Sunday was a huge day in the life of our church!
Our Transition Team chairman, Mark Hood, announced that the team has found the next man they firmly believe God has called to be our next pastor. That statement seems strange to write because we have had one pastor serving faithfully for the past 38 years, but nonetheless it is very true and we have many reasons to celebrate.
As a church we can testify together God is working in our midst and has great things for us! We can celebrate that God is bringing to our church a wonderful new family and a man of God who knows our church, already loves our church, and is ready to lead our church.
We can also celebrate everything God has done through the leadership of Dick Lincoln over the last 38 years… and there is much to celebrate in that respect! I am sure the announcement of the transition also feels fast and has created a heavy heart for all because of our great love and admiration for Dick and Patty. Be sure to join us March 26 for Dick's final Sunday and a reception for Dick and Patty in the afternoon from 3-6pm in the Gathering Place.
With this all in mind, I hope to encourage you with some ways in which we can walk through this journey together in faith celebrating what God has done and preparing for what God will continue to do.
First and foremost, please join me now in praying.
Much prayer has already gone into this process and much more is necessary. We have a wonderful corporate prayer opportunity on March 14 at 6:15pm in our Chapel. Mark Hood shared this past Sunday that it was during the time our church began praying together once a month on Tuesday nights that the team experienced a breakthrough in the search. We want to continue this prayer time up through the time George and his family get here. We are adding childcare (infants through 4 year olds) and Shandon Kids is also preparing a special time for our older children to pray together while the adults gather to pray.
If you cannot attend this corporate prayer time, please be praying individually for Dick and Patty; George, Megan, and their children; our church family; and lastly for the people we will reach and who have yet to attend Shandon as we move through this wonderful time of transition.
Second, I would like to challenge you to stay engaged through this next month.
We have had the privilege of seeing many people get baptized in the first 8 weeks of 2017. God is up to something!
Nehemiah is one of my favorite men in the scriptures. At one point of the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem he encountered distractions and strong opposition, and this was his response: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
I absolutely love that response. We know and believe God is doing a great work in our church and now, more than ever, is the time for us to stay engaged and be involved. If you have been contemplating joining the church, finding a place to serve, getting involved in Sunday School, going on mission trip, etc… now is the time!
Finally, Easter is almost here!
This is the greatest Sunday for the Church around the world as we celebrate our risen Savior.
In the month of February, our church launched Tell Someone, an important emphasis that leads us up to Easter Sunday. Our prayer has been to see our church out in our community loving our neighbors and telling them about the love of God. Tell Someone presented each of us with the "3-2-1 Challenge": pray for three people who don’t know Jesus, invite two people to church, and seek to tell at least one person the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Easter brings a natural opportunity to tell someone about Jesus, and since it will also be Pastor Wright's first official weekend, let’s make Easter Sunday the best Sunday Shandon has ever experienced! Take the time and opportunity to pray and invite as many people as possible to join us on Easter Sunday.
As we do these things through this next month of our transition I believe we will honor our Lord, celebrate the ministry of Dick and Patty Lincoln, and welcome George and his family into the wonderful church family of Shandon Baptist Church.
I so look forward to this journey ahead, and I hope you do, too!