Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Church Life in the Last Year

Most of you know my journey for the last year and what I have been through. For those who are not aware, let me fill in without going into much detail. In March of last year, I made a decision to leave a team that wanted had the desire to plant a church in our city over doctrinal and personal differences. My family and I decided to attend an independent, gospel-centered baptist church where a friend of mine was the pastor.

When I met with my friend to tell him all that went on and what my family decided to do, he told me a church was looking at him to be their pastor. I had no idea why God allowed this to come to pass. I thought I would sit under my friend's preaching and engage in ministry until the Lord opened another door.

The church looking at him voted for him to come be their pastor. He left almost a month later. One of the deacons became the interim pastor, which was a great fit for him because he is great preacher and teacher. Learned a lot from him, not only in his teaching, but in our one-on-one conversations.

During this time, my family and I joined the church. We plugged into the ministries of the church. My wife has been helping with the children whether teaching Sunday School or working in the nursery. I have have taught one VBS lesson last summer as well a few youth Sunday School lessons and was one of the moderators for our men's study that meets every other Saturday.

A few months ago, our church voted unanimously to amend our constitution for our leadership to include the plurality of elders, which is the biblical model for church leadership. During this time, we were still without a preaching pastor. Also there were a few people in the church left for various reasons. Many, including myself, were becoming discouraged. There were times I thought about applying for the pastor position, but the Spirit was giving me no peace about it. One church member and myself agreed that our interim pastor should become the pastor, but he did not have peace about it as well. We trusted God knew what He was doing even though we had no idea what was going on.

About a couple of weeks ago, a man who was an associate pastor, along with his wife, came down to fellowship with the church, preach on Sunday, and look at the city. The moment I met him, it felt like I knew him for years. I was pleased at how well he clicked with everyone he talked with. He listened to everyone when it came to concerns for the church and the people of Wichita Falls.

That Sunday, he preached a good expositional sermon on 1 Corinthians 3 and then our church grilled him with questions. Most of those questions were on secondary issues. A few days later, our church met to discuss if we had any concerns about him and whether or not we should vote on him. Nothing negative and was said and the motion was made to vote for a new preaching pastor, which was made last night. I am pleased to say the vote was unanimous. He accepted the call during a phone call following the meeting.

Our church rejoices in God's faithfulness for what He has done in the past year. I am excited and hopeful for the future of Wichita Falls Baptist Church.

I am sure many of you are wondering about my role with the church with all of these changes coming about. To be honest, I don't know. I have to trust God in what He is doing. I have no desire to leave the church at this time. I still believe that there is a great gospel work that needs to be done in our city. I think the new pastor will lead our church in that direction.

I ask for prayer for our church and the Mollenkopf family as they make the transition from their church and city to ours.

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