Pastor's Corner - July 21st
Finally, Jonah reaches the city of Nineveh and preaches a call to repentance. Then the power of God’s great love sweeps through the streets and fills every alley. This message begins to steep in every soul. Every citizen (including the king and the cattle) cover themselves in sackcloths to fast to the Lord. The power of our grace is in full swing. This is revival.
I can’t help but wonder what a revival would look like in the greater Marion County. Just imagine the Spirit sweeping down the Main Streets of Pella, Knoxville and etc. Hymns being song of God’s great rescue in every shop on the corner. Stories of broken homes being restored and lost souls being found. Light shining in every dark space in our communities. This is revival.
But it must be noted that repentance plays a quintessential role in every revival. We know repentance requires turning away from all that holds us back (i.e. idols, addiction, abuse, and materialism etc.) and turning to God’s great love. Revivals often begin with one person. Like Jonah, one person receives a message from God, repents and turns their lives over to God. Which can cause the surrounding people to sit up and take notice. Then like a mighty flame, others catch fire and the good news spreads. This is revival.
Maybe you are like me and you dream about a revival swelling in our city and beyond. If so, what does the God of Nineveh need to revive in our own hearts? Let’s turn away from all that hinders us and run with abandon towards God’s love! Perhaps others will take notice and follow us. This is revival!
~Pastor Chris Allen
This Sunday We Will Be Welcoming...
This Sunday we will be welcoming five new members into Grace Fellowship. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about it – and I want to tell you why.
Taking in new members is a wonderful thing, because it means that people are identifying with our mission and feeling connected to our congregation. It also serves as a reminder that our mission matters and loving people makes a difference. The simple “yeses” we will hear on Sunday is packed with all that richness!
But, in this case, it is also more than that.
One of the things I remember hearing early in my tenure at Grace was related to the families that are part of the Wednesday kid’s ministry. The church was able to reach the kids, but the rest of the family was a bit harder to reach. I remember many prayers being prayed for the parents of these kids. I also remember watching the way parents were treated whenever they came to the church – wonderfully loved and embraced. It regularly moved me.
Point being that sometimes it takes time to see fruit from seeds planted. It requires faithful service when there are no immediate returns. God honors faithfulness. I am absolutely delighted that I get to witness these years of investment paying off. Several of those becoming members are a direct product of our Wednesday ministry to kids.
So, as these new families join our church this weekend, I hope everyone who has volunteered to teach a class, serve a meal, clean up the kitchen, pray for the ministry and/or put an offering in the basket on Sunday – remembers that each of you are an integral part of their spiritual journey. Without your willingness to serve and give (often sacrificially), we would not be seeing what we are seeing this weekend.
Thank-you for your faithfulness.
You did not become weary and well-doing. Therefore, the time for harvesting has come, because you did not give up. Well done good and faithful servants.