Since I’ve started as the Senior Minister at the Crosspointe Church I’ve realized something: I don’t know much. Coming into a new congregation is always taxing. Coming into a well-established, busy, large one can be a little overwhelming. Things you think you’ve got figured out you suddenly realize you had no idea about. Living a half-hour away makes for some long days. Shifting routines makes work harder for a week or so. So many new faces, new names, and realizing that you can’t possibly remember them all in 3 weeks…humbling to say the least.
God has really blessed Kristy and me. This congregation is so loving! They have welcomed us with open arms, constantly communicate their appreciation for us, and always invite us to eat or hang out. It’s been amazing. They are a people who are defined by grace. The staff is AMAZING; the people are loving, and the atmosphere is so incredible.
I know I’ve botched things up since I’ve been here, but I NEVER hear about it. All I ever hear is encouragement. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. For example, I had my first baptism today and you would’ve thought I had never baptized anyone before. I had never been in the baptistery and was used to the one at Clifton – it threw me for a loop! The precious woman I had the privilege of baptizing, however, was so gracious and very patient with me. A couple of the elders gave me instructions with kindness and helped me figure things out.
One of my biggest personal hang-ups is my age. I am pretty young to be in the position I’m in. I certainly wouldn’t call myself a Senior minister. I honestly get hung up on that quite frequently – call it insecurity. I feel that I’m too young to be listened to. “What right do I have to get up and tell all these people how to live every Sunday?” “They won’t listen to me because I’m too young.” Those are the common ones that run through my mind. I have been praying about it and today God used someone to help me.
One of the older shepherds came into my office today and picked up my Bible and pointed a passage out to me. This was what it said:
“4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:4-8, NIV)
He asked me to read verses 6 and 7 to him: “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” He said, you know, you’re not too young to do this job, right? God called you here; He’s using you.
Then he took me over to 1 Timothy 4:12:
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
He said, “Don’t let ANYBODY ever look down on you because you’re young. You have just as much to say as anyone. Paul picked Timothy as his “son in the faith” and he was the youngest one there! He smiled, then walked out.
I’m a rookie. I’ve messed up. I’m going to mess up again – I’m a broken human being. However, I have loving people who are praying for me; who love me for who I am, and they know the grace of God that sets us free; they know it and they live it. Thought I am the rookie here, I’m so excited to grow and change with these wonderful people. Encouragement goes a very long way. Take this week and encourage someone you wouldn’t normally reach out to. You never know, it just might change a life.