Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Makes Your Heart Sing?

Watching church members thrive in ministry makes my heart sing.  This is a true gift of pastoral ministry.  When folks are engaging spiritual gifts and living like Jesus, it is a privilege to be part.

This week the Spirit has been singing at Scottsville Baptist, and I love it. There is a sense of vibrancy in our community.  Just this week church members have:

  • Prepared homemade soup & casserole for table fellowship with those visiting our clothing closet
  • Brainstormed new ideas in committee meetings
  • Practiced anthems for Thanksgiving worship with Presbyterian & Methodist brethren and sistren
  • Bought healthy foods (50 pounds of oats, 50 pounds of rice, fruit, etc.) for our pantry
  • Emailed visitors
  • Prepared Thanksgiving meals for those in need
  • Donated and processed deer, which was then shared with folks visiting the food pantry
  • Helped me at the parsonage
  • Organized a Sunday School mission outing to a nursing home in Charlottesville (in lieu of a party)
  • Made Chrismons
  • Prepared meals for new parents in our congregation 
  • Given pastoral care
  • Designed a welcome sign
  • A hundred other things of which I'm not aware

  • The best part is many of these things were led by church members (not the pastor)!  I am grateful for willing, excited leaders.  These are folks taking initiative and serving the Lord with gusto and gladness.

    It's a joy to be part of this.

    Thanks Alex for the welcome sign!  My personality is adequately captured!
    Thanksgiving baskets assembled by the Gaines family!

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    We're Having Fun.

    I've been pastor of Scottsville Baptist for two years.  When people ask how things are going, these words fly out of my mouth:  "We're having fun!"  And by that I don't mean we're running an entertainment business or Christian themed water park.  I mean God's-grace-is-in-this-place kind of fun.

    On Wednesday a few of us went to a Saint John's Bible presentation at Bybee's Road Baptist Church.  We learned and ate at a Yelp-rated restaurant and I over-trusted the GPS.  Joan said "This is an adventure!" 

    We're having fun.

    On Saturday the deacons gathered from 9a to 3p to pray, brainstorm, and plan for the upcoming year.  The deacon chair and her husband arrived forty minutes early in case I might need help.  I did.  Deacon ministry is important and serious, but we laughed some too.  

    We're having fun. 

    During Sunday School yesterday I was told "Dressing a buck is not your spiritual gift." This is true.  

    We're having fun.

    In October we had the privilege of commissioning the Moores, two of our newest members, to seasonal ministry at St. David RV Resort in Arizona.  Yesterday was their first worship service and guess what?  Eleven people showed up!  They were ecstatic. We are too.  

    First Bible Study!
    We're having fun.

    Yesterday afternoon Matt Earman treated our kiddos and the Methodist kiddos to a hayride on the farm where he works.  We met goats, horses, cows, and tried to be quiet enough to make friends with catfish.  We feasted on pigs-in-blankets for lunch. 

    We're having fun.

    During the welcome and announcement time yesterday, the church gave me a generous anniversary gift.  Phillip threatened to change the bylaws so I could never leave.  The people have encouraged me, prayed for me, and eagerly walked alongside me.  

    We're having fun.  I'm grateful.