Last week I shared 10 Stretching Experiences of Being a New Pastor. Today, I want to rehearse the blessings of serving God with a wonderful group of people.
God wants us to enjoy the journey of His will, and Satan desires to make it as miserable and difficult as possible. Here are some things that cause me to thank the Lord for His call and for allowing me to serve at EBC with such a wonderful church family!
1. Seeing a struggling church revive by God’s grace. The spiritual life and vitality that the Holy Spirit brings into His body is a wonderful thing to experience!
2. Seeing discouraged Christians enjoy church and grow in God’s grace. When God’s Spirit moves, He produces unity, love, and grace one toward another. He compels us to serve each other and to serve together.
3. Seeing lost New Englanders come to Christ with eagerness. The gospel is powerful in spite of me, and it’s been awesome to see people trust Jesus and delight to know Him after walking in hopelessness for so long. New England is ripe! Pray for laborers!
4. Seeing God use the teaching and preaching is His Word. It’s exciting to see God use His Word to produce spiritual growth!
5. Seeing God galvanize a growing church family with new relationships. One of my favorite parts of the church service is the greeting time. I love to see our church embrace new Christians, unsaved guests, new members, and unfamiliar faces!
6. Seeing the possibilities a healthy church’s future. Dreaming about the future is exciting, and FUN! My struggle is being patient in the process of getting there!
7. Seeing God provide according to the faithful obedience of His people. Too much to say on this one! Suffice it to say that, if God is calling you forward—individually and as a church—He WILL provide in ways you cannot explain or imagine. He will fund a work that He is ordaining!
8. Counting the days ’til Sunday! Sundays at EBC are just wonderful. Joyful people, hot coffee, smiling faces, warm greetings, new guests, new life, authentic worship, and BIBLE. It’s good to see God’s Spirit unquenched and working freely.
9. Caring for people all week long. Life is burdensome. People are under a LOT! And as pastors, we are not called to make their burdens heavier, but to care and try to lighten the load. It’s a joy to try to encourage God’s heritage!
10. Living out God’s clear call for His ultimate glory. There’s just something of rest, peace, and joy in knowing with certainty that you are doing God’s will for your life. Some aspects of surrender are painful at first, but at the last, surrender is sweet and safe!
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)