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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: June 5, 2016      Views: 140

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The field of writing is relatively new to me. I have been a part of FanStory since the end of 2014. Before that, I never tried to get anything "out" except to family and friends. (Not all of them have been so positive!) I don't write often becau - more...

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Faith in God and obedience to Him makes all the Difference!
"Faith and the LITTLE Church" by Dr. Nad

The year was 1984, I had just finished graduate school and was ready to take on my first church assignment which would require multiple interviews. I was both unbelievably nervous and incredibly excited at the same time. For seven straight Sundays, our little family went to different churches and put ourselves on display for all to see. At the end of each Sunday morning church service, in which I had delivered the sermon, Kathy and I were invited into the conference room to meet with the church board. This was always a time of becoming aware of the amenities and sharing expectations.

There were several churches that looked promising, but there was one that seemed extraordinary. As we walked through their parsonage and discussed possibilities, it seemed to Kathy and me like this was the place that was going to call us and we knew we would go! We were excited!  There was just one problem. It seems that they never got the memo. Then we got the news that they had called another pastor. We were both confused and hugely disappointed. As the days stretched on, we impatiently continued the process of waiting for somebody to be willing to take a chance on these kids fresh out of school.  And then the invitation finally came, and it was the only invitation we received.

I was offered the position of Solo pastor to a very small struggling church that had been in existence since 1948 and had received assistance from the district office every year since its inauguration. What I didn’t know, when I was offered the church, was the fact that the district board of administration had already voted to close the church. The district superintendent had neglected to tell the members of the church that they were being closed and the congregants continued the process of looking for their new pastor.  Kathy and I didn’t know what to do. Since they were the only church that offered us a position, we decided to take it.

My wife Kathy and I and our year and a half old son Jason packed everything we owned in a U-Haul truck and moved from Marion, Indiana back home to Michigan. The salary was very meager, but we were excited to finally be in our first church. Everybody came out, that first Sunday to welcome the new pastor of family.  We had a grand total of 18!  The title of my first sermon was, “Overstating your Poverty.”        

    .   .   .   And  Satan  Laughed !
While  God  Loved !   .   .   .  
I had been told by the departing pastor not to judge my ministry by that church. He said, “This is a place for you to get some experience and then go on to a church with more possibilities.”  As I looked around at the attendees, I came to the realization that there was only one couple in the church with two foundational assets essential for building a church: jobs and kids.
It didn’t take very many months for us to realize three things:
1)    We sure did love those people.
2)  Those people sure did love us.
3)  We  made the right choice, we were supposed to be there.
God did a very special thing in that he knitted the heart of the people with their young pastoral family. This was a group of mostly retired elderly people who were excited to have a young couple and their little boy living next door to the church in their parsonage. Their expectation was low, but their hopes were high that they would finally see something happen in their little church. I told them that they had a purpose and God had a plan. I begin my ministry by knocking on the door of everyone living on our street and the surrounding streets. I introduced myself as the new pastor of the neighborhood church and invited them to come check us out.  Slowly but surely people started to come and look us over.  As they did we began to grow.  There were a number of things that we needed besides people, and I began to challenge our people to have faith to believe that God, not only could but, would help us.
The new young couples that started to come brought their children with them and we needed a playground to emphasize our commitment to children and young families. As we prayed for a playground, we kept our eyes and ears open for used equipment. One day, as I was driving by a local elementary school, I noticed what looked to be the very beginnings of some construction. I immediately went to the principal and found out that they were getting all new playground equipment to replace their existing stuff. Through prayer with faith, we were given all of the equipment, with the proviso that we would remove the equipment ourselves.  The men of the church sprang into action and quickly, carefully, and safely removed the equipment and placed them in their new home at the church.

We needed a nice internally lit sign to replace the rotten wooden one that disgraced the front of the church. Through prayer with faith, we were given the equipment and a sign painter told me that he would paint our church sign at his cost as a donation to the church.

The back part of our property opened onto another street that allowed people to come in, tear up the ground and leave unassailed. We needed a big heavy duty industrial gate. We found out this was very expensive but . . . Through prayer with faith, we were given all of the equipment needed from a salvage yard for the cost of scrap metal , which was about $25 versus over $3000.  

By the end of our second year, our finances had improved to the point that we no longer needed to receive assistance from the district. For the first time in the history of the church, we paid our apportioned budget. By the end of th
e fourth year we were averaging over 100 attendees per Sunday. By the end of our sixth year we were debt-free for the first time in the history of our church.  By the end of our eighth year, we had $27,000 in the bank and had a record attendance of over 200.

Matthew 17:20 (NIV)
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Author Notes
The Little Church that couldn't became the church where God DID!

A big thank you goes out to AvidPhotographer on FanArtReview
for the picture entitled: "Church amidst the sky"
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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