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Elder Letter

Elder Letter

Jesus is Better. Therefore…

Hebrews is a theologically deep book. I am thrilled that we are going to walk through Hebrews together as a church family. The aim of the author is unquestionably to present Jesus as superior! Or to say it another way, Jesus is better. Often we say, “Make much of Jesus.” Hebrews is bluntly and unapologetically written to do just that. For many Hebrew people there was a deep temptation to find identity in their traditions, leaders, and experiences. However, this…

A Better Name

“Having become superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs” Hebrews 1:4 Have you ever taken time to consider the significance of a name? Historically, names have been important because they carry meaning and purpose that is being attributed from parents to their children. Even in our culture today, much time, energy, and consideration are given in the choosing of names. As a parent of four children, a lot of time, conversation, and…

Connect To A Go Group!

This is an exciting week for TCBC! I love the first few weeks of a new year, new semester, new month. I love the fresh start that these new points in time provide. I love the excitement around our church family coming back together after the holidays and reclaiming healthy rhythms and patterns of personal spiritual disciplines, corporate worship, family discipleship, and pursuing Christlikeness in community. At TCBC, Go Groups are a vital component of these healthy pursuits, and this…

Jesus Is Better

Who are you? It is such a simple yet profound question. How we identify ourselves is a confession of sorts. There are millions of connections, roles, achievements and failures, ideologies, and attributes by which we could describe our identity. How we define our identity gives insight to the way we see life and our place in it. The author of Hebrews writes to an audience who is practically struggling to answer this question. Rather than finding their identity in Jesus,…

Celebrating Christmas

Over the past several years, Matthew 1:1-16 has become one of my favorite passages of Scripture to study during Christmas. I must confess though, in the past I found this passage of Scripture to be quite boring. I used to see these verses as just a list of names I had to quickly read through in order to get to the “good stuff.” It wasn’t until I really began to appreciate the Old Testament that I began to appreciate the…

Celebrating Faithful Leadership: Gene Mermilliod

Thirty-three years ago, Tri-Cities Baptist Church launched as a new congregation in upper East Tennessee. One family that has been a part of this church body from those early beginnings is Gene and Gayle Mermilliod. Over the last three decades, Pastor Gene has served as a consistent, steady, and wise pastor of the flock. Gene has faithfully taught God’s Word, cared for God’s people, served the body of Christ globally, led our student ministry, served on our elder team, provided…

Elder Ordination

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, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care…

Prepare To Gather

Because we exist for Him, Jesus followers gather with others for worship. We gather to celebrate the greatness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, to experience His unique presence in our midst, and to demonstrate that we belong to something bigger than ourselves: the Body of Christ. But gathering to worship is more than just being present in a room with other Jesus followers. It is intentional, active practice to worship, respond, sacrifice, and give. We have the honor…

Having an Attitude of Gratitude

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1-3 You may ask, “But what if I don’t like my circumstances?” “What if I have recently lost the love of my life?” “What if I am estranged from my spouse or children?” “What if…

What Does Church Planting Have To Do With The Great Commission?

November 16, 2022 What Does Church Planting Have To Do With The Great Commission? Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun At TCBC, we talk a lot about the Great Commission. And rightly so. For this year’s Neighbors and Nations (happening right now), we’re focusing on Church Planting. But what does Church Planting have to do with the Great Commission? Church planting directly helps us fulfill the Great Commission. For instance, we cannot do all that Jesus has commanded us to do…

Neighbors and Nations Begins This Sunday!

November 9, 2022 Neighbors and Nations Begins This Sunday! Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun    Neighbors & Nations is a week-long emphasis designed to equip and mobilize TCBC for gospel advancement beginning next door and reaching around the world. (Click here to learn more about Neighbors and Nations.)   This year, our focus is plant churches. Several guest church planters will join us during the week. Some of the church planters are current partners and others are potential partners working locally as well nationally.      Going…

Equipping Others To Follow Jesus Through A Resource

November 2, 2022Equipping Others To Follow Jesus Through A ResourceElder Letter by Jeremy Bledsoe If you haven’t read Pastor David’s elder letter from last week, you really should. In fact, here is the link for you to access his letter. In his letter, David gives solid and practical advice for how to study the Bible. He also provided a model of the Inductive Bible Study Method that I plan to print out and keep in my Bible as a guide…

Equipping Others to Follow Jesus Through Bible Study

October 25, 2022 Equipping Others to Follow Jesus Through Bible Study Elder Letter by David Brewer   Studying God’s Word personally and in community is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I do as a follower of Christ. I am so thankful that God chose to reveal Himself through His breathed out written Word that is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). 2 Timothy 2:15 holds out a goal for all of…

Equipping Others To Find Joy In Jesus

October 18, 2022 Equipping Others To Find Joy In Jesus Elder Letter by Paul Mermilliod   I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, Philippians 1:25 we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith. 2 Corinthians 1:24   One of the great privileges we get as God’s…

Eternal Security

October 12, 2022Eternal Security Elder Letter by Paul Mermilliod  For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the…

GO Make Disciples Globally…Because Jesus Is Worth It

October 5, 2022 Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” Psalm‬ ‭86:9 ‬How does a church in East Tennessee make disciples in other parts of the world? Answer: By working with strategic partners in the hard to reach places on earth.  For almost four years now, TCBC has partnered with an IMB (International Mission Board), team working in Kabong, Uganda, among the Karamajong people group.…

We Give To Go Because Jesus Is Worth It!

September 28, 2022  We Give To Go…Because Jesus Is Worth It!  Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun In Philippians 4, Paul writes a letter to the church there who had given generously to partner with him as he advanced the gospel all over the Mediterranean region.   And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. (16) Even in Thessalonica…

We Go Because Jesus Did

September 21, 2022 We Go Because Jesus Did Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun During Jesus’ ministry, he spent a good deal of time out among those who were marginalized or looked down upon in society. It’s easy to look at that with approval. But what does that look like here, in the Tri-Cities? It may mean volunteering at Agape to walk alongside mothers who are considering an abortion. Or being paired up with an international student who is in America…

Make Every Effort

September 14, 2022 Make Every Effort Elder Letter by Wes Tucker The last three weeks, during our study of 2 Peter in our worship gatherings, we have looked at 2 Peter 1:5-15, with verse 5 being a point of emphasis. Like many of you, I have been meditating on the charge to “make every effort” (with all diligence, earnestness, haste) to feed my faith and persevere to the end. If you missed any of these three weeks, go back and…

We Go Because He Is Worthy!

September 7, 2022 We go because he is worthy! Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun As I write, Jennifer and I are in New York City with over four hundred church planters pastors from the northeast part of the US. We are attending a Send Network event designed to encourage and equip these pastors to press on and faithfully GO make disciples. We were not here very long before we realized the ministry of making disciples over the last two and a…

Go Groups

August 31, 2022Go Groups And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers… Acts 2:42 When we read about the early church in the book of Acts, one of the things that stands out about their pursuit is the word “devotion.” They were devoted to Jesus, and devoted to pursuing Jesus alongside Jesus’ people, the church. We live in a cultural moment where it has become normalized for our pursuit…

NextGen Update

August 10, 2022NextGen And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers… Acts 2:42 When we read about the early church in the book of Acts, one of the things that stands out about their pursuit is the word “devotion.” They were devoted to Jesus, and devoted to pursuing Jesus alongside Jesus’ people, the church. We live in a cultural moment where it has become normalized for our pursuit of…

Devoted

August 4, 2022DevotedElder Letter by Paul Mermilliod And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers… Acts 2:42 When we read about the early church in the book of Acts, one of the things that stands out about their pursuit is the word “devotion.” They were devoted to Jesus, and devoted to pursuing Jesus alongside Jesus’ people, the church. We live in a cultural moment where it has become normalized…

Why Church Membership?

July 28, 2022 Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun Question: What has most impacted, shaped, strengthened your life as a Jesus follower over the past few years? For me, without question it has been the gift, blessing, responsibility, and challenges of belonging to a local congregation of believers. As an engaged member of a local church we are loved and we learn to love. We learn to forgive and be forgiven. We are built up in Christ and invest in building others…

Why Church Membership?

July 28, 2022Why Church Membership?Elder Letter by Mike Laughrun Question: What has most impacted, shaped, strengthened your life as a Jesus follower over the past few years? For me, without question it has been the gift, blessing, responsibility, and challenges of belonging to a local congregation of believers. As an engaged member of a local church we are loved and we learn to love. We learn to forgive and be forgiven. We are built up in Christ and invest in…

Discover TCBC

August 24, 2022Discover TCBC And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers… Acts 2:42 When we read about the early church in the book of Acts, one of the things that stands out about their pursuit is the word “devotion.” They were devoted to Jesus, and devoted to pursuing Jesus alongside Jesus’ people, the church. We live in a cultural moment where it has become normalized for our pursuit…

The Promise of Stewardship

July 20, 2022The Promise of StewardshipElder Letter by Gene Mermilliod You may be surprised to learn that as a young man in my twenties, even in the early years of my service to the Lord as a youth pastor, I was a thief. Another way to put it biblically is that I was a God robber. In the book of Malachi, the Lord speaks to His people and asks a question, then immediately pronounces a startling accusation. He asks, “Will…

Equip The Saints

August 17, 2022Equip And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers… Acts 2:42 When we read about the early church in the book of Acts, one of the things that stands out about their pursuit is the word “devotion.” They were devoted to Jesus, and devoted to pursuing Jesus alongside Jesus’ people, the church. We live in a cultural moment where it has become normalized for our pursuit of…

We Promise To Equip You To Serve One Another… To Love You

July 14, 2022We Promise To Equip You To Serve One Another… To Love YouElder Letter by Paul Mermilliod Sometimes a well-timed question can become an instrument used by the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out. When I was in college, the youth pastor at our church asked me a question that would end up leaving a permanent mark on the trajectory of my life. It was a simple question that on the surface seemed to be of…

Membership Promises

July 7, 2022Membership PromisesElder Letter by Jeremy Bledsoe During my time serving in the military, I learned many valuable lessons. One of those lessons was that everyone must be committed to accomplishing the mission at hand. This means that everyone must be committed to fulfilling their assigned duty. A lack of commitment by anyone on the team could create a ripple effect that would affect the team’s ability to effectively carry out the mission. While the military carries out many…

GO Make Disciples

June 30, 2022GO Make DisciplesElder Letter by Mike Laughrun Jesus said GO! Every Jesus follower is commanded, empowered, and commissioned by Jesus to GO and make disciples. That was made clear by Jesus at the beginning of His ministry in the gospel of Mark: and Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” – Mark 1:17 Jesus gave this same command to His disciples at the end of His earthly ministry: Go therefore…
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