Monday, November 21, 2005

A Fall Farewell

As Krista and I prepare to head off for Seminary we had to say goodbye to our church family of three years last night. I was invited to preach a farewell message on Sunday evening which addressed the subject of "Prayer and the Sovereignty of God". We concluded by asking the church to pray to this sovereign God for us. We had a wonderful dinner afterwards with some of the folks and it was a very emotional farewell.

The local church is such a gift from God and when you are comitted to it and are serving in it you become part of a family unit that cares for one another and loves one another deeply. This is what we have had at First Baptist Church. Our Pastor, Steve Burchett, has a great understanding of pastoral care and his passion for the word of God and the care of souls is evident in his ministry.

For the last three years I have served as a pastoral student under Steve and have learned so much. Among those things I have learned how to preach, how to teach, how to understand the word, I have learned more about theology and who God is and who I am, I have learned how to be a pastor, husband, friend, mentor, and father. The Lord has given to my wife and I a great family in this congregation and I know that we won't forget them.

I hope that this will be an encouragement to anyone out there who is not now comitted to alocal church to do so. The Lord holds membership in a local church with high regard and indeed commands it. If you are still working through the local church I encourage you to get and read Joshua Harris' small book Stop Dating the Church. If you are considering what type of church you should join I encourage you to read Mark Dever's book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.

The Church is crucial to healthy Christian growth!


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