A year into his pastorate, John Piper began a weekly newsletter called The Bethlehem Star. Today you might start a blog rather than a newsletter, but in an increasingly noisy world, the need to communicate effectively with your church membership is more important than ever. Reprinted below is the original rationale (from 1981) behind the creation of this regular communication — which 32 years later continues as a monthly publication complemented by weekly email blasts.
The new Bethlehem Star is rising "for the advancement and joy of your faith." If God wills it will rise every week. Why?
Because without it the congregation cannot be adequately informed about:
1. Plans, expectations, burdens, convictions and challenges of the pastors;
2. What to expect in the services on Sunday;
3. What is happening during the week at church;
4. What decisions are being made by the various boards and committees;
5. Special needs that people have, both for prayer and other kinds of help;
6. Who our new members are;
7. Address and phone changes among our members;
8. The latest developments in our missionaries' lives;
9. What is happening in the Baptist General Conference;
When Jesus said, "Don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing (Matthew 6:3), he was not giving instructions on how the members of the body of Christ should relate to each other. He was saying, "when you give alms toot your horn so softly that it can't even be heard an arm's length away" (see Matthew 6:2-4).
But in the body of Christ the eye has to communicate with the foot, or the whole body will stumble over the log. "We are one body in Christ and individually members one of another" (Romans 12:5). Therefore we must communicate with each other.
When the body functions smoothly, with each member getting and having all the input it needs, then the ministry will flourish and all that happens will be "for the advancement and joy of your faith."
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