Time Flies

Twenty years ago today (September 1, 1997) I began serving as the pastor of Calvary Community Church in Dorchester.  I have been thinking about this day, and this posting, for quite a while, wondering what I would say about my tenure as a minister of the gospel in the greatest community in the world.  I thought about the numbers relating to ministry – attendance figures, baptisms and weddings I had performed, babies I had dedicated, or sermons I delivered – but, to be honest, these numbers would be unimpressive.  I thought about sharing interesting anecdotes about the church, but I have already shared most of these stories with those reading this and my remaining stories would be uninteresting.  In the end, all I have are the lessons I have learned over all these years.

First, I have learned to cherish the relationships that God has given me while I am blessed to have them.  While the numbers of worshippers have not appreciably changed in the last two decades, the people have; in fact, I count three (and 8/9th) people that were present on my first Sunday still regularly attending worship.  Some have gone on to glory, others have moved out of the area and others attend other churches.  Yet, through all the transition, God has blessed us with visitors, musicians and co-laborers who have expanded our world, challenged our complacency and enhanced our worship.  I praise God that so many have called Calvary home for a week, a season, a year or longer.

Then, I have learned to seize the opportunities that God has given me when I recognize them.  While I have not been given a city-wide or national stage to proclaim the gospel, I have been blessed to share God’s love with our neighbors.  Praying at a Flag Day program, talking in a front yard, serving water at the Dorchester Day Parade and welcoming the community for public events are just a few things that come to mind when I consider how God is working through our church.  I praise God that we have impacted so many lives, inside and outside the walls of our building, in so many interesting ways.

Finally, I have learned to appreciate the faithfulness that God has lavished upon me all the time.  While I have never, in my tenure at Calvary, enjoyed an abundance of resources, God has always given me and my family (immediate and church) what is sufficient for my needs.  We’ve paid our bills (mostly on time), had the volunteers and musicians, maintained a residence and been cared for.  God’s faithfulness is ever-present – in forgiving my sin and fixing my lapses in judgement, in bringing in saints every single Sunday, in always giving me a word to share.  All that I have done is because God has enabled me.  I praise God for all of it.

Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.   Psalm 134:1 (NIV)

So much has changed over the last two decades, but then again, so much remains the same.  God is still drawing wonderful people to our little church, still affording us opportunities for gracious interactions and still showering us with His great faithfulness.  Until that changes, I will be here wondering how God will next work among us.  I hope you will be here, too.

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. Congratulations, and thank you Pastor Mike. Your faithfulness and commitment to God’s plan is a wonderful testimony to all of us. You bring the word each Sunday and it is a gift to me as I learn more about the Lord, scripture and His holiness. May God bless you and your family and may you continue to steward us in faithfulness, obedience, and our pursuit to be a “delight” in the eyes of our Lord and Savior. God is in control. Everything else doesn’t even matter ! Once again, thank you for your service!
    Love you in Christ,
    Judy

  2. Pastor Mike, Congratulations! Thanks for being such a kind and loving person. When I met you longer than 20 years ago, I was a teen in youth group. You were such a great example for me as I was growing up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: