Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Beginnings

Today I will stand in the pulpit of Cross Road Baptist Church as their pastor for the first time. Just a few weeks ago I preached in view of a call (which was unanimous!). Today is different. Now I must begin vision-casting. This is a two-fold process. One is to place a vision before them, to fling it out there like casting a lure into the water. That's the easy part. Just like with fishing, casting is pretty easy but catching is much harder.

Vision-casting also involves shaping the vision so the people can understand it. Like an artist might use a form to cast an image, I must give shape or life to the vision. A great artist (Michelangelo?) said the image is locked inside the slab of marble and he just had to chip away what didn't belong to the image could be released. Today I begin chipping away in an effort to release the vision to God's people.

I hope to lead this church to grow in five ways: the depth of their relationship with Christ, the warmth of their fellowship with one another, the breadth of their service to others, the strength of their devotion to God, and the effectiveness of their winning the lost. The success in reaching these goals will be seen through increased attendance, baptisms, offerings, and missions involvement.

Impacting eternity at the cross road of life!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Time is Running Out

I just finished my last Wednesday night with Reynolds. It was the monthly business meeting. We talked about the bank balance, the gaining and losing of members, the upcoming missions offering. And my replacement.

It wasn't odd like I thought it might be. Actually, the discussion was very good. I was able to give input on the process and even slide in a kind word for a guy.

The best part is that I think the church may actually have a positive attitude about moving forward. I expect them to do good things.

And I expect good things at Cross Road. Time is running out at Reynolds but just beginning to tick at Cross Road. I'll be close enough to stay in touch; I want to celebrate the good things with them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What you CAN do

Lori was a little irritated with me. I kept complaining about something at work. Someone demanded something of me and it just wouldn't work that way! "It won't work. I'm telling you, it won't work!"

"Then tell me what you CAN do!"

Yikes. That hurt. But she was right.

Now, let's take off the "job" hat and put on the "pastor" hat. So many folks at church can only tell me why ideas for outreach and ministry won't work.

Helping a needy family who has requested help for Christmas: "those kids are old enough to get a job," "is there a husband in the house?" "we don't want to give them money and nobody has clothes the size they need."

I just don't believe it!

Canvasing the neighborhood for prospects: "we've done that" (twenty years ago), "everyone in the neighborhood goes to church somewhere," "too many in the neighborhood have ill feelings toward the church" (from twenty years ago).

I just don't believe it!

What we CAN do is follow God and trust God. Faith is believing that God will be God and do what only God can do. What we CAN'T do God CAN do!

Just believe it!

Monday, November 13, 2006


God's moving.

Have you heard the song by FFH about God moving? The writer pleads with God to move...and if not, MOVE ME!

I know the request is for God to change our desires to match what God is doing. But I've been asking God to do something in my current church but the resistance is great. I'm concerned about the church; really, I'm concerned about the members. Some of them, anyway.

I believe God has a great plan for this church, but the people have to be willing to move with God. Only a few have said and demonstrated they are willing. I'll continue to pray that God will move.

In the meantime, God is moving me. I completed my seminary degree recently. I've always served bivocationally but feel God is calling me to fully supported ministry. Sunday is my last Sunday at my current church. We're moving this weekend across town to another church. I'll be in the office Monday.

I'm praying God will continue to move like only he can.