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By Pastor Stacy Williams
posted July 29, 2009
RELIGION – I want all of you to know how
much I appreciate your kind comments about this column that appears
each week in our weekly newsletter, The Herald. I have also heard from
many, who do not receive the Herald, who read the column on
EdgefieldDaily.com and on my blog. I know there are many who look
forward each week to reading the words contained in this short forum.
However, this week will mark a departure from my usual writing. I feel
the leading of the Holy Spirit, to call church members and friends of
our church to prayer. I have been burdened for some time, about the
course and vision of our church. I’m truly not sure that any of us have
a clear vision from God about where He wants our church to be in the
immediate and long-term future.
I hear a lot of ideas put forth, about new things we need to do, and
new ministries we should be involved in. I am alerted to ways in which
current programs could be better. I get the feeling that there is a
movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst, but due to fears of being
labeled a “troublemaker” or a “rebel,” many of us squelch those
feelings and thus do nothing.
We have many opportunities in our church. We are right in the middle of
town, we have some of the most influential men and women in Edgefield
County as members and friends of our church, and we have some of the
best ministry programs available in our area. However, if we lack a
clear vision for where God is leading us, then we are simply
“rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic”, as I like to say. Are
we so busy doing ministry that we forget to ask God what He wants from
At some point, we at Edgefield First Baptist, must ask ourselves the
very difficult question, “Why do we exist?”, and seek God for the
answer. However, it does not end there. When we prayerfully seek God
and His vision for our church, we must not be afraid to move ahead on
the path He has laid out for us.
The problem is that we must first take a hard look at ourselves. What
do we do well? Where do we fail? There may be some ministries of our
church that we are continuing, simply because it has always existed in
our generation, not because it is ordained by God or is even effective.
There may be other ministries that need to begin, but are held back
because resources are being funneled into non-effective areas of our
The prophet Zechariah, had a vision of a man with a measuring line in
his hand, who was going to measure Jerusalem. When Zechariah asked
about this, God told another angel to give him the message, “Jerusalem
will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and
livestock in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,'
declares the LORD, 'and I will be its glory within.” (Zechariah
If we truly wish to be a church that honors God in all we do, then we
must take measure of ourselves. We must discard the notion that we are
limited by our past or present condition. Robert Kennedy once said,
“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I
dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
Only when God’s people truly begin to hear His voice, and heed His
words will he extend His blessings upon us. Without His guidance in all
we do, then we are reduced to nothing more than a charity organization
that provides a little entertainment on Sunday mornings. Is that what
we want for our church? I think not.
I love this church. I love the people in this church. However, I love
God more and I hope you do also. If we truly want Edgefield First
Baptist to be all that God wants it to be, then it is time to stop
playing church and going through the motions, and fix our eyes, ears,
hearts and minds on Him and Him alone. Then, and only then, will we be
a church “without walls,” with God as our center and protector as
In the weeks leading up to our revival, which begins on September 27, I
will devote this column to analyzing the Vision Statement and six “Key
Characteristics” that this church adopted in 2003. We need to hold up
the “measuring line” to see if we truly embody, not only that vision
and characteristics, but also the call that God is extending to us, to
be His church, for His glory. I know this may be a painful, yet
necessary, journey to undertake, but my prayer is that we will begin to
see how we measure up to God’s standards, and develop a true sense of
where God is leading us as a family of believers.
up your horses. We’ve got a trail to blaze.
the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace.
follow our leader, through the glorious unknown.
is a life like no other! This is the great adventure!
(Steven Curtis Chapman)
you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1
Corinthians 12:27 NKJV)
All are welcome join us Sunday mornings at Edgefield First Baptist for
Sunday School at 10AM and worship at 11 AM. For more information call
us at 803-637-6139 or visit our website where you will find weekly
activities, church information, or even listen to sermons online. Our
web address is http://www.edgefieldfirstbaptist.org
© Copyright 2009
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