December 30, 2012
Wow, this is the last time I will write a letter to my congregation in 2012, hard to believe but exciting also. Today was a great day at Out Of The Box Worship Center. I took the day off from preaching and just sat in the congregation being fed. Turns out it was a really good experience for me. I got to reflect on the things we do as a church to reach people in the seats each week. Needless it will take me a while to process everything that I observed and the things that God brought to my attention. It was also good for me to have a break as I have developed a cold. I realized today there should be more times when I just sit and observe in order to grow as your pastor.
The music as always was the best. I can’t say thank you to the praise team enough. We truly are blessed when it comes to talent but also when it comes to the spiritual giftedness of the musicians at OOTBWC. I always know when Jay gets up there that he has worked hard and prayed as much. I always know that Jay is more interested in reaching hearts than he is in hearing what a good job he does with the music. That my friend is a Calling. When someone is called that doesn’t mean they lose their desire to be good at something but it means the desire to make a difference is greater than the need for personal praise. Thank you also to the many who participate with Jay, you do an AWESOME job!
The children’s ministry has 32 this morning, amazing. Here is a quote from Samuel, age 5, “I love Kids Loft.”
We had 208 in worship this morning, a good day as many times the Sunday after Christmas is down in numbers due to many things. 208 means 208 names, 208 stories, and 208 stories that matter to God! You matter to God!
Evan Nester preached this morning and I just have to say that I am proud of Evan. I have mentored Evan for the past several years and it is an honor to pour my life into this young man and where God wants to take him. No doubt Evan will do great thing for God in this world, he is so much farther along than I was at his young age.
Evans message came to us from Paul in Galatians this morning. It was of course a message about Grace, that was Paul’s calling card and it has become Evan’s as well. But the one thing that got my attention more than any other is the illustration Evan used of the “impure” or “contaminated” water. Paul was concerned, or angry rather that someone had come in to the church at Galatia and “contaminated” the Gospel. They tried to take the Free Gift of God and turn it into a list of rules to follow.
“Don’t Drink The Water” Evan Nester
And I want to echo that, matter of fact, I am going to spend the entire year in 2013 convincing you to not drink the contaminated water. Jesus offers us pure, fresh, life-giving water.
It was a great day. I am learning what Jesus meant when he talked about caring for the sheep. I am learning to love you guys like you really are my own family and you really are.
God is expanding our territory and God is exploding my heart in love for you.