Read 2 Timothy 2:2
I love our church! Nothing more expresses who we are than our name – Grace Church. Our church proclaims the message of Ephesians 2:8 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Only a few months after Roxanne and I came to town almost 40 years ago, our senior pastor, Ken Ashman, was promoted to the Lord‘s presence after leading this church for over 35 years. Just a few weeks later, I was asked to become the new senior pastor at 27! That was a big risk for the leaders of our church! Despite my own inadequacies and failures, this group of believers demonstrated God’s grace and warmly embraced us!
Our daughters were born here, loved the ministries for kids, and got married in this church. They were discipled by people who embraced the life-changing power of God‘s grace. Today, both our daughters, their husbands, and our grandchildren are actively involved in their local churches, largely because of the influence of this church.
A few years ago, God directed me to step down as senior pastor and begin the transition to new leadership for our church. For years, Pastor Nick’s ministry with students had been greatly blessed by God where he clearly demonstrated great leadership gifts. Our board warmly embraced the idea of asking him to become the new senior pastor of our church.
After my sabbatical, Pastor Nick asked me to continue on our church staff as Pastor of Development. That was also a risky decision! Similar decisions in other churches have produced dissension. But, by God’s grace, not here.
And I love my new job! My role now involves stewardship and leadership development, pastoral care, and teaching. I get to say thank you to people who have invested in our church over the years so that we can share God’s grace with others! I still spend time with people who are grieving, hurting or facing a health crisis. Pastor Nick also asked me to develop a series on Israel and prophecy which I’ve taught to several Sunday morning groups, and it’s been well-received!
As I think about all this, these words come to my mind: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). An old song suggests we should be involved in “passing the faith along.” That’s one of the great characteristics of this church through the years. One generation has “passed the faith along“ to the next.
Life-change continues to be the driving mission of our church. It’s the kind of church where I still want to serve! And I pray that you feel the same way. It’s a decision that has implications for your family for generations to come. You won’t regret it!