Friday, March 04, 2011

The Path To Gaylord - Part 3


So what was it that God used to draw us to the Gaylord E-Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan? Actually, there were many things that God used to give us peace that this was where He was directing us. Let me give the three that topped the list.

First, GEFC is very "outward focused." It is a church that has reached out to its community on a regular basis and appears to have a real heart to reach people for Christ. Most churches "say" that they want to reach people for Christ. It was important for us to find a church that really does. I believe we have in GEFC.

Second, GFEC has a tremendous reputation in the community. You can credit their current Senior Pastor, Jim Mathis, for this. He has worked hard for 24 years to connect GEFC with the community and has been very successful at it. We purposefully talked to many people in Gaylord who did not attend GEFC and asked them their thoughts on the church. I kid you not when I say that every person we spoke with simply raved about what GEFC means to the community. This is not the case with many churches. Sadly, it seems that most churches either have a bad reputation in their community or no reputation at all (meaning that they could close the doors of their church today and the community wouldn't even notice let alone be impacted by it).

Third, we were very much attracted to the community feel of Gaylord. Those who live there love it there. It's a great town and we very much look forward to making it our home and to becoming involved in the community.

So these things and many others brought us to the night of the congregational vote last Sunday. Laura and I drove down to Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA so we could be with our kids and together as a family when "the call" came. We were in our hotel room Sunday night when the chairman of the Elder Board called. He asked if Laura and the kids were with me. He then asked me to put my phone on speaker as the congregation had something they wanted us all to hear. If you know me - you know I am not "techy" at all. I had never put my phone on speaker before and I fumbled for what seemed like a lifetime before I had to admit to him that I didn't know how to put my phone on speaker (talk about starting your ministry with a dose of humility!)!

Anyway, he told me that I could just pass on the message to them. With that I heard the congregation break out in applause and cheers to show their support and excitement. It was a great moment for our family. After the call we had a special time of prayer together as a family before we started calling and texting our friends and family with the good news. Gaylord, here we come!

By the way - I now know how to turn my cell phone's speaker on now!

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at www.hurtingpastor.blogspot.com. Feel free to leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at skdistler@gmail.com.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are there programs that the church has that help the many new people that come in and get saved grow closer to Christ? Are there discipleship programs or anything to that nature? I read on their website that they want to bring people in and help them grow which is very encouraging to see from a church.

Pastor Scott said...

Hi Anonymous! Yes, they seem to have some very good growth programs. I am especially excited about their LIFE GROUPS. What I like most about them is that these groups use discussion questions each week related to the sermon that was just preached on Sunday. I see these LIFE GROUPS as the exclamation point to the sermon where real application takes place.

Alisa said...

Wow!How cool is that! I've never heard of a whole congregation calling a pastor with the news. It sounds like they truly understand the importance of unity. When you get settled and we come to visit, maybe I'll call the church first. Ya think they could cheer for us too?!? So excited for all of you!

Pastor Scott said...

Hi Alisa! It was really very cool (is that still a word used today?) and very special! Thanks for your prayers and encouragement!

Rick Glass said...

Scott, get used to it. Everything is "cool" in Gaylord...even their summers! :-)

Ryan Sharpe said...

Your beloved Buckeyes bit the dust tonight, 4-0. And there weren't any outrageous penalty minutes for the Lakers. ;)

Pastor Scott said...

OK, Ryan. You win this time. Now, let's play some FOOTBALL!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bring on the football- we'll have an open invite viewing party at our house for the OSU PSU game this year... :)

Tiffany

Pastor Scott said...

Thanks, Tiffany! GO BUCKS!

kimmer4life said...

You talking about GEFC Life group reminded me of OGBC's former FISH group and I specifically remember being at the Martins and one of the Gonzales kids thought she was sitting at the feet of Jesus when she sat by you! hahahahahahahahaha

Pastor Scott said...

Kim - I had forgotten all about that! How funny that was!

Gina Wood said...

Hello Scott,
That is just awesome how the folks at Gaylord welcomed you after the vote. They are really getting a gem of a pastor! I found the E-Free website, got it bookmarked and I am ready to hear some good sound preaching! Can't wait! God bless you and your family and Gaylord church.

Pastor Scott said...

Thank you, Gina! I sure appreciate your encouraging words. Hope you guys can make it out to Rick and Ginger Glass' house Saturday night. We'd love to see you! Blessings