March 23, 2015

Calling generations of all nations to the 
       simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ!

Trinity Church @ Rock Creek Middle School, Happy Valley, OR

Realistic Expectations      


In a research study conducted by the North American Mission Board, it was discovered that "68 percent of church plants still exist 4 years after denominations had started them."  That is good news and encouraging to many church planters and those who financially give to support such work.  In addition, the NAMB study also noted that "the chance of survivability increases by over 400 percent when the church planter has a 'realistic' understanding and expectation of the church-planting experience." 


Why is this significant?  Realistic expectations affect our responses to future realities.  Too often, Christians can develop unrealistic expectations of the Christian life and/or participating with Jesus on His mission to make disciples of all nations.  Jesus clearly taught that "in the world you have tribulation" - trouble, suffering, affliction, trials, sorrows, oppression, difficult circumstances, and persecution - "but take courage; I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33). 


In life and in church planting we will have times of "rough water," but joy can be the Christian's experience in the midst of tribulation when he understands that joy is grace recognized.  When the disciples were in the midst of rough water on the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 14:13-33), it became clear that sometimes the storm, itself, is an act of grace.  Jesus' careful attentiveness and watch, His coming in revelation, His presence, and His deliverance are acts of grace.  This was the message that God led Mike to share with a church plant in Happy Valley, OR.  Interim pastor, Bevan McWhirter, shared, "[Mike's] message on 'Rough Water' was excellent in both content and delivery.  It was especially fitting for Trinity as we have been through some difficult times this past fall. Your biblical message was engaging and connected well with our people. Thank you for allowing God to use you in a great way at Trinity."  You can listen to the audio recording of this message at Trinity


Messages from this series were also shared over the course of this school year with the teens at Open Door Christian Academy during four of their chapel services.  Mike has been developing these messages to share at the upcoming Northwest Baptist Convention Student Conference, April 24-25, under the theme: Allegiance.  Please join us in prayer for God to draw many students (especially those who do not know Christ) to this conference and for God to move Christian students to break their allegiance to this world and surrender fully their lives in allegiance to Christ. 

Coulee Baptist Association
Central Washington

Coulee Baptist Association (CBA) Project -- Central Washington  

Mike journeyed to Central Washington for the second time this year, March 13-17, meeting with pastors and leaders of the CBA.  Staying in homes of several pastors was a welcomed time of fellowship and blessing for Mike.  The purpose of the trip was to cast vision, plan, and prepare for upcoming ministry events.  These events will be focused to reach teens with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to equip and mobilize Christians to reach this generation of lost teenagers.


The first gathering of teens will take place on Saturday, May 9th, at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Moses Lake, WA.  There are many aspects of the project still to be finalized and, like all Kingdom work, the task before us is greater than what we can do.  Several of the churches in the CBA do not have a youth group or even a single teenager coming to their churches.  The majority of these churches are single staff with volunteer youth leaders.  We need your faithfulness in prayer for God to move in miraculous ways in the coming weeks and months!


While in CBA, Mike also had the opportunity to preach on Sunday morning, March 15th, at Emmanuel Baptist in Moses Lake, encouraging them with the kingdom reality of Evangelism as a Way of Life.  It was a great morning.  Emmanuel holds a special place in our hearts; 12 years ago while preaching a revival there, the people blessed us with a baby shower for our first daughter, Jordan.


Simply Devoted to Christ!  Mike & Debbie

Upcoming Ministry Events

Mar 20

Open Door Christian Academy, Troutdale, OR-- chapel speaker

Apr 24-25

Northwest Baptist Convention - Student Conference:  Allegiance
Vancouver, WA -- keynote speaker (three main sessions)

May 9 Coulee Baptist Association - Youth Gathering
May 30-31 North Addison Baptist Church, Spokane, WA -- Simple Evangelism with leadership team
Men of Simplicity (MOS)
Simplicity Ministries®
Mike Thibodeaux
P.O. Box 388
Fairview, OR 97024