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Vital Signs Highlight: Pastor JD Montgomery Part One

Vital Signs Highlight: Pastor JD Montgomery Part One

VITAL SIGNS HIGHLIGHT: PASTOR JD MONTGOMERY PT. 1

What is Vital Signs?

Vital Signs tells the story of Pastors who have led (or are currently leading) a church through a process of revitalization.  We place a spotlight on the challenges they faced, the victories that were achieved, and the life that has returned to their church.

We trust their stories will encourage YOU in what you’re doing for the Kingdom of God.

 

This week, we interviewed Pastor JD Montgomery from New Life AG in Barnett, Missouri. This is part one. Enjoy.

1. What were the conditions/circumstances when you arrived?  

When Toni and I began our call at New Life, there were approximately 35 faithful people attending on Sundays and 12-15 on Wednesday evenings. The building (38,000 sq. ft.) was in a declining condition, zero dollars in the bank account, and the church owed over $6,000.00 in back payments to the utilities.  The mortgage payment was more than the church could pay, and they truly faced a decision to close the doors or expect a miracle from God.

 

2. What were you thinking as you came there as the new pastor? 

We were thankful that God had opened a door for us, but were unsure if we had walked through the right door.  We were full of hope and expectation of what God could do in this next season of our life.  The church itself was in a season of change and desperately needed some guidance navigating through the change.

 

3. What did you do first?

We did what had been taught to by the many pastors that shaped our lives over the years—we listened and we loved.  We fell in love with the people—their dedication, faith, commitment to the community, and desire to serve God with or without a brick and mortar building.

4. What were peoples’ reaction at first to the “new guy?” 

There were probably some who did not understand our approach or maybe didn’t trust us.  The majority, however, responded to the love we had for them and the love they had for God and His work in the city and community of Barnett.

 

5. What did you envision happening in your first year?

In accepting this opportunity, we were very clear with God that we would do all we could to serve Him, love the church and provide biblical direction for it members. We also surrendered the financial needs of the church to God.  The wonderful thing about God is that, when you trust Him, He provides.  Far too many times, we have witnessed leaders trying to do great work, but not trusting God to do His part.  We often find ourselves trying to supplement His responsibilities, and that is never good.  God isn’t in a tug-of-war game with us for His provisions.  When we understand our roles, He will live up to His part of the deal.

Therefore, in the first year, we planted the vision God provided to us and worked to ensure everyone understood what our purpose was.  We were there to reach the lost, teach them, and then prepare them for ministry.  It was part of a conversation we had every day.

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.”

10. What have you learned about yourself in this process?

We learned that we are persistent and capable of loving far beyond what we thought possible.  God had birthed in us a desire for the lost to know Him, and the saved to experience Him and serve Him.  We learned that we are servants in a mighty kingdom serving the Master Who loves His people.

 

11.  What have you learned about your church through this process? 

We learned that God sent us the best of the best—those who have been saved from their past, those who have been hurt in church, those who have been spiritually bankrupt, and those who have been emotionally damaged. God sent them all for us to love and lead.  We learned that this is the church, and they are strong, they are good, and they are our partners in the journey to glory.

 

12.  What did you learn about ministry?

I learned that ministry is a great, high calling and that God, long before we knew it, had placed a gift in us.  We learned that, because of this gift, much is accounted of us and that we must do all we can with what we have to seek first His kingdom.  We learned that the 33 years we worked as financial management executives in two of the largest firms in the world was training for this ultimate calling.

JD MONTGOMERY

JD MONTGOMERY

LEAD PASTOR, NEW LIFE AG, BARNETT, MO

Pastor JD is devoted to seeing the local church thrive and stand boldly for the cause of Christ. His heart for God and people is evident in his leadership and messages at New Life. His mission is to change the landscape of “ministry” and “church” by challenging generations to rise up and live life fully in Christ.

Before answering the call to full-time ministry, Pastor JD spent more than 30 years of his life as an executive in the Kansas City area for one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Leading people and boldly declaring the truth have been key factors to his success. He believes God has used him in diverse areas and specifically prepared him for such a time as this at New Life.

Pastor JD has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Toni, for more than 30 years. They have two grown, successful sons — Jonathan and Jordan.

JD MONTGOMERY

JD MONTGOMERY

LEAD PASTOR, NEW LIFE AG, BARNETT, MO

Pastor JD is devoted to seeing the local church thrive and stand boldly for the cause of Christ. His heart for God and people is evident in his leadership and messages at New Life. His mission is to change the landscape of “ministry” and “church” by challenging generations to rise up and live life fully in Christ.

Before answering the call to full-time ministry, Pastor JD spent more than 30 years of his life as an executive in the Kansas City area for one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Leading people and boldly declaring the truth have been key factors to his success. He believes God has used him in diverse areas and specifically prepared him for such a time as this at New Life.

Pastor JD has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Toni, for more than 30 years. They have two grown, successful sons — Jonathan and Jordan.

Lee’s Summit Highlights (Rural Compassion Training Event)

Lee’s Summit Highlights (Rural Compassion Training Event)

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Lee’s Summit Highlights (Rural Compassion Training Event)

We are still amazed at all God did through this last weekend’s Rural Compassion Training Event at Crown Pointe-Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri! Check out our highlight video of the event!

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If you’re a rural pastor in Missouri, and you’re interested in attending one of these training events, there’s another opportunity coming up in October.

Rural Compassion Training Event #3: Faith Community (House Springs, MO)10.27.18

Learn how to be more effective in reaching your community for Christ!

FREE MATERIALS, FREE OUTREACH SUPPLIES, AND FIRST-CLASS OUTREACH TRAINING!

Don’t miss this FREE training event for Pastors & their spouse plus two additional leaders!

Find out more at smdhealthy.church/rural-compassion. RSVP today!

The Importance Of A Good Path

The Importance Of A Good Path

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The Importance Of A Good Path

By Greg Perkins, SMDHealthy.Church

Proverbs 4:23-27 (NLT)

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

 

For the limited amount of climbing I have done, I have come to appreciate the importance of a good path for every hike or climb. You can get into a lot of trouble if you leave the path, or if the path you are on is not solid. So, what is the importance of a good path?

 

A Good Path is Important…For the Sake of the Journey – A bad path, or the wrong path, can lead to a journey that is more difficult than it needs to be. The risk of injury on a poor path is pretty significant.

 

A Good Path is Important…For the Sake of the Destination – The wrong path, or the wrong direction on the right path, can lead you to an unintended destination.

 

A Good Path is Important…For the Sake of Those Who Follow Us! –   If we are leading (and there are ALWAYS people following us), it is important to be headed in the right direction.  This is to provide a safe path for the people behind us.  They might not have the same strengths or abilities that we have; so we use turn signals, drive slower, and avoid “short-cuts” that they might miss.

The spiritual application to all this is pretty powerful!

 

A Good Path is Important…For the Sake of Our Journey!   We make things SO much more difficult on ourselves than we need to make them. The injury (pain/hurt) we encounter because of a bad path—or the wrong path—really ruins the trip most of the time.

Proverbs 4:26 (NLT) Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.

 

A Good Path is Important…For the Sake of Our Destination!   If our goal is to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father, then the destination (the place the path leads) is REALLY important.  It doesn’t matter if your INTENTION is good.  If your DIRECTION is wrong, you will end up in the wrong place!

Proverbs 12:28“In the path of righteousness there is life, but another path leads to death.”

 

A Good Path is Important…For the Sake of Those We Lead!   There are ALWAYS people following us, and we must be careful about where we are leading them.

Proverbs 8:20-21 (KJV) – “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.”

Did you catch that?  “That I may cause those that love me… (those that look up to me, imitate me, follow my example, or come after me) …to inherit substance!”

A good path is REALLY important in every area of life, especially in church leadership!  We need to make sure that the path we are following is solid AND is headed toward our intended destination, or the health and well-being of the organization we lead will be jeopardized.

May God bless you on the path to health in your church.

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

Relentless Prayers For You

Relentless Prayers For You

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RELENTLESS PRAYERS FOR YOU!

By Greg Perkins, SMDHealthy.Church

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE MESSENGER: SUMMER 2018 EDITION

There is—or at least should be—great encouragement in the knowledge that someone is praying for you. Add in the fact that the person praying is someone known for his/her great passion for Christ and His Church…and that is pretty awesome.

Such is the case in Ephesians 1. The Apostle Paul is sharing the fact that he is praying for the people of that church…ever since he heard about their faith in Jesus and love for God’s people. If that isn’t enough, what Paul is praying about for the people of Ephesus is pretty awesome too! Read this:

Ephesians 1:15-19 (NIV)

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

As Christ followers, and co-laborers with Christ, the prayer that Paul was praying for the believers at Ephesus, is also a prayer for YOU. It is easy to get discouraged when we think that no one notices what we are doing, OR that we are alone in what we are doing. Here in Southern Missouri, we DO NOTICE what you are doing for your church! And furthermore, you are NOT ALONE in what you are doing. We are ALL working together to see lives changed for the sake of Christ. Paul’s prayers for the church were RELENTLESS. Please know that our prayers for you are RELENTLESS too! Each week, our Southern Missouri District Staff gather to pray that you are encouraged, strengthened, and blessed in all you are doing to advance The Kingdom of God. Thank you for being RELENTLESS in pursuit of His call for your life!

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

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