It has been quite a while since I last posted here. Almost 2 months to be exact! It wasn’t that I didn’t think about this blog or writing another post. Every time I went to write or think about another post, God said, “Don’t you dare write about that!” Since God told me no, I thought I better listen. He has now given me the go-ahead, so I am writing about the highs and lows of recent months, giving you a glimpse of the reality of the pastor.
On May 1, we relaunched as Oasis Church. Our church has been wonderfully unified through this process. They rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Considering we are a congregation averaging between 50-60 people with a mortgage that takes up a huge part of our resources, God has been SO FAITHFUL to us! Praise God we will have it paid in 3 years! Despite the great things that happened, this pastor and congregation got tired. (This may cue up those with the spiritual gift of rebuke who say that Holy Ghost-filled people never get tired, so I refer you to Elisha, Jonah, and others who were also human.)
Being tired is a great breeding ground for discouragement and depression. Then add to that both of our vehicles needing repair along with my mom’s which was on loan, the financial woes that come with that along with some leaps of faith, and a few families who left the church (albeit peacefully), I was the lowest I’ve been in a while. Despite my low state, God came through for me in ways only He can do. He provided financially with a couple of miracle gifts and gave the strength to lead and minister, though I found myself ministering on fumes some days.
Another bright spot was my 17 year old son surrendering to the call to music ministry while he was at camp. He and his sister were both sick when they returned, but he was able to share his news with the church on Sunday morning. The church prayed over him and rejoiced with him.
We also had a great children’s ministry workers meeting this week. Many of our people are serving in multiple ministries, but they are excited and looking forward with great vision. I couldn’t help but leave encouraged.
In the day of the megachurch, it’s easy for one to look at our church and see what we don’t offer. What I see is a church in which God has breathed new life. I see a church that has caught a second wind and desires to reach the community. I see an authentic community God has built, where people can be loved where they are and have the freedom to grow in Christ. Yes, we may have to take baby steps and move slowly, but lots of great things are in the works. We are doing what we can with the resources God has given us. As He gives us more, we will be able to do more.
I have no shame in asking people to pray for us. Would you pray that God would send us laborers? Would you pray for me to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, putting on the whole armor of God? Would you pray that we would stay focused on our Lord and the Great Commission? The last 2 months have been full of mountains and valleys, but I know one thing – God’s presence and care has been in all of it!
Leave a Reply to Matthew Winters Cancel reply