Tuesday, October 28, 2014


This coming Wednesday night, November 5, will be an outstanding night of mission celebration and prayer. Throughout the year we have JIBC members serving in a variety of places. Some are across the street, some are across the river and some are across the ocean. This Wednesday night, NOVEMBER 5 will be an opportunity for you to hear a little bit about a lot of missions.

Who is on the line up and where did they serve? Mark Livengood-Ukraine; Cheryl Parish-Romania; Mary Braxton-China; Rhett Harter-Burma-Myanmar (Rhett will be out of town and will not be able to report. He will buy everyone chocolate chip cookies to make up for it); Pastor Claudio-Luz Y Verdad, our Hispanic Ministry; a member from the Chinese Church that has relocated to Citadel Square Baptist will give an update; a report from Baltimore on Brent Gordon, church planter; Norty Glover-James Island Outreach; a report on Haiti and JIBC; and the Transition House. Get first hand reports on what your friends are seeing God do in these diverse areas.

You gotta love the coverage. I am so grateful for a going church. Our strength is
not measured by how many we seat. It is also measured by how many we send. This does not include groups like the Youth who do mission work as a part of their summer camp experience. Come on out for dinner being served from 5:00-6:15. Join Marty and the praise team in the sanctuary/worship center for worship from 6:15-6:30. Then hear the mission praise reports and join in prayer from 6:30-7:30.

All the Wednesday night groups, except the preschoolers will be joining together for this Mission Night Celebration and Prayer Gathering. Awana, all the Awana leaders, listeners, helpers, the Ephesians Bible Study class, the Finance Class, Pastor Tom’s coffee group and First Place will join together for Mission Night. Just an idea—you might want to hear these speakers and invite them to your connection group for a more detailed report. I suspect they would be delighted to share and have prayer support. I am so looking forward to this night. See you there…good Lord willing.

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Life You’ve Always Wanted

John Ortberg has written the book The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People. Several of our connection groups are using this book as the “maturity” part of their group life. I am using the topics for the teaching series during October and November. The series is about the transforming work of God in our lives. It is not just our spiritual lives; it is every part of our lives. I enjoyed reading the book years ago and am enjoying rereading it now. Our connection groups are watching a DVD taught by John Ortberg and using the study course books. I have no doubt that this can be a life changing opportunity leading to a fresh encounter with Jesus. Susan Warren has ordered several copies of the book for anyone that would like to purchase one. You can buy the book on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble or Lifeway. For those who would like to have it Sunday, we will have copies available at cost, $18. I will make this offer: if you buy the book and do not like it, I will buy it back from you. I will always know someone ready for the next step in their spiritual life.


We are just days away from our major community outreach event, The Fall Festival. Friday night, October 31 will bring over 500 non-church members to our campus. They will be met with love, laughter and lots of candy! As Pastor Sean said Sunday, we can use volunteers at every level. Would you like to come and pray? We could use people who would prayer walk during the event as well as those in a room, dedicated to praying. (Well of course, all of us could prayer walk as we go!) Would you like to sit and register, greeting those who come? How about serving as a runner keeping all the booths filled with candy? We could use a clean -up team for afterwards; help in the kitchen; trash can emptiers, etc. For the really brave, we can always use volunteers for the dunk tank. (No thanks, I did my time and raised $400 for orphans in China.) In other words, if you are willing we can use you. You could volunteer for one hour, the whole event, before or after. Our goal is to provide a safe, fun, family friendly event that is a positive alternative to some of the traditional Halloween events.

See you Sunday, good Lord willing, as the church family known as James Island Baptist gathers to worship, mature and enjoy fellowship.

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


We are just about 2 weeks away from one of our largest community outreach events of the year. Our 27th annual Fall Festival will take place, as it does each year, on October 31. This year that happens to be Friday, October 31. It is always on the same day as Halloween by design. We are really attempting to go head to head with the traditional Halloween experience. We offer a safe, family friendly, fun event. I get it, for most parents and children, Halloween is an innocent night of fun getting pounds of free candy. It is however, very difficult to separate the dark, and even evil, side of Halloween. Centuries ago, believers attempted to do the same thing we are doing…to reclaim and redeem something broken for the glory of God. I refuse to be among the small group of Christians who complain about evil and brokenness and do little to change it. We go head to head with a tradition offering a godly tradition of family fun, led by the people of God, on the campus where the church of God gathers to worship. We frame the picture, we set the agenda for the glory of God.

This is a community event that has far more than doubled in attendance over the past few years. On this single night, we will have more non-churched people on the church campus that at any other time. Ours is the opportunity to meet and greet, love and encourage, laugh and celebrate so they may see The Good and Beautiful God and at least taste some of The Good and Beautiful Life. My prayer is that we will build relationships with the community so one day we can build community with the community. We become all things to all people that we might have the opportunity to win some to a life changing relationship with our Lord Jesus.

Just a reminder about the Fall Festival. Please, consider how you decorate and what you wear.

No witches, zombies, bloodied bodies, etc. I know people from the community will show up like that…that is ok. We do not expect the world to act any different than like the world. But really, no tramp costumes, no sexy nurses or French maids…really. Remember you are around preschoolers and children. This is a church sponsored event and we are trying to make a good impression on the community.

Now, let’s pray and let’s prepare. Pray for Felicia Hebert. She is usually our Commander and Chief at this event. This year, health issues prevent her from doing all she loves to do. Pray for her health and the healing of God. Pray for safety. Pray that all who come to this campus will be protected from anything that would move against them. Pray for volunteers. There is no way the largest community outreach event happens without the largest number of volunteers.

See you Sunday, good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Somebody say AMEN!

This past Sunday JIBC had the privilege of licensing Parker Busch to the Gospel Ministry. Parker has served as an intern here for the past 2 years. He began his work under Brent Gordon and has spent the last year working under the guidance of Pastor Sean. Parker was recommended, by his professor at Charleston Southern University, to a Youth Pastor position at New Life Church, Goose Creek, South Carolina. He sought counsel from Pastor Sean and myself about this move. After a season of prayer, he felt led that he was ready for this next level of leadership. We rejoice at God’s leading and look forward to continued partnership with Parker. Sean and JIBC will continue to watch over him during this time. Being licensed to the Gospel Ministry is akin to getting your driving permit. It says we, as a church, see in him, the gifts and calling of someone pursuing a full time church vocation. This is certainly true in Parker’s life. Pastor Sean has selected a gift to help Parker get started in his new position. JIBC will buy a Youth Leader starter kit that will give him everything he needs for his first year. It has materials to teach, train leaders, etc. It is a worthwhile kingdom investment. We have assured Parker of our continuing love and support. What we have, he has. To God be the glory.

This past week we had an unpleasant first event at JIBC. The JIBC campus is protected by Sonitrol Security. That means if the doors are opened by anyone and the alarm is not deactivated, the police will automatically be called. Over the past years, that has happened about 100 times. Each time, a staff member, or someone with an entry code, must come and meet the police to search the building and turn off the code. This past week, one of our Elders was called to come and take care of the situation. Upon arrival, he was issued a citation by the police. Really, he was given a citation. If this is the new direction of responding to unauthorized open doors, we will have to drastically change our procedures. As it is currently, many people have keys. Someone might come in a back door and go out quickly. As soon as the door is opened, that sets the alarm off. Someone comes by and pulls on the door and breaks the connection, that sets the alarm off. Last one here forgets to lock all the doors and teenagers come by to get water, that sets the alarm off. Many scenarios of the alarm going off.

Help us please. Be aware that just because you do not hear the alarm, that does not mean it is not going off. If you have a key to get in, you should have a code to deactivate the alarm. Thanks for your help…I do not want to go and get poor Susan out of the pokey because the alarm went off and the police were called.

See you Sunday…

Pastor Tom

Monday, September 29, 2014


I could not believe it would rain on our Tailgating Party this past Sunday. Or maybe I should say, given the weather pattern, how did I think it would not rain? Even more impressive and just as hard to believe was the large number of people that braved the rain and stayed. For those who stayed it was well worth getting a little damp. The food was outrageously good and abundant! The booths were prepared and did a good job in representing. I am looking forward to hearing stories of what happened. A big thanks to all the volunteers, cooks, servers, connection groups, ministry teams, etc. Apart from the rain, it happened just the way we hoped!


We called this three part series “JIBC: Living Life On Purpose”. The goal was to launch a year of intentionally giving attention and focus to the purpose of God. We believe God is in the business to reach, redeem and restore a lost and broken world. JIBC is in the business of joining Him. The way we do that is…well, on purpose. We GROW on purpose. That is we grow up and in, spiritually and numerically. We will build all we do around growing on purpose. Next we made a commitment to SERVE on purpose. Mark 10:45 appears to be a life verse for Jesus: “The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” To be like Jesus is to serve. You are wonderfully gifted and enabled by God to serve the Body of Christ known as JIBC. You help the church grow and you grow. This past Sunday celebrated CONNECTING on purpose. The value of connection groups is vitally related to our spiritual growth, our numerical growth, and our mission. I love what I see our Father doing in our church family’s outward focus out into the community. To God be the glory.


Does anyone have a wooden crib and/or a walker you would like to donate to the Transition House? These are two needs that will always come up. We would be glad to recycle them and put them to good use. Give us a call at 762-0244.

See you Sunday, good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


This Sunday will be a fun event for the family and friends of JIBC: The On Purpose Connection Tailgate Party. So, here are the plans. First, there will be no 8:30 worship service for this Sunday. Everyone is invited to join together for the 11:00 Worship Celebration. Sunday Connection Groups will meet at their regularly scheduled time. The 11:00 worship service will include baptism…always an exciting and meaningful time for a church family. God has blessed by adding to His church. Amen and amen.

Dress casual and comfortable for the tailgating after the worship service. All of our Connection groups have been invited to host a tailgate food fiesta. Last year there was more food that one could possible sample. Enjoy the food and get to meet people you may not know. Do a little behind the scenes secret interviewing…see if there is a connection group you relate to or at least one that you like their food! Really, what a great time to visit many of our Connection Groups and meet people who attend. Find out when and where they meet. Could be a match made in heaven.

In addition to our connection groups, we will have several of our mission groups present. This should give everyone an opportunity to learn more about some of the outward focus mission points. Ask questions, sign up, volunteer….volunteer someone else without their permission. Just kidding…tell them…but tell them after you sign them up.

Really, let’s have some fun ON PURPOSE. If the weather allows, we will have great food, great fun, fellowship and information.

This coming Saturday we will celebrate Wyatt Wilkins’ first birthday. Hard to believe that we are over a year away from the agonizing days of Erin’s pregnancy and Wyatt’s birth. I want to thank our Father in heaven for His mercy and faithfulness. This could have gone so many different ways. Thank you, Father. I also want to thank so many of you who interceded and sought the favor and healing of God. Thank you. It is not enough, but thank you. Wyatt is a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy who looks like he is ready to be a linebacker for Clemson. Erin and Trey could not be more joyful for the miracle. Thank you. I love you all so much.

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This past Sunday I started a series of messages “Living Life On Purpose”.  There are really three parts of the teaching series followed by the On Purpose Tailgate Sunday.

This past Sunday we looked at the teaching of the Bible related to growing on purpose.  We grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus.  We often call that maturity, discipleship or spiritual growth.  It does not happen automatically.  As the old book says “disciples are made, not born”.  One of our sister churches has this motto:  We make disciples that make disciples that change the world.  I like that.  We seek to grow on purpose, to develop deeper faith and a deeper relationship with our Lord.    It is also about growing wider, that is growing numerically.  The Great Commission is to go into all the nations/people groups and make disciples.  We usually refer to this as evangelism, missions, an outward focus.  It is one beggar who has found bread (Jesus the Bread of Life) telling another beggar where to find it.  Three ways we can do this.  First, pray for God to open our eyes to the harvest around us.  We believe God is working, ask that He gives us eyes to see where He is at work that we may join Him.  Second, invite someone you know.  Please do not underestimate the power of a personal invitation.  It is still a very powerful, perhaps the most effective outreach tool that we have.  Invite someone you know (family, friend, coworker, your server where you eat, etc).  Invite them to your Connection Group party or to the next outing to see the Riverdogs or Stingrays. Let them rub shoulders with people changed by God’s grace.  It is powerful.  Third, plug into your passion.  What has your heart?  What do you spend time thinking about, wishing something could be done about?  Want to help teach a child to read, help feed the hungry, be a mentor to an teenage mother, help supply basic necessities for orphans, give support to those who have an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy?  We are committed to helping you live out your God given passion to make a difference.  Last, why not go ahead and get a passport?  Maybe you will go on a beautiful cruise…or say a mission trip. We have JIBC connections in the following countries:  Asia, Nepal, South Africa, Ukraine, Romania and Guatemala.  Don’t see a place you like?  Let us know.  Our International Mission Board probably has someone serving where you would like to go.

It is not either/or, missions or maturity, discipleship or outreach.  It is both/and.  Let’s go get them.  We can do this together, on purpose.

See you Sunday, Pastor Tom