This past Sunday, I preached my trial sermon at Oakland Baptist Church. They extended the call to be senior pastor, and we accepted it! We are so excited!
In the last blog post, I shared about how the process worked. I would like to take some time to share what we encountered during that time. The first introduction to some of the members was on Thursday night. Mary Beth and I met the Sunday School leaders, committee members, and deacons. We were able to share our testimonies and answer any questions.
This process was new to us. I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was thinking they would unload many hard questions upon us, but I was mistaken. The leaders were so loving. They asked very few questions, but in turn, shared their hearts to become a disciple-making church and have more missional focus. Those are like two of my favorite things:) These leaders had passion for the church to be the church. Mary Beth and I were so blessed to see their hearts for the body, and excited for the potential to co-labor with them.
This past Saturday night at OBC was the church-wide potluck. At this meeting we would
meet more of the members of the church. I must say this first – this church has a high value for food! Everything was homemade and tasted delicious. I am very glad I had my stretchy pants on:) Everyone was so friendly to my family and me. This group of believers has a such a strong community. They all know each other. They cut up with each other. And I genuinely think they have a Christ-like love for one another. Everyone was so encouraging and were excited to hear my message the next day.
Sunday. I have to admit that I was very nervous when I woke-up. Texts from my friends started coming in before 6am…i.e. one reason why I woke-up so early. We got so many scriptures, prayers, and words of encouragement by the time I spoke at 10:30. We also had several friends actually come in support. Prior to the service we received so much love and encouragement from the members of Oakland. Worship started with a very full house. There was good worship, and I felt the Holy Spirit really work through the Word.
After the benediction, my family left and the church voted. The pastor search committee was very pleased with the vote and extended the call to the Carlisles. We humbly accepted! My first day in the office will be May 9th. The first official sermon will be May 15th.
Thank you all for your prayer and support during this time! We have felt it. I look forward to the OBC chapter of life. I will continue writing on this blog what I learn in ministry. I hope you keep reading.
…until the next step…