Finish Well? Not So Much.
As I reflect on where we've been over these last 11 years, there is much to be grateful to the Lord, for. And of course many decisions I wish I could take back.
But there are several things in which I did not make the progress I wanted to, and I don't feel like I can talk about "finishing well" in those areas. They are open still, and we the church should take them up, in my one little opinion.
There are some regrets, here, but my focus is not to beat myself up. Rather, it is to challenge us as a church going forward.
Evangelism - We as a church should be evangelizing much more than we are, me included. I wish I had done better to lead this charge, and now we as a church need to take the responsibility of growing in this area.
A Path of Discipleship - We should have a much better path for discipleship defined than we do. How will we work together to help someone grow from an unbeliever to a believer to an active member of the body to someone who can disciple others? There's no exact path, but what are our best tools and plan? I had several ideas but then I did not mature them into action. I believe we need a better path defined. (This one I do see as a ministry failure on my part.)
Contact - COVID showed me that I was not proactively contacting you as much as I should. I did better in 2020 than in previous years, and could improve still. While we will be in a period between pastors, we all need to go above and beyond to reach out intentionally to one another. And when we get a new pastor, to not let it all fall on him.
Prayer - This always a given - we can always, always, always do more to pray as a church. I'm excited about what the "prayer catalysts" are doing this year. I will never say that I prayed enough, but not with a sense of guilt. It's just true. When I was not praying for you as first priority, that meant I was relying more on the flesh than on the Spirit. We all need to pray more for one another and for the church. I will never be satisfied in this area, but I think that's a holy discontent.
As a regular member, I intend to be active in these areas as any member might be. I know I won't be alone, and I encourage you all to be mindful of these needs, or perhaps other needs that the Lord shows you are relevant to Grace Fellowship honoring God even more. The congregation is responsible for the ministry of the church - the leaders are to equip and encourage.
May the Lord provide us a pastor who can equip and encourage us to grow in the areas that He puts on that man's heart.