No Services for the Month of January at GraceTown

2018 for Me and GraceTown

I made the announcement this past Sunday @gracetownchurch that I am taking a sabbatical from ministry for the month of January. 2017 has been an extremely difficult year for me personally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and our church. As Bilbo Baggins said in The Fellowship of the Ring,“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

So to Dust Off 2017 and enter into 2018 and be stronger, better, and healthier. I need this. The rest will help reset, recharge, renew, and refill me. My heart is to be a better Husband, Dad, and Pastor. There will be no services for the month of January at GraceTown. GraceTown is also changing location and service times starting in February. More details will follow over the next few weeks. I would appreciate your prayers and support.

I asked the church to still be generous and support GraceTown financially during the month of January. You can give online at www.gracetown.church/give or mail in their offering at
GraceTown Church PO Box 1036New Albany, OH 43054

Dust Off 2017 and Get Ready for a Great 2018,

Pastor Rob Yanok

The Power of Team Partnerships

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The Power of Team Partnership

Exodus 17:8-13 NIV The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Everybody needs Somebody. Ministry is never meant to be done alone.

All Good Things Flow From Relationship
•When God found you…he found you alone
* When He saved you…he saved you alone
* But He called you into the family of God
* 2 are better than 1

Andrew Carnegie said, “It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you can do alone.”

Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

As an organization and leader we should encourage Flexibility, Change, and Innovation

One of the things that separates winning and losing teams is how the team’s good players are placed. Take a look at what I mean:

The wrong person in the wrong place = regression
The wrong person in the right place = frustration
The right person in the wrong place = confusion
The right person in the right place = progression
The right PEOPLE in the Right Place = MULTIPLICATION

The Power of Partnership

“God is look for people through whom He can do the impossible – what a pity that we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.” AW Tozer

Partnerships at GraceTown will not be a preference but a Requirement!

1. Partnership UNIFIES for Strength

•Partnership works together to support God’s leadership and win the battle – Aaron & Hur

2. Partnership IDENTIFIES opportunities

•Partnership ignores the nay sayers and claim God’s promises – Joshua & Caleb

3. Partnership INTENSIFIES commitment to one another

•Partnership commit to journey together and be spiritually linked – Ruth & Naomi

4. Partnership PURIFIES motives

•Partners trust unconditionally and take risks unreservedly – David & Jonathan

5. Partnership SOLIDIFIES new alliances

•Partnerships take on daunting tasks and refuse to stop until the work is done – Nehemiah and the wall builders

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team” John Wooden

One person can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one person cannot make a team. The team player is the one who makes things go – the one who is willing to do and sacrifice whatever it takes to make the team successful.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV – Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:10  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Romans 12:4-5 NIV –  For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others

“You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together, we can do great things.” Mother Teresa

Closing the Door to Strife

GALATIANS 5:19-20 ;Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife (KJV)

1 CORINTHIANS 1:20 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

1 JOHN 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

It is a fact of life that we will always come in contact with people who have opinions and viewpoints that are different from our own. People will almost always do and say things which we ourselves believe to be improper and unjust. There is an inclination for people from different church backgrounds, experiences and denominations to confront others who hold different viewpoints and conduct themselves differently with the purpose of convincing them to adopt OUR ways as their own.

Such confrontations are not always wrong. In fact, a certain kind of confrontation is a must for the Christian in cases where the other persons viewpoints are contrary to Godly thinking and their conduct is contrary to the clear teachings of the New Testament scriptures, (GALATIANS 6:1; JAMES 5:19-20). But they are not always necessary when it comes to disputable matters within the body of Christ.

Scores of theologians have argued these points for centuries and we will not solve them in our lifetime! However, we can get people saved and disciple them according to Gods word.

The danger of confronting others with the purpose of advancing a different viewpoint or changing someone’s conduct often leads to STRIFE. Strife – arguing, quarreling, fighting, bickering and contending – is never justifiable. Strife is sin – a work of the flesh – and should not be part of our lives or the life of the church body as a whole.

The world watches us as a church, and there have been people who have been a part of ministries that had rampant strife within their church. More than likely they either left the church, or became disgruntled with God because the strife was not dealt with on a constructive level.

GraceTown Church strives to live out Romans 15:5 and Ephesians 4:3:

ROMANS 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,

EPHESIANS 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

This statement of unity does not mean that we accept continual unscriptural lifestyles, heretical doctrines or blatant sins within our church. There are scripturally neutral areas of church and in our personal lives that are continually up for interpretation and discussion outsides the confines of a functioning church body.

If we make the disagreements of the church our focus, we will struggle to accomplish anything. This means that at GraceTown Church we strive to maintain a spirit of unity within our church. If we are not all on the same page we will not have a life giving culture but a life taking culture. GraceTown is about giving life. Therefore, we have to implement a life giving culture within our church and that is making sure we are free from strife.

Satan loves strife within the church because fighting amongst ourselves keeps us from taking down the kingdom of darkness. The Bible teaches a more seemly and (potentially) constructive way to deal with individual differences than to start or continue in strife.

Before discussing HOW to confront others, we should first quickly focus on IF and WHEN we should confront them! There are some people who presume they are always the one in the right and that everybody else should view things as they do, hold the same opinions they hold, and live in the exact same manner as they live. (Remember, we are speaking about areas that are Scripturally neutral.) They are arrogant individuals who nit-pick and often start arguments.

PROVERBS 28:25, An arrogant man stirs-up strife.

PROVERBS 13:10, Through presumption comes nothing but strife.

To counter such strife, these individuals need a change in attitude:

ROMANS 12:16, do not be haughty in mind, …Do not be wise in your own estimation.
There are also people who get all worked-up and/or offended by the littlest of matters and in response, cause big fracases. Obviously, these people need to develop a thicker skin, a less judgmental spirit, and greater self-control.

MATTHEW 7:3-5 And why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to take the speck out of your brothers eye.

PROVERBS 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs-up strife, but the slow to anger pacifies contention.

In determining IF we should confront others due to differences, each of us (and especially those who belong to the two groups we just spoke of) must ask ourselves, Is the other persons opinion/viewpoint SO misguided, SO harmful, SO wrong that it must be discussed with the purpose of changing it? Are their actions and/or statements SO inappropriate and SO hurtful that they must be confronted, reproved, and corrected? If not, we need to practice forbearance and overlook differences:

1 PETER4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

EPHESIANS 4:2 with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love.

COLOSSIANS 3:13 bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

If the differences between two parties are significant and create real barriers to a normal, healthy, and cooperative relationship then confrontation is necessary. However, to avoid the occurrence of strife, the individual(s) need to follow four simple Biblical guidelines –

1. SEEK A PEACEFUL SOLUTION.

Never confront someone with the purpose to argue, fight, or quarrel. Seek a solution to the situation in order to restore peace and harmony.

PROVERBS 20:3 Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel. Christians are servants of the Prince of Peace, therefore, are required to seek peace with others, especially those of the household of faith.

ROMANS 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

MATTHEW 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

2. SEEK A CONSTRUCTIVE SOLUTION.

Any confrontation should be entered into with the goal of arriving at a solution that will promote the best interests of the parties involved; strengthen each others character and deepen the relationship as a whole.

ROMANS 14:19 So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building-up of one another.

PROVERBS 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

3. BE AN ATTENTIVE LISTENER.

During the confrontation, be respectful to the other persons thoughts and feelings. (Many times, showing respectfulness will lessen the likelihood that the other person will become obnoxious.) Be willing to hear them out before making final judgments and drawing conclusions. Understanding another’s point of view will always help in coming-up with a more comprehensive solution.

JAMES 1:19 let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak.

PROVERBS 18:13 He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.

4. BE KIND AND GENTLE.

When one has to correct and point-out a fault, it must be done with kindness and gentleness which never seeks to hurt.

PROVERBS 16:23, 21, 24, The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds persuasiveness to his lips. The wise in heart will be called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

EPHESIANS 4:29, Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Leadership Part 1


One of my main responsibilities as a Leader of a new Church is to begin to build leaders. Over the next few blog posts I will be writing on what I am looking for, expectations, and what I want to build in a leader.

1. Is there a willingness to serve?

I want to know if a person is willing to serve for the betterment of the vision and team, rather than wanting a position or title. In my 21 years of working full time with the local Church I’ve seen much misconception concerning this. We live in a selfish culture in today’s world and the philosophy of greatness is determined by how many people SERVE YOU; but, in God’s Kingdom, greatness is determined by how many people YOU SERVE. Striving for titles and positions is not the path towards promotion in God’s Kingdom. Serving is.

In Mark 10:42-45, “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The context here is the disciples, James and John, had just asked Jesus if one could sit on His right and the other on His left in the Kingdom of God. And this was Jesus’ reply to the whole group. You see, at this juncture in the disciples lives they still hadn’t gotten it. They were proud to be following in the footsteps of the Rabbi. They hadn’t made the shift from hearing His teachings to living His teachings; to becoming what He taught.

When you serve God, you will be more concerned with giving to others rather than keeping things for yourself. A true servant is willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of serving God and building His Kingdom. Your Gift, Talent, or Ability WILL NOT promote you – You have to have a heart to serve. When you go beyond your call of duty it results in a Medal of Honor in the military. Everyone wants the acknowledgement, the reward, the honor, the title, the recognition, but no one want to pay the price and serve just because it’s the right thing to do. Tertullian said, “He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies.”


John D Rockefeller said, “I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind, and that only in purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.” Greatness is not WEALTH, Greatness is not FAME, and Greatness is not POWER.

 True Servanthood is marked by the willingness to Abandon all to become a tool in the hand of another. Greatness is not a matter of authority and control but of humility and service.

A true servant will display the following characteristics:
1. Willing to make oneself available to God to serve.
2. Willing to do what is needed, even when it is inconvenient.
3. Puts God above personal schedule.
4. Sees interruptions as divine appointments to cultivate a servant’s heart.
5. Pays attention to needs.
6. Their heart is revealed in the little acts they do.
7. Views no task as beneath them.

God will not look you over for your medals, or your degrees, years of experience, or for your diplomas, God will look you over for your scars of service. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, once appeared on the cover of their annual report dressed in a knee-length work apron, holding a mop and a plastic bucket. Here’s how he described that picture: “I got my M.B.A. long before my G.E.D. At Wendy’s M.B.A. does not mean Master of Business Administration. It means Mop Bucket Attitude.”
 Everyday there are people around us with dirty feet, broken hearts, heavy burdens, and needs that we can help meet. It’s time to get a basin and a towel and start serving like Jesus.

The walk of a servant will lead you to the path of greatness, for it will bring elevation into your life. There is no greater calling, for God calls servants – and servants become leaders. There are no shortcuts. Remember, “That which I am part of is greater than the part I play.”

GraceTown Launch ReCap



With the future of GraceTown at hand, We launched the first GraceTown service with a message on Moving Forward. Difficult times are a fact of life, but they can be good for us. If you are ever going to move forward, you have to learn to deal with difficulties.“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:17
Whatever we are going through, God has a plan for our lives, and He will see us through it. “Everyone born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:4
As we celebrate the advancement of the Body of Christ, GraceTown Church welcomes you to become a part of “moving forward” in God’s Kingdom. This past weekend, we saw 265 people walk through the doors of Westerville Central and of that number 8 turned their lives over to Christ! This is only the beginning of what God is going to do with GraceTown, and we will follow where He leads. We look forward to seeing you this weekend at 10:30 am!

GraceTown Acts of Kindness is Contagious



A few weeks ago at our launch meeting we passed out these Acts of kindness Cards to our team and I encouraged all them to begin to serve acts of kindness by paying for someone’s coffee or meal at local coffee shops, restaurants, drive-thru’s, etc…. Susie, one of our team members texted me this note, “Pastor Rob it was so fun to bless people at Starbucks! I bought a $25 gift card and gave my Barista’s gave 10 free coffees away along with the GraceTown Acts of Kindness Cards. It blessed them as well.” Later that day Susie texted me again with this, “I just received word that the Starbucks card was such a hit that others started adding money to it to keep the giving going. How awesome is that?”



The Apostle Paul clairfies the untangled way of kindness in this verse, “God’s kindness leads to a radical life change…” Romans 2:4 The Message. Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” As we are approaching our September 18 Launch service, I want acts of kindness and a heart to serve be a part of the culture of GraceTown Church. Being a Christian is not about what we get, but WE GIVE. The city doesn’t exist for the Church, the Church exist for the city. Go ahead Spread the Love, Have some fun and make somebody’s day!

Building Up Others

As Lead Pastor of GraceTown Church I must enrich and protect our Church culture. I want us to have a life giving culture at GraceTown Church. A culture that builds, edifies, and gives life to people. One of the many ways to do that is to be a community of people that builds up others. The word “Build” means To construct, by assembling and joining parts, to establish, increase, and strengthen. To mold, form, create, or to base. Albert Schweitzer said, “You must give time to your fellow men, even if its a little thing, do something for other – something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.”.



“BE KINDLY AFFECTIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER WITH BROTHERLY LOVE, IN HONOR GIVING PREFERENCE TO ONE ANOTHER.” (ROMANS 12:9-10)

In our fast paced world it can be easy sometimes to overlook others. In the day-to-day grind it becomes commonplace to see faces, but never know people. However, it is only in building up others that we empower others, and therefore empower ourselves. Below are 5 keys to building up others:

You must first be interested in others:

Don’t think only about your own affairs… be interested in others.

Philippians 2:4 NLT

a. It’s too easy to “think only about your own affairs.” But God says, “Be

interested in others.”

Show must genuine interest! The Bible says, “Laugh…when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down” ( Romans 12:15-16 TM). But you can only do that by taking the time to find out what’s going on in their world.

1. Appreciate others and let them know it.

a. Prov. 3:27 (NLT)– “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.”

b. Every time you thank another person, you cause that person to like themselves better. Their self-esteem and self-image is improved. When a person feels appreciated, he or she also feels empowered to do more and to be more.

2. Give appreciation and it will be given back to you.

a. Luke 6:38(NLT) – “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small- it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”

b. Every time you say “thank you” to someone else, you like yourself better as well. Showing appreciation creates a more positive, confident outlook for the person demonstrating it. When you develop an attitude of gratitude that flows forth from you in all your interactions with others, people will want to be around you and lend their help and support.

c. Give them a push! Barnabas became known as a great encourager

because he “encouraged the believers” (Acts 11:23 NLT). What happens

when you push a child on a swing? Eventually they start doing it

themselves. They just needed a little help to get going. Even a smile

can work wonders. Job said, “When they were discouraged, I smiled… My

look of approval was precious to them” (Job 29:24 NLT).

3. Approve others continually.

a. Prov. 16:24(NLT) -“Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”

b. Studies show that when children are praised by the people that they look up to, their energy levels rise, their heart rates and respiratory rates increase, and they feel happier about themselves overall. This is true of adults as well. There is a “self-fulfilling prophecy” element in this. The more that you “prophesy,” or speak into the lives of other people, whether it be positive or negative, the more that the person you are speaking to will begin to fulfill that prophecy.

c. Be interested in the other person, rather than talking about yourself.

4. Pay attention when others talk.

a. Heb. 2:1(NLT) – “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.”

b. Although it seems basic, this is one of the most ignored principles of communication. The great majority of people are so busy trying to be heard that they become impatient when others are talking. This shows up in our body language and lack of eye contact. When you pay attention to others when they talk (look at them), you are showing them that you believe that what they have to say is important, and that they are important as well.

c. We have: Two Ears and One Mouth (There is a reason for that)

d. Hold your tongue! Don’t interrupt. Always say less than you think. Remember, “A fool utters all his mind…a wise man keeps it in” (Proverbs 29:11). And

since how you speak is as important as what you say, always be kind and

courteous.

e. Respond verbally & nonverbally. Don’t change the subject.

5. Practice the law of sowing and reaping in building up others.

a. Gal. 6:7(NLT) – “Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!”

b. Eph. 6:8 Principle

c. The law of sowing and reaping doesn’t just involve money. When you look for every opportunity to do and say things that make other people feel good about themselves, you may be surprised to see that others will look for ways to reciprocate your kindnesses toward them.

d. Matthew 7:12 (NKJV) – “Therefore, Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Building Up Others

As Lead Pastor of GraceTown Church I must enrich and protect our Church culture. I want us to have a life giving culture at GraceTown Church. A culture that builds, edifies, and gives life to people. One of the many ways to do that is to be a community of people that builds up others. The word “Build” means To construct, by assembling and joining parts, to establish, increase, and strengthen. To mold, form, create, or to base. Albert Schweitzer said, “You must give time to your fellow men, even if its a little thing, do something for other – something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.”.

“BE KINDLY AFFECTIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER WITH BROTHERLY LOVE, IN HONOR GIVING PREFERENCE TO ONE ANOTHER.” (ROMANS 12:9-10)

In our fast paced world it can be easy sometimes to overlook others. In the day-to-day grind it becomes commonplace to see faces, but never know people. However, it is only in building up others that we empower others, and therefore empower ourselves. Below are 5 keys to building up others:

You must first be interested in others:

Don’t think only about your own affairs… be interested in others.
Philippians 2:4 NLT

a. It’s too easy to “think only about your own affairs.” But God says, “Be
interested in others.”

Show must genuine interest! The Bible says, “Laugh…when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down” ( Romans 12:15-16 TM). But you can only do that by taking the time to find out what’s going on in their world.

1. Appreciate others and let them know it.

a. Prov. 3:27 (NLT)– “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.”
b. Every time you thank another person, you cause that person to like themselves better. Their self-esteem and self-image is improved. When a person feels appreciated, he or she also feels empowered to do more and to be more.

2. Give appreciation and it will be given back to you.

a. Luke 6:38(NLT) – “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small- it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”
b. Every time you say “thank you” to someone else, you like yourself better as well. Showing appreciation creates a more positive, confident outlook for the person demonstrating it. When you develop an attitude of gratitude that flows forth from you in all your interactions with others, people will want to be around you and lend their help and support.
c. Give them a push! Barnabas became known as a great encourager
because he “encouraged the believers” (Acts 11:23 NLT). What happens
when you push a child on a swing? Eventually they start doing it
themselves. They just needed a little help to get going. Even a smile
can work wonders. Job said, “When they were discouraged, I smiled… My
look of approval was precious to them” (Job 29:24 NLT).

3. Approve others continually.

a. Prov. 16:24(NLT) -“Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”
b. Studies show that when children are praised by the people that they look up to, their energy levels rise, their heart rates and respiratory rates increase, and they feel happier about themselves overall. This is true of adults as well. There is a “self-fulfilling prophecy” element in this. The more that you “prophesy,” or speak into the lives of other people, whether it be positive or negative, the more that the person you are speaking to will begin to fulfill that prophecy.
c. Be interested in the other person, rather than talking about yourself.

4. Pay attention when others talk.

a. Heb. 2:1(NLT) – “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.”
b. Although it seems basic, this is one of the most ignored principles of communication. The great majority of people are so busy trying to be heard that they become impatient when others are talking. This shows up in our body language and lack of eye contact. When you pay attention to others when they talk (look at them), you are showing them that you believe that what they have to say is important, and that they are important as well.
c. We have: Two Ears and One Mouth (There is a reason for that)
d. Hold your tongue! Don’t interrupt. Always say less than you think. Remember, “A fool utters all his mind…a wise man keeps it in” (Proverbs 29:11). And
since how you speak is as important as what you say, always be kind and
courteous.
e. Respond verbally & nonverbally. Don’t change the subject.

5. Practice the law of sowing and reaping in building up others.

a. Gal. 6:7(NLT) – “Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!”
b. Eph. 6:8 Principle
c. The law of sowing and reaping doesn’t just involve money. When you look for every opportunity to do and say things that make other people feel good about themselves, you may be surprised to see that others will look for ways to reciprocate your kindnesses toward them.
d. Matthew 7:12 (NKJV) – “Therefore, Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”