We can’t move forward if we keep looking back.
My church has been going through a lot of changes for a while. Our pastor resigned around Christmas which means that St. George Community Church is stepping into a new season.
Ephesians 4:11-12 –And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
My prayers have been focused on finding a pastor who God sent our way. These are the things I’ve been focusing my prayers on.
- God sends us a pastor who has a vision for reaching the lost and advancing the Kingdom of God.
- Finding a pastor who has strong leadership skills.
- Putting our trust in God since He knows what our church needs. Instead of following our own wishes.
- Praying for the search committee and the leadership team since finding the man who God sends our way.
As our church moves into this new season, God will move us in the right direction, however, we need to trust in Him alone and not lean on our own understanding. If we get stuck in the past, then we cannot move forward.
Our family has been at our church for over 25 years. During that time, we’ve had a number of pastors. Whenever we had to find a new pastor, there were changes. The transitions weren’t always easy. When Pastor Keck retired, we ended up with a pastor that split the church. We went from 100 people every Sunday to 40 people. There are many reasons for how this happened. Our church members voted against the pastor and his family because he had children who were younger and the pastor was in his 30’s or 40’s. They also said that they didn’t want him because they wanted someone their age since he would understand their needs. Instead, they voted for a different pastor, which almost destroyed our church.
I want everyone to know that this happened about 20 years ago. Our church has a different congregation now. Hopefully, history doesn’t repeat itself. The pastor that was hired had a hard time because most of the members for the most part were comparing Pastor Wayne to Ellis Keck. Everyone loved Ellis. I adored Ellis and he was able to reach people and kids of all ages. I was also guilty of comparing Pastor Wayne to Pastor Keck.
In my point of view and I may be wrong. So, please don’t quote me. When we are searching for a new pastor, there isn’t anything wrong with wanting a pastor who has a fresh perspective and is able to offer the kind of leadership skills that are needed for our church’s next season as a church. There’s always going to be risks since there isn’t a perfect person out there, therefore we need to have faith in the Lord and trust Him. I honestly believe that the voice of the Lord will lead us in the righter direction if we listen. it’s foolish for me to listen to my own heart and mind since it’s wiser to listen to the Lord.
The LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Since our church is looking for a new pastor and we’re getting ready to vote for Pastor Sam in a few weeks I hope that the members of our church will realize that there is no perfect person unless you’re Jesus. There are no perfect congregations. Again, we are in a new season. God has been answering some of my prayers through my dreams. I will be sharing some of those dreams in the next blog.
2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
Out of My Comfort Zone;
I’m a creature of nature. I don’t like change and I prefer things the same way since that’s my comfort zone. My normal patterns are that I walk into church, I sit in the same place on the same pew. I know the order of service and I know where everyone is sitting. I also start looking at the clock if the service goes over 12 noon I will start fidgeting along with a lot of other people.
For over 25 years, If someone is sitting in “my seat”. I get upset and agitated since someone “stole” my seat. I’m not the only person who does this. There were a man and woman who sits 2 pews ahead of me. They sit by the window. A couple of students from Dixie State University was visiting our church. They sat in Glen and June’s “spot”. Glen stood there and asked them to move since that was their seat. Our pastor ended up putting a notification about this. He said that there is no saving of seats and that we must welcome newcomers. Glen and June were in their 80’s or 90’s.
The reason I’m mentioning this is that people don’t want to change. They want everything the same way. I’m this way also. By doing this though, we’re telling people that they aren’t welcome.
My daughter Jessica ended up taking my grandkids to another church because some of the people at church made their feelings clear that they didn’t want any kids since they make noises and disrupt things. We love our church. We can’t keep saving our seats because eventually there won’t be anyone wanting to come to church since they don’t feel like they are welcomed. Jessica is in the stage of waiting, If we got the right pastor that God wants to go in the direction of growth and reaching out to people of all ages and her kids, then she would be over the moon knowing that JJ and Josalyn would be welcome.
When I remember the times many times when I’ve prayed for God to send me someone to help and then when help arrives, I turn it down. That’s because I didn’t get the kind of help I thought I wanted instead of what God knows I needed. It’s the same way with churches. I’ve been praying for God to send our church someone who has a vision for advancing the kingdom of God. Our church is a couple of weeks away from voting for Pastor Sam Martin. I’ve been listening to Red Mesa Fellowships sermons on youtube and his videos called “Grace Talks”. These messages on “Grace Talks” was what helped me see what and who Pastor Sam is and what he believes. This is their facebook Page.
If any readers that go to my church, it’s important for you to listen to what Tom who’s one of our members has to say. Please watch the service and please keep our church in our prayers. This is a video of this week’s service at my church St. George Community Church with guest pastor Pastor Sam Martin from Red Master Fellowship).
I will be sharing a few dreams that I’ve been having when I pray about our church in the next blog. These dreams are answers that I received when I prayed about our church. These dreams are also why I’m voting yes on Pastor Sam. I wasn’t going to until I had these dreams. I wasn’t going to since it would mean a lot of changes for our church. But, changes are what needed to happen since this new season. If there aren’t changes, then we might as well count our church as a dying church, which is what it is at this time.
Our church has been having a very difficult season that started before our previous pastor resigned. His last sermon was on Christmas Eve. Ever since then our church has been searching for a pastor who God wants us to have. Then the whole covid-19 happened. Our church stopped having services at the end of March and we just started having services again on May 24th. Pastor Sam Martin did the first sermon when we started back up and will be preaching for the next two services.
The pastor that our church is preparing to vote on I believe he is the right person. I may not agree on some things but, that’s because I’m used to doing things the way we’ve always have been doing them. I’ve had so many people ask me about what they should do and they share their thoughts. The only thing I can tell them is that they have to vote for what’s best for our church. They need to pray about God’s Will and not our own. I’ve asked myself many questions about this and all I can think about is that if we don’t listen to God, then we might as well shut the doors and sell the church to Dixie State University. The way things are now and have been for the last 6 months, our church will cease to exist since it is a dying church. The only way our church can survive is if we start listening to God and stop listening to our minds.
Some people may not be comfortable with the changes since he doesn’t fit their criteria or mold that we’ve had in the past. Just because God sent someone who is different than my ideas or service styles, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be open to change. Too many people are wanting someone like our previous pastors. I’m not the kind of person to surrender, but this is something that I must do. I trust in the Lord and will do what God desires.
I’m not telling people who to vote for. I’m just asking people to pray and listen to the voice of God.
2 thoughts on “A New Season – Moving Forward”
Hi! Is Ellis still around? He married us 26 years ago! I was trying to find info for him.
Hi Jen, I’m not sure if he is still alive. I was searching for information about him and Karen. I did find a sermon that he did at a Baptist Church in Salt Lake a few years ago. They only had a recording and not a video. Our daughters were the only kids at church when we first moved here. I started the youth group and within a year we had around 30 young adults and teenagers. I think Ellis and Karen were in their 60’s when we first got here. I think we moved to Utah in July 1996. Ellis was able to reach people of all ages. I don’t think in my life I’ve ever had a pastor like him. The pastor that we got after Ellis retired had some really big shoes to fill. Wayne jewel was the pastor that the church voted on. He had a very hard time because of the way Ellis was loved by all. I know that Ellis had something called pageant disease and Karen was diabetic.