God has a way of keeping things interesting, to say the least. It all started right before Christmas. Pastor Ryan made the announcement that he and his family would be moving back to the Savannah area due to his father-in-law’s passing away. Shock & disbelief by everyone were two of the first emotions to jump out. Followed closely by the thought, what is going to happen to New Point Church? For many of us this was a first. Some of the people have been through this process before at other churches. Others, being sons or daughters of preachers, have been through it, only from the perspective of being the ones to move. All in all, just about everyone was in the process dealing with their feelings over their friends & Pastor leaving and having to think about the future, the what, the how, the when.
Everyone at New Point, from the Elders to the newest members, were sure of one thing, we wanted New Point to continue being New Point. A relevant, non traditional, casual place to worship God. A church that accepts people right were they are at spiritually and wants to help them grow. A church that loves Jesus and wants to share that love with everyone. A church that wants to impact Valdosta Ga. for the Kingdom of God in a way that can only happen with God leading the way. All we knew was that is what we wanted and that finding a new Pastor that fit in with us as a leader & friend, with the same passion and vision would be difficult at best.
You see, God has a way of working everything out, especially when it is His plan to begin with. The journey we had begun, was already planned out. What a journey it has been so far. Immediately after Ryan made the announcement, people started to volunteer. People that were normally shy or uncomfortable with jumping into conversations, asking questions or giving suggestions or opinions, were all of a sudden doing just that. Being the clerk and an Elder, I quickly found out how much people cared about New Point and each other. I also found out how much information needed to be passed out between the Elders, the members of New Point, the state office and our two candidates (yes we had two great candidates to choose from). God has a way of bringing people together, bringing out the best in each other, and pouring out the love.
God has a way of using each individual’s skills and experience in times like these to do what needs done. I found that many skills I had obtained over the years in different jobs was now being used to help in God’s project, New Point. From working & talking with different people in all of this, I saw the same thing in everyone. A willingness to use their skills & talents to help each other and to help in God’s plan. I saw the Elders grow closer together, take on more responsibility, communicate, make decisions, share and brainstorm more than they ever had. God had prepared us for this (and more) long before Ryan made his announcement.
Andy & Lesley Smith had been looking for a church to be part of, not just any church, someplace to share what they believed, to use their experiences to help spread the love of God and help others grow closer to Jesus, to be part of a church that just wanted to be relevant, relaxed, accepting of others and show the love of Jesus in a loving real way, where people can just connect, be themselves, have lasting friendships and work together for God’s Kingdom. God has a way of bringing people together.
You see, God IS in control! God loves details. I believe God had this whole thing planned for some time, every detail. We had to do our part, we had to choose to volunteer, to trust, to work hard & long hours some days, to endure reading the clerk’s lengthy, detailed emails. We had the choice to do nothing or step up and speak up. God knew what we would choose. Andy & Lesley chose to be patient and wait. They had to trust God and hold on to what they knew was God’s purpose for them and not settle for less. Everyone made the decision to trust God, even though we did not know what was ahead of us.
In doing that we made the devil mad and I know there has been a spiritual war going on during this time. Several people are in agreement on this and have felt it or been under attack. God is in control, the devil is defeated. Satan does NOT want New Point to grow, he wanted us to quit. God trusted us to make the right choice and God is protecting us. God has a way…He is in control! God has a plan, with every detailed worked out, trust in Him, no matter what the circumstance.
So no matter what the future holds, whether it be surprises, good or bad, blessings or uncertainty, be sure of this. God has a way…He is in control! God has a plan and wants us to trust Him.
Thank you Pastor Ryan and Rana for all you have done. For your love & sacrifice. You have paved the road & helped prepare us for what we have just gone through and what lies ahead. You guys will always be a special part of our family and New Point’s family.
Andy & Lesley, thank you for trusting God & being patient. I truly believe God has gifted you guys and prepared you for what lies ahead. I am glad to have your family become part of New Point’s family and feel as if you have been part of our family that has just come back home. God has some really great things planned for all of us and I am going to put the devil on notice right now. God has a way…He is in control! New Point is stronger in God and has grown closer and unified as a church family through all of this. We are part of God’s plan and are not backing down.
I thank God for all He has done & is going to do, everyone at New Point Church for their strength & support, all the Elders for uniting, their selfless hard work, and willingness to serve and putting up with me. Last, but defiantly not least, my family for their help, support, understanding, and tolerating the hours of me compiling information and cramming it into brief (ha-ha-ha) emails, the interruptions to answer texts, emails, calls and loving me through all of this. Especially Brenda, because she was my editor on most of my written communications.
I Love you all!