Archive for June, 2017

All In

“I am all in.”  You have probably heard that before at some point in your life.  I write this today to tell you all that I am 100 % all in when it comes to my walk with God, my life on mission for Jesus, and as the shepherd of the flock God has given me at First Baptist Church  Atlantic Beach.

In September of 2003, this church looked to me to lead them into the future for the good of the kingdom of God.  I was 39 years old at the time, very little seminary training, no pastoral experience, but I had been mentored by a great man of God.  But there were things against me that only time would overcome.  My son would graduate high school in 2004 and my daughter would graduate in 2007.  That would put me at 43 years old and I would notch 4 years of pastoral experience in my belt.  Seeing how the average tenure of a pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention was 3.5 years, I could feel the “un-asked” question of “will he leave us after his daughter graduates” in the air.  Honestly, I figured they would simply tolerate me until 2007 and then kindly ask me to move on as they searched for a new man to lead them for the future.

A lot has happened in 14 years.  People joined, people left, people came back after leaving, some have never stepped back inside the doors.  People loved on me, people yelled at me and cursed me.  I have been praised and pummeled, lifted up and also let down.  But, looking back, I know I am not the “lone stranger” in any of this.  Sit with any pastor and you will hear this story.  Read the Bible and it plays out before you from Genesis to Revelation (especially in the life of Jesus).  I have seen the lean years of financial burdens on the church and I have seen God open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing that we had no room to receive it.  I have watched people grow in their faith and seen people turn away from God all together.  I have even struggled with my own faith, battled through illnesses in my life and the death of my mother.  Through all of that I am here to tell you, I Am All In.  God is so good!

I love this church and the people in it, and we have a wide variety of people here that worship together.  I love what God is doing in my life and my desire is to share that with you all in order to encourage you each and every day.  I love that God is not done with First Baptist Church  Atlantic Beach, as a matter of fact, I believe He is about to do something extremely big and God sized that all we can do is walk by faith right alongside Him.  My desire is to see each member, every guest, go away from our services knowing that the Holy Spirit was upon them and speaking into their life.  My desire is for leaders to be raised up to carry the torch long after I am gone with the same fire for reaching the lost with the good news that I have.  My desire is to see every ministry team flourish as they go forward in faith, knowing that God is their right hand (Psalm 138:7).

Will I always be here at First Baptist Atlantic Beach?  Only God knows that answer.  My pledge to all of you is simple, while I am your pastor, you will always get my best and I will always be leading you forward as we journey together through the valleys and on the mountain tops.  I will challenge you to live the life that is pleasing to God so that one day we will rejoice together in Heaven after hearing Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  God Bless You All, and I hope you will join me on this All In Journey.