There were a number of you that came very, very close to the actual number!
Be there THIS Sunday at 10 AM!!!
But why should we be surprised? That’s our heavenly Father for you!
Praise the Lord for guiding our pulpit committee to the man best suited to lead Grace Community Church in this new era. The shoreline is only a few planks away as we finish the bridge we started building on June 2nd. Surely, we covered a lot of ground together. I must tell you how encouraged I have been as your interim pastor. That encouragement came from watching all of you rally by my side as we laid the foundation for the bridge together.
That encouragement energized me. Despite the many extra hours needed to meet the demand of pastoring GCC, the Lord gave me everything I needed, and often used encouragement from YOU to do that.
Pastor Jim: I’m sure that you KNOW that GCC is a phenomenally special place. Grace is blessed to have you as its second full-time senior pastor… and Grace is blessed that the Lord directed your path our way.
We all look forward to your leading in the mission of GCC.
Praise the Lord!
There’s no doubt that Grace Community Church has a great history. Many of you are a part of it and know that first hand! Even if your participation in GCC has been more recent, you know how special its history is thanks to Pastor Mike Bragg.
Since June 2nd, I responded to a special assignment crafted by the Lord Jesus Christ. It was time to build a bridge to a new shoreline as GCC searched for the pastor candidate that God was preparing. I pray that, like me, you have enjoyed participating in the transition… that is, the building of the bridge to the future.
Since June 2nd, a few things have changed. We added some contemporary praise music, added two new, easy-to-see 60″ high-definition monitors soon to be permanently installed from the ceiling, streamlined the service a little, and we have seen steady growth on both Wednesdays and Sundays! Praise the Lord!
One thing has not and, Lord-willing, will NEVER change. That is GCC’s commitment to the undiluted Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Much of our “bridge building” focus during the Sunday message time has had a heavy focus on this as we constantly recalled one of our theme rhetorical questions: “What are we doing here?”
In three words, the answer is:
WIN, BUILD, SEND
My assignment is drawing to a conclusion and I sense the Lord’s pleasure with how we have bonded together to stay focused on His Church’s mission.
We are approaching a new shoreline… an exciting one! GCC is NOT about Pastor Bragg. GCC is not about Pastor André. Nor is GCC about our next senior pastor. It’s about proclaiming the Good News and it’s all about Jesus.
We can ALL take confidence in the future of GCC since the Lord has directed every aspect and will continue to do so until He returns (and it sure looks like it is going to be SOON… so let’s stay focused and excited to do the work of Our Father’s Kingdom on Earth).
I’ve been doing a systematic study of the Psalms of the Bible recently. On Monday morning, I opened up my Bible as I sipped on my first cup of coffee and let the sunshine wrap around me through the dining room window. I was reading Psalm 96.
It admonishes us to sing a “new song” to the Lord! That’s not the only place you will find this. In seven over psalms, the same proclamation is made, as well as once in Isaiah and twice in Revelation. You can get the complete list by clicking here if you like.
This got me thinking on various planes.
GCC is a congregation who loves to sing. Since June, we’ve introduced “newer songs” as a part of our worship alongside some of the older and well established hymns. Most of the older hymns came out of the reformation period (1517-1648). Many people, even in this 21st century, love the hymns that were written in this period. The are deep and thoughtful and worshipful.
But that made me ask an interesting question to myself:
If a believer died before 1511, what did the redeemed saints sing in heaven? Psalm 96 gives us a hint: very likely, “a new song!” The great hymns for the 16th and 17th centuries had not been written yet.
The Lord is coming soon… we see the signs all around us. But if the Lord’s timing is such that we are still waiting for His return 50-100 years from now, will believers look at the “new worship music” of today be looked as as “hymns of old?” Probably! Why? Because as long as pre-Millennial Christians are found on the Earth, there is simply something inside our souls that want to create and sing new songs to the Lord!
I can’t ever envision a time when we won’t have some of the classic hymns at least peppered into GCC’s Wednesday and Sunday worship time together. We’ll also be singing plenty of “new songs” together, too. Will you and I like any of the new songs? Maybe. Maybe not. The bottom line is that our personal tastes and preferences should never get in the way of being able to worship the Lord in any God-fearing church, anyplace, any style, anytime.
Read all of the references above and sing your OWN tune to the Lord in your heart! It will bless our Lord and bless you, too.
My friend in Albany, NY goes to this church… and it is apparently quite the dynamic place known for extending great love and acceptance of people where they are at. I’d love for us to gain that reputation at GCC. How do we do that? By keeping a key question operating in the background at all times:
“What are we doing here?”
Here is a touching video testimony from someone who needed to be accepted where they were so that change could eventually come with an encounter from Jesus Christ our Lord.
GCC is NOT a social club, NOT a group of people who come together to sing songs, hear a message and then go home. No. GCC is someplace very special where everyone who is exploring who Jesus is will be welcomed no matter what. No matter what!