I have now served here as your pastor for 8.5 years…wow – time sure flies by! I continue to be honored that God has called me here to Good Shepherd and look forward to all the good work God has in store for us. Good Shepherd has done such a wonderful job communicating God’s love and grace to others; something I truly value as your pastor. Because of this wonderful permeating atmosphere of hospitality, I am confident in our ability to grow and prosper in the coming years. Of course, we should not strive to grow for growth’s sake. No, the true reason we should strive to grow is that the people of Brevard County need what God has given us to share.
Ours is a message of sharing and invitation…it always has been. Of course, we do live in a different world than that of 1st century Israel (when Jesus called his first disciples together). Today, our society is bombarded by the commercialism and consumerism every day of the week. Between television commercials, radio, billboards, posters; we can’t get through a day without hundreds, if not thousands, of visual and/or audio advertisements. Often those ads lack authenticity – largely because almost all of them are trying to sell us something! Authenticity, I contend, is one of the most important qualities that a faith community can strive for in today’s world. So, as a follower of Christ…don’t try to “sell” God or the church – people today have had enough of that kind of thing. Here is what we should do as Jesus’ disciple – simply invite others to “come and see.” After all, Jesus started His ministry by inviting others to simply follow Him. Jesus invited those disciples into authentic relationship, not only with Himself - but with each other.
Let us make 2019 the year of the invitation. Let us make this year, the year we intentionally reach out and invite that: neighbor, friend, co-worker with us to church. Maybe that invitation is just the nudge that person needs! If we give it, we just may be helping another person take the next step in their faith journey. Friends, helping others connect to Jesus, is the most loving thing one can do. Let us all strive to make this year the year of the invitation. And in this way show invitational love to everyone.