Thursday, January 6, 2011

A new beginning...

January 2, 2011 began my third year of ministry as your Senior Pastor here at Calvary and I continue to marvel at our Lord’s goodness in calling me to such a wonderful church. Your many cards and notes of encouragement have been such a blessing to my family. I know all of our staff appreciates so much the tokens of your love for us all that have been shared this past Christmas. I know with each passing year there is the reality for all of us that time continues to fly past us. Many will reflect on 2010 as a good year, many others for a variety of reasons are thrilled to see 2010 draw to a close. New Year resolutions have been made and some may have already been broken which if we let it, can discourage us. A New Year is greeted with anticipation by most as it represents a chance for a new beginning in so many areas. Sometimes we have plans, hopes and dreams that do not come to pass and unmet expectations cause us great difficulty in many cases. Many times we’ll hunker down with a sour attitude early on in January because the New Year hasn’t at all started the way we hoped and the New Year just becomes another year of the rut we find ourselves stuck in. I heard someone say one time that at rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out of it. We trudge through year in and year out and wonder about the purpose of it all.

Let me encourage you that each day is an opportunity to start fresh with God. With every setting of the sun, you have the opportunity to pause and thank the Lord for His many blessings and ask Him to forgive for the many failures we may have had that day. With each dawning of a new day, you have a marvelous opportunity to sow your time in personal devotions, a quiet time, an appointment you set with God where you read His word, you  allow Him to speak to you and you begin your day in prayer. You cannot do anything about the failures of yesterday, you can only focus on what God wants you to do today and must not worry about the challenges of tomorrow. When I look at what I hoped to accomplish in 2010 that didn’t happen, when I contemplate how much more I wanted to do, I can become discouraged. When I look forward to the mountain of challenges and decisions that await in 2011, I can become overwhelmed with it all. Yet the Lord Jesus invites me to step into each day fresh with Him, to walk with Him by faith and not by sight, to commune with Him in fellowship and trust His guiding hand that He’ll be with me no matter what adventure, challenge, difficulty or distress that comes my way.  I don’t know what 2011 holds for me, I don’t know what 2011 holds for you and I certainly don’t know what 2011 holds for us a church family; but I know that this can be a great year if we all choose to walk with God each day as individuals and as a church family.

On January 2nd, I realize we had families still traveling and many who were ill or hindered from being in worship. In that service, I shared with the church what I called “The State of the Church” message. We celebrated God’s work from 2010 among us here at Calvary and I cast a vision of what I believe God would have for us in our future, not only in 2011 but for many years down the road. I shared with the church the Lord’s leading with me, our staff and in consultation and work with our personnel committee, along with the prayers and encouragement of our deacons and vision team, some direction related to ministry staff positions. I shared a two pronged approach of winning people to Christ and discipleship and ministry to family units and the leadership needed in these critical areas of Calvary’s future to carry out the Great Commission. I provided the church with drafts of job descriptions for two positions: 1) Associate Pastor of Missional Outreach & Administration; 2) Associate Pastor of Discipleship & Family Ministry. If you were not able to attend, please pick up a copy of each job description in the Narthex or at the greeter’s desk to review and prayerfully consider. At our January 30th Church in Conference, our primary agenda will be to discuss these two ministry positions and vote on them. I’m hopeful CD’s of that message or the podcast will be available for you if you’re interested in hearing it to give insight behind this vision I tried to articulate. One way or the other, I’m prayerful that God’s will would be confirmed for us as a church family. Our personnel committee and vision team has been earnestly seeking God’s direction and working hard to help guide us and I’m grateful for their continued efforts. Please pray and plan to attend our CIC on January 30th  at 5:00 p.m.

I hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you and your family, I pray it will be a great year of faithful ministry for us at Calvary and that we’ll accomplish much for God’s honor and glory and to expand God’s kingdom. I’m so proud of you as a church family and I’m thrilled to begin a new year of ministry alongside you. Looking forward to a new beginning from my little corner of the world to yours…

Ralph Green

Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

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