FCCC has been without a pastor for over two years now. As the search continues into the new year and beyond please pray for the selection panel and potential applicants, that God’s will would be done and that we may have a Spirit of wisdom and understanding.
My hope is that this church – all the beautiful men and women who call Flooding Creek home and more ecumenically the local population of Christ-followers – may remember three important lessons from our church’s story.
Grief and lament are a biblical form of worship. As I read the book of Psalms, I am reminded that when we are faced with disappointment (which personally I am feeling quite strongly at the moment), or, to broaden the scope further- when we lament the death of a loved one, feel despair, anxiety, neglect, or any number of emotions natural for humans living in a broken world, we must remember to do so in the same pattern as the Psalmists.
We should indeed lament – in crying out to our God we remind ourselves that God is God. He is our immovable foundation, and His salvation and righteous works are worthy of praise. His purposes have been made known – and whatever God’s plan is, despite it not looking exactly the way we might want or expect in this moment, it will most certainly culminate in the fulfillment of God’s reign on earth when Jesus returns in glory. Hallelujah.
When we face conflict- especially within the church, or with those who are in leadership, or if we are tempted to complain about a sermon or teaching, or if we feel wronged for whatever reason, remember:
a. Forgive as God forgave us.
b. Our brothers and sisters are saved sinners just like us, so their intentions are probably good – we must try to see the best in them.
c. Apply the principles taught by Jesus in Matthew 18. Approach them personally and talk it out. When doing so, let us remember the purpose of doing so (Romans 14:19, Ephesians 4:3, Hebrews 12:14), and remember to pray with them.
When these (and other, similar) biblical Christian principles are not applied to our personal circumstances and decisions, a sequence of events inevitably follows including gossip, strife, and broken relationships – and other hell-like descriptors. Ultimately, we could sum it up with a buzz-phrase like “be like Christ”; my prayer is that buzz-phrases like these would not be wasted on us.
If you come to Flooding Creek, it is likely that you have a heart for the lost, and that through His church you want people in Sale to hear the good news of Jesus’ reign, his resounding defeat of both sin and death, and that by the grace of God they would repent and follow Him.
My reminder is that you ARE the church. The good news of Jesus is spread by US. Predestined, certainly; the command remains.
Revival, and effective evangelism – when it works – is always rooted in the white-hot faith of the church. In this day and age especially, it is of paramount importance that we, you and I, practice the spiritual disciplines which help make us resilient to the negative aspects of our culture, ground us in the hope of the gospel, and help us to rely on the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and understanding – which He lavishes on us freely when we read and apply His carefully preserved scriptures and purposefully develop our now-un-broken relationship with the God who created us. This in order that we may indeed be able to answer confidently for our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Ie, read the bible and pray – (perhaps even) before you touch the phone in the morning(!) (…I’d like to try this.)
What we mustn’t do is just wait for a pastor to come and then expect that he and his family will magically inspire us and finally show us the way to live and evangelise Sale. We can’t expect him to come and do all the work, all the evangelism, and all the scripture reading on behalf of the church, and then expect that FCCC will somehow grow God’s kingdom in Sale. That is unrealistic, not to mention ineffective, inefficient, unfair, and ungodly.
The truth is, the pattern of living (the Way, Truth, Life) has been shown us already; we don’t actually even NEED a pastor as such. Sure, it would be great, and an extra set of hands and feet would be wonderful – but in the end, this church is God’s church. He wants to use us whether we’ve a pastor or not! Please pray for one to be sent (we’re all sent…), but let’s not sit on our laurels in the meantime.
That’s it for now. I pray and hope this post is an encouragement to you all. Please discern and distill God’s truth from it by the Holy Spirit; I’m not the boss. Jesus is the boss.
I look forward to reaching the people of Sale with the good news of Jesus Christ with you, firmly embedded in the Truth in Love, for His glory.