It was a phone call back in mid-November 2010 that started us on a journey we never expected. I was working as an optician then, and the call was from the secretary of the administrative bishop of the Western North Carolina Church of God. Margaret, the secretary, called on a Thursday and told me there was a little church up in Pineola that had no pastor, and needed someone to preach that weekend. She said, “I know it’s only two days away, but can you do it?” I remember saying, “Let me call my wife and I’ll call you back.” I knew I was going to, I just had to tell Michelle because I was so excited. You see, for the last few years, I had felt a strong call to pastoral ministry. The Lord had me in different teaching positions at our home church in Charlotte, and I knew He was grooming me for something.
That weekend, I preached a message entitled, “Consider Your Ways!” The text for the message was Haggai 1:7-8, which reads,
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,’ says the Lord.”
The text addresses the Jewish people who had returned from exile in Babylon who began the work of the temple of God, but ceased construction due to threats by the enemies of Judah (Ezra 4). The message went well and I think the people here liked me. But for me, the text shouted from the rooftops of heaven: “Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified.”
God was speaking to the people here that day, but He was also speaking to me. I wasn’t sure if this is where God wanted us that day. So God began to speak to me through His holy Word before I even began to seek Him on the move. God was saying, “I want you to move up to the mountains. Bring what you need, and build that little church up so that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified.”
After much prayer, tears, and excitement, we moved up here in early February 2011. It is now the beginning of June; God has been slowly adding people in the fold here, and my desire is that God would be pleased and receive glory for what goes on here. It’s a tough job folks. Anyone who is a pastor knows what it’s like to balance your life between your home family and your church family. I’m always looking for ways to build the church, help the people, and feed the flock, and it can be cumbersome. But, that’s right about the time God reminds me to slow down and cease from working like Martha did (Luke 10:38ff), and just sit at Jesus’ feet and listen for His wisdom like Mary did. God is showing me that even though He tells us what to do and what to bring, ultimately He is the One who will complete the job. He just requires that we be willing to do what ever he asks.
God is building this church. He is the Pastor of this church. All I need to do is bring the wood – He’ll build it up.