I arrived in the sweltering heat of the Georgia summer only 2 months ago knowing very little about the congregation of Westminster. I know a little bit more now. I would like to share with you my pastoral observations of the congregation and my hopes for the future.
I love this church! There is a bond in Christ between believers that is difficult to explain but also hard not to notice. The things that we share in Christ are deep, profound and eternal. It is easy to make friends of God’s people here. That is one of the strengths of our church. We are a very friendly and welcoming church. That is the testimony of others that are not even part of our church! We also have many mature and serving believers. We are very active in missions both locally and throughout the world. We have had people serving at Cherokee, in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kenya, and Malaysia. Others serve with LINK, ESL, and Child Evangelism Fellowship. (I am sure that I have missed a few; I am new here you know.) We are seeking to make and mature disciples both near and far and that is a very good thing. (Matthew 28:18-20) There is great potential for future ministry here and that encourages and motivates me.
There are a few things that I will be working in the year to come; namely, communication, community and discipleship. I would like to improve communication within the congregation. We will be publishing session notes each month, we are starting a new website that we trust will improve communications, and we will start an email list for prayer requests and other church updates. I would also like to deepen godly community here. We have it already but would like to make it more comprehensive and intimate. Church should be the place that we can all call home. Our Shepherding Groups encourage an openness to confess our weakness and brokenness while pointing all to the fullness of the grace of God. We will be starting an additional Small Group in September, and I will be preaching ‘interactively’ at our Sunday evening services.
The church is called to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ. That means that all the members are called to make and mature disciples of Christ. This can be done, according to our gifts and opportunities, in countless ways. We are to speak of the gospel to outsiders in great hope, and to believers with great joy! I will be teaching a class for the men about seeing ourselves as disciple-making disciples. We trust that our small groups will continue to grow godly community as we love, support and encourage one another as disciples of Jesus Christ.
I am still getting to know the church. I am still desiring to make a more personal contact with all the members of the church. But I am delighted with our session and with the great potential for future ministry here at Westminster. Would you pray with me to God, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, accord to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, forever and ever: amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)