One year ago (11/13/16 to be exact), I was invited to serve as the transitional pastor of Youngers Creek Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, KY.
“The Creek” as my family lovingly refers to her has become a wonderful home for us.
This is the eighth interim/transitional pastorate I have served and the fourth to extend beyond a year. The longest tenure was 18 months at Monticello FBC, where I served before coming to The Creek.
I wanted to share a few thoughts and reflections, primarily to my brothers and sisters at The Creek, but even beyond for anyone who is actively involved in interim/transitional ministry or considering this calling as a way to serve Jesus’ bride, the Church, and God’s kingdom in Christian service.
3 Reflections to My Family at The Creek
1. Thank you for letting my family into your heart.
As a smaller church made up of many inter-connected families it might be hard to let “outsiders” from Campbellsville into your heart. But you have shown us grace and love.
You have loved my wife, my sons, and me. You have love Dr. Cunha, Mrs. Raquel, Gabrielle and Bea. You have loved Adam and Kaitlin. You loved Ms. Stephanie. None of us live in Etown. None of us are related to anyone. But you loved us anyway.
I pray you will always love “outsiders” in the same way you have loved us. Remember, what brings us together is Christ. His blood on the cross is greater and stronger than any human blood line. We all have the same Father. We all have the same Savior. We all have the same Spirit dwelling in us. That makes us one big Family.
2. Thank you for letting me challenge and stretch you.
I hope you have felt challenged in looking at your ministry approaches. You definitely have been willing to try new things, do new things, attempt greater things.
Just think one year ago we didn’t have a functioning website, social media, sermon podcasts, WiFi in the sanctuary, guest cards, remodeled nursery, toddler room, downstairs restrooms, revised landscaping and curb appeal.
These might seem cosmetic or superficial, but they all have a purpose. They say to the guest, you’re welcome here. We are thinking about you.
3. Thank you for trying a different church staff approach.
There is no doubt the church staff structure we have utilized over the past year is unique. Five part-time staff members – three living an hour away, two in town. Permanent, interim, transitional, temporary, intern, volunteer – we’d had it all.
I know it has been odd at times wondering what was normal. Is it was okay to call, okay to text, okay to ask for something beyond the normal schedule? But I believe we have come through it with a great team spirit, a great atmosphere, and an amazing spirit of cooperation. The level of commitment and volunteerism shown by the entire congregation has to be at one of the highest levels possible.
Just consider the Fall in Love with Jesus Fall Festival. We had volunteers everywhere. There was an amazing spirit of cooperation and pulling together to reach out to our local community. That made me very proud and overjoyed. As much as a hot dog can get overjoyed.
In all, I couldn’t be more happy with the year we have spent together as the faith family at The Creek.
God has graced me by bringing you into my life. Hopefully you feel the same way.