It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years of serving as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek. This church family has been a steady source of inspiration as we have sought to follow Jesus together.
I’ve been hesitant lately when someone asks, “So, how’s the church?”
I give some generic answers because what I really want to say is, “How long do you have, and how annoyed will you be if my excitement goes over the top?” There is so much to be thankful for these days. I love watching what the Spirit is doing among us.
So that this post won’t turn into a book, let me provide you with seven prayers of mine for our church in the days ahead.
- Disciple-Making Movement – We talk a lot about discipleship, and I am amazed at how many say “yes” to Jesus’ Great Commission. While I am thankful it is a part of our lingo, it must be a part of our DNA. I am praying we will see a day where everyone is discipling someone.
- Passionate Preaching – This church took a risk on a guy who preached occasionally and asked him to preach weekly. In those first few months, my excitement and enjoyment of doing what I felt called to do probably motivated me more than I assumed it would. I have prayed through the years that my preaching would continually improve in content and delivery. I don’t ever want to be a preacher who gets comfortable or stagnant, but I pray that I’m more passionate than ever before.
- Multiplying Church – We came alongside churches in need at the worst possible time (2020), and we have seen some incredible things happen through the Recommission Network since then. While I am amazed that we have four partnering churches, we must transition this part of our strategy from something our leadership does to something our membership is willing to do. People love what’s happening at RC, but we must be ready to make some sacrifices so that what’s going on here can also be multiplied at other places. That means some of us need to help plant or replant other congregations in this area.
- Launching Pad – We have been amazed at the people we have been able to invest in through internships, mentorships, and residencies. We have tried to serve them, they have blessed us, and then we launch them to wherever God has called them, whether it be the pastorate, ministry roles, or the mission field. I hope that we create a pipeline of young people we train up to send out.
- Deeper Relationships – In our addition of groups, I pray that we will continually grow deeper in our relationships. A church ought to feel like a family, and I’m praying that our Gospel Groups will continue to learn how to grow in the gospel and go with the gospel. Church people often talk about “doing life together,” but I pray that it truly becomes a deeper reality.
- Missions Milestones – I can sense a swell happening in missions after COVID-19. Instead of retreating due to the many challenges, I pray that we become all the more aggressive in taking the gospel to the nations. I long to see a day when middle schoolers take their first local trip, high schoolers make it to the nations, college students stay for a summer, graduates remain for a term, and individuals and families decide to go career. And, all along the way, we take those upcoming missionaries and place them where our people are to create an actual on-ramp for producing more people to go to the nations.
- Observable Difference – At the heart of all these prayers is my hope that there will be a noticeable difference among us as people who are passionately committed to following Jesus as closely as possible. I want to see it in the way that our staff leads to how our members behave. We desire to proclaim the excellencies of the One who called us out of darkness into marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Someone recently told me that their family member who joined RC is just a different person and hard to recognize from where the individual used to be. May that increase all the more!
I don’t want to play church.
I don’t want to be where people get their Bible Belt amenities met.
I want to be a church unbridled in our pursuit of Jesus.
We don’t have time for drama.
We don’t have time for dysfunction.
We cannot delay.
I will not spend my life on anything other than what Jesus has instructed me to do and how He has commanded us to do it.
I am more passionate about Jesus and His Church than ever before.
I consider it such an honor that you allow me to pastor you. Let’s keep going together!