Yesterday was an exciting day in the life of our church! With an 82% vote in his favor, Jon Rocha accepted the call to be our new pastoral intern. As was explained, his primary focus will be youth programming. He will be working two Sundays a month till his graduation in May 2015. At that time, we will revisit the issue of full-time Associate Pastor and consider Jon for this position. This is truly an exciting time in the life of our church as we envision further growth and progress.
In the next few days, Jon and I will be having a telephone conversation and a face-to-face meeting to discuss his work schedule, proposed teaching curriculum, proposed youth group activities (i.e. Faith Fest, etc.), and other pertinent topics. We will communicate the results of our meetings via this blog, our bulletin, Facebook, and verbal announcements. Our goal is to communicate with you in an efficient and accurate manner so everyone can stay in the loop. Of course, if you ever have a question about anything that is going on, please ask us directly. We would love to answer any and all of your questions.
Before I end this short blog, let me say a few words about building vision while breeding stability. Quite simply and plainly, this is the goal of my pastoral leadership. In other words, for the glory of God and the advancement of the gospel, I am endeavoring to build a vision while breeding stability. Some of you may wonder, what is the vision?! Answer: “Prairie Flower Baptist Church seeks to be an Acts 2:41 church. That is to say, we earnestly desire to see people saved, baptized, and added to the church on a regular basis. We long to be a church that is a safe-haven from the legalistic terrors of various religious denominations. We passionately long to see men stand up as leaders, women to thrive in their relationships, and children to grow up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Bottom line, Prairie Flower Baptist Church earnestly desires to be a GROWING, THRIVING community of Jesus Followers in southeast Iowa!” And let me be clear…Jon Rocha, and the leadership that he will provide, is a vital part in the maturing of this vision. Ultimately, it’s not about the numbers…it all about faithfulness…faithfulness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
But in our attempts to build a vision, how do we breed stability? Answer: We will remember that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. In other words, we will pump the breaks on any further major changes. We will allow time for the church to get use to the many changes that we have already brought about. We will allow a new season to fall upon us (no pun intended), have a hayride in October, Harvest Dinner in November, celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families, and enjoy the gospel of Jesus Christ as it is sung, preached, and taught at our church.
You see, many of you find yourselves in one of two camps…the Camp of Vision or the Camp of Stability. The unique challenge for me is to be the pastor of both camps…because both are needed! So to those of you in the Camp of Vision, whose battle cry is, “Forward! Onward! More for the glory of God!” I say to you, “Yes, but let’s mature and develop the many changes we have already brought about and let’s not forget to rest in the sovereignty of God.” To those of you in the Camp of Stability, whose battle cry is, “Peace! Unity! Let’s wait for the glory of God!” I say to you, “Yes, but don’t forget that constant discomfort is needed for the growth of any organization, to include the church, and you must trust the Lord by means of trusting your leadership (i.e. pastor and deacons).” And to both camps, let me say this, “I love you. We absolutely need to build vision while breeding stability. Both of your heartbeats are vitally necessary and important. And yes, I am listening to you. Don’t forget that I have the unique challenge of leading this church while following the Lord Jesus…and it’s harder than it looks! Pray for me. I need it.”
Ultimately, I am your shepherd. And a shepherd leads. A shepherd lovingly and carefully leads. A shepherd also must be bold and firm. It’s such a delicate balance. I sometimes wish I had the experience of a 90 year old, the fortitude of a battle-hardened military general, and the energy of a 2 year old! That would make for the perfect pastor…or so I think. But God has me right where He wants me…weak, needy, and in constant need of His grace and strength. I know I am not the perfect pastor. I know I have a long way to go in many areas of pastoral leadership, but God is so good, and with Him leading, guiding, and directing us…WE can achieve anything! So hang on Prairie Flower, God is in control.