Sunday, May 01, 2011

19,000 REASONS

Sunday morning was my official installation as the new Lead Pastor at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (GEFC) in Gaylord, Michigan. What a special morning it was. I was honored to have Steve and Sue Peters with us for the weekend. Steve is the Senior Pastor at Community Church in West Milton, OH where I started my ministry back in the summer of 1985. It was also a great surprise when two other friends of ours from years ago, Ed and Erin Robbins, who were on my youth staff back at Community Church when I was a youth pastor, also drove up for the service. We have been blessed at every ministry we have been part of (Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania) to develop friendships that truly last a lifetime.

It was an emotional morning for me as I reflected on how God orchestrated our lives over the past 16 months to get us to this point. As we entered the 2010 calendar year we were very excited about what God was doing in our lives and in our ministry. In fact, 16 months ago we had never heard of Gaylord, Michigan. But God was at work orchestrating our lives and the lives of the GEFC family and we had no clue what He was doing behind the scenes at the time. We learned, however, that sometimes when God orchestrates your life it takes you down a path you would have never anticipated or chosen for yourself and one that can cause hurt and pain. That is exactly what happened to us in 2010. But even through that very difficult year, God was at work behind the scenes to bring about His plan and we are convinced that this plan included bring us to Gaylord and GEFC.

As I talk with friends about the transition and they realize how far north we are and how cold and snowy it can be up here, I often get asked the one word question, "WHY?" Why would I move to Gaylord, Michigan? Why would I chose to live some place where it snows in June!! Besides the fact that I am confident that God has orchestrated my life to lead me here, I can give you 19,000 additional reasons as to why I came to northern Michigan. I am told that there are about 19,000 people who live within easy driving distance of GEFC that do not attend church anywhere. Each one of them is a reason why I believe God has led me to Gaylord. Nothing gets me more pumped than seeing men, women, boys and girls come to faith in Jesus Christ through the local church. After all, the local church is the hope of the world because we have been entrusted with the only message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that can change the direction of someone's eternity.


Tiff said...

Wow, I'm just catching up for the past few weeks of posts. This one resonates personally with me too! Wonder how many children are in the families of those 19000??????

Pastor Scott said...

Thousands, I'm sure, Tiffany, and each one of them needs Jesus!