Wednesday, November 15, 2017


You will want to make every effort to attend this Sunday’s Daring Faith Thanksgiving Celebration. After 8 wonderful weeks we are going to celebrate the goodness of God and what He has done and is doing through His family known as James Island Baptist. This has been a wonderful 8 weeks of theologically strong messages built around the importance of faith. We have had 6 strong and deep Bible centered messages taught on DVD by Rick Warren. I consider Rick Warren as one of the greatest pastor’s of modern times. I am grateful to Saddleback Church for blessing so many with the Daring Faith study.

So this Sunday, what can you expect? First, Marty and the praise team will be leading us in Christ-exalting worship. We begin the service with “All Creatures of our God and King” and go into the Doxology. One of my favorite worship sets. Second, we will observe Communion together. If ever a time to call it Eucharist, this is the Sunday. Indeed a day of Thanksgiving.

Third, we will have an Ingathering for those who would like to make a commitment to Daring Faith: Renovating Building and Grounds. There are several ways you can choose to give. First, you can always give online. Go to the church website: Janie and I are going to do three things: first, make a cash gift offering; second, make a three year commitment; third, going to sell some assets. However you do it, rejoice and give thanks. I shared with the church family Sunday that 14 families have committed to giving $272,690 toward Daring Faith. “And the people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 29:9. Then fourth, we will follow the example in 1 Chronicles 29 and celebrate with a feast. Our Kitchen Krew will provide the entire Daring Faith Thanksgiving Meal. You are invited to bring your favorite dessert if you would like to. We should have plenty!

Really, try your best to join us this Sunday. It will be a day to remember and a day to give thanks. “According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matthew 9:29

Pastor Tom

Friday, November 10, 2017


It is hard to believe we are down to the final days of Daring Faith: The Key to Miracles. The first part of Daring Faith has been Daring Faith: Renovating Believers. I hope you have been able to take advantage of one of the deepest, and yet most applicable Bible Studies we have ever had. I am actually sad for anyone who missed out on this series. How could we not profit from delving deeper into God’s Word about faith? We had 10 sermons about the theological foundations of faith; 6 dynamic Bible Studies by one of the best Bible teachers in America; a 40 day devotional that led you to read the Word, study the Word, meditate on the Word and apply the word; encouraged our church family to memorize 6 Bible verses, hiding them in your heart ready for spiritual warfare. Somebody say AMEN. Thank you for all who helped lead this church wide spiritual growth campaign. It was as theologically deep and as wonderfully practical as any believer could hope for. Two final words, if you missed session 6, I will be teaching it on Wednesday, at 6:30 in Rose Haselden’s Bible Study room. Second, if you could not make it but would like to go through this on your own, we will be delighted to get you a DVD and a Devotional book. Just let us know.

The second part of Daring Faith has been Renovating Buildings and Grounds. We have 10 projects that total approximately $400,000. Some of them had to be done, most of them really need to be done and some of them have needed to be done for years. It is our hope to be able to stretch our faith and see these funds given in a way that would not stop or hinder any of our ongoing missions and ministries. Even with such a large church wide campaign, we still had the largest Fall Festival ever; our missions outreach continues; and all youth and children’s ministries continue full speed ahead. We have also made a commitment that no one should feel pressured to give. We are following the Biblical principle: “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” ( 2 Corinthians 9:7) If this is not the season for you to give, we understand. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can help you.

You will receive one final letter from me concerning Daring Faith. I am praying you will receive it with love and enthusiasm. I can’t wait for you to read the good news inside the letter. Sunday, November 19 will be our Daring Faith Thanksgiving Celebration. We will have Christ exalting worship; Communion; a special ingathering of Daring Faith offerings and commitments; followed by a church wide Thanksgiving Banquet. *Bring your favorite dessert if you would like to, everything else will be provided!

This Sunday, November 12, you will hear some of the absolutely best news ever concerning Daring Faith. I wish I could tell you now, but it will have to wait to be announced Sunday.

See you soon, Good Lord willing.

Pastor Tom

Thursday, November 2, 2017


What are we renovating? Your church leaders have by design been laser focused on Daring Faith for the past 6 weeks. Almost our entire effort has gone into the priority of “Renovating Believers”. We have planned 10 sermons on faith; 6 Video Driven Bible Studies for our Connection Groups; provided a 40 Day Devotional to keep you plugged into God’s Word daily; and encouraged our church family to memorize 6 Key Bible verses about faith. As your pastor, I am thrilled you have had this opportunity to grow in faith.

We are renovating believers but we are also renovating buildings and grounds. Just like your homes, the Lord’s House needs repair and refreshing. I believe our leadership has been excellent stewards in maintaining our buildings and grounds over the years. But now is the time. So let me list and give a brief word about each of the renovations needed. Perhaps one of these will speak to you more than others. You can certainly designate an offering toward one of the projects. All of the cost listed are estimates and could change by the time we begin.

1. The repair and replacement of the church shingles to address leaks throughout the building. It was time. The old roof lasted us almost 27 years. The cost of that project was approximately $73,000. Completed! Can somebody say AMEN!

2. The protection for our front parking lot and the buildings. The last wreck at the point of our property wrecked two buses and resulted in a fatality. In my 32 years at JIBC, we have had two fatalities and no less than 20 wrecks. Several of these have actually hit the buildings. The new landscaping design will provide a very attractive system of protection as well as signage.
Hopefully, this will be the next project completed. Estimated cost-$10,000

3. A comprehensive landscaping design plan for all three sides of our church campus. This will include the design for the protection and sign as well as suggestions for future landscaping on all sides of the campus. The Maybank Highway side of the church has always had an unattractive industrial look. Perhaps the next three years we will be able to implement the new design. The cost for the design is $1,000.

4. The resurfacing and restriping of the front and back parking lots. This is long overdue and will add significantly to the curb appeal of the campus giving a fresher look. We are trying to schedule this project when the office and weekday preschool is closed. Cost $5,000.

5. Remodel the two main hall way restrooms. The majority of this renovation will be to update the women’s restroom giving more space, new fixtures, counters and convenience height toilets. The men’s room will get the old mirror from the women’s room. Just kidding. We don’t have room for that big mirror. $27,000.

6. Replace the flooring in the Fellowship Hall. The existing flooring is coming up and is a safety issue. This will be scheduled during the summer when the Fellowship Hall is not used as often. It will have a durable tile similar to that in the front of the Worship Center. $18,000.

7. Renovate the church library/conference room. In the last 40 years, we have put in new carpet once and new chairs once. Other than that, this room has remained basically the same. It is in desperate need of updating in technology as well as looks. It is the only official meeting room that serves as a conference room. $10,000.

8. The Plymouth Avenue side entrance is scheduled to be an enclosed entrance. More people enter the building through this entrance yet it is the least welcoming. Plans include a new glass enclosed entrance. $20,000.

9. A limited use elevator has been in demand for years. Finally, the cost has come down to make this a possibility. The only way upstairs in our building is via steps. For anyone in a wheel chair or with physical health issues, that makes it almost entirely off limits. The elevator will be located in the new side entrance. $75,000.

10. The current church debt is $150,000.00. In three years this should be down to quite a bit. It would be a great accomplishment to finish the Daring Faith Renovations and be completely out of debt. Our finance team has done a tremendous job of keeping enough funds on hand to handle emergencies and at least 3 months of budget needs. The joy of freeing up annual mortgage payments of $35,000 a year is amazing. That money could be used for missions and ministry.

So, that is the second part of Daring Faith: Renovating Believers and Renovating Buildings. We continue our commitment that no one will be pressured to give. The Bible is correct when it says “God loves a cheerful giver”. We will ask our church family and friends to trust God and exercise daring faith. I so believe we can continue all of our current missions and ministries and still tackle this mountain. It is too big for us but not too big for our God. Pray with us. Let’s see what great thing He will do.

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Daring Faith: How To Discern God’s Will

“According to your faith, it will be done to you.” 
Matthew 9:29

Daring Faith: The Key To Miracles has been about renovating believers and renovating buildings. Notice which comes first: we have gone all in to help build the faith of our church family and friends. This has also been about how to do missions and ministry while taking care of the wonderful building and campus God has given JIBC. To do that, we must talk about giving, sacrificial giving. The old saying is “equal sacrifice, not equal gifts”. That requires Daring Faith. Here are some suggestions for how to discern God’s will for your giving. How can you know?

1. Begin with prayer. Lord, show me how to give in a way that stretches and builds my faith more than ever. I trust you to provide. It is not the amount you give…it is the amount you trust that pleases Him.

2. Don’t rush your decision. Spend time alone with God each day so you can hear what He is telling you. The ultimate result is that you grow closer and closer to Him.

3. Decide whether you will give by revelation or reason. When I give by reason, which is fine, I have to figure out what is a reasonable amount. Then I commit to giving that amount. This is how most people give to charities. It asks a logical question “How much can I afford to give?” When you give by revelation, you pray “Lord, what do you want to give through me?” You are allowing your faith to lead the way. In 2 Corinthians 8:3 it says of the Macedonian believers “They gave not only what they could afford, they gave more than they could afford.” When you give more than you can afford, you have to trust God in faith to keep His promises.

4. Hold a family conference or set aside some time to talk about your contribution. If you have children, help them be involved in giving to the mission and ministry of their church. Ask for creative ways your family could give. Read the Bible and make a list of the promises you have been learning from God’s Word. One dad filled out the online giving and then let his kids push the send button! What a great way to teach generous giving.

5. Remember that if you chose to participate in the Daring Faith offering, there are two parts. First, the cash gift now to be celebrated on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 19. You can really give that any time before or after. The second way to give is by the 36-month giving commitment. This may allow you to give more than you ever imagined.

6. Celebrate your commitment. This is an exciting time in the spiritual journey of our church family and yours. Find ways to celebrate all He is and all He has done for you.

“Father, this is a big step for us. We’re asking you to stretch our faith, strengthen our faith, and deepen our faith through our commitment to be generous givers. We realize everything we have comes from you; we want to express our gratitude for all you have done for us; we want to demonstrate our faith, even in our giving; and we want to show support for our church family and it’s missions and ministry. We love you and thank you for loving us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Daring Faith Q and A

We are full speed ahead in our church wide campaign Daring Faith: The Key To Miracles. I pray you are being blessed by the messages on Faith every Sunday. If you missed one, you can still hear it at The 6 week video series is outstanding. It is taught by one of the leading pastors in America, Pastor Rick Warrren. Any place you begin in this is a great place to begin.

As we have said from the first Sunday, Daring Faith is about renovating hearts and renovation our church campus. Our number one priority is to make disciples who make disciples that make their community a better place to live. The overwhelming majority of our effort goes into renovating hearts. JIBC has been blessed with a lovely campus that must be maintained. We want to always being God honor and glory by offering Him our best. I hope you have seen the 10 projects that we are focusing on. Some of them are absolute necessities to repair and replace; others are long overdue to be fixed and freshened up; and some are desperately needed to better serve those who have limited physical abilities. As you can see…Daring Faith is needed to renovate hearts and renovate buildings!

We have made a commitment that we will not pressure anyone to give. Even as God’s Word says “You must each decide in your own heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 We will try to show how everyone can give something. We will ask our family and friends to pray about what God can do if we have Daring Faith.

Let me take a moment to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: Why are we having a Daring Faith Campaign? Why not just announce that we need funds to renovate and repair parts of our church campus?

A: Because it takes much time and effort to fully communicate the need, the purpose, the goals and the vision to everyone in the church.

Q: What kind of reactions do you expect from people?

A: Before we started the campaign, we already knew there would be at least 3 reactions. First, there are those who are already committed to giving. They really don’t need a campaign. They are spiritually mature enough to know we must renovate and maintain what God has given us. They give sacrificially whenever asked. Second, there are some who are not going to give no matter what we do. They will object to anything and everything. It is ok, we will not pressure anyone to give. It is our ministry to teach the word and be faithful. We will trust Him with the rest. Third, there are those who will gladly give once they catch the vision of what we are attempting to do. They want to give and grow. This is the reason we do what we do!

Q: How will we raise the money needed?

A: All Daring Faith gifts will be kept in a separate account to pay for the renovation projects of our church campus. Please note that these gifts will be in addition to your regular tithes and offerings. We are still moving ahead with every mission and ministry we have even during this campaign.

Q: What if I don’t have a lot to give or can’t afford to give? How can I give?

A: First, always remember we are talking about Daring Faith. You may know the story of the widow who gave all she had even though it was little. Jesus helped us understand your attitude in giving is more important than the amount. It is always possible to give something. God measures our faithfulness by what we have left over, not how much we give. The old saying is equal sacrifice, not equal gifts. I hope that brings you some encouragement.

Q: Will my commitment and gift be kept confidential?

A: Absolutely. No one will write to you reminding you of your commitment. That is between you and God. You will never receive a “dun” for what you “owe”. That is not how we give.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Renovating Hearts/Renovating Buildings and Grounds

Renovating Hearts is our number one goal. We are under a mandate to go into all the world and make disciples. We exist to bring people into the family of God and then to help them become more like Jesus. Maturity is our “second base” goal. WE want to make fully devoted followers of Christ, disciples who make disciples who make their community a better place to live. We are committed to join God in His mission to reach, redeem and restore a lost and broken world.

The church wide campaign “Daring Faith: The Key To Miracles” is an outstanding tool to help us do this. How can this next 10 weeks help you become more like Jesus?

, try not to miss any of the 10 messages of the campaign. I will be teaching about how faith can strengthen your life and prepare you for anything. All 10 of these messages will be online at

Second, if at all possible, at least for 6 weeks, join a group that is watching the Daring Faith video with Pastor Rick Warren. He is, in my opinion, one of the greatest Christian leaders in America. John Piper says it is abundantly clear that God has blessed Warren’s church, Saddleback Church, and blessed his book, “The Purpose Driven Life”. If you know anything about John Piper, he would not give his blessing if Warren were not biblically and doctrinally sound. Pastor Sean and Susan will attempts to move heaven and hell to help you find a group.

Third, spend daily time in the Daring Faith devotional book. This 40 day devotional is designed to be used along with the video series. But you can use it even if you are not able to see the series. 40 days in the Word is a great step toward maturity and developing that habit that every believer needs in order to grow.

Fourth, carry one of the Bible verse bookmarks with you. Refer to it often and try to memorize or at least be familiar with the verses. You will be blessed even by your effort.

Last, begin praying about three goals you would set for yourself. Goals about Growing, Giving and Going.

Without apology, we are trying to renovate our buildings and grounds to better serve our community and church family. But our number one goal is always to renovate hearts. This, my friend, is Daring Faith in action.

“According to your faith will it be done to you.”

The Renovation of the Building and Grounds 
includes the following 10 projects: 

  1. Replace the shingles/flashing, etc on the entire roof of our campus addressing the ongoing leaks throughout the building. (Hallelujah, this is completed!) 
  2. Provide protection for our parking lot and buildings with a new coordinated signage and bollard style protection system. This is an ongoing effort to minimize damage caused by excessive speed and driving under the influence at the Wappoo Drive/Maybank Highway point of the church property. 
  3. Landscaping design to pull together the entire church campus, including all three sides of the property (Maybank/Wappoo/ Plymouth) . The signage and landscaping will coordinate on all three sides. The Maybank Highway side has generally been considered the “industrial side” of the property. 
  4. Resurface and restripe the church parking lots, front and back to increase curb appeal and to give a fresher look. 
  5. Renovate the church library/conference room. The first renovation of this room since the early 1970’s. 
  6. Remodel the two main hall way restrooms. Particularly to increase room in the women’s restroom, updating toilets and fixtures. 
  7. Replace the Fellowship Hall floor with a more durable functional tile. 
  8. Remodel the side entrance on the Plymouth Avenue side to make a more appealing, easier access entrance. 
  9. Install a limited use elevator to serve Senior Adults and anyone with disabilities or difficulties handling stairs. 
  10. For JIBC to be debt free in three years. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Daring Faith

We try to make everything we do serve the purposes God has laid out for His Church. Daring Faith is no different. We reached the point where we absolutely had to do some renovations, needed to do several other renovations and were long overdue on some we believed would help our church family. The major repair has already happened and we have a new, non-leaking roof over our entire building complex. We have 9 more projects to go.

Now here is my point. Even undertaking such a large and extensive repair and renovation project, we were determined NOT to let it take us away from our purposes. In our own homes, we occasionally have to repair, renovate and change things. The same is true, maybe even more so, for God’s House. Even so, our primary mission is to join God in His work to reach, redeem and restore a lost and broken world. Our commission is to make disciples who make disciples who make their community a better place to live. Here is the fantastic news: We believe, by God’s grace we can do both! We can “renovate the hearts of believers” and renovate the House of the Lord. Let me say it another way. We do have as a goal to renovate, repair and upgrade the place of Worship. But we will always have as our MAIN goal to renovate the hearts of believers…to make disciples who make disciples who make our community a better place to live for the glory of God! Our main goal must never be buildings but must always be building mature believers. Our main goal must never be raising money but rather raising faithful believers who will be fully devoted to Christ Jesus.

Daring Faith: The Key To Miracles gives us the opportunity to do both. You will have an opportunity to hear 10 Bible centered messages about God’s word to you about your faith. You can fellowship with a small group and enjoy one of the absolute best Bible Studies you will ever enjoy. This DVD led Bible Study is not designed to make you theologians dealing with deep matters of doctrine. It is designed to help you make it through your surgery; a troubled marriage; a prodigal child; a set back at work; the call to take on hell; etc, etc. If what you get in Bible Study one day does not help you live your faith the next day, something is wrong.

Please don’t miss this. It’s about to get real. Spiritual warfare is going to get heavy as an entire church family rallies around the King. Lives will be changed. Some who have been stuck in their spiritual journey are about to be set free. Please, please, do not miss this.

“According to your faith will it be done unto you.”   Matthew 9:29

Pastor Tom