The Great Commission
Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
At the recent council retreat, I outlined to the council what guides me as your pastor. What guides me is not a secret because my thoughts, notes, etc regarding St. John’s are written on a dry erase board in my office. The board is directly across from my desk so that I never forget what is important as I minister to this congregation and to the community.
As the day to day activities occur, often the unplanned things I must attend to just happen. At times, during the tough days, I ask “Where is God in All This” or “WIGIAT”. Is this event something God wants to happen? Is prayer and scripture included in all decision making? Did I spend time with God in order to receive guidance? I believe this is important in all of life and especially when leading God’s people.
I then ask, “Am I putting people first?” I have to ask because my natural tendency is to be more like a secluded monk than out in the public like Billy Graham. I believe to be successful, I need to be more Billy Graham, but a little monk time gives me, an introvert, the energy to be both.
I embrace the four focus points of the NALC:
My ministry is “Christ Centered” in my preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and decision making.
My ministry is “Mission Driven” - the great commission given to us by Jesus is preached and lived. In addition Matthew 25: 31-41 is a guide to my life and ministry.
My ministry is “Traditionally Grounded” all preaching, and teaching is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and the Confessions of the church found in the Book of Concord.
My ministry is “Congregationally Focused” as we work with ecumenical partners, and other members of the NALC in witness to the world, but what we are doing here at St. John’s is always my first priority.
My top three priorities as your pastor are:
We all grow spiritually through prayer, worship, and opportunities to learn.
Continued numerical growth through the fulfillment of the “Great Commission” without compromising the four focus points of the NALC and our identity as St Johns.
The financial health of the congregation so we can afford to implement and carry out the first two priorities.
I believe one of the keys to the being a “Great Commission” church is putting discipleship over membership. We are a stronger church with 200 disciples than we are if we have 400 members. There are plenty of clubs in Statesville. We are called to be the church—the body of Christ in the world in which we live. Not a private, exclusive club for members.
Discipleship is a process. To help us direct the process we are becoming a “Simple Church” helping all to connect with Christ in worship, the study of the Holy Scriptures, and prayer. We also believe that part of connecting with Christ is through connecting with each other. Most of us are not built to be hermits in the desert. We are to be in community, working together to grow and serve. Growing and serving are part of the discipleship process and why we offer opportunities as a community to do these things. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a circular process of connecting, growing and serving.
Two more verses guide my ministry.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Eph 4:11-12 (ESV)
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. Matt 18:15
We do not always get along or have the same opinion. We are not to get mad, but talk it out for the good of each other and the community.
news & events
- Lent Wednesdays - February 25 through March 25Soup & Sandwich Supper
Each Wednesday in Lent beginning February 25 through March 25 there is a Lent meal and worship. Soup & Sandwich Supper is served at 6:00 pm, followed by worship at 7:00 pm. If you can provide soup and/or sandwiches, please sign up on sheet outside of the nave — all weeks are open.
- ThursdaysLunch, Scripture & Prayer
Come—bring a bag lunch and join us as we look at scripture and discuss as we dine, followed by a short time of silent prayer in the sanctuary — Thursdays at noon in the Fellowship Hall. Led by Pastor Ernie.
- February 21Spirituali-Tea
Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 21 from 2:00 — 4:00 pm — WINGS 3rd annual Spirituali-Tea will take place in the Fellowship Hall. Tea with lots of goodies will be served promptly at 2:00 pm followed by a Lenten devotional, Loved Beyond Measure. All women, of all faiths are invited. Participants will receive the devotional booklet and special favors. Come share an afternoon of food and fellowship with your sisters in Christ!
- March 9Bloodmobile
Monday, March 9: Bloodmobile, 2:30-6:30 pm Fellowship Hall
- March 12Men’s Breakfast
Thursday, March 12th at 7:00 AM at Gregg’s BBQ in Statesville.
- March 14Community Breakfast
8 AM—10 AM in St. John's Fellowship Hall. Come & bring your neighbor—Donations accepted to benefit Iredell Christian & 5th Street Ministries
- More News and Events Info
Saturday, February 21
2:00 pm WINGS Spirituali Tea
Sunday, February 22
9:30 am Sunday School (all ages)
10:30 am Worship
Monday, February 23
6:00 pm Young Life (Scout Hut)
Tuesday, February 24
7:00 pm Yokefellow Meeting
Wednesday, February 25
6:00 pm Lent Meal
6:00 pm Youth
7:00 pm Lent Worship
After worship Chancel Choir
Thursday, February 26
12:00 pm Lunch, Scripture & Prayer
6:30 pm Civitans
Saturday, February 28
6:00 pm Marriage of Figaro (opera)
Sunday, March 1—2nd Sunday in Lent
9:30 am Sunday School (all ages)
10:30 am Worship
After worship Handbell Rehearsal
Sermons on Demand
October 12th Sermon
August 24th Sermon