from the Pastors Pen
Beloved Family & Friends of Antioch,
What a whirlwind the past year or so has been. To be certain the Pandemic has wreaked havoc in so many ways, but I, for one, am so comforted things are quickly improving and even more so by the simple truth of God’s sovereignty in ALL things. I am certain you feel the same. As we head out of this pandemic, I pray you are faring well and are blessed beyond measure. I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage all who read in regards to the changes we have seen and will be seeing as time rolls by. We have seen so much change over the past several months and many have struggled with this change. This is normal, we are a species who loves; the “normal”, the “routine” the “way it always was.” We find comfort in things remaining just as they were, but we must be willing to break free from these thought processes in order to truly experience what may be. It has been rightfully said, “Change is an inescapable part of life, and those who look only to the past and present only are certain to miss the future.” How true this is. What if Henry Ford had reasoned, “walking and riding horses is just fine with me?” Consider our lives if the fellow who invented Air Conditioning said, “I like sitting in the sweltering heat unnecessarily.” I shudder to think where we’d be if someone, somewhere had said, “it’s okay to eat our food raw, so let’s not worry about figuring out how to cook it!” My point is simple, change is inevitable and necessary. When we reason that God is ever moving forward with His plan, how can we even begin to humor the idea of remaining static. So, although it is true, change can be scary, frustrating, and even challenging, rest-assured, it is coming and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Through this most challenging time the church has not been exempt from change, churches all over the globe struggled to determine the best course of action to remain viable and glorifying to the Kingdom and to say the least, it has been challenging. I have heard the comment a couple of times recently in regards to church (not just our Church but Churches all around), “Things just aren’t the same.” How true that is, NOTHING is the same – anywhere with anything. Everyone is now attempting to readjust their lives based on what was missed out on for over a year. Relationships must be re-ignited, personal habits and schedules re-adjusted and so much more. These things are unavoidable when something as wide-scale as a Global Pandemic occurs, but as time moves on, I am confident we can all make the necessary changes to get back to something even better than “normal.” This is especially true of the church of Jesus Christ, at Antioch and Worldwide. We have a golden opportunity as the Church to step forward as a true example of love, endurance and stability in these strange times. We can now show the world we don’t just talk of forgiveness; we model it, we can prove we don’t just say we trust the Lord, we live our faith out loud. We can sincerely live out our vision of, “Growing the Christian Family at Home & Abroad!” In order to seize this opportunity, the church must be at it’s best, and in order for that to happen, everyone must join together in using their gifts, talents and abilities to make us stronger than ever before (Romans 12). We have often heard, “you get out of something, what you put into it.” So true. Considering the fact that the church loves, appreciates and needs you, and the Biblical truths; that you were created for relationships, church fellowship, and service (Matthew 22:36-40 and Hebrews 10:25) I hope you will personally pray that God will guide you as you do your part to strengthen the Kingdom of God through your local church. I am elated that things are “coming back online,” and so many are back in God’s House, and that so many are coming to the Lord, coming closer to the Lord and joining our membership. Frankly though, even though we are once again enjoying a “full house” for worship, and things are going great, one of the main reasons “things aren’t the same,” is because many of the family are not back yet- if that is you, KNOW that you are missed. The enemy loves to convince us that, “no one cares and that we are not needed,” but that is NEVER true. Every single part of the body is vital and I pray you will dive right back in as we run head long into the beautiful future God has planned for His church.
Looking forward to what God has in store