Induction sermon

June 21st, 2017

Normally when I am up here speaking my desire is to teach the Bible and make much of Jesus. Today as it is my induction I thought I would share my heart and talk about my commitment to our church and the community we are in. My heart is to share what sort of Pastor I am hoping to be and what sort of things I will be doing. I also want to talk about some of the things I see God doing. I hope you will be encouraged and inspired, and as a result you will want to journey together with me as we see God’s plans come to pass.

Pray.

1. I will follow Christ wholeheartedly

My commitment to you is that I will follow Christ wholeheartedly.

I will seek first the Kingdom of God as it says in Matthew 6:33. I will set my heart and mind on things above (Colossians 3:1-2). I will live my life to the words of Paul when he says it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me (Galatians 2:20). I will take on Christ’s yoke, learn from Him and experience His rest (Matthew 11:28-29).

I will endeavor to live in a way that inspires you all to do the same. As the Apostle Paul says, “Follow me, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

I know that we will spend more time in eternity than we will in this life and I want to live my life accordingly. And I want to encourage others to do the same.

2. I will love and care for you all

As I have shared with you already God has given me a real love for this church and you the people who come here. I will be here for you. I will love you and care for what is going on in your life. I will listen to you and I will help as I can.

I will endeavour to live out the words of 1 Peter 5:2, “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly–not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.”

When I started here God said to me, “Look to Me, love the people and be yourself”. I will love you and care for you in the way God has made me. Because I know that if God has called me here, that is what is required.

3. I will work hard at my preaching

My heart is to be the best preacher I can be. I will work hard in my preparation. I will pray and seek God as to what He wants me to say each week and I will study the Scriptures and mine it for the treasure it contains. I will work hard to present it in a way that is both understandable and practical.

2 Timothy 2:15 – Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

I see it as a privilege to stand up here most weeks and I am very thankful to God for allowing me to do this. I also see part of my role to develop others by giving them an opportunity to preach too. Next year you will see mighty Matt Paxman up here once a month to encourage us.

4. I will be a praying Pastor

I will be a praying Pastor who seeks God. I will be in His presence daily. I believe that if I am to lead people to a place of intimacy with God, I need to be there myself. So, I will daily spend time alone with God.

I will also pray for you all regularly by name. I will pray through the church list and ask God to bless you, to watch over you, to guide you and lead you, that you will grow in your faith and trust in Him and that you will know His peace and presence.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.

5. I will be a servant leader who leads with a team

My heart is to follow the example of Jesus. He could have come and lorded His power over everyone, but He chose to come and be a servant. Jesus left the glory and majesty of heaven to live amoungst us. He came to show us what God is like and how to live. I want to live my life in the same way Jesus did.

My verse theme for 2016 has been 1 John 2:5-6 – But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him.  6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Jesus loved people, Jesus cared for people, Jesus lived for people and ultimately, He died for people. He gave everything. He is our example.

Not only will I be a servant leader but I commit to lead as a part of the team of Elders. I believe that leadership works best when we all humble ourselves before God alone in private and seek His will, then we come together and seek Him as a team of Elders.

I believe Christian leadership is about seeking God to lead the people of God to His place, in His time frame, in His way. It is all about God’s will and God’s timing. Our heart is to humbly seek Him and do what He says. This is what I will do.

6. I will share my faith in the community and disciple new believers

I have heard it said that churches who are evangelistic, have evangelistic Pastors. I will be out there in the community reaching people for Christ. As I shared a few weeks ago, wherever I go people get saved. I believe many will come to Christ as a direct result of the work we do in this church.

Not only will they saved, but I believe people will trained to be disciples of Christ. My heart is to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples. We have already completed 8 weeks out or 10 weeks for our Over 12s Bible Study and Discipleship class. In two weeks’ time we will graduate the class of 2016. I believe this will be the first of many graduates and I believe these girls will impact their world in a mighty way.

Matthew 28:18-20 – Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 9:37-38 – He said to His disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.”

I understand we are called to make disciples and the harvest fields are ripe. I go out into knowing that there are people who want to meet Christ.

7. I will do good deeds in the community

My heart is to make a huge impact on this region spiritually. But often we can’t meet people’s spiritual needs until we meet their physical needs. My heart is to be a blessing to the community.

As a church, we are already involved in the number of things like the men’s shed, CRE, craft groups and more. Most recently we have started the food parcel ministry. On average, we are helping 1-2 families a week and this is making a huge difference.

In Matthew 5:16 Jesus says, “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Hebrews 13:16 – And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

My heart is to let our light shine before our community. To do good by sharing with those in need. We are blessed to be a blessing. I know these are the sacrifices that please God. I want to be at the forefront leading the way.

8. I will not leave until God calls me elsewhere

Lastly, I will not leave this place until God calls me away. This is the church God has called me to. This is the church that I prepared with years of study for. This is the church that God wants me to pour my heart and soul into. I am not seeing this as a stepping stone on to other things. This is the destination and I want to stay here as long as God wants me here and as long as you want me here. I am here for the long haul and I hope and pray it is much longer than 3 years. I see great things happening here and I want to be a part of it.

What I see going forward?

  • I see us all growing in our love for the Lord and our faith together.
  • I see new people coming to Christ, being baptised and discipled.
  • I see a junior youth group starting in the next year.
  • I see a prayer group starting early next year that will be the engine room of the church.
  • I see home groups studying the Bible together and learning to be like Christ together. People looking after each other.
  • I see our church growing in the online area to reach the world. In the next 5 years’ experts say that internet use will double. We will be a part of that growth.
  • I see us being a regional church that will impact our region for Christ and impact the other churches around us.

And I want to be a part of that. How about you!

So, what sort of Pastor will I be?

  1. I will follow Christ wholeheartedly
  2. I will love and care for you all
  3. I will work hard at my preaching
  4. I will be a praying Pastor
  5. I will be a servant leader who leads with the team
  6. I will share my faith and disciple new believers
  7. I will do good deeds in the community
  8. I will be here for long term

Let us pray.