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Unraveling the End Times Live Roundtable

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Join us for a live roundtable discussion on the end times spoken of in Revelation.

Guests include: Chris Eller, (Small Groups Pastor, FFC), Carlos Jerez (Campus Pastor, FFC Bondurant), Tim Lubinus (Exec. Director, BCI) Michael Mudlaff (Pastor, Westkirk Presbyterian Church), Todd Stiles (Lead Pastor, FFCA), and more!

Topics will include the different views of the end times, including specific attention to the Millennium, Christ's second coming, and the tribulation. Different approaches to interpretation, various understandings of the timing of Christ's return, q & a from the audience, plus much more! This event is a live recording of the Extra Point Podcast, FFC's audio resource.

Don't miss out!

Family Camp 2016

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Join us this August 12–15 for FFC Family Camp 2016! This is a great time to get away and enjoy fellowship and fun with your family and church family! Family Camp will once again be held at Hidden Acres Christian Center. You can sign up below!

Here are some activities you can expect to enjoy at Family Camp this year:

Game rooms – ping pong, pool table, foosball
Indoor swimming pool (70’ x 30’ and 3’-5’ deep)

Paddle Boats
Rope Swing
Floating Docks
Water Slide

Bicycling Ultimate Frisbee
Sand Volleyball Octaball
Horse Shoes 9 Square
Geo Caching Hammocks
Mini Golf Airsoft
Playground Equipment Archery
Scavenger Hunt Crafts

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in Music

Soak Up the Son Concert

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Bring your lawn chairs & enjoy a family-friendly concert at the Ankeny Band Shell (located at Wagner Park), featuring Christian worship bands from the Ankeny and Bondurant Campuses of FFC.

The concert will be held on Saturday, July 9th, at 6pm.

The Ankeny Movie Theater will provide popcorn, and our church will provide bottled water. Join us for a fun night of worship, snacks, and music!

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Upcoming Sermon Series: When Ancient Meets Current – The 7 Churches in Revelation

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In both positive and negative ways, Revelation 2–3 describe seven of the historical churches of John's day. Yet, by application, there is much we can learn about our own day, even our own church. Journey with First Family to seven cities and seven churches, seeing how what was ancient is actually very current. Let's discover together that the way forward is actually the way backward, and that the biblical understanding of what God expects from his church never goes out of style.

We encourage you to read ahead in preparation for this series! You can read Revelation 2–3 in it's entirety below: 

Revelation 2–3

English Standard Version (ESV)

To the Church in Ephesus

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

To the Church in Smyrna

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander[a] of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith[b] even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants[c] to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works,23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Sardis

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Philadelphia

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Laodicea

14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

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The Deep Gladness of God's Global Work

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Having just arrived back from central Asia, I wanted to write to all our flock and just express the deep gladness we share as we participate with God in his global gospel work. Make no mistake—it is his work, solely and wholly. But how amazing that he invites and includes us into it! Frankly, it is this very God-orchestrated, Spirit-empowered, Jesus-magnifying work that ignites the flame of joy within our souls. Let me illustrate.

As many of you know, this past weekend I was privileged to accompany our central Asia church planter, Timur, to his hometown, handing him off to the team there in central Asia. It was a powerful day watching the end of one thing and the beginning of another merge into a divinely ordained moment. The room was full of both committed believers and curious seekers; more than 50 altogether. From this God will, we pray, birth a local expression of his body (i.e., a church) who will reach out and “make disciples of all nations” who will, in turn, reproduce what they saw and plant yet another church.  Oh, the genius of God!

I was no sooner heading home after the six-hour gathering and it hit me deeply once again—a multiplication of disciple makers is the heart of our God! Yes, people from every language worshiping the Almighty for his own renown is the ultimate end, and the means by which God will accomplish that is a continuous multiplication of disciple makers (Matt. 28:19-20, Romans 10:14-15). My response to that needs to be to see the fields as “white unto harvest” (John 4) and pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers. What divine joy is ignited deep down when you see God doing exactly that. 

That’s when, in seat 16D on an Airbus 330, my heart exploded with gratefulness. For while I had just left a planter in central Asia, another one was actually in the middle of preaching right here in Ankeny. That’s right —Brad, who spoke this past Sunday, was one of our original six people (three couples) who helped plant FFC. And now, 12 years later, God is using him as an under-shepherd to teach the sheep. What’s more, the other man who helped plant FFC, Jason, was preaching at that moment in Missouri where God used him to replant a church by bringing together two churches for greater impact than either had alone.

It doesn’t stop there. Just 15 minutes away from FFC, over 100 people—Carlos and FFCB—were meeting then as well in an elementary school in Bondurant, many of whom just a little over three years ago left the “mother ship” in Ankeny to reproduce in their own area in a more localized, targeted fashion.

My mind had only scratched the surface. An FFC couple is bound for India this coming July to assist front-line church planters with their God-given gifts, another is in training in Mexico preparing for church-planting life in a less-access nation, and a team of more than 20 FFCers were heading to Utah the very next day to actively engage the precious people there who have been blinded by Satan through the false religion of Mormonism.

My mind was ready to race to more disciple makers, but my heart, poundingly overflowing, stopped. Yes, somewhere over Asia my heart stopped. Okay, not literally. But whatever we mean by that, it happened. My heart stopped and my soul worshiped. To witness the grand power of our missionary God in the middle of our very own assembly brought me to silence. Then tears. Then more silence. And ultimately, deep gladness that God would be so gracious as to include us in his global gospel work.

Please don’t hear any of this as a self-patronizing editorial about our body, or as a corporate “attaboy” to First Family Church. Not at all! Hear it and read it as what it is in all of its practical reality, theological simplicity, and yet divine mystery — God will build his church!

That’s what our eyes long to see and ears long to hear. That’s what our mouths long to tell. That’s what our souls so desperately need to know: That God will keep his Word and build his church. Here. There. Everywhere. And as every bit of our spirit, soul and body watch our Trinitarian God do what only he can do through a people who can’t do anything without him (John 15), then every bit of our entire being will be overwhelmed by every bit of the One from whom all blessings flow. This is when his passion will become our mission.

That flight ended, but my deep gladness hasn’t. That God would do his work in us, then through us, is a thought so high and wonderful no man or woman should remain unmoved. Rather, may the humble privilege God grants us cause our hands to raise, our arms to extend, our feet to go, our mouths to speak, our homes to open, our resources to be invested, and our lives to be expended in grateful worship of the King of all the universe and Shepherd of our souls, Jesus Christ the Lord.

For his fame among all peoples,

Pastor Todd

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in News

Family Pastor Transition

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Last fall and earlier this year, the Elders announced their plan to transition Carlos to full-time Campus Pastor in Bondurant. Since starting the Bondurant Campus in the Fall of 2013, Carlos has split his time, serving as Family Pastor for the Ankeny Campus and Campus Pastor in Bondurant. It is now time to free Carlos up to devote full-time to the Bondurant Campus.

To help cover the needs of the Family Ministries in Ankeny, the Elders have hired Brad Miller, one of our Elders, to serve as a part-time Family Pastor. Starting June 1, Brad will give oversight and management to the Family Ministries, including the Children’s Ministry Director and Youth Pastor, as well as leading our Men’s Ministry. Please welcome Brad to the staff at First Family!

This decision is part of our over-arching objective of developing a solid staff team with transparency, credibility, and trust. If you have any questions about this transition, please see one of our Elders.