I woke up at my normal time today. I walked into the same office. But I have a very different job.
Today, I started my job as Family and Worship Pastor at North Side Baptist Church in Greenwood, SC.
We made the announcement yesterday of some major changes in the coming days with our church. One of those was concerning my new responsibilities.
I have served as Worship Pastor for the last few years, but I am now also assuming the role of Family Pastor here.
While the job description is detailed with some bullet points that may or may not interest you, here is the summary of them:
- To equip parents to evangelize and disciple their children
- To oversee all ministry programs of preschool, children, students, and college in order to make them more family-focused, effective, and more cohesive instead of isolated ministries
- And a bunch of other stuff to watch over and shepherd people concerning all things family
There’s the family aspect and the program aspect. I know churches that do each one well. Our prayer is that somehow we can do both well.
I was very humbled that our elders would ask me to take on this role. Their words and affirmation mean more than I can express.
I have been very encouraged by supportive comments since yesterday. I have been even more encouraged by those who have approached me and asked how they can help. People are already catching the vision and want to jump in!
The most humbling words I heard were from a few folks who said, “I don’t see that big of a change. I viewed you as a Family Pastor anyway because that’s where your heart naturally goes to.”
It reminded me of how titles don’t make you anything.
I know people who have a ministry title with no ministry calling.
Ordination doesn’t make you a minister – it affirms that God has already called you as one. You don’t need a title to make an impact. Be faithful in what has been given you and trust God to do what he wants to do.
We do need help as we go forward. I would appreciate your prayers, your support, and your willingness to help as we try to reach the world through families.
The last few weeks, I have sought God’s direction and can’t wait to be a part of a team and a church that emphasizes not individuals of the family, but actually emphasizes the family unit.
Last night, we had an outdoor baptism service. We usually do one at the end of the summer, and it wasn’t planned that it would correspond with the morning’s presentation but it just worked out that way.
As I was carrying Gloria on my shoulders so she could see, I was delighted to see all of the pastors, youth leaders, fathers, and grandfathers who were baptizing those they had shared Christ with.
One of our elders, Jason Allen, was the last baptizer in line as he prepared to baptize his daughter, Randi.
As he led his daughter into the waters, I prayed for the day when I would get to do the same thing for the one rubbing my head at that time. I also remembered when Jason had baptized his son Evans years ago.
Jason said, “This is such a great privilege to do baptize my daughter today. It was 5 years ago that I was able to baptize Evans…”
5 years ago.
I actually do remember that moment. I was on the side taking a picture. I have a picture of how this son was looking at his father before he was baptized. Why I remember it was because it was the first time we had a father baptize his child at our church. We had just finished the work of my doctoral project on equipping parents to evangelize and disciple their children. The end we were working towards was a baptism service with parents leading their own children to Christ and able to baptize them themselves.
5 years ago, I remembered watching and rejoicing through tears as I saw a son look at his father who had been the primary evangelist in his life and how nothing could ever take that away. This was a family thing and not a programmed thing. It was a reward to have a small part in that emphasis as we went through that study as a church. It was a beginning of sorts for our church.
And last night, it just so happened (note the sarcasm) that Jason would be baptizing his daughter when our church took a stance to be even more intentional on the family. I looked over the crowd and was so excited about what God is going to do among this people.
Oh God, please make our home your home.
And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction. -Malachi 4:6