In mid-December my wife and I settled into a new church in our area. We knew when we moved to the countryside on the outskirts of Cincinnati that we would have to make some changes, yet even though we were disappointed in the direction our old church was taking, it was still very hard to sweep fifteen years of association away. Still, we realized that not having a church in our immediate vicinity was actually hurting our ability to connect with the people who lived near us, so we finally took the plunge and did “Ye Olde Church Shoppe.”
The church we were led to was one we visited when we first moved here, but for some reason we did not connect with it then. Since that time, the church watched one pastor move on and the other join the Church Triumphant. They had been without a pastor for almost a year when we showed up in December. That morning one of the elders greeted me and told me they had completed their search and were announcing the new pastor that evening.
Well, it turned out that they elected one of their existing elders to the position. He had preached quite a bit in the last year, and though I did not know he was the choice at the time, he gave a sterling message that not only showed a great preaching skill, but also an extremely strong command of the Bible. I actually learned a few things from that Sunday’s sermon. (I hate to say that is rare, but it has been in the last few years.)
What makes this all so wonderful is that this new pastor has just been formally installed this last week and yet he is already inviting my wife and me to his home to chat. He’s been “official” for six days and we’ve been there three weeks.
Does it get any better than that? Doesn’t that just instill confidence? He’s got a church of about 350 and yet already he wants to know the “new people.” Already I feel like I can be a part of what the Lord will do through this pastor’s ministry, even though this man is new to the role and I am new to the church.
I think 2005 is going to be a very good year.