From: Randy Evans <firstname.lastname@example.org>Date: September 1, 2011 11:33:27 PM EDTSubject: Words of Grace from Pastor Randy, September 1, 2011
Grace Christian Fellowship is expecting a baby – a baby girl!!! Okay, half of you are in shock, half of you are completely confused, half of you are waiting with bated breath as to how I’m going to explain this startling revelation, and one more half of you are realizing the Pastor Randy can’t do basic math!
BIG NEWS FAMILY!!!!
I have mentioned in the recent past that one of the signs of a healthy church is that it is willing to multiply itself in other areas so that the Kingdom of God here on earth (and in Pinellas County) will continue to grow and mature. Along with commenting on that healthy sign, I went even further to say that for a while now it has been the heartfelt desire of the leadership here at Grace (and for Pastor Heath and myself, even longer) to give birth to a daughter church somewhere else in the county when we felt the Lord’s timing was right. Well, we all believe that the timing is now right.
So, we as a church are pregnant with a daughter – a new church that will be birthed from its mother - Grace Christian Fellowship. I prefer the birthing metaphor to the church planting metaphor, because in giving birth to a new church, the offspring becomes one of us, and as a parent would naturally do, we can feed, nurture, love, teach, and encourage our child to grow and prosper. Some couples talk about wanting children way before they ever plan on having one. Some other parents announce that they are currently trying to get pregnant (too much information for me!); while other parents tell the world that they are pregnant the moment the home test turns blue; and still others wait a couple of weeks or even months before they officially announce that they are pregnant – just to make sure.
Here at Grace Christian Fellowship we are a bit like the couple who has waited a few weeks before announcing the pregnancy of a new church, and we have done so because we wanted to make sure: 1. We had heard clearly from the Lord; 2. All of the leadership was in agreement; 3. And that the Church Board (which includes the financial committee) felt that it was fiscally feasible. We are now at that place.
Now, for those of you who have been pregnant in the past, you know what happens when you announce that you are expecting a child – or when you yourself (and spouse) discover that you are pregnant. Some people (or you as a couple) are very excited for you; others are shocked; a few are fearful; some may be sad (about the change of status and routine), some may be mad because they were not consulted; and some may even initially say that it is a mistake!
But hopefully, in time, the couple (and others) settle down with the news, knowing that it’s all part of God’s will for the couple (or church) to reproduce. With that in mind, I’m asking everyone who is a part of Grace Christian Fellowship to take a deep breath and trust that the Lord is behind this – we have not rushed into anything – and that He will take care of His children, no matter where they are (as long as they are in God’s will!).
So, I am now going to tell you EVERYTHING that we know at this point in time so that we can quiet any possible potential rumors; keep no one in the dark concerning our plans; and so that we can all be praying about how EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US can participate in this opportunity to advance the Gospel. Again, I am now telling you everything that we know, so you don’t have to run to particular people and ask them a million other questions. They (the leadership) will tell you exactly what I’m telling you – since, again, this is all we have so far! So, here you go:
1. Pastor Heath will be the lead pastor of our daughter church. Heath has been with us here at Grace for 12 years….12 years!!! It has been his desire for a long time – and I have known, expected, and anticipated this for years myself – that one day he would pastor his own church.
2. There is ABSOLUTELY no problem or negative reason why Pastor Heath is taking part in this birthing process! So, don’t even begin to start any of that kind of talk!!! This is not anything like that insane TV show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”, in which we are suddenly telling the church that we are starting a new church just to satisfy some crazy whim of Pastor Heath’s or because of some conflict between him, me, and/or the leadership. This has been a lovingly planned and conceived project that has taken much prayer, discussion, research, and study.
3. At this time we do not know where our ‘daughter will live’, other than it will be in the northern part of Pinellas County. So don’t try to dig something out of Pastor Heath that just isn’t there at this time. The moment we know that a good location has been determined you folks will be the first to know.
4. As of this moment, we do not know when our daughter will be born….we just know that we’re pregnant. Human fetuses take nine months (266 days) to gestate; sheep take five months (148 days); Asian elephants take twenty-one months (645 days); and rabbits only take a little over one month (33 days)! I can’t find a chart that tells you exactly how long a mother church is pregnant with a new daughter church; but this much I do know – when the Lord says it’s time – we’ll all know it.
5. We are 99.9999% sure of what our daughter is going to be named: Grace Church. It’s a good name: concise and meaningful. But I will say at this point that since Grace Christian Fellowship is the mother, we get dibs on the name ‘Grace’! So, we can still say that we ‘go to Grace’; Heath’s members will have to say that they attend ‘Grace Church’!!! Oh, all right, they can say whatever they want!
That’s what we know so far. As we progress we will keep you fully informed. So, what can we as a church do about our pregnancy at this point?
1. We can pray for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
2. We can pray for Pastor Heath, Andrea and their three daughters – Lanie, Eiley, and Everly.
3. We can pray for a perfect location that will assist the new church in touching the greatest number of people who need to hear the Gospel and desire to grow in God’s grace.
4. Even though we only know that the location will be ‘north county’, you can begin to pray to see if the Lord has seriously called you to be a part of this new endeavor. Of course, no one has to decide that right now, and both Pastor Heath and I agree that your decision ought to really be centered on God’s calling of you there, rather than on some other convenience or friendship reason; but I’ll talk about that another time.
Okay my friends – my church family – I know that was big news. For some of you, you really weren’t surprised – you may actually be wondering why it didn’t happen sooner (because of Pastor Heath’s gifts and talents). For others this may have really come to you as a surprise, but I sincerely hope and pray that you trust us as your church leaders that we have done, and are doing nothing without having seriously and earnestly prayed that the Lord’s will would be done for all of us.
Not only is this going to be an exciting time for the new Grace Church, but the Lord has amazing things in store for us at Grace Christian Fellowship! We will have newer opportunities to evangelize and grow; raise up additional leadership; stretch our members to participate in ministries where they never have before – and on and on the fruit will spring forth! So, if we as a church family work together to be a blessing to our daughter, then we aren’t ‘losing’ anyone! Instead we are all participating in this joyous time of birth, growth, maturity, and Kingdom building!
God bless! (I’m going to send another church wide email with a list of upcoming activities, but let me just remind you of few things right now:
1. Men’s breakfast this Saturday at 8:00 AM.
2. Phaino on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM – a night of worship and prayer. And we’re doing something extra special this time: Afterwards we are going to have an ice cream sundae social as a little fund raiser for the youth. Brownies and ice cream sundaes for only $3.00. Coffee and Ice Tea will also be available. Consider staying for fellowship and be a blessing to our youth!
3. I’m looking forward to preaching from Acts 10 this Sunday, but I’ll say more about all of this (and other things) later today.
4. Next Sunday (a week from this Sunday) is September 11th - the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We will begin the service with a touching video to commemorate this event and I will have a special message for this church regarding the 'Time of Remembrance'.
Pastor RandyWhen I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half. ~ Gracie Allen
Friday, September 2, 2011
My Church is expecting a girl: GRACE CHURCH!
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