It is a true honor in life to be the pastor of Fellowship Church in Prairieville. In 1999 God began to work in my heart and spirit a calling to plant a church. During the next two years I learned and trained and prayed about what church planting would be. June 1, 2001 my wife and I moved to a town we had visited 2 times to settle there and start a church. Little did I know that church planting was nothing like the textbooks, the classes, nor the popular books written by mega church pastors.
Fellowship Church has become the work of my life. I was a 26 year old man that had the audacity to believe that God could use me to start a church that would reach people for Christ. And he has. He has put people around me that I believe are absolutely some of the most amazing and wonderful people in world. The only problem I have really faced is discouragement. I have often struggled with my desire for success over God’s work. I have lived many days here in Prairieville defeated and discouraged because the church was not what I had intended, desired, or envisioned. Not that discouragement has been my daily life. It has just been a lingering problem from time to time. Overall life is great, but my goals (my goals) were not being met.
This year some people from within Fellowship shared with me that they could see the burden in my life and spoke boldly and truthfully to it. I was honest about my struggle with them and they committed to pray for me and to help me. This was the confession I had to make. “I do not consider myself successful. Too often all I see is what we have not done instead of seeing what God has done.” For some reason I felt real shame in admitting that to those people I pastor. There sat in that room lives changed by the ministry of Fellowship and I struggle to see it as such.
Over the last month or two God has really done some great things in my life. I shared with you a prayer time I experienced recently but did not tell you what it was all about. It was about this. One Thursday morning in my office, I was praying. I was praying as Kirk usually does. I was bringing God my laundry list of things to get done for his glory and asking him to make me ready. I was not asking him to talk to me about me – maybe about you – but not about me. So that morning he told me to shut up and sit still.
And he spoke. And honestly his words set me free. God simply told me “Thank you. And I am proud of you.” Hear me when I say that Jesus Christ owes me no gratitude. God knows all that there is to be ashamed of in Kirk Jones. What God also knows is that I might not be a man that gets it all right, but I have a heart for him. He also knew I needed to hear it. He knew I needed to put down my definition of success before the altar of Christ before I would ever be ready to experience it.
There has been a great freedom in my life since that day. Literally God has rejuvenated my spirit and my soul. My hunger for him is growing. My prayer life is increasing. I am becoming a better husband and father. I believe I am also becoming a better pastor. The passion I have is renewed and so is my vision.
God took me through a valley so he could bring me to a Verge. I truly believe that Fellowship is on the Verge of a great movement of God. The people of Fellowship are telling others about Jesus and sharing his love like they never have before. The church is excited about Christ and their Pastor is ready to lead. No wrong motives. No hidden agendas. No personal success stories desired. Just ready.
This Friday I ask for your prayers as our church has A Night of Vision with Pastor Kirk. We are coming together to hear where we are going and why we are going there. I am so humbled that God would allow me to be the man with such a vision. I will tell you this though. I truly believe that if the people of Fellowship will follow me down the path God is laying ahead of us, that down that road is the salvation of our city.
I do not deserve the place nor the position, but I appreciate the grace that has given it to me. Pray that God will continue his work in our midst and that our lives will be laid open before him for his work. Pray that I will not speak any personal preferences, opinion, or agendas, but simply the will of God. Pray for Prairieville. And as I pray I praise because he who began a good work in me also began a good work in Fellowship and HE will complete it!
I praise God that he has renewed the audacity within me. He has given me the audacity to believe that not only will he use me to start a church but he will use that church to reach a city for Christ! Are you ready to get audacious?