I’ve loved this sermon series on “God’s calling” where we look at numerous Old Testament characters and how God called them. So far we’ve done Ruth with circumstances, Samuel by name, and David as a king that is after God’s own heart.
As I’ve written these sermons, these stories cause me to pause: where is God calling Hope Community Church? This year has hardly been an “easy” transition. We’ve seen numerous changes in our culture and church family. Some of these changes can be due to a change in pastoral leadership: most studies would state that you “lose” 15% of everything during a pastoral change.
However, many of these changes are far beyond a pastoral change. Through this change I have seen God affirming and steadying numerous leaders. I have witnessed creativity arise in numerous situations. Grace poured out over and over. Most of all, I sense God is calling Hope Community Church into a new season of being a church.
In several of the Old Testament stories we see prayers or God comforting by saying, “do not let me go to the left or the right” of the path that we should be going. This is particularly important in Israel as mountainous roads are only shoulder-width and doom literally was a step to the left or right. I find myself saying that with all the change above. God, keep our feet along the path you would have us. Do not let us go to the right or the left.
I do believe that the next steps ahead of us are clear. They come right from the mission that we have:
Hope exists to bring others closer to Jesus.
If we took that mission seriously, we would see transformation in our church. Revival in our families. A church that takes itself less seriously on the outward appearance and more seriously on changing our hearts towards Jesus. I want to be a church where we have prisoners, orphans, and widows opening their hearts every week in praise. I want to be a church where membership statistics and finances are secondary to seeing children and youth know and live out the Gospel. I want to be a church that takes the next step(s) in faith and not by sight. Trusting our savior to call us towards Him and keep us from stumbling and falling.
I’ll continue to work towards that as your pastor, and invite you to come alongside me for the journey.