Yesterday was a day of celebration! It was a big time brithday celebration for a beloved 15 year-old - Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church!
We praised God for His faithfulness to the church. We celebrated the numbers that reflected the work of the ministry - 188 salvations, $3 millions plus in income, $150,000+ in money given to missions. None of those would have happened apart from the grace of God!
God graciously gave us two talented pastors, our founding pastor Gerald Rodgers and his predecessor, Joe Horrell. We celebrated them and honored them and recognized the grace of God expressed through them. That was fun!
But to make this significant celebration happen it took a lot of energy, effort and planning. I want to talk about that because I believe that as the church was celebrating its history in a public service, the church was serving behind the scenes. As the congregation was celebrating God's grace, His grace was operating through the giftedness of a hard-working team led by Emily and Colin and a few committed children's workers.
While the crowd was singing and celebrating, the few were watching kids, changing diapers, warming up food, setting up tables, decorating tables, transporting food, getting ice, and missing the big event to make the event big for others.
The grace that was operating behind the scenes made it possible to celebrate the grace in the big event. That IS the church! That is the Ephesian 4 model in action! The very thing we were celebrating was happening as we celebrated.
How appropriate that as we celebrate fifteen years of God's grace to our church, the very grace that got us to this point was making the celebration happen! I believe that was the real story behind the story. It took a great team to pull of this signature day in the life of FredWes! The very thing that got us to that day also got us through that day and it is what will bring us to many more celebrations of grace!
While we appropriately honored our pastors, it reminded me that even great pastors like we have had can't get the job done without a team. It has been my observation over nearly 40 years of pastoral service in a variety of church cultures that gracious lay people do more to make a pastor great than a pastor does to make the church great. God's design is for His grace to flow through the pastors and leaders to the people and through the people to the world. That happened yesterday! That has happened to get us TO yesterday! As that continues to happen there will be many more celebrations!