6. What was your most significant challenge in that first year of pastoring this church?
The most significant challenge we faced was obviously the finances. However, we determined that would not be our problem. We asked God to take care of that, and He did. We were challenged with getting the people to believe that God had not forsaken them and that the work here in our community was not finished. God purposed this as a place of worship, and His commitment had not changed.
7. How did you break that mentality?
To change this mentality, we leveraged something that Brother Stan Welch said to me early on in the journey. He said “you get what you preach.” That may be my version of what I heard, but it was close. As a result, I often spoke about change and accepting change. Truly, it’s our responsibility as Christians to see how God can use anything and anyone for His glory. We sometimes believe that because He said He was the same yesterday, today and forever, that He can’t use new methods or non-traditional ways. That limits our God! Think of how the Old Testament church felt about Him. They didn’t like His methods and didn’t understand His ways. That didn’t mean He could not raise folks from the dead, heal the broken-hearted, or come up out of that tomb. He still did it, and, whether we like His methods or not, He will do it today. Our call is to learn to love all worship and non-traditional deliveries of the Word and to understand that every good and perfect gift comes from Him.
8. Did you ever feel like quitting?
We never really talked about quitting. Now, we wondered at times if this was truly our calling. We even asked God that question. We sought counsel from our peers and our pastors. We have never been quitters; so we knew in our hearts we would not give up. We set in our mind that God would use every trial and tribulation to not just change the people but change our hearts and cause us to love and lead them.
9. Why didn’t you quit?
It was our passion. God had called us, and He had provided and continues to provide for us in so many ways. We came to ministry out of the corporate business world, spending years serving in large financial organizations that taught us the value of learning, changing, leading and following. We determined in our hearts, that until it was clear that God was moving us on, we were going to stay. We were “in it to win it.”