Hey Family Church!
I didn’t do a devotional today for the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. I want you to pray specifically about some of the things in this email instead.
First, let me start by saying how deeply honored and humbled I am to be your pastor. I’m overjoyed and thankful to the Lord to pastor such a wonderful church. Thank you to Pastor Bill and Peggy Fitzhugh for 23 years of dedicated and dynamic ministry to Family Church. Haley and I learned how to be pastors and love people by watching and serving with you. You will always be our pastors! Remember we are honoring them Sunday, February 9th at 6pm at the church with a special celebration for 41 years of ministry. Write a thank you note and bring it to them on that night. We took up a special love offering for them this weekend ($4,888). Thank you for “overwhelming them with appreciation and love” (1 Thessalonians 5:13).
I’m looking forward to leading and shepherding Family Church. The success and growth of the church isn’t built on one man though – Jesus said He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). I desire to equip you for the work of ministry as we mature into the church Jesus wants (He’s the Head of the church) with each part doing its part of ministry (Ephesians 4:12-16). It will take all of us being the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Romans 12:3-5) to see the church fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:36-40). Our vision at Family Church is to glorify God as we win souls with the Gospel of Christ and make disciples. I love being the church! I love my church!!!
Praise the Lord with me in a few things.
- We started training about 55 new Life Group interns tonight. We had about 70 total people present who desire to grow as current and future Life Group leaders! I can hardly wait to launch some new Life Groups!
- We had about 30 people present in our new membership class this past weekend! I know of four families and one individual who could not attend these classes but committed already to the next set of classes.
- There are tons of new faces at Family Church these days! We average about 15-20 individuals and/or families who fill out guest cards each weekend! God is up to something as He continues to draw people to Family Church!
- We are doing a baptism service on February 8/9 during the weekend services. I just started making a list of the top of my head and know of about 15 people who need to be baptized right now! Sign up at the information desk or email the church office (email@example.com).
- We are announcing our new youth pastor this weekend – get ready!
- We are ordaining three new elders next weekend at church! We will be teaching on Biblical Eldership that weekend.
- I know of 5 brand new life groups we are launching in the next few weeks. Two specifically in Redfield. How exciting!
Join me in praying for the following:
- Planting a church in Redfield. (steps, meetings, leadership, finances, etc.)
- Increased unity as a body
- That we would continue to be a Gospel-centered, Gospel-driven church
- For more leaders to be raised up. Remember, to have leaders you must build leaders – find someone to pour your life into and grow them in discipleship and leadership.
- Pray for a 15% increase in our finances over the next year. We are doing good in our finances and have always grown in our finances every year as a church. Pray more people would be committed in their giving (2 Corinthians 8 & 9). We have a lot ahead of us to do for God’s Kingdom.
God is up to something great at Family Church! Thank you Lord for including me in Your Kingdom work. Keep us humble and obedient to Your Spirit’s voice, Biblical mandate, and Kingdom purpose. May you get all the glory. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.