Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account... -Hebrews 13:16
To lead a local church is an incredible, intimidating, exhilarating, terrifying, and humbling calling and responsibility. It's a role that for a long time I did not feel like I was called to play. But by grace alone, the Good Shepherd lovingly and clearly led me to not only plant, but pastor The Pathway church. That Jesus would allow me to do what I do still leaves me very much in awe and when I take the time to stop and reflect, I'm so very grateful for the role God has called me to play.
The Pathway church is a blessing to me. The people exhaust me, frustrate me, intimidate me, cause me to stay up at night worrying, praying, crying, and praying some more. But they also give me so much hope. Hope in the power of life change. Hope in the church as gospel proclaimers and disciple-makers. Hope that an Acts 2 type of church is still possible. Hope that authentic, transparent, biblical community is real and can still not only happen, but flourish in 21st century America. I'm so blessed by and thankful for The Pathway.
By God's grace, from the beginning of this church, I had more leaders than I can remember instill in me the importance of retreating annually for the purpose of prayer, allowing Jesus to refresh my own soul, more prayer, and planning. It's something that is only possibly by the grace of God and through the generosity of The Pathway partners that I can do this. But I believe it has been crucial to my own spiritual health (I know this because around September or October every year my wife starts asking me if I have my retreat planned yet... as if I'm getting a little on edge or even grumpy! =-) and by extension the health of our church.
I share all this for the purpose of asking you, if you are able, to stop and pray for me over the next couple of days. Here are some specific things you can pray for...
-Pray for my beautiful and loving wife as she is at home with Jagen, Rylan, & Hazel.
-Pray that I would be able to not only slow down physically, but slow down mentally and
emotionally enough to really just sit at the feet of Jesus.
-Pray that God would give me clear direction for preaching in 2016
-Pray that God would give me clear direction on how to use mission teams from our partner
churches in Texas and Oklahoma
-Pray for God to really give me clear direction on how to invest more deeply and effectively in the
men in our church. We've got some incredible men and I strongly desire to lead and shepherd
-Pray for God's will to be done in and through me on this retreat.
Thank you all!