A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my 5th year serving as your Pastor at TBC. I have said before that if the Lord would have shown us in advance what the first five years would look like, I’m not quite sure I would have come here, nor am I sure you would have wanted me. But, God has been amazingly gracious as always. We are not what we are going to be in another 5 years, but we certainly are not what we were. God has blessed us with the selling of our facility and in so doing, with an opportunity to not only clarify our direction over the next several years, but also to have an impact in His Kingdom far beyond what we have ever had. With my church anniversary being in January, it is only natural for me to review what all God has done in the life of our fellowship. We are now in a place as a church body to make gospel centered, Kingdom focused decisions and everything we have gone through over the last 5 years has prepared us for a time such as this. I have said and quoted that “big doors swing on small hinges,” and that is certainly true in our fellowship. This big door that is now before us is swinging on some seemingly small hinges. Let me share with you a few of them:
- Staff Stability: I am the third Pastor in this location in the last 20 years, but in that same time frame (prior to becoming your Pastor) there had been almost 60 staff members come and go. One or two were here only weeks! It is difficult, if not impossible, to have that kind of staff turn over and a church that is stable. God has blessed us in a tremendous way with our present staff. As a whole, these men are the most theologically sound, Christ honoring, team focused group of men I have ever been around. We are prepared for this time primarily because of the way the Lord has used them to help equip this body.
- Church Unity: I have shared multiple times, that I will never forget having a mass exodus after a service that focused on repentance. When some of our men led out in repentance over how Trinity had treated previous Pastors, many were not willing to follow. The importance of going to one another and getting right, actually brought temporary harm to the body. It was that night, after that service, that I understood why there was so much division at Trinity - over everything from music to doctrine; it was either some people didn’t care to abide by the Word, or they just didn’t know what it said. I discovered later that there were people who fell into both groups. I thank God that through that time and through walking through the Word, through repentance, through understanding church and through attrition, this body is unified. We must also understand that unity is a fragile thing and we must all be consistently submitting to the Word of God.
- Taming The Tongue: A church that is not unified by doctrine and like beliefs, and believers who are not committed to walk this life together will be a fertile field for gossip. I was told by leadership that this was a stronghold in the body of Trinity, and after only 2 hours as Pastor it was realized somewhat. After 2 weeks I was fully aware of it, and after 5 years of preaching, teaching, the work of the Word convicting and sanctifying, we are finally free of that stronghold. Is it something all of us are susceptible to? Yes. Is it something that we have mastered? Certainly not. But, is it something that is crippling all we do as it was during the previous years? Praise God…no, it isn’t.
- Family Worship: Our men are leading and we have families that are worshipping together at home and not just on Sundays. We have husbands and wives who better understand their roles and God is blessing that in a tremendous way. Family worship impacts our corporate worship. I thank the Lord for the work in this area in all of our lives.
I could list 20 more examples, but I believe these are the most amazing hinges that this present door swings on. It is incredible to see where we are vs where many probably thought we would be. God has been so much more faithful than we have been and for that, we thank Him for His grace. I love you, TBC and I thank you for your expectation to feed on the Word of God every week. These last 5 years have, in many ways been the best and worse in my life, but I am honored to be your Pastor and I look forward to what our Lord has in store for us in 2014!