This week, I wanted to give you all a few reminders and some encouraging ideas as we continue to follow God in this time of change.
“I finally realized what I don’t like about your church.”
She was a visitor. She looked familiar but I couldn’t remember her name. Maybe a high school classmate? Then she really shocked me.
“Hi, Pastor. You probably don’t remember me. I have visited only five or six times. We are on our way to Florida to visit our daughter. Each year we come through and stop here to worship.” I gave her my 150-watt smile. Before I could speak she said, “I finally realized what I don’t like about your church.” I braced myself for the criticism. Then she really shocked me.
“What I don’t like is… (pause) I don’t like it to be over.” The relief on my face must have been too obvious. She laughed and smiled, while her husband shook his head in agreement. Obviously, God blessed her. We are not perfect, but I hope you realize what God has built here at Eastmont.
We build people before building steeples
That was our motto 20 years ago when we built our new sanctuary. It is still true today. We like church members, but we prefer making disciples.
Freedom is not free
We are the land of the free because of the brave. Each Memorial Day Sunday, we remember two special groups. (1) Those who gave their lives in service for our country. (2) Eastmont members who passed away since last Memorial Day. It is a beautiful and touching worship time. Grief can become “good grief” when you trust God for help.
To reach those no one else is reaching, we must do what no one else is doing
I am so very proud of our Senior Adults. They held Vacation Bible School in three retirement centers this month (three more will be held in the fall). Our Youth go door to door inviting children to IJ2 Bible Clubs. We provided a special Mother’s Day banquet for single moms. Our Vacation Bible School will bring hundreds of unchurched and unsaved to our door. To reach those no one else is reaching, we must do what no one else is doing.
God ideas are better than good ideas
We can be very smart, clever and creative at times. I’m glad we are. (Many churches are dying from sameness.) I’m convinced God uses different ways to attract and catch fish. However, we always depend on God’s spirit to guide us. Our methods may change, but not our message. Pray, pray and pray some more. God ideas are better than our good ideas.
We are not on pause, we are on mission
We are not on pause, we are on mission. As my retirement draws near, God reminded me that I am not on pause either. Just like Eastmont, I am on mission until He calls me home.