Three years ago on the first Sunday in July I was richly blessed. That was my first Sunday out of retirement and my first Sunday at Lakeview United Methodist Church. I had filled the pulpit a couple times for Pastor Call, so I had some knowledge of this church and the devotion of it’s people. I have served churches across the state and have never lived anywhere we didn’t love. Yet, to be part of this congregation of God’s people is amazing. Over these three years you have about tripled in attendance. You have started new ministries that many would have said was impossible.
What makes this so wonderful is that YOU did it! Not the Pastor or the District or the Conference! It was you, the people of God at Lakeview. You had a vision of what could be and you refused to listen to voices that said we were too small. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
I have many “favorite” Bible verses, but above them all is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I can’t wait to see what dreams you have for what is no longer a small church. You are vibrant and vital and God is using you. An old spiritual says, “It’s not the preacher nor the teacher…” It is YOU a body of believers actively engaged in ministry to God’s people.