Blessing #1 - I’m excited for the new leadership of Pastor Reed and confident of God’s hand on our church. I encourage each of you to personally tell each member of the Search Committee, “Job well done.”
They spent nearly a year in prayer and discussion. Discerning God’s voice, especially during COVID, was difficult. Based on their time and energy… I am filled with optimism for new ministry.
Blessing #2 - I’m excited for the future of 3 ministries of the church: Connections Preschool, Scouts and the Brazilian Church. Each of these ministries is ours. We as a church chose to support, encourage, and facilitate their activities. If these ministries or any number of things several things we do become the ‘Hobby horse’ of only one or two people in the church, it’s no longer a mission of the church. Every member of the church should know these ministries (and others like it). Every member of the Diaconate should be aligned on purpose. Today, I think we are aligned on our commitment to children and our commitment to outreach.
Blessing #3 – I’m excited that while a portion of our church is growing older, they remain engaged and committed to the work of First Baptist Church Olathe. Ministry is regularly occurring through the hands and resources each brings. My heart is filled with images of outreach and possibility of the Grandpads, the success of Adult Sunday School and the compassion each of our seniors has shared with new people coming through our doors. I’m blessed as I’ve watched family grow, and generations meet.
Blessing #4 – A list of names led me to pray for you when I started as your Interim Pastor. Most of you I knew only under cover of COVID. This last 3 months were wonderful as masks were lifted and my list of people became ‘My church.’ I am so blessed by the promise that our relationship lasts for all eternity. I am not saying goodbye, just saying “See you later.” The integrity of God’s promises to his people, and His church allow me to have no doubts that you, my brothers, and sisters, and I will be together now and into the time called Forever.
Blessing #5 – FBC Olathe is known in the Central Region and the National American Baptist Churches USA. We are known as a ‘Mission Church.’ We give when God asks. Our ministry of mission extends far beyond the doors of our church. I can look my peers in the eye and proudly declare, “I was part of that!”
While our Code of Ethics requires that I separate so that the new pastor has the best chance to connect with you uninterrupted, I rejoice that we have become the ‘Body of Christ.’ The church is developing leadership habits based on Spirit given gifts and Christ inspired love. Please remember, when a pastor becomes your servant, he does not easily allow that individuality. I am excited to see how you will walk together with Pastor Reed. Keep him in the loop and make sure the Diaconate is apprised of your activities.
Finally, “I am confident of this… He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6
Thank you for allowing me to be called your Pastor.