Well, we launched on November 27th with 16 in attendance. Five of those were my wife and kids and me, and we also had my mom and grandfather. So we didn’t start with a giant crowd. We sent a mailing out to 3 surrounding zip codes, and while there wasn’t a major response, we did have one couple that came as a result of the mailing, and they have continued to come. We have now met 6 times, and on all but two of those occasions there has been a new face. That is encouraging.
Enough about numbers. What have we done? Well, we launched during the season of Advent. So, we sang Christmas songs and I preached on the Old Testament expectation of the Messiah. Our first week we looked at Genesis 3:15 and God’s promise to Eve that she would have a descendant that would crush the serpent’s head. The next week we looked at God’s promise to Abraham that he would have a descendant who would bless all nations. The next week we looked at 2 Samuel 7 and God’s promise to David that he would have a son who would sit on his throne forever. We had to cancel on December 18 because of the weather conditions. I had planned to spend some time on Isaiah 7 and God’s sign that a virgin would be with child who would be called Immanuel. However, on Christmas day we read this passage as a supplemental Scripture reading. On Christmas day we met and I preached from Matthew 1 and the account of the angel who visited Joseph. We saw that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the previous promises that we had looked at.
Since Christmas has now passed, we have started covering other territory. Since we are a brand new church plant, I felt that we should spend some time looking at some of the core convictions that we want to make a priority at Redeemer. So on January 1, we looked at how Jesus said that he would build his Church and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. Our conviction is that a new church is going to come about because of a work of God, not merely through human instrumentation. On January 8, I preached on 2 Timothy 4:1-5, on Paul’s instructions to Timothy that he must “preach the Word.” As a pastor and church planter, I am committed to expository preaching. I will eventually settle down into a book and preach through the biblical books as series. I am also committed to be sure that the point of the sermon comes from the biblical text itself. Too often preachers come up with what they want to say and then use the Bible as a proof text. My aim is to let the Bible speak for itself.
Stay tuned for more news on what’s going on at Redeemer Baptist Church of Panama. You can check out the sermons by clicking on the sermons tab above.