Why Pastor Friendship?

A little background first.  I am not going to attempt to give all the theological ideas behind the call of God to a place of ministry.  Rather, I will share the heart attitude I had, and the things about Friendship that soothed those concerns.

I had been out of a traditional church for almost a year.  We had been working with a church plant effort in Louisville, KY.  I was just beginning to warm-up to returning to the existing church when a few churches began to contact me about open pastorates.   The first four or five churches that called I knew almost immediately that the answer was no.  But something was different with Friendship.

First:  I was thrilled to see that Friendship had a new building.  Yes, it matters.  Why?  Because it meant they were no longer married to or busy worshiping the old one.  This is a major problem in many churches.  “My granddaddy built that church [building].  There is no way we are changing a thing!”  Ut-oh….  This line, or any version there of, is a sign that the building and probably the institution (or by-laws) have taken a higher priority in the church than glorifying Christ and reaching the people.

Second: It was the worship leader (in his 30’s) who was on the pulpit committee who first called me.  The value here is that it was a young man who called me (something largely absent in the church today.)  The pulpit committee from Friendship had a variety of people.  Ages in their 20’s, 30’s, 50’s and 60’s.  There were men and women, singles, parents, grandparents, entrepreneurs, businessmen, farmers, two retirees, and a state worker.  The cross section of people showed that the church had and would allow people from different groups to work together and have a say.

Third: They were not surprised when I asked about how the church handled conflict.  Rather, I got real and honest answers about conflicts.  Where they were now and mistakes of the past.  And a desire not to repeat them.

Forth: The committee wanted me and my family to be available to the general church prior to the time for the vote to call me as their pastor.  I loved this.  It meant I was going to get to really answer the questions for all who were interested.  We were all going to get to know and see and experience one another.  There would be no surprises about who we were to the congregation.  (At least not in my mind.)

Fifth (and last):  Friendship was honest about who they were.  And in that honesty we saw both confession of wrongs in the past and a sincere desire to love God, love one another, and reach the community.

The people of Friendship may be surprised to hear it, but I was in tremendous conflict  when we went to the first interview.  Inside I knew I was about to move my family to Breckenridge Co.  But for some reason I was telling myself no.  The no disappeared when I met them.  They ‘sold’ me on Friendship if you will.

Now in hind sight, if we would put forth the same effort on new members, they will be here.  They will be a part of Friendship for a long, long time.

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