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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The North Country Ministers & Churches

Yesterday was a prayer meeting day with some other area pastors. There's been a prayer meeting that has gone on for a while in the community but the one today is something relatively new — about 3 or 4 months old. This one has more a "taking of the land" focus and desire for greater unity. It was small group today: Paul, Mikey, Larry, Kirk, Chris, Jim & me. Sometimes Dominic & Jeff are there too. Tom is planning to join us. I hope it grows.

I have to admit that I love the pastors of the North Country. I admire them so much and feel so out of my league when I'm with them. I'm honored to be their colleague in ministry. They treat me so well, praying for me and always asking about the ministry I work for now. They have a good sense of humor, are passionate for God, humble about their shortcomings, extremely encouraging and know the Word of God through and through. I could brag about them forever.

I love it that you never hear them getting in doctrinal disputes or being haughty about their beliefs or the size of their churches. None of them are rich — except for the town heretic & church killer but I won't get into that today — and I don't hear them complain about their salary or church finances.

I admire their churches. I know lay people in many of their churches and I often think to myself, "I wanna be like them when I grow up." Their witness is compelling. After you meet their leaders, you get the distinct impression that many of them could be pastors themselves. These lay people are like they are because they have really great pastors.

Now this is especiallly true of the pastors of my church. When I go to church, I go to a really great church. My attendance has been sparse lately. These knuckleheads are fearless for God and will do whatever it takes to reach people. I never hear them complain and never, ever hear them speak a negative word about other churches or pastors. They work tirelessly, think creatively and love God and His people.

The North Country isn't always the greatest place to live. The economy has been poor, weather harsh with typical rural and poverty domestic issues.

But it's a great place to go to church. At least 3 great churches are in the process of building because they are growing with 3 others are seriously thinking about it. There's a wonderful Latina women planting a ministry to Spanish speakers and another couple planting a ministry right in the center of town. Even some of the churches that are smaller and aren't growing have some really super pastors. So many other great pastors: Stan & Richard, Jim, Chip, Walter, Tony, John, Kyle, Henry, Bob, Jerry, Don, Tim, Fred, Don, and Dora.

This is the land of Finney. God has begun amazing works here in the past. I can see how it could happen again.

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