Thursday, July 12, 2012

There's Nothing Like the Local Church when...

I love one of the sayings of Bill Hybels when he says, "There is nothing like the local church when the local church is working right!"  I know that many have had bad experiences with the church.  I have as well.  But it doesn't change the saying.  There really is nothing like the local church when the local church is working right!  I am so excited to be part of such a place here at the E-Free Church in Gaylord, Michigan.  Let me just share a few things about our church from just this week that have me so convinced that Hybel's statement is right on the money.

Throughout the week I have heard great feedback from our Ministry Teams that are working on all of the plans and logistics to add an additional service this September to the two services we are already doing on Sunday mornings.  Since announcing this direction we have heard nothing but encouraging feedback from our church family!

Tuesday afternoon our Vision Task Force made great strides in fine-tuning our 3-year Vision Plan for 2013-2015 that we will be presenting to the Elder Board in August for approval.  This Vision Plan is aggressive but it is full of great vision and very exciting.  The best is truly yet to come for Gaylord E-Free Church!

Tuesday night an army of volunteers from E-Free showed up at the County Fairgrounds armed with rakes, weed-eaters, power washers and hoses to clean and prepare the fairgrounds for a season of activity that will begin this Sunday with our HEROES DAY at the Fairgrounds.  The Board Members of the Fairgrounds were astonished at how many of our people showed up and how much they got done in one evening.

Wednesday I was able to have my monthly lunch with Pastor Jim who served as the Senior Pastor of our church for 24 years before I came in March 2011.  Pastor Jim is still on staff part-time and is a vital part of our ministry.  Most people would say that it cannot work to have a pastor of that tenure stay on at the church after his replacement arrives.  In most cases it does not work.  But here at Gaylord E-Free it is working very well.  I am so honored to minister side by side with Pastor Jim.  He is my greatest cheerleader and it is like having a wise mentor always within reach.

Wednesday I was part of a 2-hour meeting as we finalized all the details for our HEROES DAY program this coming Sunday morning at the Fairgrounds.  It is a huge undertaking to move our entire morning service off campus to the Fairgrounds, especially when you are including a free picnic for all who attend.  I am amazed at the way our staff and literally dozens and dozens of our volunteers are pulling together and pulling out all of the stops to see this Sunday morning be a great day of ministry and excellence.

Today (Thursday) a semi truck full of food will be pulling into our church parking lot and dozens of volunteers from E-Free will spend the afternoon unloading and setting up pallets and pallets of food which will result in over 600 people in our country who are struggling economically getting free food to help take the edge of of their need.

Each day (literally) I get to hear stories of people who are caring for each other; people who are taking steps of faith; people who are reaching out to others; people who digging deeper in the Word and who are growing in their faith.  Each day (literally) I talk to people who are excited about what God is doing in this place.  I feel so humbled and blessed that I get to work each day in a place like this.

It's true - there is nothing like the local church when the local church is working right!

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