Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Love This Song

Leading up to our Grand Opening and celebrating our building renovation (even though there is a lot more to do and our Children’s area will not be done for a few more months as far as the d├ęcor goes), I have had the opportunity to reminisce a little bit... to think about how far God has brought us.  I think about what I walked into at Trinity versus where we are now, how for the first time in 6 years we have church that is unified and healthy (or much healthier). We have direction and a passion! I must confess to you that there genuinely is no where I would rather be and I have never had more joy being a Pastor than right now.  But, I also must confess that prior to this period in our fellowship I had never suffered in any ministry like this (and that is saying quite a bit).  From the depths of despair, doubt, anger, sin, and you fill in any other blank you desire, it has been a long and tiresome time.  Early on it was like we, as a church, were in a place so dark and ugly, with so much division that, because I was unaware of the history of it, I didn’t even know where to start. I have said many times that one of the turning points for our fellowship was a “Repentance Service” we had my first year or so. God was working in lives but, we also had some get mad and leave because we were focusing on repentance. I have reread some journal entries from that period and just reading them blew me away. 

All of this to say, the song below sums up where are have come from and where we are on this journey. It is an older song, but one I have listened to time and time again. I am reminded that God has been faithful in spite of me. He has loved me even when I doubted His love. Trinity, I love you. I am  blessed to be your Pastor and you have loved me through tough days in our fellowship. Who would have thought, that after 6 years, much prayer, tears, sermons and meetings we would be here! Truly He was in it after all.




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My MVP


As we prepare to celebrate our Kick-Off Sunday in our new building at the end of this month, I began looking back over the last year and a half and thought of all the people God has used to help our church body in this transition and to help me personally. There are numerous flaws that I have, and many areas that God is working to sanctify me in, but the one area that I seem to “hit” way above average in, is the people that the Lord has allowed me to bring in on staff. Being a Sr. Pastor now for almost 20 years I certainly have hired some men on staff that were strike outs (just to keep the baseball theme) but more often than not, God has blessed me by placing men around me that are full of grace, integrity and faithfulness. I am blessed to serve with the men the Lord has brought to Trinity.  This transition and vision would not have been possible without them serving and leading. But as much as I appreciate them and as much as I appreciate the overall leadership of the men and ladies in our church family, they are not my MVP. 

My MVP is the lady that I live with and love, with whom I will celebrate her birthday this week and who will forever be my Valentine. I could again, tell you the many flaws I have and sins I struggle with...and some of them you know and others you don’t. But my bride lives with me and sees them in HD. Many of the weaknesses in my life she has as her strengths, many of the sins that God works out of my life, He uses her to aid in that. She is full of grace and God has allowed her to help and love me during some of the craziest times of this process. She has prayed for me and with me, she has listened to my frustrations, doubts, excitement (many times all happening in the same hour). God has called me to preach the Word of God and for that I am blessed, but He has given me a jewel who few, if any, will know how God has used her to strengthen me, encourage me and even rebuke me. She is my MVP, God has put her by my side to get me through some of the most difficult days in my life and to celebrate some of the greatest days in my life. Thank you Trinity, for loving her and my family. Thank you Michele, and know that I love you and you are the most amazing soon to be 23 year old lady I know. J Happy Birthday and thank you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An Exciting Time! Kickoff Celebration is Feb 22nd


Well this is the month! I will blog multiple times I am sure, about our official Kickoff Celebration on February 22, 2015 at 10:30 am. This is not just another day in Trinity’s history... it might be considered the most important day in Trinity’s history. 

This has been a long journey, filled with very difficult questions:  questions that led us to discover what kind of church God was really calling us to be. It made us rethink what our expectations should be. This celebration began forming a couple of years ago when we were approached about selling our building and we had to ask what kind of impact we were making on our city, if any. What kind of impact have we ever made in our city? Should we sell?  If so, where should we go? How would a building be less of a “temple” and more of a “well", a place used to engage people rather than just meet. How uncomfortable would this make us? (we can answer that now…very uncomfortable at times!). What would this do to our attendance? Would we lose people? Would we gain members? We set up different teams to help us answer these questions and during this process we had team members step up with great ideas and some even leave, but all contributed. Some who didn’t like the direction, helped the majority become more resolute in what we needed to be, while others who stayed sharpened our vision as what we needed to be. No doubt the Lord lit our path and made things crystal clear. We have been able to strengthen our membership and our accountability.  God has led new families to our fellowship, and has given our entire church family a new passion and direction... this is worthy of celebration. This gives us opportunity to remind ourselves that He has been faithful.   Even when we didn’t see His hand, His heart was working for our good and His glory. We will celebrate this milestone, this shaping period in our church family's life, but we will not attribute it to hard work or give ourselves a pat on the back for enduring through the inconvenience... we will celebrate our Lord who has been faithful regardless of our unfaithfulness. We will celebrate that fact that we have the opportunity to impact our community with the Gospel in a unique way we have never been able to before. This is going to be a great day! A day worthy of celebration and the one true God worthy of all of our adoration! Put it on your calendars now.