Today I was able to worship with and preach at one of our new start churches. Pastor Mark and Kelli Ramsey are the pastors of our Cross-Way church in Beech Grove. My assessment of this congregation:
Four years ago this church did not exist.
There were infants all the way to Senior adults in attendance.
There were young adults in attendance
Cross-Way is a genuinely friendly and engaged congregation.
Pastor Mark and Kelli both have full-time jobs besides pastoring the church.
Pastor Mark has led someone from work to the Lord, and she is a part of the congregation. Without setting out to model a new way of pastoring, Mark and Kelli gave me a couple of lessons on pastoring in the 21st century.
Having a full or part-time job is not a hindrance but a blessing. Not only does it pay the bills and provide for their family it also gives them the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with people every day. When I was in school preparing for the ministry we were strongly encouraged never to be bi-vocational, the church must have all of your time and energy.
Renting a facility and having a portable church keeps the overhead down. I am of the generation that whenever I hear the word “church”, I automatically think ‘building’. The Church is the redeemed scattered throughout the world!
Newer churches have by and large a younger crowd.
New Churches have a passion for mission and missions. Pastor Ramsey was telling me about a speaker from Africa, Cosmos Mutowa who came to speak at his church. While he was talking about the need for clean water, the Lord challenged Pastor Mark to help meet that need. The Cross-Way Community Church of the Nazarene raised enough money to install not one but two new wells at the cost of $16,000! They plan to keep finding ways to make a difference in their community as well as around the world.
What if Pastor Mark had not had the vision to start this church? What if someone had decided it was not worth the cost? Thankfully God birthed the dream in his heart and Shepherd Community was willing to be the mother church and they have been proclaiming the Gospel and making a difference for the Kingdom.
After I had preached today, the Pastor had the entire congregation gather around Susanne and me and pray for us and our ministry. Susanne and I were very touched by their kindness and faith.
God is moving, I believe right now He is planting the dream of a new work in your area. A new church, a new Bible Study, a new ministry, someway to reach out to your community.