I am one month in as your senior pastor, and I am not sure time could have flown by faster. I am doing my best to learn, listen, and laugh with as many of you as I can. I am nowhere near done meeting with you and hearing your stories about what God is doing in your life.
As I continue to make my rounds, my hope is that you are feeling the excitement and newness of this new season for our church and are routinely making plans to come to worship in order to participate in what God is doing among us. It feels exciting, energizing, and embroidered with joy.
Now that I have my feet under me a bit, I want to expand the rate in which I hear from you. In my first day on the job, I put out a video asking you to think on a few questions. I meant that. I want to hear from you specifically around the following:
- How do you understand God?
- How did you come to First Baptist and what keeps you here?
- What excites you about our future?
- Are you about to walk away from corporate church?
- Has the church wounded you?
- Are you hungry for something authentic and meaningful?
- In what ways can I be a pastor to you and your family?
On our website, we will have opportunities for you to submit answers to these questions. As you contemplate your answers, please know I vow to hold both your joys and doubts solemnly. Your life (pains and celebrations) have brought you to where you are, and God has been with you in that unfolding. I consider this entire (unfolding) process to be holy and would love to walk with you as you answer these questions.
I do not pretend to think that life is easy. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that the one thing that binds all humans together is pain. You would think it would be love, but it’s pain. We all hurt and carry hurt. We all know the sting of death and the bitterness of defeat.
But even in the face of pain, I do know that if you have a church community that you love and loves you, then managing the pain becomes a lot easier. I had a professor tell me once that grief never goes away. But through love (especially the love of a church community), every day your world gets a little bigger, and you are able to make room for that grief. At times, it even gets carried by others.
I want First Baptist to be a place like this for you and your family. I want your pains to feel manageable and your joys to be shared. So if you see fit, I’d love to hear and learn from you. It is how we begin to make this journey of our lives together.
Peace & Joy,