Whenever James Mathes called me and informed me of the 100% unanimous vote to receive me as your new Pastor of Worship and Discipleship, it was the final assurance that my wife and I needed to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that FBCnl was where we needed to be. Hayley and I both had our reservations about moving across the country and starting a new life in full-time ministry; reservations that we prayed to the Lord to address if moving to Ohio was His will for us. Long story short, during our trip to the church in April and the week following, God spoke to us in such a crystal-clear way that we stopped praying for us to be convinced about you and started praying for you to be convinced about us. We couldn’t be more delighted that the Lord answered our prayers yet again.
Needless to say, we are very excited about being able to serve you all and we are so thankful that God has provided us this opportunity. And what an opportunity it is. Being a “Pastor of Worship and Discipleship” is really the best of both worlds. This kind of work is not a job, it’s a calling. The generosity and support of FBCnl is freeing us up to not have to worry about “working” for a living. Instead, we get to just live our lives in obedience to our Lord’s command to make disciples and worship Him. That is an opportunity that many ministers long for and it is the very opportunity that you all have provided for us. Thank you.
There are a few commitments that I want to make to you and I thought that by putting them in writing and broadcasting them to the world it would help me stay accountable to them:
- I commit to serve you in the areas of worship and discipleship. This may seem obvious, but I want you to know that I believe both of these to be weighty matters that require much effort and energy. I’m ready and willing to give it.
- I commit to serve you in areas other than worship and discipleship. I don’t see my job title as limiting me in the scope of my ministry to the body. You will receive any and everything that I have to offer. Whether I’m in the church office or in my living room.
- I commit to letting no one despise me for my youth, but instead will try to set an example for you in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12). I know I’m young and I know that this is my first full-time ministry position, but I also know more sure than anything else that I am called by God and His Spirit is with me. That being the case, God will equip me with everything I need to serve you well, despite my age or experience.
- I commit to always strive to maintain the Scriptural qualifications that allow me to lead you. This means that I will love my wife and children well, I will steward my resources appropriately, I will engage unbelievers in a respectable fashion, and will pursue my own holiness before anyone else’s.
- I commit to developing a teachable spirit. I don’t have this all figured out and I know that I will need your help in fulfilling my obligations to Christ and you, His church. I want to walk in humility and learn all that I can from you.
This is a huge step for us, and it’s going to be hard, but what I’ve found is that the hard things are generally the most worth it. I’m not afraid of the difficulty and over the last few months, I’ve found my heart so eager to embrace it. I desire so strongly to work hard and to be faithful to what God has equipped and called me to do. I couldn’t be more thankful that I get to do it with you all.
“I have brought You glory by completing the work that You have set out for me to do.” – John 17:4