The month of August this year marks ten years for my wife Sis Robyn and I in our role officially as the Senior Pastors of the Pentecostals of Sydney. It seems unbelievable to think that this much time has already passed but I can truly say that we have been so blessed to be able to serve God’s Kingdom with some of the most beautiful people we have ever known.
While I am excited about the road ahead and the learning that awaits me personally, the last ten years have taught me some very valuable lessons. Firstly, I’ve come to realise that it’s God’s Church and not anybody else’s, and certainly not even the Pastor’s. Jesus said; “I will build ‘MY’ Church….” Matt 16:18. Further to that, God’s word declares that we are not our own but we’ve been bought with a price, purchased by His own blood. This took a profound weight off my shoulders to realise that I can only do what I can and short of living other people’s lives for them, I had to learn to let go of the uncontrollable’s.
This included seeing people walk away from God and be able to continue loving others with a sense of optimism and confidence that what we are doing for God matters, even if others don’t agree. I had to learn to hold things in tension. On one end there is the sense of genuine compassion and care for others that’s borne out of a love for God but on the other, learning not to take ownership of their lives, which is not mine to live. Another is to work hard and do all I can but at the same time, knowing that it’s God that brings the increase. Living for God successfully is about learning to hold what seems to be competing ideas in tension, while trusting God with all your heart.
One of the other crucial lessons I’ve learned is the need for fellowship and partnership with God’s people. ‘No man is an island’ is a common phrase you will hear me reiterate. And for good reason. Not only has God called us into a community, or family, of like minded believers for our own growth and benefit, but if we want to fulfil the will of God in reaching the multitude of lost people, we would be more capable achieving this, working as a team. To say we are blessed is an understatement, in describing the amazing ministers, leaders and saints that we have had the privilege of working along side with. Our destinies as the People of God are inextricably connected to each other and it is incumbent upon us to love one another, that all may know we are the disciples of Christ. Jesus taught and demonstrated to us in the Gospels that discipleship is done in a group.
To God be the glory for all the things that he has done through his people and we are excited about the lives that God will continue to impact through POS, and all the lessons we will learn along the way, for the next decade and beyond…..should the Lord tarry!