Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Who is your savior? Ask Christians this question and they'll usually answer "Jesus." Well, that's religiously correct but a funny thing happens to congregations calling a new pastor. A number of people in such congregations start believing that the new pastor will be their savior. They think all the things they don't like about their church (gripes typically focus on pastors previous or current, church council, music director, influential cliques) will magically get fixed when the new pastor shows up. New pastor walks on water, transfigures human nature, redeems long-standing behavior patterns in the twinkling of an eye, and thus "saves" the church? This sort of thinking is unrealistic and very much mistaken. Don't go down that road — you're guaranteed to get lost.

A pastor is not a messiah and cannot save a church from itself. Shepherd is already going down the right road as it prepares to welcome its new pastor. Congregational leaders are undertaking a process to build trust, learning skills for respectful communication, creating guidelines to support behavior that builds up healthy community. Shepherd is becoming a safe place where people can speak the truth in love and grow to maturity in Christ, who holds his body, the Church, together in his love.

A famous pastor once sent a helpful message to his congregation to sustain them while he was away on a mission trip. As I prepare to bring my ministry at Shepherd to a close, I want to share those words from the Apostle Paul with you, too:

My beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14Do all things without murmuring and arguing, 15so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. 16It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 

(Philippians 2:12-16)

We've done good work together over these past two years. Keep up the good work, holding fast to the word of life which comes to you in Jesus Christ, who is the only savior you'll ever need.

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Lessons for Sunday, July 3rd
2 Kings 5:1-14
Galatians 6:7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

THIS WEEK


Friday       1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday   9:30 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday     10:00 a One Worship Service

One service this Sunday, July 3rd at 10:00 am
Scrip order this Sunday, July 3