1. I'm Human...
OH MY GOSH!! I know this may come as a shock to you. But don't be shocked...because I bleed red, stink when I sweat, and can have bad breath like everyone else. I'm not SUPER-human, just human. No more, no less. I am who God in Jesus Christ made me to be – with the good and not so good! I am not your former pastor or the pastor who will follow me one day. I am simply ME.
I'm an even-keel kind of guy. Most of the time, I don't get real HIGH or real LOW emotionally. I'm pretty stable, loyal, have deep convictions, don't anger very easily, and I hate being out of fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. But I will take a stand when I have to...especially for truth. I love being with and around people but I'm just as comfortable being by myself. And being an only child...I'm not near as spoiled as you might think!!
As you may have already discovered, I have strengths and weaknesses. My strengths are average at best and I'm afraid my weaknesses are often glaring. Some things I do well and other things not so well. And I often get frustrated and discouraged about both.
Believe it or not, I have fears...stuff that just scares me to death, I have concerns, and a few doubts just as all humans do. I often worry(more than I should) about Regina, Thomas, and our families. And much more these days...I'm beginning to be concerned about aging and my future health and life.
Again, are you surprised? Well, don't be...I'm just like you.
2. I Truly Care About You
Regardless of what you may think or feel. Only God can see into my heart and know what's there or not there. So trust me...when I say I love you I mean it. My pastoral hugs are not out of duty...but from a true and real sense of love and affection. You and your family's well-being are one of my top priorities. I can't solve or make all your problems just disappear, but I do care about you.
Pastors have many folks to love and care for. I try and befriend everyone...but the truth is that some folks I just will not get to know that well. God's most faithful people will be those I know best because they will be at church. Those who don't make it to church very often may not be known as well by me. But I do want to know God's Mt. Olive folks and those not yet in the family of God.
Also, please understand that I have much to do and my time can be very limited. You get to love me and I am only one. I love you also but you are one of a good sized congregation. But I am trying my best to get everything done.
And without fail...I will love you unconditionally, despite any past or present struggles, failures, or sin. I pray you will do the same for me. We are called to love, accept, and pray for each other...not judge each other.
So please don't forget, your pastor truly cares about you.
3. We May Not Always Agree
We will have some differences and we will not always agree. But not agreeing doesn't mean that we have to be enemies.
As your pastor, I will always try and speak, teach, and preach the Word with all of my heart. I want to handle God's Word with authority and responsibility. Being filled with and led by the Holy Spirit is what I honestly strive for most of all! Even in all of that...there will be some of you that will not like or agree with something I say or do.
If you do ever disagree with something I believe in or stand for...please know you and I can meet and talk and pray. I cannot promise that I will always change what I'm doing or what I believe. But I will listen and I will love you.
4. I Truly Love Our Church
The minute Mt. Olive Baptist Church called me as pastor, this church became MY church. I love this body as much as any I've ever served.
So please understand...at all times I want the BEST for Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Every decision I make will not be based on what you want or what I want, but on what is best for the good of Mt. Olive. I will be the first to admit...that some things we do at "The Olive" will be a trial run. We don't know what the outcome or success will be of everything we do. But I love our church.
Also, I am the first to admit that I haven't been a part of our church for all of its ONE HUNDRED years. I've been here for eight years – but I love Mt. Olive no less than you do. A gift God gives us as pastors is to love the church and people where He puts us.
5. I Really Want You To Grow
Do you really want to grow closer to God? I hope so, because I certainly want that for you. I want you to know your Savior as much as He knows you. My desire is that you fully understand how much God loves us.
You pastor wants you to find, understand, and be obedient to God's Will for your life. You'll find total peace there.
Your pastor wants you to love God's Word. My prayer is that the Word will fully guide and govern your life.
I desire for you to love the brethren. Where would God's people be without each other?
With all my heart I want you to grow in the tithe. I pray that you will grow in your giving as you watch God always bless you and meet your needs.
I hope and pray that you will always desire to be in church. We'll always find God there!