EAST HILLS CONNECTION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Think About It... From Pastor Josh Smith
Well, it’s official! Our church voted by 96.5% margin to call Pastor Josh Smith as the EHCC Senior Pastor and he said “yes!” So, there is about to be a change of pastors!
 
As the TSP (transitional senior pastor) of East Hills, I have a few more things to do before I end my ministry this week. One of them is to tell you how to take care of your new pastor. Sadly. many churches don’t know this! So, just in case, I need to cover this.
 
One of my mentors, Roy Kraft, used to say: “It is true that good pastors make good churches. But it is even more true that good churches make good pastors.”  So, I need to tell you how to be make Pastor Josh a good pastor for EHCC. That’s why I want to talk to you about “The Proper Care and Feeding of a Pastor.” Here are 10 principles on how to treat your new pastor:
 
1. Follow the Lord. If a pastor is leading a carnal corral of bucking broncos, your new pastor will get hurt and will not be here for very long. It is very hard to minister to people who do not put God first. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians (2:2); “Make my joy complete.” If you want to make a pastor’s heart sing, live the Christian faith. Read the Bible, pray, and let Christ take over your life. Let the Holy Spirit sweeten your behavior with the fruit of the Spirit and the fragrance of Christ. Let your heart be broken and submissive to God. If you as an individual and every other person who calls this church their home will follow the Lord, your new pastor will have great joy in serving here.
 
2. Encourage the pastor. Look for positive things. By virtue of the job, the pastor hears about sick people, dying people, crumbling marriages, wayward kids, and personal problems. Pastors carry the weight of the world sometimes. If he hears mostly hard stuff, negative stuff, and critical stuff, he will falter under the load. Pastors love to hear things that are encouraging and uplifting. If you really want to get the guy encouraged, tell him something that the church is doing right! Tell him what you are learning from his sermons. If you tell a pastor that you are becoming a better Christian through his teaching, it is like water to a plant!
 
3. Follow the pastor’s leadership. Now that doesn’t mean you drink Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid, but it does mean that you let your new pastor lead the church. Sure, you can and should ask questions because no pastor is infallible. But your new pastor will be leading you into the world of change. One of the great things about Pastor Josh is that he knows how to reach the younger generation. So, that will mean changes from the way we old folks do things. Change is how churches grow. Another of my Plattitudes says: “If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.” So, be open to the leading of God as your new pastor leads you through change. Just because Pastor Mark or some previous pastor did it one way doesn’t mean that it can’t be done differently. Remember the 7 last words of the church are: “We’ve never done it that way before.” Let the new pastor be himself. If he tries to be like a former pastor, he will be a phony. Let him lead how God wired him and follow his leadership.  Hebrews 13:17 says: “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
 
4. Volunteer! Serve! Remember the old tale about the Little Red Hen? She got no help to plant, water, harvest, mill, kneed, or bake the grain to make it become bread. But there were plenty who were willing to eat that warm bread with melting butter on it. For years, I have thought that fable is the church of Jesus Christ with people who want to enjoy a church but never are part of the work. Pastors get really discouraged when 20% of the people do 80% of the work. If you don’t have a ministry or a job in the ministry of our church, volunteer. In the future, we will need more ushers, greeters, musicians, child care workers, youth advisors, Bible study leaders, small group leaders, disciplers, and so much more. We need every person telling their friends, neighbors, relatives and business acquaintances about the Lord and about our church. 1 Peter 4:10 says: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” And that word “each” means every one of us! Get a job and a ministry!
 
5. Tithe if you love Jesus! There is nothing more disheartened than to see God’s work lacking for support. Money is the mother’s milk of a growing church. Money is God’s tool to advertise and entice people to come on this campus. Money is how we pay staff so they can serve the Lord full-time. Money is how we heat, air-condition, paint, carpet, and keep the place in tip-top shape. Money is how we support God’s work around the world. Money is one of the key ways we honor God. Psalm 96:8 says: “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; bring an offering and come into his courts.” If you really love Christ, let it show in your financial investments to God’s work! It will encourage your new pastor and expand God’s Kingdom!!
 
6. Resist the need to critique.  It’s not that pastors are generally thin-skinned. It’s just that getting 30 complaints, 3 nasty emails, and “helpful suggestions” a week can overwhelm and discourage anybody. Sometimes it is like drinking from a fire hose! In the Old Testament, even God couldn’t take the murmuring and complaining of the Israelites. Some people think they helping, but they are latent ways to criticize. Worse yet, many of these “suggestions” are double-binds like this “don’t talk so much about money” but then when the church can’t pay its bills, they say “why didn’t you tell us sooner.” Quite often, the pastor hears two conflicting complaints too hot/too cold; too much music/too little; too much/too little of something at the same time. It is hard to please all the people all the time.  Remember this old Plattitude: “When you get things off your chest, it usually weighs on someone else’s heart.” If you do see something that needs fixing, then, be nice, be kind, and listen to the pastor’s response. Most pastors are very intentional. There may be a very good reason it is done this way. Perhaps the pastor might know something you don’t. Don’t assume you are God’s voice to advise him. Give your new pastor a break from your criticism!
 
7. Pray for your pastor. And old adage says that “poor preaching is God’s punishment on a prayerless congregation.” Your pastor’s unction, zeal, and enthusiasm flow from the Holy Spirit. If you are beseeching God and asking Him to use His Word to speak to your pastor’s heart, God will do it. Pray for him in your home, Bible study, and in the services. Pray for your new pastor daily and by name. Pray for his family. Enumerate before God what you believe his needs are. One of the key ways that Satan destroys pastors is through their families, so ask God to protect his family. Your pastor prays for you so you should pray for him!
 
8. Care and Empathize. Your new pastor has a marriage, family, bills, and needs. Someday, he might have kids. Most pastors have a temper, moods, doubts, a fragile self-esteem, and misbehaving kids. Pastors are not celebrities. Pastors are not perfect. Pastors are not without problems, hurts, hang-ups, and discouragement. How do I know this? I know this because I have just described myself. Sometimes a pastor needs a listening ear, a caring person, or a kind word just like anybody else. So, empathize. Be sensitive. Love him and love his family.
 
9. Be sensitive with his time.  He only has 168 hours in the week just like you do. But he has lots of people to serve, staff to lead, appointments, emails, phone calls, pressures, counseling, weddings, funerals, and lots of study to do. You would not believe the energy and time necessary to lead, love, and preach in a church of any size! And then when it is a church under 200 people, it can be especially daunting. So, give your new pastor grace and some space. Let him get away regularly for renewal, refreshment, and rest. He is gonna need it!
 
10. Pay him a living wage. Some churches I have known have lived by the adage: “Lord, you keep him humble and we’ll keep him poor.” The Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to Timothy (5:18) that a "worker deserves his wages."  In fact, in the previous verse, Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote: “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” If we took that verse literally, it would mean that we would pay the pastor twice what the average person in our church makes! Give your pastor (and incidentally your pastoral staff too) a paycheck that says we respect you, we love you, and we honor God!
 
Pastor Roger Martin once told me how a church should treat their pastor. He said: “Pray him up! Prop him up! Puff him up! And pay him up!” That’s good advice!
 
Thanks for being so nice to me this past year. Most of you are already practicing these 10 things. In fact, that’s how I came up with this list. And I praise the Lord for you! Now please do these things for the next pastor. If you want to bless the Lord, bless this church, and bless me, please put these 10 things into practice with Pastor Josh and Jamie. If you do, I believe some incredible days are ahead for this church, if the Lord Jesus delays His return a while longer.

I have loved being your Pastor
Mark Platt

WATCH AND LISTEN ONLINE
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This Sunday's Message
We have been looking at the words of Jesus in a series called “Red Letter Words.” This Sunday, we will unpack the spiritual truths, important lessons, and personal applications of what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24. Our Lord told us: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” The title of Sunday’s message is “How to be a Real Christian.” We will study the ingredients to be a fully-devoted disciple of the Lord Jesus. Come join us

If you are not able to attend our public service, you can go to www.easthillscc.org on your smartphone or computer. On the first page of our website, choose one of the links to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and our own Truthcasting. We will have Pastor Josh’s message available to view on Monday! Also, the “Question and Answer” time from last Sunday is available for your viewing. Click here to view.
Also, if you are non-technical, you can simply call 510/210-9117 and hear the Sunday service on your phone.
Announcements
Next Sunday, October 25, Pastor Josh Smith will be speaking! 

Bring your friends, neighbors, relatives, and business contacts to hear our new Senior Pastor. It will be a great day!
10:30 A.M. is our new worship time! 
With Pistos (Greek for faithful) Korean Presbyterian Church now renting our facilities on Sunday afternoons from 1:30 to 6 PM., we need an earlier time to meet for worship. So, this Sunday and from now on, don’t forget to come a half-hour earlier!
Be sure to turn your clocks back one hour!
Turn back 1 hour on Saturday, October 31, as Daylight Savings Time ends. You’ll get an extra hour of sleep!
Invite Your Friends and Family to East Hills! 

In these crazy times, people are more open to the Good News. Inviting them to listen to our online services is a non-threatening way to tell them about new life in Christ. You can forward an invitation from your Facebook or Instagram pages. Also, you can send them an email or text and direct them to www.easthillscc.org. where you can click on "Watch This Week's Sermon."
Our New Electrical Panel

Our new electrical panel is done, repairs made, and protective bollards replaced. But we found a few more things that needed to be done to prevent outages, sparks and fires. If you want to help our church with this project, designate your gift for “Electrical Panel.” 
Facelift Continues EHCC!

Right now, our painter is finishing the job on the front of our buildings. But we hope to start the second phase of our painting project soon. We are replacing three windows while we have the opportunity. If you want to help our church with this project, designate your gift for “Painting”.
Women's Bible Study

Held on Thursday nights with Evie Berg on Zoom. Right now, they are studying book of 1 Corinthians. Whether you are in Kentucky, Arizona, or right here on the East Bay, you can enjoy studying the Bible, with other women. Call June Peterson at (510) 604-4277 for more information. All women are invited to enjoy the fellowship and the fun of Bible study!
Distance
Covid-19 Guildlines

Each week, our church is complying with governmental Covid-19 guidelines to prevent the spread. Just like last week, we will:

·       Meet outdoors unless the weather forces us inside
·       Use closed circuit television if we exceed the seating capacity guidelines
·       Practice social distancing
·       Wear masks unless you are leading the service.
·       Take your temperature as you enter
·       Ask people who are running a temperature or sick in any way to stay home
·       Keep from shaking hands
·       Have performed music only (but you can hum along if you want)
·       Have a hand-santizer, communication card, and offering box station
·       Ask people to bring their own chairs
·       Not offer childcare or children’s church
·       Not have coffee or snacks available
 
Meet God and some very nice people at East Hills tomorrow morning at our new service time, 10:30 AM.
Face Mask 2
Togo
Hand Sanitizer 2
Support God's Work at EHCC

Grateful thanks for your stewardship, generosity and faithfulness. We continue to depend on your regular and sacrificial financial support of God’s work. We need to fully support our staff and pay our utilities and other bills. We have missionary support to send. We want to continue our “online” presence during this time and that requires money. Please intensify your financial support of East Hills during this time.

There are 4 ways to give:
Option 1: Mail checks to East Hills at 12000 Campus Drive, Oakland, CA 94519
Option 2: Text "Give" to 510-800-7175
Option 4: Set up online banking with your bank and list East Hills as a payee

Thank you and God bless!
Submit Your Prayer Requests on our Website
"Need Prayer"
As we weather this storm together, we are trying to keep the lines of communication open, especially for prayer. If you have a prayer need, please click the button and submit your prayer. We have a dedicated team who will pray for your request. Prayers can be marked "confidential" for Pastor Mark. If not marked, the information will go to the prayer team.
Corporate Prayer
Join with other East Hills people for prayer each night at 7 PM. This is not online or formal. Just find a quiet place in your home to pray. You can ask your spouse and/or your family members to join you in prayer too.

Please pray for seven specific things:

1. Pray for protection and for containment of the Coronavirus.
2. Pray for wisdom for our leaders as they deal with the virus.
3. Pray for God's protection and guidance for our medical professionals as they treat those affected.
4. Pray for those whose businesses, jobs, and incomes are affected.
5. Pray for those who are the most vulnerable to the attack of this virus.
6. Pray that God will use this time to bring our nation to repent, trust Christ, and bring spiritual change to our prodigal nation.
7. Pray for the ministry of East Hills with our online Sunday service, our devotionals on Facebook, our phone conversations, our witness in our neighborhoods, and with each other.
Videos
Sermon Video
In The Bible (Reading Plan)
Weekly Through the Bible Readings
Join us as we read through the Bible in 2020. Here are the readings for the next few weeks:

September 20-26                Isaiah 1-23; 2 Corinthians 10-13
September 27-Oct 3           Isaiah 24-45; Galatians, Ephesians
October 4-10                       Isaiah 46-66; Philippians, Colossians
October 11-17                      Jeremiah 1-26; 1 Thessalonians
October 18-24                      Jeremiah 27-52; 2 Thessalonians
October 25-31                      Lamentations; 1 Timothy
November 1-7                      Ezekiel 1-12; 2 Timothy
November 8-14                    Ezekiel 12-25; Titus; Philemon
November 15-21                 Ezekiel 26-36; Hebrews
November 22-28                 Ezekiel 37-28; James
November 29-Dec 5          Daniel; 1 Peter
December 6-12                 Hosea-Joel; 2 Peter
December 13-19               Amos-Jonah; 1-3 John; Jude
December 20-26               Micah-Zephaniah; Revelation 1-11
December 27-31               Haggai-Malachi; Revelation 12-22
We Need Your Help
Text Give to 510-800-7175
12000 Campus Drive,
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-7100