Well, God is up to something. He always has been and always will be up to something. Since creation God has been active and present and working for our salvation. For years I’ve said God is doing something here at Pleasant Dale! I’ve been your pastor for over 14 years and I sense God’s active presence and that he is indeed up to something here, now, more than ever. Exciting isn’t quite the right word for it, yet these are exciting times.
In February your Leadership Team will be introducing a Directional Plan for our church. You’ll be hearing the specifics of it soon, and then you’ll be asked to pray about it, pray over it. You will be asked to affirm this Directional Plan. People have asked me in the past, where is the church going? I’ve been unable to answer this question in the past and not totally sure now. What I do know is that we are growing. I believe that this is first a spiritual growth and that numerical growth has followed. God’s love is the heart of our worship. This is what our old church sign said and it’s the message frequently on our new sign.
God’s love is the driving force in all we do. That’s a broad and bold statement, but it’s true. We may not always get it right, and we are not perfect, but we are motivated by God’s love! People feel safe here, they sense we’re not all that judgmental and that we don’t have a lot of baggage. We are friendly and hospitable by nature and people are drawn to our culture. I have no other explanation for the growth God has seen fit to bless us with. And our growth is a blessing indeed!
Way back God told Abram, I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” Genesis 12:3. Abram, later Abraham, was blessed so that he would be a blessing. We understand this to mean that there is responsibility with blessing. God would bless Abram and he would indeed become great, but it was so because he believed God; he was faithful and obedient. Not perfect but faithful. This has been the model ever since. God wants to bless and through those he blesses, they must be faithful. I think this applies to us.
God has blessed us and yet again we are called to be faithful to this, and to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us. Hence the Directional Plan is in direct response to this. If exciting isn’t the right word for what’s happening, then maybe joy or joyful is. This is a joyful time when we know God’s presence and know He is pleased with us. Challenging is another good word. Will we rise to the challenge before us? Maybe the word is humble. We are humbled and grateful that God would use us.
For me, I think the word is thankful. I am thankful God sees fit to use us. To use you and me in the work of the kingdom. To bear witness to the love of God in many ways.
May God Bless You All,