Greetings to the GPBC family! At the risk of sounding redundant, I want to tell you how grateful to God Danita and I are that he has placed us at GPBC! This past Sunday was a special day for us, as I “officially” became your Senior Pastor. Thanks to each one of you for your hospitality, warmth, and generosity as we have attempted to transition and get settled. Your patience has been much appreciated!
This past Sunday night, I spent some time casting a vision of what I believe is my biblical responsibility as your pastor (shepherd, elder, overseer). I know many of you were present for this time, but in this “first blog” I want to briefly review the big picture of my biblical obligation to you as a member of God’s Church. For those of you who were unable to attend, this will hopefully assist in “catching you up” on our vision for GPBC.
The Apostle Peter gives a great summary of a pastor’s responsibility to the church in the fifth chapter of his first letter to the Church. He concludes this letter with specific instructions to his fellow elders/pastors/overseers.
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Briefly, Peter instructs pastors/elders/overseers in their four-fold function in shepherding the Church: 1.) Lead 2.) Feed 3.) Protect 4.) Care for. Again, I am pledging to you, the GPBC family, my earnest and sincere desire to shepherd each of you in this way. Furthermore, I am praying for the wisdom to do this in the humble way Peter describes in verse 3: “not domineering over those in your charge, but as an example to the flock”. It is my prayer and desire that you will be loved and led this way by your pastor.
Undoubtedly, you have already witnessed the imperfection and sin in my life. Just as all of humanity, I came into this world a rebel, warring against God, desiring my will. This is my nature because of Adam. But mercifully through Scripture, God revealed this to me (and to all that he saves) and by his grace, I was saved through faith and the person and work of Jesus Christ. Because of that new nature, I desire to shepherd this family. I plead for your prayers, your love, your patience, and your forgiveness. For just as I stated this past Sunday evening, I will fail you because I am not perfect. I promise to be quick to confess and ask your forgiveness. I ask that you do the same with each other.
Ultimately, I am certain God has brought us together. As Paul states in Acts 17:24-28, God has determined the boundaries of our dwelling place… what a great comfort to know the Sovereign God of the universe has orchestrated our time together! I look forward with awe and excitement to what God has planned for his kingdom through our family.
Humbly and loving,