Today marks one year since we moved to Chadron and I assumed the role of pastor at Ridgeview Bible Church. The sentimental side of me decided that I should write a few things about it. Actually, it’s more than that – my heart is overflowing with gratitude to God and it is only fitting to reflect out loud. To keep it brief, I will mention only three of the many things going through my heart and mind this morning.
First, Ridgeview is a wonderful church. This church loves Jesus, and there is a genuine spirit of love and humility toward one another and a strong sense of community. We noticed that right off (literally, the day we arrived). Many serve selflessly and give generously. There is also a strong leadership team, and it is growing stronger. I am so thankful for my fellow elders and it is has been a sweet thing seeing God form us into a team together. Also, it feels like you love your pastor, and that is grace upon grace to us (my family and to me) and adds greatly to the joy of serving you.
Second, Chadron is a great town. It truly is a small town, complete with that ever-elusive “small-town feel”. But it is a hip small town (and very seldom does one find ‘hip’ in the same sentence with ‘small town’). I love the dynamics – ranching community meets college town. The weather in Chadron is crazy (and that is coming from a guy who has lived in a few extreme climates), but the neighbors are nice.
Third, we have a lot of work to do together. As I said, this is a great church, but we still have growing to do. Here are a few ways in which I think we must continue to grow: 1) Our spiritual and theological roots must grow deeper in the Word of God, and 2) a stronger discipleship culture must spread among us (everyone being discipled, and everyone a disciple). 3) Our concern for, and methods to reach the lost must increase and 4) we have to do more to take advantage of our unique ministry position – doing more to reach and disciple students and also reach out more effectively to our Job Corps students. Chadron is a great town, but it is a town that, more than anything, needs the light of Christ. And we are bearers of the Light. We have a lot of shining still to do.
The one-year mark leaves me filled with gratitude, and with excitement for the future. I am very blessed. We are very blessed. The first year has been a very good year. And I look forward to the next 24 (if God grants that!).