“Chuck Knows Church”
Sharing the Love of Christ with all People
July – From the Pastor
In the fourth chapter of John, Jesus speaks to his disciples about a spiritual harvest. He says to them, in so many words, that there are always people who need to hear the Gospel; that there are always crops that are ready to harvest! We can’t ignore them or walk by them like they don’t exist.
He tells them to “Open their eyes! To look around; look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest!”
Before I came to Burnt Factory UMC eight years ago, the church had made a decision to shift from a maintenance church to a mission church. It was a paradigm shift that required commitment, devotion, and courage. Because of that decision, I believe many lives have been touched and transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit and your willingness to embrace growth and the change that comes with it! In the last 7 years, this church has welcomed 221 new members of which 90 received and professed Jesus Christ as their Lord for the first time! Your willingness, as the body of Christ, to not allow fear to influence your mission has led to a bountiful harvest! You have been faithful and obedient! You have trusted and been willing to step into unknown territory. You have kept your eyes open but also your hearts!
I believe this is just the beginning! God is moving and God is using all of us in this faith community to continue to keep our eyes open and to be ready to bring in the harvest! This world is hurting and is in more need of hearing about Jesus now than at any other time in history! The fields are full and ripe, the harvest awaits!
As we continue to try and live out our commitment to be a mission church, we have been led by three over-riding thoughts. As established by Rev. Reggie McNeal, in his book, Mission Renaissance, we have sought to focus on the external rather than on the internal, we have sought to focus on people rather than programs and we have sought to focus on kingdom building rather than church building.
Also, we have sought to stay faithful to Bishop Robert Schase’s guidance as made manifest in his book, The Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation. We strive to fulfill our mission by being radical in our hospitality, passionate in our worship, intentional in our faith development, risk taking in our mission, and extravagant in our giving!
I believe that Burnt Factory UMC is ready to continue the harvest! You have overwhelmingly and with consensus, decided at our Church Conference, to move forward with an expansion plan that will take us into the future. It is a decision, made in faith and trust, to continue God’s work! I believe that you have made this decision for all the right reasons. The church expansion is not about us! It never has been. It is about those in the fields! It is about the harvest that awaits!
God bless you!