Today, makes the one year anniversary of Victory Baptist Church voting me in as their Pastor.
Words cannot describe all the feelings, emotions, and prayer that go into a major decision like this one was—however, the Lord has certainly taught many valuable lessons during this incredible ride of faith!
- Allow God to lead: while this seems to be simplistic, it is vital! Believe me, it is not easy to leave the church we started from scratch, disappoint and hurt some people that we greatly loved, sell our home, and move to another state (and all of this transpiring in the matter of just a few months). But the fact that the Lord (through many clear avenues) was leading in this change makes it all worth while! One of my trusted counselors said this to me during this whole transition: “you will find out who your real friends are”…the lesson to learn: some people will not understand and may even get mad, but if the Lord is leading, as a Christian, we have a duty to follow Him and not worry about what the “brethren might think”!
- Serve God wherever you are: The Lord has truly been good to us at V.B.C. this past year! We have seen souls saved, the baptistery waters stirred, families join, and forward progress starting to take place! It is truly exciting to see God at work! However, we were seeing those same things happen in Maine…the lesson God thought me is this. It doesn’t matter the geographical location of service—where God has planted you…flourish and bear fruit! Far too often we let man made geographical demographics happen or all together stop our service for the King! Wherever you are, be there! Do not get in the trap of always looking for “greener pasture”. There can be no better place to serve God, than the place He has called you to serve!
- Love people: for those fellow church planters out there, you know the amount of love and fellowship that is built in a new work…one that takes years to build! Our love for the folks in Maine was (and still is) very passionate and strong—but it has amazed me how the Lord is able to open ones heart and enlarge it as he puts you in different places with different people. Ministry is people…so keep loving people all the time everywhere you go, and never stop investing in people even though you might get hurt from time to time. Jesus died for them, the least we can do is love them!
- Stay focused on your mission: During times of transition, it is easy to get sidetracked and off coarse. While we all as Christians have some of the same duties (witnessing, tithing, loving, serving, etc…) there are some ‘individual’ plans the Lord gives us personally! In all these areas, stay focused! It is also important to allow God to “refine” these areas from time to time to keep your life living in His simple plan. I have learned that God’s plan is very rarely confusing and complicated, it is when “we” get involved that things get complicated! Stay focused!
The Lord is good all the time, and I just want to go on record saying that I am so thankful for His love, guidance, and wisdom that He so liberally gives! Also, I could not have done this with out a wife that is willing to do all the afore mentioned things (Plus 100’s of others) and willingly go where the Lord leads! I praise the Lord for the good wife that He has provided for me and the great worker she is in the ministry!
What a joy to serve the Lord—let’s stay at it with passion and fervency until He calls us home!