Coronavirus Update

Friday, June 5, 2020 Update

Dear LBF Church family,

What a ride this has been so far!!! I will forever remember March 15, 2020 as the beginning of a major change in our church and our nation. For our church is was the beginning of canceling our on-campus gatherings and moving to the world of technology. I’m so impressed and grateful to our staff for all the ways we have pivoted to provide a connection point for every part of our church.

I will also remember that Sunday as being a bit scary. I didn’t know what to expect and how everyone would react to being a church that is only online. The next morning, I realized that the giving we received was about half of what was normal. And I didn’t know if that was the way it would continue or if we would rebound financially. I also didn’t know how long we would be in this time of not being able to meet.

The first passage that God used to bring me back to him was Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” That was both a familiar verse and a powerful one for what I was thinking and concerned about. It’s often been a prayer request of mine over these past few months. God is making our path straight as we submit and trust in him.

Well since that first Sunday things have been very different than what I was thinking would happen. Our approach to giving continues to be about personally seeking the Lord in how to grow in our generosity. As each person prays and seeks God about what to give our encouragement is to be faithful to what he asks each person to give.

So, let me just say, I believe many of you are doing just that. I believe the generosity of our church is growing. One reason I say that is because since that Sunday we have added about 100 new givers. This is telling me that God is growing people spiritually. People who have not previously given to LBF Church have started giving in faith. If that is you, thank you for being a passionate pursuer of Jesus.

The other area that is very encouraging is that after that Sunday in March our giving has been strong enough to keep us in the “black” financially. The needs of ministry are being met through your faithfulness. In fact, we’ve also been able to help those in our church who have lost their jobs by providing some financial help. This is LBF Church living out the words of Jesus!

As we prepare to reopen our onsite gatherings, we will have new and different kinds of expenses, but I believe as each of us continue to seek the Lord and trust in him, He will provide for our personal needs as he provides for the needs of the LBF Church Community.

May God’s reputation be enhanced as we pursue Jesus in a passionate way each day.

Gary Keith, Lead Pastor.

Friday, May 22, 2020 Update

The video you are about to watch was recorded on Wednesday prior to the announcement made by the President earlier today. During today’s press conference the President made a statement saying he sees churches as essential and wants them open now.  Also today Governor Newsom said that the guidelines for churches to open will be out on Monday. So it looks like we will have the ability to reopen once we are able to adhere to the guidelines. It is still important for you to watch the video even in light of this new information.

Friday, May 15, 2020 Update

Thursday, April 16, 2020 Update

The First 30 Days

It’s now been a month since we have started putting our ministry online. We hope that by doing this, we can stay connected as a church while we are not meeting in face-to-face situations. The following items have been placed online:

  • Weekly Sunday Worship service on YouTube with the chat feature
  • Weekly LIFEkids video with downloadable resources for parents
  • Exit83 (Student Ministry) Sunday and Wednesday online services
  • Weekly Exit83 Monday night online Worship
  • Exit 83 Detour groups are meeting online
  • LIFEgroups are meeting online
  • LBF Daily Devotionals has been put into place Monday through Friday
  • The LBF Facebook Group is now an important place to find information and connect with the church family
  • The LBF Instagram page is also an excellent place to see what’s happening at LBF Church
  • The Exit 83 Youth Instagram page is a great place to keep in touch with our Student ministry
  • We created the “needprayer” email – please send your prayer requests to needprayer@lbfchurch.com
  • All Staff meetings are now online
  • Elder meetings and prayer times are now online

The staff desires to provide meaningful connections times for our church family. Our gatherings have been different, and they have taken some time to adjust to. Together we will move forward. In this unusual season of time, please know that we love doing all we can to stay as close as we can to one another. Together we are the church!!!

The Next Season of Time

We know there must be people in our church who have lost their jobs and could use some financial help. One of the aspects of being part of a church family is that we have the opportunity to help one another. We know that some people are still working, and financially things are continuing as usual, but then some are struggling.

This situation reminds me of a passage in Romans 12.

When speaking of the church family, Paul says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves…Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.”

As a church family, I want to encourage us to live out these words from Paul. If you are in need, the LBF church family would like to see if we can help. Please send an email to needhelp@lbfchurch.com. Include your name, email address, and cell phone number. We’ll then work with you to assess your needs and see how we can help.

For others of us who still have our jobs, we can live out these words of Paul by sharing our financial resources with those in need. This is where your giving makes a huge difference. So please go before the Lord and pray; see how God would have you give to the ministry of LBF church during this time. As you give to the General Fund money will be provided to those in need.

During this different season, I’m confident that God is at work in helping us grow in our passionate pursuit of LIFE in Jesus. Helping those in our church is one way we can love and be devoted to one another.

Pastor Gary

Thursday, March 26, 2020 Update

Dear LBF Church Family,

We are so thankful to each of you for the ways you’ve shown gratitude, generosity, humility, and flexibility during this time of challenge and difficulty. As we all adjust to doing what it takes to continue to fulfill the mission of the church in our limited circumstance, please know that your church leadership loves you, is thankful for you, and is delighted in how you as a congregation are responding. Praise God!

We are going to continue to respond as a church leadership to what we know at any given time. We don’t know when certain restrictions will be loosened, so our current plan is to continue our online Sunday services at least through April 12. That means that, as of now, our plan for Easter is that we will still be doing the services online instead of in person. To say that this makes us sad is undoubtedly an understatement. We long to be back together soon. But, while we are sad, we are so thankful to have the technology that provides ways for us to be connected in ways that would have been impossible just 20 years ago. So we encourage you to continue to participate in the life of the church during this time as we finish up Lent and prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus!

Speaking of Lent, some of you may be finding it challenging to continue in the commitments that you made for this Lenten season. Specifically, some of you are fasting from social media, and now wrestling with whether or not to keep that commitment. As you consider your options, here are some suggestions:

  • Pray and ask God what he wants you to do. If you conclude that you must continue in your specific commitments, then do so. God will sustain you and guide you.
  • Consider if there are ways to continue in the spirit of your commitments while also introducing some flexibility. Since we are connecting online and through social media, consider whether you could limit your social media use to a specific segment of time. Or maybe you might use social media on your computer but not your phone. The point is this: If you are fasting from social media so that you can be more connected with people, don’t cripple yourself from connections with people by staying away from the format that will allow you to be connected.
  • Whatever your Lent commitments, reach out to one another during this time. Text, call, email, Skype, FaceTime, and do whatever else will help you stay connected. Especially reach out to people who might be more isolated and lonely during this time. And if you are more isolated and alone, reach out to others. Let’s practice love and humility as a church family.

Finally, keep your eyes open for more ways to connect. More and more LIFEgroups are meeting through ZOOM and Google Hangout. More and more ministries are finding ways to stay connected. We’re in this together, and even though it may feel like we are on pause, we’re here to serve you. Look for updates, and always feel free to reach out to any of the pastors or directors with ways we can help you – we are here for you!

We continue to pray for all of you, for our country, for our government, for those in the medical community, and for God’s work in us and through us as we walk through this season with courage and with hope.

Pastor Gary

Wenesday, March 18, 2020 Update

Check out our latest podcast about LBF Church and Coronavirus update.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Update

There is no arguing that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the course of our lives for a season of time. I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime. But I’m thankful for the actions our government has taken to minimize the spread of the virus. Not only am I grateful, but I want our church to be involved in helping to do all we can to reduce the spread of this virus.

With that in mind, last week we closed the church and went online with our services. By the comments I’ve received while many of you prefer being on campus and being with people, you were thankful for being able to worship at home. As you will see below, we are keeping this practice up for a few more weeks.

I also want to share with you about our financial status for a moment. It’s not surprising that our giving was down this past week. We receive about 50% of our giving from people online. The other 50% comes in on Sundays. Please do one of two things.

First, I want to ask those of you who give online to continue your online giving. And second, I would ask you to mail your check into our church as you continue to give or to consider participating with half of our church and start giving online.

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Thank you for your part in supporting the ministry of LBF Church.

Our staff is still here working, and we are looking to continue to connect with you on Sunday and throughout the week via digital media. As you read the bullets points below, you will see how we are preparing to be supportive of parents with children and parents of Junior High and High Schoolers.

We are also brainstorming ways we can keep some of the important aspects of ministry to adults moving forward despite not being able to meet face to face. This will include reaching out to those who are sick and those who are aging who need help with daily needs. Our pastoral connection with you will also be evident through social media, podcasts, and emails. We desire to continue to be a spiritual encouragement to those of you who are part of the LBF Church family.

This is the place for you to find out the most current information about what is happening at LBF Church. I encourage you to check it out often to keep updated. We will post updates here as often as necessary. Here is the latest point of information regarding what is unfolding here at Life Bible Fellowship Church.

  • We will continue online Worship Services through the rest of March, and then we assess the situation at that time. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to attend church on Sundays.
  • Because the Federal government has now reduced the total number of people allowed to gather in a group to 10, we will cancel all Life Groups, Men’s Groups, Women’s Groups, Young adults group, College group, and CR until further notice.
  • We will continue to encourage Divorce Care, Grief Share, and CR Step groups to meet.
  • The Bible Doctrine group will continue through online meetings.
  • We will provide weekly connection points for LIFEkids.
    • LIFEKids will provide the weekly storytime through video and will also offer a worship video and small group information sheet via download.
    • This can be used by parents in the home each week.
    • It will help the children still receive what they would have received if they had attended on Sunday morning.
  • Exit 83 will host a weekly YouTube Live event starting March 18 and continuing every Wednesday evening for Junior High and Senior High school students.
  • Exit 83 will begin a Sunday YouTube live service for Junior High and High School students during the 9:25 am time slot.
  • Through our Pastor of Care, we will be connecting with those who are aging and need help with daily needs.
  • We will be available to pray for anyone and for their requests. To submit a prayer request, please use this email address needprayer@lbfchurch.com

Before I sign off from this update, I want to go back to the verse I’ve shared from the beginning.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”–Proverbs 3:5-6

May God continue to show you his care and presence in your life amidst all the changes you are dealing with. And may I challenge all of us to see this also as an opportunity to show and love and care to others as we walk in trust with God.

Pastor Gary

Friday, March 13, 2020 Update

LBF Church Family,

Just yesterday I sent out an email concerning the Coronavirus and the steps LBF Church is taking to ensure your safety. I said that we would continue to have our Sunday services. But when it comes to the Coronavirus things seem to be changing by the hour. Late yesterday afternoon I learned that our Governor came out and said we can’t hold gatherings with more than 250 people. So this Sunday at 8 a.m., 9:25 a.m., and 10:55 a.m. we will have our Sunday Worship Gatherings ONLINE ONLY via livestream and we REALLY hope you and your family will join us. It’s going to be a significant moment for us as a church and you won’t want to miss it. Again, we are not gathering in person this Sunday.

Our online services will be available starting at 8 a.m. on our YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe to our channel to stay connected.

This decision is not based on panic or fear. It is based on the desire to honor a decision by our government. Also with the goal being to reduce the spread of the virus, we believe this a responsible decision. We will have people on our campus all Sunday morning. I know that some you are very concerned about all that is taking place with this Coronavirus and so we’ll be available to pray with you.

As of now, all of our other meetings and Bible studies will continue through the week. I want to remind all of us that during times like these we have a God who cares for us and who loves us. This is not a time for fear but of trust. We have a God who can be trusted. I love Proverbs 3:5 and 6 that says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Let us continue to walk in trust with God in these uncertain times knowing that he is trustworthy.

As things are so rapidly developing, we will be providing ongoing updates about our campus availability and programming as they happen. Keep an eye on our website and our social media platforms for news and updates.

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Between now and this weekend, be sure to download the LBF Church App which is a great resource to take notes while you watch, catch up on past messages and give safely and easily! You can even set up recurring giving right in the app so that you can continue to support what God is doing here at Life Bible Fellowship Church!

Pastor Gary

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