News

Check out our weekly newsletter for details on upcoming events

 

Advent Devotional Week 2, Reading 2

Advent Reading 2 Week 2: December 5 - 11 

 

 

In our present culture, there are constant arguments over who is speaking the truth. Multiple fact-checkers spring up, claiming to be the arbiters of accuracy or authorities on what constitutes truth. These fact-checkers can be financially motivated, politically motivated, or less than transparent. With so much different information coming from so many different places, it can be difficult to determine the truth.

Due to our fallen nature, we need a marker, guide, or measure that is unchanging and reliable. When farmers want a straight row, they set stakes in the ground or have a fixed point they go by to make sure they are plowing straight. Builders have plumb lines and levels that ensure they are building straight and not relying on their own guesses to guarantee a stable structure.

 

In ancient times, when building a structure, they had to start with as close to perfect measurement as possible or whatever built on top would be unstable. To achieve this, they would use a cornerstone. This was the first stone set during the building process. Careful measurements were taken to ensure the cornerstone was square. This ensured the proper alignment of the remainder of the building. Christ used this as an illustration in teaching his disciples about the importance of what we build our lives on. The sand of falsehood is unstable and leads to ruin. But building on the solid rock of truth allows the house of your life to remain stable, withstanding any storms.

 

Throughout scripture, Jesus is called the Cornerstone. David prophesied in Psalm 118:19–24, “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. [20] This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. [21] I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. [22] The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. [23] This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. [24] This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

  This same image is later mentioned in Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’”

Jesus referred to these scriptures when he rebukes the leaders of Israel, and pronounces judgement on them, as says in Matthew 21:43-44, “[43] Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. [44] And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

 

After Our Lord’s sacrifice and resurrection, Peter delivers this message again to the same rulers, saying, “[5] On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, [6] with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. [7] And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” [8] Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, [9] if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, [10] let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. [11] This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. [12] And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:5-12).

 

This name of Christ is so important, Peter uses it again in his first letter to the churches, where in 1 Peter 2:4-7 it says, “[4] As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, [5] you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. [6] For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ [7] So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.’”

 

Jesus is our Cornerstone. He is the one we can rely on as our absolute guide to truth, purity, and holiness. He is an unwavering foundation we can build our own lives on, as it says in Ephesians 2:18-22:

[18] For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [22] In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

 

Think about it

Jesus is the only sure foundation. He is the only one who is reliable. He is the truth. What are things you have been doing in your life to build your life on Jesus as the foundation? What are some ways you can learn truth from Jesus this week? 

 

Pray

Jesus we praise you, our Cornerstone. Teach us to follow your example. Make us holy stones who rest securely on you, our foundation.

at Wednesday, December 8, 2021

An Avenue Christmas - Tickets

We are excited to announce

An Avenue Christmas 2021

Friday, December 10 & Saturday, December 11

5:30-9:00pm

Live music and nativity presentation, carriage rides, crafts, food, ice skating, and more.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online (www.wabcapps.org) or in the church office starting November 15.

Visit https://www.westernavenue.org/anavenuechristmas for details.

at Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Advent Devotional Week 2, Reading 1

Advent Reading 1 Week 2: December 5 - 11 

 

We have many different ways to separate people into categories. Some are male; some are female. Some are old; some are young. People have different skin colors and come from different countries. How can you divide your family into different categories? Do some have freckles and others do not? Does everyone have the same hair color? Are there singers and non-singers? Different eye colors? Right-handed or left-handed? Clean or messy? For fun, go to this website to see how many different ways there are “2 Kinds of People”: https://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/

This is how we see people. God only sees two kinds of people – those who are in Adam and those who in Christ. We see this in one of Paul’s letters: “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:21-22). Later in that same chapter, Paul wrote, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (verse 45). Two verses later, he wrote, “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven” (verse 47). This may be confusing. What is Paul trying to teach us? 

Adam, the first human created by God, was placed in the Garden of Eden to serve as our representative. He would live forever if he could live without sinning. Of course, he failed to represent us well. He sinned when he disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the tree. This means all who come after him have been born with a sin nature like his and commit sins themselves. God sees these people the way he sees Adam in the Garden – sinful and disobedient. However, when Jesus was born, he came as a “another Adam” or the “last Adam.” He was also tested in the wilderness but he passed the test. He obeyed God and did not sin. Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was tempted again and he passed the test by obeying the Father’s will. In fact, he never sinned his entire life. 

 

These two “Adams” are important. Both were tested around a specific tree: a forbidden tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden and the forsaken tree on the hill of Golgotha. If Adam obeyed God about his tree, he would live. If Jesus obeyed God about his tree, he would die. Adam failed his test and something horrible happened. Jesus passed his test and something amazing happened. The first Adam disobeyed God and brought death into the world. The last Adam obeyed God and brought life into the world. The first Adam failed in paradise and was cast into the wilderness. The last Adam succeeded in the wilderness and opened the way to paradise. You can choose to get out of Adam’s line and into Jesus’ line. All who do are no longer represented by Adam but by Jesus, the last Adam. Now, if you are a Christian, God sees you the way he sees Jesus! What a difference the Last Adam makes! 

 

Think about it

All kinds of people represent you. Maybe you have a class president? Maybe you have a captain who picks the kickball teams? Miss North Carolina represents all of us in the beauty pageant. We have representatives in our state congress and the U.S. Congress. Who will represent you when you stand before God – Adam or Jesus? The Bible says, “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom 10:13). Call on Jesus, the Last Adam, to save you and represent you today!

 

Pray

Thank you Jesus for your perfect obedience throughout your entire life. It is so difficult for me to be obedient even when I want to. I still sin every single day. I know I need you to stand in my place before God. Thank you for your willingness to accept me and be my savior.

at Monday, December 6, 2021

No Wednesday Activities 12/8

Quick reminder: no Wednesday night activities this week, December 8th. We hope you’ll make plans to join us this weekend for An Avenue Christmas! And, next Wednesday, December 15 for caroling!
at Monday, December 6, 2021

Church-Wide Caroling 12/15

Join us Wednesday, December 15, 5:30 - 8:30 pm. We will gather in the Avenue Kids Clubhouse and then go out in groups as you arrive to sing carols and spread Christmas cheer to our shut-ins and elderly. Afterwards, we will come back to the Clubhouse to enjoy cookies and Christmas fellowship. We hope you will make plans to join us for this special evening.

at Thursday, December 2, 2021

Advent Reading #2

Advent Reading #2

A soft and fluffy, little white-faced animal standing unsteadily on gangly legs or resting close in a shepherds arms. These are the images that spring to mind when we hear the word lamb. A lamb is cute and sweet, often causing a big “aww” reaction. While such an image brings warmth to our heart, it falls short when we read John the Baptist’s call to “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36). The call to “behold” dictates that this Lamb is something worth seeing. It is something different than you imagine. When we think of this Lamb, our images do not do Him justice. Perhaps the original audience fared better in rolling through their catalogue of memory and finding a different understanding of a lamb. For them a lamb could evoke memories of observing Passover, a festival centered on a lamb whose blood is spilled out and wiped across household doorways. This blood cries out to the angel of death, “Pass over this home. Those within rest under the blood of the lamb” (see Exodus 12:21-23). Others may have recalled a scene of provision on a mountainside, envisioning Abraham as he sacrificed a ram God provided to take Isaac’s place on the altar (Genesis 22). Original hearers may have recalled their trips to the Temple with hands full of offerings and hearts full of hope that their sacrifice would be enough to garner forgiveness at least until the next sacrifice was required. These images of a lamb touch on God’s provision, grace, and love. But, they only remind us of a lamb. John beseeches us to behold the lamb. This is not one among many lambs. This is the long awaited lamb who makes the need for all other lambs obsolete. 

 

Behold – see and know – that this is the ultimate perfect Lamb. He is God’s Lamb who was in the beginning. He is God’s Lamb through whom all things were created. He is God’s Lamb in Triune fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is God’s Lamb who has come in absolute perfection to do what no other lamb could do. He is God’s perfect Lamb, his one and only Son, who has come to take away the sin of the world. The blood of this Lamb will be shed not for Israel alone, but for all the world. Whoever believes in the Lamb of God will not perish but have everlasting life. In this season of Advent, may we come to the manger with expectation. As we peer in, search not for the little lamb resting in Mary’s arms, but seek to behold THE Lamb of God. As we behold Him, let us declare the praise that all of eternity will proclaim unto The Lamb be all blessing, and honor, and glory forever (Rev. 5:12-13). 

 

Think about it

Google’s online dictionary defines behold as “to see or observe a thing or person, especially a remarkable or impressive one.” When John calls out “behold,” it is a beckoning to see who Jesus is, to realize how remarkable he is, and to encounter him. When was the last time you asked God to help you really see Jesus for who he is? Perhaps it is time to pray and ask God to help you see beyond the images you have constructed of Jesus and behold him as God intends. 

 

Pray

“Loving Father, bless us to truly behold your Lamb. Bless us to see Jesus as you would have us see him. Show us where we have had thoughts and built images that do not fit who Jesus truly is. Lead us to confess our false understandings of him. Lead us to behold him as you would have us to. Grant us a true understanding of Jesus. May our lives give Jesus all the praise he is so worthy of.”

 

at Thursday, December 2, 2021

Advent Reading #1

Week One: November 28-December 4

When I first began dating my husband, it was apparent to me how important their family name was to his father. He had several books on their ancestry. He belonged to their family’s historical society. He knew exactly what their name meant. My father-in-law had many names which our culture would have found prestigious: Doctor of Medicine, Chief of Staff, and Lead Business Partner, to name a few. But, the name that mattered the most to him was his last name – Veach. 

Jesus had many names but the one he used for himself more than any other was Son of Man. Of all the amazing names Jesus was given, why did he refer to himself as the Son of Man most often? I believe it is for the same reason my father-in-law was proud of his name. He wanted others to know who he really was.

Jesus understood God’s ultimate plan for his life. He knew he was the king who would save people from their sins. In Luke 19:10, Jesus says, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." He knew he was the answer to the problems of this world, but it would take time before he was revealed as the solution. 

Matthew 20:28 says, "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” My father-in-law did not plaster his family name on everything he owned, but if you were willing to listen, he would proudly tell you everything you ever wanted to know about his name and the heritage that went along with it. The same was true for Jesus. He never shouted, "I'm the Messiah" from the rooftops. Instead, he quietly and subtly shared exactly who he was with those who had ears to hear and hearts willing to listen. 

Think About It

Have you ever researched the meaning of your family name? Do you know where your family came from or facts about your lineage? 

Family history is important, but the real family we need to be sure we are a part of is God's family. John 1:12 tells us, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Once we receive Jesus, we are given a new name – Child of God.  

Have you been given the name Child of God? If not, I pray this Christmas season you will receive the greatest gift ever given - the gift of eternal life. Romans 10:9-11 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Confess him as your Lord today. Believe that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.

Pray

Thank you, God, for giving us your Son so that we can forever carry the name Child of God. Amen

 

at Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Advent Devotional Guide

Yesterday marked the start of the Advent season, and we lit the first candle, the candle of hope! To walk you through this time of advent, we have developed an advent devotional guide (https://www.westernavenue.org/advent) again this year. You can download online or pick up a hard copy at the church, if you haven't already.

There are two weekly readings we will post here on our website at https://www.westernavenue.org/advent and on Facebook.

 

Advent means coming. Christ has come and is coming again. During this season, we focus our hearts and minds on his coming. Let’s celebrate his coming as a baby at Christmas, as we also anticipate his coming again in glory.

We all have a name. Some may have more than one. There are first names, last names, and middle names. There are nicknames from childhood received from something memorable or sometime noteworthy – for better or worse. There are family nicknames only parents and siblings are allowed to use. Some family names are passed down from one generation to the next generation and sometimes to the third, the fourth, or the fifth. New names are given at marriages and adoptions. Names are personal and meaningful.

Jesus has many different names. The names he is called in the Scripture are full of meaning. They describe who he is. On Sunday mornings during advent, we will go through some names found in Isaiah 9:6, “…and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” But, there other names for Jesus we will not get to during our time together.

The advent reading guide features short devotions that look at some of Jesus’ names and titles from the scripture. This is not an exhaustive list, but maybe it will help jump start your journey through the scriptures as you seek to understand names of Jesus.

Schedule for Advent Devotions

1: November 28 – December 4

Son of Man & Lamb of God

2: December 5 - December 11

Last Adam & Cornerstone

3: December 12 - December 18

Jesus & Messiah

4: December 19 - December 24

First and Last & A Name No One Knows

Christmas Day: December 25

Mary and Joseph’s Son

There are two devotional readings for you and your family each week, plus an extra for Christmas Day. They will serve to focus your heart and thoughts on the names of Jesus and the character that each one reveals. Each reading is followed by a prompt for prayer.

We encourage you to read these with your family as a part of your family worship time, or you could gather with a group of friends to pray and focus on who Jesus is and what Christmas truly means – celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.

at Monday, November 29, 2021

Music Ministry: There is a Name 11/6

We hope you will make plans to join us in the Worship Center on Saturday, November 6, at 7:00pm, as the Western Avenue music ministry presents an evening of worship, “There Is A Name.”

“There is a name that makes the mountains tremble, There is a name that shatters every stronghold, One matchless name higher than all the others, O praise the name of Jesus”

This night will be all about singing and celebrating the name of Jesus. His name is power, His name is healing, His name is life!

No ticket is required and the free event is open to the public. Please invite your family and friends to worship with us!

at Friday, October 22, 2021

Pumpkin Fest

WABC will have a booth at Pumpkin Fest in downtown Statesville again this year. Stop by to see us and say hey! All our volunteer spots are currently filled. Please be in prayer for the interactions we will be able to have during this event!
at Friday, October 22, 2021

Church Picnic

Join us for a church-wide picnic and variety show on Friday, October 22, from 6:00 - 9:00pm. Bring the whole family to the back parking lot for a night of fun and entertainment. We will have food trucks on site from Village Inn, Waffle Chick and Tacos on the Road on site for you to grab food for your family.

We will have a variety of games set up including 9-square-in-the-air, Spikeball, and corn hole.

There will be a variety show for you and your family to enjoy including a wide variety of talents, games, and competitions. We hope to see you there!

at Friday, October 22, 2021

Sunday Service 10/17

Ruth was an outsider but has just pledged her allegiance to the God of Israel. Now, she has followed her mother-in-law to Bethlehem. What will these two women find in the Promised Land? What kind of God will Ruth’s new God prove himself to be? What should we expect from the Lord when we pledge our allegiance to him? Can we trust him? What kind of God will he be to you? In Ruth 2, we find that answer to our greatest question and our greatest need.
at Friday, October 22, 2021

Sunday Service 10/10

Pain and suffering are unavoidable in this fallen world. When we are not prepared for the tragic events that often invade our life, it is easy to become bitter as our narrow focus blurs our perspective. However, God has a purpose behind every sting, bruise, and ache of your heart. This week, as we finish our study of the first chapter of Ruth, we will learn a great truth that will help us when unwanted struggles and painful tragedy invades our lives.
at Thursday, October 7, 2021

Evangelism Training 10/9

Our next evangelism training is this Saturday, from 9:00-10:00am. This training time includes worship, prayer, and a gospel tool to equip you to share more effectively. We hope to see you there!
at Thursday, October 7, 2021

Sunday Service 10/3

We begin a new study of a new book this Sunday, October 3. We will spend the next five weeks reading through one of the most beautiful and meaningful stories ever told – the story of Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, David, and Jesus.

In this first message, we will see how feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, lostness, and loneliness can lead us to believe God has abandoned you. We cannot interpret our understanding of God through the perspective of our situation. We must always interpret our situation through the lenses of God’s revelation. When we do, we will come face to face with the truth that God is always good!

at Thursday, October 7, 2021

Hope Keepers: Support Group for Chronic Illness & Pain

New ministry support group at WABC - Hope Keepers

Support for Chronic Illness and Pain

Location: WABC, Room 153

When: First Tuesday of every month

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

(Attendance is free of charge for all those who register. Please call 704-873-6397, extension 3210 or send email to dan@westernavenue.org with your first name and last initial.)

**Masks are temporarily required for attendance at this time.

at Monday, September 27, 2021

Ice Cream & Illusions

Ice Cream & Illusions

A church wide family event for the young and old, featuring our very own Andy Lackey!

This Friday, September 24 at 6:00pm

Avenue Kids Clubhouse

This is a FREE event! Invite your friends and family!

at Monday, September 20, 2021

Sunday Service 9/19

In Mark 13, Jesus talks about a darkened sun and moon and falling stars. He talks about coming on the clouds with great power and glory. He talks about sending the angels to gather the elect from the ends of the earth. This is all strange language but also very familiar to the believer.

What is Jesus trying to communicate here? What does he want his followers in the twenty-first century to understand and to do with this information? We will attempt to answer these questions this Sunday morning at Western Avenue Baptist Church.

Sunday, September 12, 8:30am and 11:00am

Sunday School 9:45am

at Thursday, September 16, 2021

Sunday Service 9/12

In Mark 13, Jesus talks about a darkened sun and moon and falling stars. He talks about coming on the clouds with great power and glory. He talks about sending the angels to gather the elect from the ends of the earth. This is all strange language but also very familiar to the believer.

What is Jesus trying to communicate here? What does he want his followers in the twenty-first century to understand and to do with this information? We will attempt to answer these questions this Sunday morning at Western Avenue Baptist Church.

Sunday, September 12, 8:30am and 11:00am

Sunday School 9:45am

at Thursday, September 9, 2021

Sunday Service 8/29

In 1843, William Miller’s followers climbed trees on mountains to wait on the return of the Lord. The “Great Disappointment” soon followed. Joseph Smith and Charles Taze Russell made the same prediction to their followers in the Mormon church and Jehovah’s Witnesses. More recently, Edgar Whisenant and Harold Camping have wrongly predicted the return of Jesus on multiple occasions.

Those who make these failed predictions often point to the signs presented in Mark 13 (along with Matthew 24 and Luke 21). Do the signs they point to – earthquakes, famines, war, false Christs – truly tell us when Jesus will return? Or does Jesus have a different purpose in mind when he gives these signs to his followers? We will take a good look at this passage this Sunday. Please join us.

at Friday, August 27, 2021

Wednesday EU 8/25

Jesus is the one who has set the pace for our lives as we seek to follow Him. Using Jesus as model and guide, we are to find areas inside the church and outside to church in which we are to serve.

We are all equipped to serve with different gifts, abilities and desires. Brian Pestotnik will be encouraging you to prayerfully consider where you can serve by sharing a number of specific opportunities.

Wednesday, August 25 at 6:30pm

 

For information about local mission opportunities visit: https://www.westernavenue.org/localmissions

at Friday, August 27, 2021

Sunday Service 8/19

This Sunday, we turn back a few pages to begin our study of Mark 13. This teaching of Jesus (found also in Matthew 24 and Luke 21) contains many of the phrases familiar to us in any study of the end times: wars and rumors of wars, abomination of desolation, tribulation, stars falling from heaven, and the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. Jesus used these phrases and more to answer his disciples’ questions about his shocking statement on the destruction of the Temple.

This week, we will examine the questions they ask (which are similar to questions we still ask today) and will see the assumptions buried within them that Jesus had to correct.

Sunday, August 22

2 service times: 8:30am & 11:00am

at Thursday, August 19, 2021

Wednesday EU 8/18

In late October 2017, an anonymous person posted information on a generally unknown website about the soon-coming arrest of Hillary Clinton. By the end of the year, this individual, believed to be a high-ranking officer in military intelligence, had taken the name of Q and had a following of multiple thousands. The QAnon movement greatly influenced politics the next few years and continues to grow. QAnon now has a great presence in many of our churches. How should Christians respond to the writings of Q and his followers? We will discuss this and more on Wednesday, August 18, at 6:30 PM at Western Avenue Baptist Church.
at Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Sunday Service 8/1

Have you ever watched someone die? It is a difficult thing to do but it is a sacred moment. You can tell a lot about a person by how they approach the end of life.

This week, we will look at the end of the life of Jesus. As the Son of God suffered in those six hours on the cross, we can learn great truths from his actions and his words and from the actions and words of those around him. These great truths still impact lives today!

We invite you to worship this Sunday, August 1, at 8:30am or 11:00am.

at Friday, July 30, 2021

Promotion Sunday - 8/1

This Sunday, August 1, is Promotion Sunday. Here's a special message from our pastor about how we can think and respond to many young children who will be attending "big church" this Sunday for the first time! This also means all preschoolers, children and youth will be moving up to their next class/grade for Sunday School this Sunday! 

 

Dear Church Family,

 

Sunday is a big day for many of our families at Western Avenue Baptist Church. Not because it is someone’s birthday or anniversary but because it is the first day one of their little ones gets to sit with mommy and daddy in “big church.” For the rest of us, this means Sunday will include a little more noise, a little more movement, a few more distractions – and I couldn’t be happier!

 

At Western Avenue, we want children to sit with their parents in “big church.” Other churches do it differently and that is fine. We certainly do not claim the way we do things is the only way to do them. However, just like others, we do the things we do for specific, intentional, theological reasons.

 

First, we want to be more like Jesus. Jesus was a kind, child-loving man. It is easy to picture children swarming around his feet as he entered new towns and villages. I am afraid too many of us are more like the disciples, who “rebuked” the parents for bringing the little wiggle-worms to Jesus’ teaching time (Mark 10:13). The Bible says when Jesus saw his disciples do this, he became a little angry and a lot frustrated and commanded them to allow the children to come to him and stop getting in their way. This encounter occurs in three of the four gospels – it must be important! One preacher wrote, “Our sanctuaries are not sanctuaries from children. They are sanctuaries for children.”

 

Second, we believe God designed families to be together. Worship is the most significant thing you can do together. I love to see families with young children sitting together. I love to see dads holding their little first-grade sons as the boy looks intently into the face of his singing father, one generation calling to the next to worship our King. I love to come by the pew to get handshakes from the grown-ups, along with sometimes timid and sometimes painful high-fives from children. I love to see and sometimes hear little voices singing along, joining in with the family of God, learning that worship – their worship – is important and matters to God. It’s good to be together – especially in that place at that time. Mom and Dad, the greatest gift you can give your child is to let them see you worshiping the Lord with reverent abandon. Your child will have about 650 opportunities to see this happen between the ages of 5 and 18. The cumulative impact of seeing their parents – out of delight, not duty - pray and sing and hear from God’s Word cannot be discounted and will not be forgotten. The struggles are temporary; the blessings can be eternal.

 

Third, we believe our children learn best about being a Christian worshiper by watching worship occur around them and joining in as they are able. Coming to “big church” at this age allows children to get used to the new rhythms of church life. They will hear pastors pray, perhaps adding their “amen” a beat too late. They will see the offering plate being passed from person to person and look forward to adding their quarter to the collection. They will see the people around them opening their Bibles to follow along with the sermon and ask for a Bible of their own. They will see new believers enter into the waters of baptisms and listen to the thrilling testimonies of God’s amazing grace, leading them to ask when they can be “bab-ti-tized.” They will pass the plate during the Lord’s Supper, asking why they can’t “have a snack” like everyone else (giving parents a wonderful opportunity to talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus). You may argue that the sermon is over your first-grader’s head. Of course it is! But I know they get a lot more than you think. I have several beautiful drawings from our youngest worshipers to prove it.

 

Parents of little ones, I know you are tired before you sit down. I know you wince inside when your first-grader makes the smallest sound, terrified to think every single person in the room is giving you the “evil eye” for being such a “bad parent.” I know you ask, “Why bother? Is it worth it?” I know it can be a struggle each week – Satan will do everything in his power to ruin your Sunday and get your mind off your Savior. As a parent of four who was not always on the platform every Sunday like I am now, I know how difficult it is and can be. But it matters. And it is worth it. When you are here, sitting with your son or daughter, the Body of Christ is more fully present. The room is filled with a more joyful noise. The purpose of our gathering is more fully met. I hope you are encouraged. We want you to be here and we want your children to be with you.

 

Non-parents of small children, please remember all the times you have stood during infant dedications to indicate you would do your part to help these children learn about Jesus. One of the easiest ways to do this is to overlook certain distractions and just smile at young parents and their children who will certainly do what children always do. Welcome them. Encourage them. Help them. Love them. Most likely, remember you were most likely in their shoes several years ago and would love to have your little one squirming beside you this Sunday. The way we welcome children in church affects the way they will respond to Jesus and his church later. The presence of children is a gift to any church and we thank God for his many gifts and blessings to Western Avenue.

 

Parent tips:

 

• Start at home. You can begin to train your child to “be quiet” for a moment as you say the blessing at the table or read the Bible at bedtime. Almost every child can learn to be reverent if mom and dad are willing to make them do so. However, this is not the be-all, end-all of sitting in worship. Perfection here is not the key; it is a process (and, if we're honest, some adults are still learning!).

• Read the sermon text the night before. Talk about it with your children. Explain what is going to happen and why we do what we do. Talk about the service and the sermon on the way home afterward (which requires you to listen as well).

• Pick up one of the “Sunday Notes” pages for little worshipers. We have plenty in the foyer and you can get one each week or grab a few to keep in your Bible in case your morning is a little busier than usual. Pick up one or a few of the booklets we have to help moms and dads answer questions about baptism, communion, and worship. Future pamphlets will soon be available to talk about giving, missions, and other important topics regarding life in the church. 

• Read "Parenting in Pews," a wonderful book on “guiding your children in the joy of worship.” Sunday morning is not a success if all you’ve accomplished is keeping your child quiet. The author of this book wants to show you how to help your child participate in the worship service. You may also want to read “Let the Children Worship” by Jason Helopoulos.

 

We are so glad you will be worshiping with us this Sunday with your little one. I look forward to seeing you then. May God bless you as we gather to do the very thing we were created to do – bring glory to our God and Savior.

 

Jeff Spry

Senior Pastor

at Friday, July 30, 2021

Wednesday EU 6/30

We should read and study the Bible because it is God’s Word. Yet, at times, we can find reading the Bible challenging, even confusing.

For that reason, we hope you can join us this week as Dan Roseman will be teaching us some practical tips and advice for how we can make our Bible reading experience more enjoyable and fruitful.

Wednesday, June 30 - 6:30pm - in the worship center

at Monday, June 28, 2021

Wednesday EU 6/23

A contract is just earthly business, but a covenant is holy.

Covenants are not meant to be broken. Covenants create family.

Join us this Wednesday, June 23, with Susan Upp, for a glimpse of the heart of the living God for His people, through biblical covenants.

at Monday, June 21, 2021

Sunday Service 6/13

How do you want to be remembered at your funeral? Jesus put a lot of thought into this question – even reinventing a centuries-old traditional mean into a special occasion meant to help his followers remember who he was and what he did. As he led his disciples through the great promise of his faithfulness displayed in this meal, we are shocked to find two incredible stories of faithless disciples.

The events surrounding the Last Supper (or is it the First Supper?!) can be a source of incredible comfort as believers continue to attempt to walk faithfully with Jesus.

Sunday, June 13, 8:30am or 11:00am. Preschool childcare provided for both services. Sunday school at 9:45am. We would love to have you worship with us!

at Friday, June 11, 2021

Preschool Childcare Starts Back for 8:30 Service 6/13

Good news to share for our preschool families: preschool childcare for birth - kindergarten will start back up this Sunday for the 8:30am service. 
at Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wednesday EU 6/9

When Jesus was traveling on the Road to Emmaus, Luke records that “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27). However, many Christians seem to have forgotten that the Old Testament has everything to do with Jesus Christ. In this week's EU session, Dave Nash will remind us that all of Scripture, including the Old Testament, whispers the name of Christ. We hope you can join us at 6:30 PM, Wednesday, June 9, in the WABC sanctuary.
at Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Wednesday EU 6/2

The Bible begins with a tree and ends with a tree. There is an entire forest of stories and trees in between. Let’s take a journey down the Bible’s trail of trees and see what God is teaching us.

Wednesday, June 2, 6:30pm in the worship center

at Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Sunday Service 5/30

Some stories in the Bible are so familiar you know where the preacher is going before he even starts. This is probably the case with the story we will read this Sunday – the story of the widow’s offering of two small coins in Mark 12:41-44. There’s a lot more going on here than you might initially think!

 

Worship with us at either 8:30am or 11:00am. The 11:00am service will be live-streamed. Sunday School at 9:45am. See you Sunday!

at Friday, May 28, 2021

Church Fellowship - June 7

On Monday, June 7, from 5:30pm - 9:00pm, we are having a large Church Fellowship in the back parking lot. We will have games (Spikeball, 9-square, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, basketball, pickle ball, corn hole, etc.) Most of the parking lot will be marked off for kids (and adults) to bring their riding toys (please park in the side parking lot). Bring a lawn chair to enjoy some time with friends.

We are pleased to welcome Village Inn, Waffle Chick, and Tacos on the Road food trucks (all of these joined us at An Avenue Christmas event). Bring money so you can join in on these good eats.

As part of this evening, we would love to serve homemade ice cream. Below is a sign up for you to volunteer to bring a gallon or two of your favorite recipe, an old family recipe, or a new recipe you found on Pinterest and want to try for the first time. Sign up on: https://forms.gle/BK8vvhLef56yLH2i8

at Friday, May 28, 2021

Sunday Service 5/23

There’s an old saying: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. There are many situations where that statement is true. It is especially true in the area of your spiritual salvation.

In Mark 12, Jesus has been under attack from the religious leaders of Israel. He has bested each one. To the last questioner, Jesus said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” This may sound like a compliment but if you are not far from the kingdom, that can only mean you are not yet in the kingdom. In the verses that follow this interaction (Mark 12:35-37), Jesus presses the issue further, asking a difficult question of his own to reveal to his doubters that he is who they are scared he is.

Join us this Sunday, May 23, at either 8:30am or 11:00am for worship!

at Friday, May 21, 2021

Wednesday EU 5/5

This week as we continue our study of the ‘I Am’ statements of Jesus, we find Jesus in Bethany because his friend Lazarus has died. And it is to Lazarus’ sister Martha that Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–27).

But what does Jesus mean when he says he is the resurrection, and also that he is the life? Join us this Wednesday as we learn more about this glorious statement from the lips of our Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, May 5 at 6:30 pm in the worship center

Also live-streamed on Facebook

at Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Sunday Service 5/2

It is never wise to get into a battle of wits with Jesus of Nazareth. This is always good advice but it did not stop several from doing just that. Predictably, each encounter ended the same way with the challengers walking away stunned and amazed, licking their wounds until they could come up with another plan to destroy the ministry of Jesus.

Just a few days before Christ’s death, a group of spiritual leaders came to Jesus to mock his belief in the resurrection and an after-life. Before explaining to the truth about the resurrection and what the life to come will be like, he explains why they made such a simple error. The reason for their error is the same reason so many make errors on spiritual and theological and biblical matters today.

Sunday, May 2 - two services at 8:30am and 11:00am

Preschool childcare at 11:00

11:00 service will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube

at Thursday, April 29, 2021

Wednesday Night 4/28

There was a time before we had phones with GPS maps where we actually used a paper map. We would unfold the large map to see various routes in a complex grid that we could take to get to our destination.

However, this week we will discover in our ‘I am’ statements of Jesus that there is only one route we can take when it comes to going to our heavenly Father. Jesus makes it crystal clear that there is only one path as he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

We hope you can join us as we look at one of Jesus’ most well-known and vital statements, a statement that has eternal ramifications for the entire world.

Wednesday, April 28 at 6:30pm in the worship center

Also live-streamed on Facebook

at Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Sunday Service 4/25

We live in divisive times. Opinions on the pandemic and politics and everything in between have served to divide neighbors, churches, friends, and families.

How is a Christian to think about the relationship between God and government? How are Christians supposed to act in a world in which the government keeps encroaching into our private and corporate spiritual lives? How do churches relate to such matters?

Many think there are only two options: submit to the government or submit to God. In our continuing study of Mark’s gospel, Jesus reveals a third way.

We invite you to worship with us this Sunday, April 25, at either 8:30am or 11:00am. Preschool childcare is provided for the 11:00am service.

The 11:00 service will also be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

at Thursday, April 22, 2021

Wednesday Night - 4/21

This past Sunday, we learned more about the 3rd of the ‘I am’ statements of Jesus where he said, “I am the door.”

And this Wednesday, we will study Jesus’ declaration that “I am the good shepherd,” the fourth of his ‘I am’ statements. We see this imagery of shepherds and sheep used throughout the Bible. But how do they relate to Jesus, or should we say how does Jesus relate this imagery to himself? And what difference does it make in your life that Jesus is THE good shepherd?

We hope you can join us this Wednesday, April 21, at 6:30 PM as we seek to answer these questions while studying this life-changing passage.

at Monday, April 19, 2021

Wednesday Night - 4/14

In John 8:12, we read that Jesus addressed the crowd and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

This statement is very familiar to most Christians. But what does it mean? What was Jesus trying to communicate about his identity with this declaration? The answer is that the meaning behind these words is deeper and more profound than most people realize.

This week will see that light is a source of life, truth, and joy and that unmediated light is dangerous, even deadly. How does this apply to Jesus? Come join us this Wednesday to find out more about how our Lord Jesus truly is the light of the world.

Wednesday, April 14 - 6:30pm in the worship center

Live-streamed on Facebook

 

at Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Sunday Service 3/28

Imagine someone came into your home and started rearranging the furniture. He moved your couch to the distant wall. He put your dining room table in your bedroom. He moved your television to your bathroom. He put your bed in the basement.

What question would be on your lips? “Who are you and what do you think you are doing? What right do you have to come into my house and do this?”

In this week’s study of Mark’s Gospel, the spiritual leaders are thinking the exact same thing. On the day after Jesus “cleansed” the Temple, the Great Furniture-Rearranger returns. The way Israel’s spiritual leaders confront Jesus and the way he responds is very instructive in our own relationship with Christ.

Join us for Sunday morning worship services at either 8:30am or 11:00am (childcare for 11:00am service and Sunday School only)

The 11:00am service will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube as well.

at Thursday, March 25, 2021

Wednesday Night: 3/24 - Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory is not a value-neutral collection of insights; it is a comprehensive ideology that makes transcendent truth claims about the world and those who live in it. CRT is filled with assumptions and viewpoints about reality that put it at great odds with biblical thinking.

 

CRT is a worldview that, like a pair of sunglasses, changes the shade of everything you see. If you put on a pair of CRT-glasses, you will see everything – every relationship and interaction – through the lens of omnipresent racial oppression. Many of the teachings of CRT, which emerged from secular Marxist and anti-Christian postmodern sources, stand diametrically opposed to teachings found in the Bible. This is a bold statement. Can it be backed up? This Wednesday night, we will continue to examine this with part 5 of the critical race theory series.

 

Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30pm in the worship center

Also live-streamed on our Facebook and YouTube

at Monday, March 22, 2021

Worship with us on Easter!

Easter is the perfect time for a fresh start! Join us and get connected to our community. 

 

Worship with us at Western Avenue Baptist Church
Sunday, April 4
3 Service Options:
8:30am, 9:45am, 11:00am

 

Birth-Kindergarten childcare provided for 9:45am and 11:00am

 

11:00am service will also be live-streamed at:
www.YouTube.com/wabcvideo
www.facebook.com/wabcstv

 

Visit www.westernavenue.org for details, call 704-872-4139 or message us!

Let's celebrate new beginnings!

 

at Friday, March 19, 2021

Wednesday EU: Go Missions

Jesus’ charge to all believers is to take the message of the gospel to all corners of the world, to be his witnesses “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). And there are opportunities to be his witnesses throughout the world, and even here in Statesville, NC.

We invite you to join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM for a special Equipping University presentation where we will learn about various ways we can each participate in sharing the love of Christ to others locally and around the world. We hope you can join us!

at Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Sunday Service 2/28

Being able to see the world around us is a blessing we often take for granted. Having eyes to see a sunrise, the colors of the rainbow, and the faces of those we love is a true miracle and gift from God. Yet there are those in our world who are blind, who live in total darkness.

And as we continue our study in Mark’s Gospel, we will meet such a man, Bartimaeus, who is blind and has had to resort to becoming a beggar on the streets of Jericho in order to support himself. But what we will discover is that even though Bartimaeus is blind, he appears to have 20/20 vision when it comes to seeing the Lord Jesus for who he really is. And we will also see that the heart of our Lord is directed to those who are helpless, yet who cry out to him in humility and desperation.

We hope you can join us as we learn more about this man and what his story teaches us about the heart of Christ.

Join us Sunday, February 28, for in-person worship services at 8:30am and 11:00am. Preschool childcare is provided only at the 11:00am service.

The 11:00am service will continue to be live-streamed on:

www.westernavenue.org

www.YouTube.com/wabcvideo

wsic radio 100.7fm 105.9fm 1400am

at Friday, February 26, 2021

An Invitation to Serve 2/28

Sunday School Teachers and Volunteers Meeting:

Sunday School classes will resume March 14, and we have several places we need volunteers! If you have been looking for a place to serve at WABC but are not exactly sure where to do so, now is the time to find your place. We need volunteers for: ushers, greeters, nursery workers, age-group ministries, choir, orchestra, production crew (sound/video/radio), and safety/security.

We want to invite you to a special meeting this Sunday, February 28, at 10:00am in the large assembly room in the new Children’s Ministry Building. If you are currently serving somewhere, we want you to please still come to the meeting as we outline our new start in Sunday School and expected changes moving forward.

at Friday, February 26, 2021

Sunday Service 2/21

A lot of people spend a lot of time talking about goats. Well, not goats but THE G.O.A.T., as in the “Greatest Of All Time.” Tom Brady just won his seventh Super Bowl. Is he the greatest of all time? What about Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, or Bubby Brister? Who is the GOAT in basketball: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, or Chuck Nevitt? What about in baseball? Is it Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, or . . . (I could talk about this one for hours!). It is human nature to want to be recognized, even when in the face of absolute greatness with Jesus. The twelve apostles talked about being the G.O.A.T. all the time – until Jesus pulled them aside to teach them what true greatness really is. His words in Mark 10 remain words we still need to hear today. Dare to be great – after you learn how Jesus defines greatness.

Join us Sunday, February 21, for in-person worship services at 8:30am and 11:00am. Preschool childcare is provided only at the 11:00am service.

The 11:00am service will continue to be live-streamed on:

www.westernavenue.org

www.YouTube.com/wabcvideo

wsic radio 100.7fm 105.9fm 1400am

#westernavenuebaptistchurch #statesville #gospelofmark #followjesusnow #greatestofalltime

at Saturday, February 20, 2021

Suicide Prevention Session - 2/24

Special EU session: Wednesday, February 24

Suicide Prevention: Support for Teens and Parents

Due to recent events in our church body and community, we will pause in our current EU series as Paul Veach, a counselor in the public school system, and Gladys Lowry and Dan Wilemon, of our Western Avenue Marriage and Family Enrichment Center, will be speaking on the very important topic of suicide prevention. Medical professionals will also offer their input. We encourage you to attend and invite friends and family.

This presentation will be in the worship center at 6:30pm and also live-streamed online on Facebook and YouTube.

www.facebook.com/wabcstv

www.youtube.com/wabcvideo

#westernavenuebaptistchurch #statesvillenc #suicideprevention

at Saturday, February 20, 2021

Imprisoned for Christ! The Voice of the Martyrs 3/5

Imprisoned for Christ! The Voice of the Martyrs – March 5

WABC will be hosting Imprisoned for Christ, presented by The Voice of the Martyrs. The virtual speakers will be livestreamed Friday, March 5, 2021, at 6:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall. This event will be showing in the fellowship hall for those who attend in-person; it will not be streamed on our channels.

There will be three inspiring speakers: Petr Jasek, Dan Baumann, and Andrew Brunson. Be inspired by the stories of three men who were arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned. Yet God remained faithful. In addition to their firsthand testimonies, you will enjoy an engaging panel discussion moderated by VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton, as well as inspiring worship music from Dove Award-winning artist Natalie Grant. For more information, please contact Andy Lackey at 704-872-4139 or andy@westernavenue.org.

#westernavenuebaptistchurch #statesvillenc #imprisonedforchrist #voiceofthemartyrs

at Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sunday Service 2/7

People asked Jesus all kinds of questions. “Who is my neighbor?” “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?” “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” “How can a man be born when he is old?” “Are you the king of the Jews?” Some questions are better than others. On one occasion, Jesus was asked a very direct question from a wealthy and important young man. He was later asked a similar but better worded question from his disciples. In our continuing study of Mark’s Gospel, we will see the great difference between asking the right and the wrong questions of Jesus.

 

Join us for in-person worship services at 8:30am and 11:00am. Preschool childcare is provided only at the 11:00am service.

 

The 11:00am service will continue to be live-streamed on:

www.westernavenue.org

www.YouTube.com/wabcvideo

wsic radio 100.7fm 105.9fm 1400am

at Thursday, February 4, 2021