August 12, 2007: I stood in the pulpit of OPBC on my first Lord’s Day as Lead Pastor of Old Powhatan Baptist Church as a 32 year old. I was in a new place and in a position I had never thought would be part of God’s plan for me. I know I was not the only one in the room who had questions about how this whole thing would go…
Tomorrow at OPBC, I plan to present 10 Convictions on my 10th Anniversary as Pastor of OPBC… a look at how some of my convictions have strengthened, and some have changed over the past 10 years. We will look at the past, but more importantly look honestly at the present and with hope at the future of what God has planned at OPBC. I hope you will join us.
For now, as I reflect on 10 years at OPBC, here are a couple of thoughts about the PEOPLE of OPBC…
- You have taught me patience… sometimes through hardships with you and sometimes because I get to see the growth in you. Patience does not often come with youth, but with time. Patience in the pastorate comes with love. I love you as the people of OPBC.
- You have been patient with me… For those who have endured and persevered (it really hasn’t been THAT bad has it???)… I am thankful for your patience as the Lord continues to work in and on me.
- You have loved me through the toughest time in my life. The encouragement, care, compassion… the love that you showed to me and my family in the death of my parents… I truly can never fully thank you for your love.
- You have loved my family. Chesed and Charisa LOVE our church… and you are the major part of that.
- You have grown in your willingness to lead and serve… and to do both well.
- Your generosity to global mission astounds me. From the way you give to make sure many can GO on mission, to the way you give to missions offerings and to missions partnerships, your generosity is something I consistently share with others.
- Your love for ONE ANOTHER is beautiful to see. 10 years ago, we looked more like a family reunion on Sundays… small groups (cliques) of family and friends, greeting one another, but not living life together. Today, the sounds of laughter, serious godly conversation, prayer, and wise counsel fill the halls of OPBC when we gather. It is a consistent encouragement to me.
- You listen well. This may be the thing that amazes me the most at OPBC. Your attentiveness to the Word on Sundays astounds me… especially since I’m not sure if I could listen to myself preach as well as you do.
- JOY… it is a joy to pastor you. Some days are harder than others… but the obvious work of God in your lives makes it a joy.
- You and I both know that we have not “arrived.” No matter how great things are today… God is not done with us yet. I look forward to what is next.
Thank you for making the last 10 years a time that makes me want to go for another 10 years… what do you say? Lord willing.