The calendar indicates a year has past since I began my new ministry position as pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church. You can read about it HERE. I left the church planting world to pastor a historic, 104 year old church. People ask me all the time how it’s going. Recently I was talking with a friend and he reminded me of an old saying, “You’ll accomplish less than you thought you would in a year and more than you thought in five years.”
That’s probably true, but, by God’s grace, we’ve accomplished a lot. It’s been a whirlwind. In some ways it seems we’ve been here forever and other ways it seems we just arrived.
I’m asked consistently how it’s going. Here’s a quick recap. If you read my blog often, you know I’m transparent. I have the opportunity to share with literally thousands of pastors daily through this medium, so I try to share honestly what I am experiencing.
We’ve had an incredible year. It’s been amazing to see God at work. Cheryl and I have “mostly” enjoyed the experience. There have been some hard days. Change is hard. Sometimes anything new is hard. But, overall it’s been good.
So for some quick reflections…
Most exciting parts
- Making new friends (and we’ve made many quickly)
- Celebrating incredible growth
- Increased baptisms
- Seeing a stellar staff develop
- New families attending and joining
- Meeting budget
- Seniors who love seeing the church grow again
- Renewed enthusiasm and momentum in the church
- Strategic plans that are coming together…to make more disciples
- Embracing a community
I’ve never been one to sugar coat an issue, but let me be clear that every negative leadership post this past year has not been about my time here. Most have had little or no direct relation. But, it’s been a challenge at times. Even frustrating some days.
Most challenging parts.
- Fighting battles that don’t matter in an eternal sense
- Gossip or indirect conversations
- Limitations caused by structure or traditions of men
- Getting people to think beyond what’s always been done
- Redeveloping trust
I realize these are “normal” issues in churches. I’m not complaining. Just reporting. God is moving and I’m happy to be a part of what He is doing “for such a time as this”.
Finally, I’m excited about the potential in the days ahead. There was a part of us that questioned whether we could lead a church this age to better days. And, a year is probably not yet a good indicator, but if this year is a precursor of days ahead…we are in for an exciting time.There are many potentials in the days ahead.
- A few major projects yet to be announced
- Community involvement
- Men’s and women’s ministries
- Discipleship opportunities
- The best days are still to come.
That’s my year. Anything specific you’d want me to expand upon in other posts?
Tell me about your past 12 months.