Well, I promised several folks I would give an update as to what is going on with me, and this seems to be the easiest way to update everyone at once. I’m sorry it has taken so long to write this, I have actually been working on it for a week now to find the right words.
During the last two weeks of February, I was invited to preach at County Line Baptist Church (which is about 3 miles from our house) and to be honest it was really good to preach God’s word again. I confess to you that I went there solely to preach the Word and fellowship with other believers, but after the message last Sunday night the pulpit search committee asked me if they could meet with me and I agreed.
The meeting simply began with one of the deacons saying to me, “If our church was to call you as pastor would you be interested in serving?” Well, I was floored, honored, and suddenly very terrified about being a pastor again … but I’ll come back to that later.
We talked for a while about the church’s vision and about what they feel God has called them to do, and then of the ladies on the committee said to me, “Our church has a desire to grow, to reach people for Jesus Christ, and we are willing to do whatever it takes and go any distance to reach people ………. we’ll knock on doors, we’ll send letters, we’ll visit ………. we see God using this building as an outpost to reaching the committee and our city.” I also discovered the church is debt free, has 3 deacons, and a core group of about 20 folks who are sold out to reaching the lost, and have a desire to ONLY see Christ lifted up. Wow. I was floored for the second time in one meeting. So, you are probably asking what’s wrong with this church and why is TJ having problems with it? (Well, if you’re not asking this I am … hence the purpose of this entry.)
You see, we went through some struggles in the previous pastorate, and I guess we are terrified of entering these types of situations again. Now, I understand and have been around enough churches to realize that not every congregation is perfect and there are always challenges, especially in the area of getting folks out of the pew, but to think that this church wants to reach out is really an eye opening experience. I said to the committee that I believe the SOLE purpose of a church is “to connect people with Jesus Christ” and they emphatically agreed.
Additionally, the church is without youth and for that matter many young people in attendance, but the infrastructure to do so is in place. What I’m saying is they already have Sunday School teachers for each age group, and even dedicated nursery and youth workers, but without the people in attendance those gifts are not being used. This of course, is a major downfall for us since we have a 15 yr old daughter who desperately needs to be in a youth group with her peers, even though I’m sure she would love to continue going to the youth group she is in now; which if she did sadly would split up our family on Wednesdays and quite possibly most Sunday nights.
So now that I’ve said all of this and you’ve been patient enough to read it … I like to ask for your prayers for any word that you receive from God on this. I’m scheduled to preach there again on Easter Sunday (Apr 4), and right now we are praying that the Lord would give us His peace and allow us to answer the church’s call (either yes or no) before then and that we would only be in God’s will. Would you join us in that prayer? Would you join us in praying that only God’s Will would be done in this? Would you also pray specifically for County Line Baptist Church that the right man, God’s man, would be called to lead them? I don’t know if I am that man, but I know I can go to the One who has the answers and He promises to bring peace (reference Philippians 4:6-9). So, would you please join me?
Our family is praying and talking constantly, and we only want to be in the Lord’s will. Thank you in advance and may God bless you.
One thought on “Ministry prayers are needed”
Hey, TJWe're definitely praying for you.I've been in a youth group situation such as you describe twice before. The first time, we were considering leaving our church to get our two older children connected with effective youth ministry. God's answer that time was to put me into leadership of youth ministry at our church. Years later, our church once again had no viable youth ministry, and I was serving in a different position. That time, God gave us permission for our youngest to attend a different church's youth group, and it worked out fine.I'm trusting God will give you a satisfactory answer. I understand your hesitance to drag your family back into what could be a difficult situation – but don't fear! God will direct you and won't lead you astray, if you truly wait on His guidance. Meanwhile, we're agreeing with you in prayer and believing you'll find Godly wisdom for this decision. (James 1:5)– dan