This is part 6 of an ongoing series walking through the revitalizing process, thus far, of Cypress Lake Baptist church. You can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, and part 5 here.
As I have thought through more and more of how we have come to where we are today as a church I realize that it's completely God's doing. This post will focus on one of the many ways that God has brought revitalizing to CLBC.
Not long after I came to CLBC I realized that our people were wonderful. They cared deeply for one another and for the Word. The previous pastor was here for 34 years (he planted the church) before I came. That pastor was a very generous, loving, and kind man. These characteristics have been evident to me in this church since the day I arrived. He is still in our church actually. I almost didn't come because I knew that beforehand, but after much prayer and discussion with him we decided it was the Lord's doing.
One day I was talking with him about the church. I was asking questions about his ministry and giving some thoughts about where we were going. He has been extremely supportive of me since I arrived and has honestly contributed greatly to the transition for his ministry to mine. One of the subjects that came up was the reality that we needed some new members in our faith family. Let me be clear here. We needed new members because our church was growing older and had become stagnant in many ways. The members who were here before I arrived had been praying for new members and for a reviving of this local body long before I came. Of course, we realized that Christ would build His church in His ways and in His timing. With that being known I began praying that God would send us some new members. However, I didn't just pray for new members, I prayed that God would send us some folks with ministry experience and solid theological understandings.
Over the past 12 months or so God has answered these prayers far beyond my expectations. New people coming into a congregation has a way of encouraging the folks who have been there for years and years praying and asking God for these things. By God's grace we have people coming with a variety of gifts and talents. We have people coming with different passions to minister to others, to extend mercy, to reach our community, and to reach the nations. And the truth is we know that it is God's doing because we are still rebuilding and refocusing areas and ministries. What I mean is we haven't focused nearly as much on outreach as I'd like, but we have prayed and asked God to help us. We have trusted that as we proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and seek to faithfully preach/hear His Word and faithfully obey what Christ has commanded that He would work and move in and among us. And by God's grace, we have seen these prayers answered with 'yes.'
So, another item that has helped us in the revitalizing process thus far is the addition of more people. Whether you add or subtract from the body of Christ it produces change. Thus far it appears God is changing us for His glory.