I personally gave my life to Jesus on June 11th, 1981.  I was 13 years old, getting ready to turn 14.  It was a Thursday night at Senior Week of Camp at Camp Edisto in Branchville, SC.  This Summer I will have been a Christian for 40 years!  One of the many things I’ve been thankful for over the years are all the teachers, preachers, and mature Christians that God put in my life who taught and discipled me.  One of the things I was taught early on is to pray for those who are in positions of authority – government leaders, the President, Senators, members of Congress, Judges, Mayors, City Council, Police, etc.  Even if I disagreed with their politics or policies, I was taught to pray for them and to honor the position.  Why?  Because in God’s word, 1 Timothy 2:1-3, it says this, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”  

What’s interesting is that Paul links praying for our leaders to our mission of sharing the good news of the Gospel.  In the past 40 years of being a Christian I have now had the honor of praying specifically for 6 Presidents and their families – Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.  I have not always agreed with each of their policies or politics, but I have honored the position and prayed for the person and their families.  This past Wednesday, January 20th I began praying for my 7th President as a Christian – President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (the first woman – and woman of color – to hold this position).  I simply ask you to join me in continuing to pray for our leaders and our country.  Why?  Because God tells us to “so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”  And because God “wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”  And NOTHING is more important than that!

Right or Left, Conservative or Liberal, don’t ever let your politics and/or your passions supersede following God’s Word and living out the priority of sharing the Gospel.  If you do, you have allowed something in your life to become an idol.  And for those of you, every 4 years, who shout, “Not my President,” when your candidate loses, I’m pretty sure that Jesus also said that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  You see, either way, PRAY! 

Pastor Chris

Here are this week’s “Friday 5”:

  1. Upcoming Outreach Projects:
    Coastal is constantly and continually engaged in being the hands and feet of Jesus in our community.  Here are a few upcoming opportunities! 
    Lowcountry Orphan Relief –  Lowcountry Orphan Relief provides support services and aid to meet the needs of Lowcountry children identified as at-risk or suffering from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect. Coastal will be serving there TODAY, January 22nd, 9am-11am. We meet at 1850 Truxton Ave in North Charleston.
    Tricounty Family Ministries –  We will be assisting with their Emergency Grocery Distribution, Wednesday, February 3rd, 9am-1pm.
    Saturday Serve –  The foundation of all of our serving opportunities at Coastal really starts with Saturday Serve – the first Saturday of every month.  The next Saturday Serve is Saturday, February 6th.  We meet in the Welcome Center/Cafe at 8:30am, project leaders make a “pitch” for their serving opportunity, and then we serve!  Make plans NOW to be there!
    If you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613.
  2. Attention all 6th-12th Graders!  Join us at Coastal for our WAVES Wednesday Nights at 6:30pm-8pm!  It is a great time to play games, meet new friends, hear a powerful, practical message from God’s Word, and have a great discussion in a small group of your peers.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Ryan Spell at 843-442-8985.
  3. OUR NEW 2021 WINTER/SPRING LIFE GROUP CATALOG IS NOW AVAILABLE!!  As always, there are 3 ways to sign up for a LIFE Group, but you only have to sign up one time/one way.  You can sign uponline from our website, on your Connect Card (in-person or online), or at the LIFE Group Tables/Sign-up sheets in the back of the auditorium.  We have 23 different LIFE Groups this semester – online and/or in-person Groups, activity Groups, study Groups, and more!  There is something for EVERYONE!  Make sure you check out our catalog and start signing up today!   Unless otherwise indicated in the catalog, all of our Groups begin the week of February 14th.  We were created for community, to do LIFE together!  We need this – YOU need this! If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Scott Huff – 859-230-5129.
  4. DON’T FORGET – we offer our Coastal Members and regular attendees free access to RightNow Media, an online church video library.  It’s just one of the many ways to express our generosity to our church family.  Essentially, RightNow Media is a Netflix for Bible studies with videos for kids, students, singles, parents and married couples by teachers like Dave Ramsey, John Piper, Max Lucado, Tim Tebow, and more. All the content can be accessed from any computer or smart television and through the RightNow Media app on a phone, tablet, Roku, Apple TV, etc.  If you haven’t already  done so, click here to set up your account!
  5. Interested in officially making Coastal your church family by becoming a Member?  Our next Membership Class is THIS Monday night, January 25th, 6pm-8:30pm. You can respond to this email, sign up on our website, or sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday.  You can join us either in-person or online through Zoom.

    P.S. JOIN A LIFE TEAM!  One of the best ways to meet new people and grow in your faith at Coastal is to serve alongside others on a LIFE Team or Ministry.  There are so many places to start serving here at Coastal – our 1st Impressions Team, welcoming and greeting people as they come on our campus, loving and serving our children through our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry, and then there’s the Security Team, our Online Engagement Team, Student Ministry, our Worship Team, our Tech Team, Chair Set-up, Coastal Kidz Set-up, and more!  You can sign up for a LIFE Team this Sunday on your Connect Card or anytime on our website.  Sign up today and start serving!