.

I’m trying to break myself of a bad habit that I developed over a long period of time — drinking LOTS of coffee.  It began with a “first pot” I made when I got up each morning for my daily time alone with the Lord.  Though my wife would have “a cup” I would usually finish off the pot before she left for work.  I would then make another pot of coffee and would finish it off during the work day.  Way too much coffee that started affecting my sleep and health.

I had to try to break the bad habit.  So, I decided that I would do two things:  1)  I would change the way that I drink coffee; I started drinking coffee that wasn’t quite as strong and I would drink it without sugar, and 2)  During the day I would drink healthy teas.  I admit it was really hard at first, but after a few weeks I established a habit which is the new norm.  I broke the old, bad habit, by replacing it with a new, healthier habit.

In a similar way, you can develop the disciple-habit of starting your day with a daily quiet time in Scripture and prayer.  First, analyze the way that you normally spend your mornings.  Do you wait until the last minute to wake up then throw it into high-gear to get ready to get out of the house to start your work day?  Do you stay up too late the night before so that you don’t get the kind of rest you need in order to wake up refreshed?  Do you turn on your computer first thing to check email or Facebook?  Do you turn on the morning news and/or the radio first thing?  Determine your current habits and identify ways that you might rearrange your mornings in order to establish the habit of a quiet time.

Second, make preparations for establishing your new habit.  I suggest picking a time and scheduling your quiet time like you would any other important item in your agenda — provided you consider spending time alone with God important!  Pick a special place where you will be away from distractions.  It might be a special chair in a special room where you can be alone.  Make all the necessary arrangements not to be interrupted:  turn off your phone, tell your spouse, get away from the computer screen, etc.  Gather all of the resources you will need like your Bible, your spiritual notebook, and a pen.

Third, have a specific plan for your quiet time.  If you have one of the “Spiritual Journals,” there is a suggested plan on page 6 for a 15 minute time alone with the Lord.  If you have attended the “Grow in Maturity” workshop, there is a similar plan on page 22-23.  The key is to read a portion from the Bible asking and answering three questions:

1. What are you saying to me, Jesus? (Scripture insight)

2. What do you want to change in me, Jesus? (Attitude? Thought? Action? Character?)

3.  What do you want me to do, Jesus? (Application)

Start practicing your new habit and keep after it no mater what.  After 3 weeks you will be familiar with the routine, but stay with it.  It will take another 3 weeks for that routine to become ingrained in your life as a new habit.

Developing a new habit begins with a choice…a commitment.  Remember, Jesus said:  “If you remain in my Word, you are really my disciples.”  (John 8:31)  So, if you are a disciple, make a commitment…right now…to establishing the habit of a daily time alone with God.

Need some help?  Attend the next “Grow in Maturity” class.  Connect with one of our disciple mentors who can help encourage you and keep you accountable to your daily quiet time.  Talk with your friends and small group members about your quiet time.  You will help them and they will help you!

Scripture Memory #4 — 2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

Finish the full sentence for an added bonus!  Meditate on the verse and submit your Scripture insight as a comment.


Meditating on God’s Word

Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”  Psalm 1:1-2

Let’s play a little word association game.  I’ll say a word and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind.  Okay?  Here we go:  “meditation!”  What is the first thing that comes to mind?

Go ahead and admit it!  You were thinking of some “guru” or “yogi” in some uncomfortable pose chanting some unintelligible word with the intent of emptying his mind of all thoughts.  That’s EASTERN meditation but NOT BIBLICAL meditation.

In fact, biblical meditation is the exact opposite; it’s filling your mind and focusing your thoughts on the truths of God’s Word.  Meditation is the deliberate and reflective consideration of God’s truth that has as its goal:

1.  Determine how God’s truth confronts & challenges you to change, and

2.  Discover ways to put God’s truth into practice through obedience.

The best illustration I know of regarding meditation is … yes, I’m serious … a cow.  Stop and think about how a cow gets the most from its food by chewing its cud.  The cow chews and chews and chews its food, then swallows, regurgitates, and chews some more.  The cow obtains the maximum nourishment from what it eats, thoroughly digesting every possible nutrient.

Ruminating on God’s truth through focused thinking helps us get the most out of every morsel of truth.  As we meditate on God’s truth, the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth and exposes our lives to its influence.  We obtain the maximum benefit and blessing by submitting ourselves to God’s truth, letting God’s Spirit change us, and committing ourselves to obeying.

Want to learn how to meditate on God’s Word?  Join us for our “Grow in Maturity” workshop to learn some basic disciple-skills to help you meditate on God’s truth.

Scripture Memory #3 — Psalm 119:11

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9-11 (NIV)

Extra Challenge:  Add verses 9 & 10 along with 11 to get the flow and full thought of the passage!