How to Find A Good Church?

So you are looking for a new church?  This is a common issue.  So what do you look for in a church? As a pastor I am always shocked or surprised about how Christians go about looking for a church.  Most of the time it is very self centered!  I am sure I could write a whole blog on reasons why people join a church.  Instead of looking at the negative side, I would like to focus on applicable ways to truly find a TRUE church in your area!

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1.  You Must Plan

When looking for a job, a wife, a source of entertainment there is always a plan!  At your future job you may ask questions like how much money am I will to be paid minimum?  What hours would I be willing to work?  What are the benefits?  Is there are retirement program?  What is the insurance like?

These are all great questions to be asked.  And probably MUST be asked.  We would ask like questions in regards to our marriage  and entertainment choices. We would study things out before we jump into a situation we do not want to be in.  We make a diligent and disciplined effort to make sure we are making the right choice.

However, when it comes to make one of the MOST important choices of your life,we do not have a plan of action!  So here are a few thoughts on how to make a plan.

  • Know What You Believe
  • Write a Formal Written Plan
  • Make Sure You Know What the Non-Negotiables Are

Understanding these 3 points is really important to your success in finding a church.  Make sure you keep the MAIN things the MAIN thing.  Too often people make the main things the negotiable, and their own personal preferences the NON-negotiables!  These people are plaguing themselves with churches that will falter on the True teaching of God’s Word.  These churches often focus more on Man centered worship than Christ centered worship.

2.  You Must Use Tools

 

Talk to your neighbors or get on the internet!  These are VALUABLE resources and cannot be neglected.  If you talk to your neighbors and they do not have a church, it makes it a GREAT transition to share with them the Gospel.

The internet is such a valuable tool…that is if the church has a website.  You can often listen to sermons or music from their church, and get an overall feel of what they are like.  However, in some cases this should not be your final decision maker.  Often the websites are very basic in information.  You may be able to get a general idea of doctrine, but the overall atmosphere is something that can ONLY be understood through walking through the front door.

 

3.  You Must Be Diligent

Treat finding a church like you would finding a job.  This church is going to be your spiritual influence!  You need to make sure that you leave not stone left unturned.  At the same time, make sure that you do not just visit one week and make that your church!  Visit several churches, and visit them multiple times.

 

4.  Make it a TOP Priority

Choosing a True church is NOT a small thing.  And it is not necessarily easy!  We must understand what the purpose of church is!  It is for the strengthening of ourselves through the GENUINE preaching of the Gospel.  The Word of God is something that needs to be the center of the church.  If the Word of God is not being preaching, opened, or expounded than you are not going to be stretched like you should!
If you are more focused on programs than the preaching of the Word of God, you will end up in a church that is shallow and will not teach you to stretch yourself spiritually.  The goal of a Christian and going to church is too stretch themselves to be more like Christ. It is not a social gathering and it is NOT about entertainment.  Do not exchange TRUTH for entertainment.

 

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

 

 

 

 

What We Can Learn From Duck Dynasty

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It is no doubt that Duck Dynasty is taking the world by storm!  You cannot get around the great characters in SI, Jase, and Willy!   Si who always has a pitcher of ice tea, Jase who always has something up his sleeve in pulling pranks on Willy, and Willy who has to take care of all of the stooges in the company. So “Hey, Jack” why is this such a great hit and what can we learn from them?

Well it has nothing to do with their crazy antics.  It is interesting to me how many posts I see about Duck Dynasty on Facebook.  Just this morning I flipped open Facebook and within 5 minutes I saw at least 5 posts about last nights episode.  It is no doubt that this show is taking us by storm.  And by us, I mean Christians!

What is also amazing to me is how many posts I see online about how godly these men are.  How they are strong on their stance for God.  How they love the Lord.  How they hate abortion.  I have seen countless videos posted about these men preaching, teaching, and telling others about their relationship with Christ. Obviously there is nothing wrong with this.  I am glad that with this great audience that these men have, that they do take the stand for Christ.  It reminds me a lot of how Tim Tebow has taken a stance for his Christian walk in the sports arena.  The world has flocked to his spiritual character.

What absolutely baffles me is how accepting that we are of these men.  And why?  because they are professional entertainers, they are funny, and they have a hit TV shows.  Now you may be stumped as to what in the world I am talking about.  Well if you are a typical traditional…the mere fact that they have beards and long hair should appall you, it should anger you, it should make your stomachs turn!

Now you may say what?!  Well these have always been signs of rebellion in the heart of a Christian in the Fundamental circles, but for whatever reason, these men are not looked down upon, but rather lifted in praise because of their godly lives and Christian stance.  Now I am not saying that we should all go out and get long hair or whatever, but I am saying is that we can learn something from this acceptance!

See we have traditionally been legalistic by putting people into a certain mold that aligns with what we think spirituality should look like!  But what is interesting about that is that we have been SO consumed with trying to make people spiritual, that we have actually forgotten to really be concerned with their true spirituality.  We accept these characters on Duck Dynasty!  No, we embrace them!  But yet you never hear anything negative about their long hair and beards, but rather just throw out there that it is part of the character.  See when it comes down to it, we know that if we see true spiritual character, we throw out the looks.  When we see something we like, we throw out the looks, and when we see something that tugs on our humor bone, we throw out the looks.

However, the spiritual side of things has been something that God has been telling us for years!

1 Samuel 16:7

“7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

See this should be our mind set as well…As the person grows in the Lord, the Lord will teach them whether or not they should have a certain look or not.  As they are driven to Christ they will be taught and convicted by the Lord if they need to change something.  You see it is NOT our job to tell someone how they should or should not look to a degree! What a Believer should do is show them love and biblical principles and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.  See we interested in their spiritual life according to God’s standard and not our own agenda.  Instead of making them what we want to make them, we should show them and drive them to what God wants for them.

We should expect spiritual growth from a person and some of that growth will indeed change their outward appearance, but we must make sure that we pick the right battles in a Christians life.  Is it more important that they look a certain way or that they get over a sexual addiction, or a sinful habit?  In fact God expects them to change. But we should expect them to change how God wants them to change.  Fight the fights that matter not the fights that only change the outward appearance.  Only focusing on the outward man produces rebellion in the inward man.

So what can we learn for Duck Dynasty…simple, if we can accept them and say they are spiritual, then what can this teach us about those who are around us all the time at our churches?  Well show them love, the Bible, and biblical principles and allow the Lord to change them!  Quit focusing on the outward appearance and focus on the things that have eternal value!

P.S.  By the way a beard in Scripture was a sign of manliness!

2 Samuel 10:4-14

So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away. When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”

When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob, 12,000 men. And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. And the Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the gate, and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the open country.

When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. 10 The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11 And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” 13 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14 And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians fled, they likewise fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Find our church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Firestone-Baptist-Church/203757890870

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Why Video Games are Destroying Society: A part of the Destruction of the Christian Culture

https://i2.wp.com/static.ddmcdn.com/gif/best-games-never-made-6.jpg I can tell you now that I will have many friends and former youth group members, that I was their youth pastor, that will not be happy about this post.  I am sure as soon as they see the title they are rolling their eyes or are angry from me posting this. But as we move on with society, I can see that this era of video games will end up being part of the destruction of our Christian society. I will tell you right now that many of these people who are angry, will probably pull up Google and type in the search bar, “the benefits of playing video games.”  Now before you do that, may I suggest to you that this is not about physical health or mental health.  There has been many studies that are posted all over the internet about these issues.  This is not about the camaraderie that these gamers may feel with each other.  This not about your gang or clan or community that one may be a part of.  This is also not entirely about violence or the sexual content in games. This at first may seem like something that is rather trivial and trite.  This may be something that someone may think that I am trying to push my personal agenda or that I am trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Some may even think that this may be something like the movie theater debate that has gone on for the last 100 years.  “Show me the proof from God’s Word that gaming is wrong!”  But this is much farther than that I believe.  This not a small battle about something that at the end of the day has no validity. May I first say, that I am not anti-gaming.  I do think they have a time and a place. However, everything has to be in balance.  I think this digs much deeper that just whether or not our society plays video games.  Ultimately it is about how video games and the video gaming community is and will be detrimental to the health of the church and of the Christian society. This actually causes two problems within Christianity.  The first is that it will be part of the destruction of the Christian culture.  The second being that this is an unreached community of people, that the church is going to have a hard time reaching.  These two problems can cause major problems and I believe in epic proportions.   Now you may read that and laugh, but let me help you understand where I am coming from. This gaming community has largely become a rather introverted community.  This community can play for hours upon hours at a time, locked away in the rooms, offices, and basements playing these video games of all sorts.  They are constantly thinking of video games.  And now with the advancement of technology they can take video games with them anywhere and everywhere they go.  They spend hours upon hours trying to rank up, get to the next level, beat the final boss, and trying to get the latest feature.  If they are part of the smart phone market they are even spending money to help them make these advancements through the games that they are playing. This introverted mentality is sweeping the nation and sweeping the earth.  The video gaming industry racks in well over 41 Billion dollars annually globally.  What is scary about this is who this is influencing.  This market you would think would be sweeping into our teens and children.  However, the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) has completely different statistics.

  • 67% of all households play video games
  • 49% of those who play games are between the ages of 18-49
  • 25% were under 18
  • 26% were over 50

I am not sure if those number shock you, but they should.  If you notice the number of the least amount of players is actually the teenage!  Most video game players are those who are classified as adults by ALL scenarios.  Why does this pose such a threat to Christianity?  Have you ever heard of the thought that the Young Marrieds and College and Career show a healthy church?  As a church planter, I can tell you this indeed is true!  Young People attract all people when it comes to church. If a church has young people in it, that typically tells the rest of the area, that this church is culturally relevant.  For more reading on culturally relevant please click HERE. Personally I am scared because of these frightening statistics. “The National Center for Health Marketing at the Centers for Disease Control was the strong correlation between regular gaming and internet use, and increased risk for depression, higher body mass index (BMI), and other negative physical and mental health issues. Women who regularly played video games had both higher levels of depression and lower overall health status compared with women who didn’t play, and men who concentrated time on the console were more likely to have elevated BMI and report more time spent on the internet than men who weren’t gamers. Overall there were more male than female video game devotees (55.9% of those who reported playing regularly in this survey were men), but for both men and women, regular gaming was strongly correlated with a higher dependence on the internet for social interaction.” The last phrase of the previous quote scares me, it says that the gamers had a higher dependance on the internet for social interaction.  According to a survey conducted by video game price comparison site Playr2.com, gamers age 18 – 40 may end up dedicating almost two years of their lives playing video games. The company conducted a survey of 1,452 of its members, asking a variety of questions about their gaming habits. The survey found that the average gamer will spend about 1.8 years of their life playing games on various platforms. What this is doing to the Christian community is that instead of driving them out of their four walls of their home, it is driving them farther and farther inside and for more and more time.  I know this may seem small, but in the great cause that Christ has called us, this could be catastrophic. You may think that is over the top or exaggerating.  But as a Christians we must consider our greatest purpose.  If our time is consumed with beating the next boss, or leveling up and we forget the Gospel, what have we become?  If our churches are filled with video game minds rather than the minds of Christ, where will this lead us?  These gamers are the next leaders of our church?  These gamers are the next generation of “God Fearing” Christians? The gamers are the next group of missionaries?  These gamers are the next Spurgeons, Carmichels, Elliots of our time. I fear that this issue needs to be taken into consideration for massive action. Personally I have been concerned with the leadership of our church for years.  Many of the leaders have a hard time describing why they believe what they believe.  If this is the case now, what about the leaders that will be hereafter?  God has called us to be studiers of His Word, to be instant in season, out of season!  Always ready at a moments notice to defend, preach, and teach the Word of God.  He also teaches us to redeem the time because the days are evil.  The Lord’s return is immanent.  Should we waste our minds and time with such frivolous things?  A balanced approach is in order!  A vision of the spreading of the Gospel is in order!  And a mindset of renewing our minds with the Word of God is an absolute! This does bring us to the second problem. And to be honest. It is a problem that I do not know how to effectively solve!  It is a problem of reaching the Lost world who has introverted themselves in their basements playing video games.  How do we effectively reach these people for Christ?  There is an estimated 70% of the worlds population that plays video games!  This proposes a conundrum for us as Believers!  How do we effectively spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth…literally defined, the basement? We could:

  • Get more involved in the gaming community
  • Start Christian Clans and gaming communities
  • Create GREAT Christian games
  • Start Boycotting the gaming market

Obviously, some of the above suggestions are silly and ridiculous.  All the suggestions above have some issues that would actually make us spend MORE time in the world of gaming rather than limiting us.  If 70% of the world is gaming, than this is something that I really believe should be something that we as Believers consider.  How do we effectively reach the gaming world, without completely wasting our time as Believers? Truly at the end of the day, this may not seem like something that big right now.  But if the trend is going the way it looks like it will be going, this could be a devastating issue for the church, for outreach, and ultimately for the Gospel’s sake.

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

College and Career in the Carbon Valley Area

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There are a lot of things that we are excited here at Firestone Baptist Church.  But one of the things that we are really excited for, as we are a fairly new church start, is that we have now officially begun our college and career program.  This has a great long term growth potential.

The college and career is one of the most delicate time in a person’s life.  Many people at this age start searching in their life why they believe what they believe.  We believe it is important for this group of people to have a great peer group to encourage each other in the Lord and to make great strides to lay the biblical foundation for the rest of their lives.  This group, which usually consists of singles who have just entered college to those singles who have already graduated and are in their careers, is an important part of the church and needs much attention as the future direction of any church.

The College and Career group is striving to continue to build this group and make an impact in the Carbon Valley Area of Colorado.  If you are a college and career age adult we would love to have you join our college and career group as we strive to impact the community in many various different ways for the Lord.

For more information on the college and career group please go to http://www.firestonebaptist.com/collegeministry.htm

For more information on Firestone Baptist Church please go to FirestoneBaptist.com

Your Job…is Your Outreach/Ministry

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Have you ever heard someone say, “I am not a pastor so I do not have a ministry.”  Or “I am not a pastor so I do not have the ability to outreach like he would.” Or “I am a stay at home mom, I never see anyone to tell them about the Gospel.”  The fact of the matter is, these are just not true.  More often they are used as excuses because of fear of your fellow workers or other moms. There is nothing more challenging then your coworkers being negative to you because of your Christianity.  And there can be nothing more daunting than the fellow mothers that you socialize with neglecting to doing things with you, because of you talking about your Christianity.  But are these concepts of the ability to outreach is due to having a fear.

Truthfully, we should be thrilled and excited to tell our coworkers about the Lord.  Granted there is a time and place for this, and the actual work hours are not that time.  But on lunch breaks and break times are a great time to get involved in your coworkers lives.  But what will they say if they know I am a Christian?  How will they respond to me around the office if they know I am a Christian?  Will this have a negative backlash on my job if I tell them?  These are all understandable questions, but are they the right questions?

Scripture teaches us in

2 Corinthians 4:3

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

See better questions may be:

  1. If I do not tell them about Christ who will?
  2. Maybe someone has already planted the seed of the Gospel, maybe God wants me to be the water?
  3. I wonder if there are other Christians here that we can be an encouragement to?
  4. What if I am the only Christian in my office?
  5. What if I am the only Christian that they will ever meet?

These questions are not to make us feel guilty, but to help us think about the importance of our work place.  God has you there for a reason.  He has there for you a purpose and that ultimate purpose is not to make money, but to be a shining light into a dark world.  We have an absolute “gold mine” when it comes to showing people how great the Lord is in our own workplace.  God has placed those specific people in your life for a specific reason.  God says that, “He is not willing that any should die, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).

True Church growth will only exist if we tell people outside of the church about Christ.  Most churches only grow, because other Christians from other churches, get unsatisfied with those churches.  They leave that church and populate another church.  This is not church growth, but rather church hopping.  Unfortunately, in many cases, these same church hoppers will be jumping out of that church sooner or later.

If we want to see True church growth in our lives we need to make sure that we are outreaching to those people that God allows us to interact with everyday.  These are the people that we are able to develop personal relationships with.  These are people that we can have a frequent example of who Christ is.  They see our testimony and lifestyle everyday.  They see your genuine relationship with the Lord.  So when the time comes when you give them the full Gospel, they can only say that you have been consistent with your relationship with the Lord.

So your job is not just a job.  Your mom group, is not just a mom group.  They are organizations that the Lord has you a part of to outreach to the Lost to bring them to Christ.  This is your outreach.  This is your ministry.  Scripture says, that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  God doesn’t want us to be afraid of telling these people about the Gospel.  But excited about the possibility that they may come to Christ.  That they may be able to spend eternal life with Christ.  This should be an encouragement to us for the ages.  God asks us to be in the world, to be involved in it.  He tells us not to be part of it, but be involved in it.  If we are not involved in the world, it is difficult to tell the Lost when we are not involved with them, to tell them about Christ.  Get involved with your coworkers.  Get involved with the moms at your mom’s group.  Get involved with your neighbors.  Get to know them.  Lead them to Christ.

For more information about Firestone Baptist Church please go to FirestoneBaptist.com

Is Your Church Dead?

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Revelation 3:1-6

3 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

It is a very simple question, is your church dead?  What type of life do you see at your church?  What defines a church that is alive?  Is it having multiple programs?  Is it a large church choir? A large congregation? What makes your church alive?

Revelation 3:1b

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Experts tell us that churches often go through four stages of life. They are classified as:
1. The Movement Stage. The beginning stage of most churches. .. small, intimate and driven group of believers…. people are nearly 100% committed…. Sunday School, Worship, Sunday Evening, Wednesday Night…..spend time together at each other’s homes and in Bible studies.
2. The Magnificence Stage. reached a high level of attendance…..because of their size, they can begin to do things they could only dream about before. However, commitment of the group begins to dip to between 50 & 70%. still have the vision, and a dream, but the intensity has diminished.
3. The Monument Stage. still do things to increase growth, but begin to talk less about the future than they do about their past. They work at maintaining their past reputation. They do things because that’s the way they’ve always done them. … often cursed by power struggles and many talk about the church as “my church” and “our church”. Commitment level dips to between 10 to 30%.
4. The Mausoleum Stage would most commonly identify as the “dead church.” People have drifted away or died. Attendance levels are between 10 to 50% on any Sunday, and new people – when they show up – are suspect (they’d take control).
The Mausoleum church is the one we most often identify as the “Dead Church”

You have been weighed on the scales and have been found deficient.  The question may go farther and say are you really a church at all?  Your church may be socially distinguished but when all is said and done, you are at a dead church.  The works that you are doing are just a disguise to say that you are  a church, but when the truth be told, it is just a grave clothes.

The church of Sardis was known through out the community to be thriving church.  But it was all a front.  Revelations tells us that there were only a few, very few of those at the church that were still alive.  No Program, choir, activity defines a church that is a live.  Those can all be just a cover up.  This is a church who does not seek out the lost, disciple the believers, and shepherd the flock.  This is a church that masks their spirituality by saying they have programs that are alive, but inside they are dead.  This type of church is a church that walks in their sleep.  They are corpse.  There is no sense of hanging around a corpse.

There are few legit Christians there.  You may say that, “I go to so and so church and I know it’s dead.  I am a real Christian how long should I stay?” Even in dead churches there are worthy people.  Here in Revelation it says that there are a few.  Not everyone in this church bows to Baal!   Is there hope?

A church that is an alive church is one that the Believers are actively repenting of sin, seeking and searching God’s Word, witnessing to the Lost, seeing souls saved, experiencing true worship, and discipling other Believers.  This is a church that people actively see and feel the Holy Spirit working in the congregation and the lives of the people.  Great things are happening!

If you want the church to be revived, there is a path. A path to renewal.  It has to be taken by the Believers.  There are 5 steps

1.  vs 2- WAKE UP–  You cannot just let the church die!  You have to revive yourself with a spiritual CPR.  Your current attitude is sleep.  You are hanging around in a daze.  Make an evaluation and care about your church.  Too many times when a Believer sees that a church is dying they do nothing.  After a bit of doing nothing, they leave.

2.  Strengthen the things that remain–  There are things there that are still valuable.  There may be few, but rescue them.  Find out what they are, and build it!  This is important.  You cannot give CPR to a dead person, but you can give CPR to a person that is still alive. Although they may be almost dead, they still have life.

3.   vs 3 Remember what you have received and heard- Find the strengths that once were there.  Remember the things that you have been taught.  He wants us to reach back to the Truth. That Truth is the Scriptures.  It is God’s Word.  How often we fail, when we forget God’s Word.  Scriptures says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  2 Timothy 2:2, teaches to take the things which we have learned and find those people who are still alive and teach them, disciple them, and shepherd them.  This is crucial!

4.  And Keep it-  This is the obedience or the application of knowledge.  This is where stay strong to the Word of God. We do not fall to the wiles of the devil or the tricks of the world!  This is when true reviving or revival begins.

5.  And Repent–  With remorse and sorrow, call sin, sin.  Turn away from any sin and all sin!  Too much sin has entered into the church and without repentance!

For more information on Firestone Baptist Church go to FirestoneBaptist.com.

Qualifications of a Pastor: Hospitable

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1 Timothy 3:1-7

3 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.

The word today that we will look at is φιλόξενος (philoxenos).  This word is hospitable, pertaining to show care to strangers.  It was common during the times that may believers during their traveling from city to city would need places to stay.  They would usually stay at the pastor’s home of the local Bible believing church in the area.  This was due to the cause that the majority of the hotels were notoriously known for prostitution.  Because of this, the pastor would be a blessing to those in the church by allowing them to stay in their home.
When we think of the word hospitable, we may think more along the lines of having someone over for dinner, and then later on they will return the favor to us by asking us to go to dinner with them.  Although this is partially true, this word really means a deeper meaning of allowing people into your home.
“The word xenos (ξενος) meant first of all, “a stranger, a foreigner.” It was also used of a guest-friend, also of a host, one who receives and entertains hospitably. The word philos (φιλος) refers to one who has a liking for, is fond of something. Thus, the compound word means, ‘one who is fond of offering hospitality.'”  1
The idea here is this person is fond or enjoys building relationships far beyond just the pulpit and the church structure.  It has the idea of getting to know someone on more than just a superficial basis.  Unfortunately this world is setting us up for more of an astronomical mistake with this type of mentality.  Facebook, twitter, and many other outlets of social media are making it difficult to build relationships and support the idea of hospitality.
In the shepherds perspective, he should enjoy getting to know the people of the church the Lord has given him.  How can a shepherd, shepherd if he does not know his people?  How can the pastor relate to the people if he does not know what they really struggle with?  How can the pastor properly use the skills and abilities of the church, if he does know them outside of the Sunday morning service?
This idea of hospitality has more than just having them into his home.  It has a huge part of getting to know the people so that a pastor can really do his position, which the Lord called him to be, and that is to be a shepherd to the people.
We have lost this hospitality because we are more interested in not getting to know people on a personal basis.  We are more interested in not knowing the issues of people on a deeper basis, because we flat out do not want to get involved. We really do not want to “bear one another’s burdens.”  As a shepherd of your church, God asks you to know the people!  He wants you to be more to them, other than just on the inside of the walls of the church.  How can we know, if do not spend time with the people.
On another note, this is yet another reason why I believe it is important for church planting.  It helps spread people out from old church to the new church so that the people have more opportunities to be individually discipled and shepherded by the pastor.  So that the pastor can truly be hospitable, and the people can truly be discipled.
For more information on Firestone Baptist Church go to FirestoneBaptist.com

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (1 Ti 3:2). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.