“The church of Jesus is alive and well.”
This week, Nicole and I were blessed to get to join 60+ other pastors and spouses at a pastor’s conference in Las Vegas, NV. Most of those in attendance are from larger churches and part of the same network of churches that are also Independent Christian Churches like Cornerstone. Each time we have attended, we leave feeling validated, encouraged, and emotionally ready for the next season of ministry.
As I sat in the room with Christian leaders I respect like Kyle Idleman (Southeast Christian Church), Dave Dummitt (Willow Creek Community Church), Jud Wilhite (Central Christian Church), and Gene Appel (Eastside Christian Church) among many others, I found myself so humbled to get to be a pastor. While many of our talks this week were about dealing with COVID, all the people who are no longer attending church, and some of the challenges facing the church in our current climate, I was mostly just encouraged. What an incredible trust and opportunity to lead God’s church during the greatest time in history to be a follower of Jesus.
I told a friend at the conference that our time together for me always feels like, “church camp for pastors.” We come from literally every corner of the country to uplift, encourage, network, and care for each other in the leadership journey. Several of the guys I meet with twice a year for accountability in Arizona were there, including my ministry mentor Cal Jernigan. He asked about you and prayed for Cornerstone. Others also asked about the church, and said they have regularly prayed for our church. Did you know pastors from all over the country are praying for you? To me, that is incredibly humbling.
I would like to share with you a few insights I find especially encouraging coming out of this week.
1. The church of Jesus is alive and well!
Someone said those words this week, after person after person reported on the incredible movement of God in their midst. Friends, the church is broken, beaten, and wounded; she has been through a lot during Covid, and we have much to figure out. But the church is alive and well, and people are still hungry for truth and life transformation. Are you part of what God is doing in this season of ministry?
2. There are incredible servant leaders across our country
I don’t know what you think of pastors these days. Some of our more public examples have really muddied things up the last few years. But let me humbly share with you that there are many, many pastors who are humble, Godly, dedicated, and faithful. They are not pretentious or seeking personal fame or recognition. They are seeking to tell the most people about Jesus in their lifetime as possible, and help others do the same. I’m truly humbled to be among such pillars.
3. There is much work to do.
Some of the stories shared this week were not as encouraging. Many guys are exhausted, depleted, and on the verge of quitting. But most of them recognize that we have an incredible opportunity before us to speak truth and lead people into a new era of church unlike what we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Some of the details are unclear, but the mission is alive and well. We have much work to do, and in our little corner of the world, we have a great passion to see it done.
I’m looking forward to continuing “Soul Keepers” with you this weekend, along with guest speaker Doyle Roth from Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles, MO. I will assure you that you will be challenged and blessed by Doyle’s message. See you this weekend!
Yours and His,