Sunday, August 15, 2010

15 years

My track record did not suggest that I would be anywhere 15 years. I grew up in a home on the move....It was a good home, and a good life, but we were on the move alot.

My first 13 years of ministry included 5 moves. We had great experiences in Oklahoma and Iowa. But sinking down roots was not my pattern....

Then in 1994 I came to First Christian Church of Owasso. I was brought in to do children's ministry... and although I did not know much about cutting edge children's ministry, I figured I could build teams and organize things. God did the rest. There were amazing people who were passionate about kids and families. Many are still with us, and although we all have gray hair now...we loved what we did.

Now it is 2010... I was in Kentucky one year...but for nearly the last 11 years I have had the privildge of preaching, teaching and being part of a leadership team at a great church.

I could not be more thankful for the church and the wonderful people who have loved me and allowed me to grow through the years. FCC has been willing to take risks, to attempt some pretty big things and to stretch to please God. It truly is a "JOIN HIM" kind of church.

What am I a most proud of? Well there are lots of things....
* I am proud of the fact that FCC has been through some tough leadership struggles over those years... and come out of them healthy, loving and focused on His mission.
* I am super proud of the team that God has put together. There was a time when it was just 5 of us on staff ( Matt, Bob, Helen, Darla and me.) But as time has gone by we have added some amazing passionate people who love God and love this church.
* I am proud of the blessing of the Elders I have served with through the years.In tough times and good times they have stood by me. They have guided and directed me. They have protected me. And at times they have corrected me. Nobody has it better.
* I am so proud of the many people at FCC who took God up on His offer through Christ... for those who stuck in there during terribly difficult times and those who took a leap of faith and trusted God even though they could only see the next step... not the final step.
* I am most proud of my family. I take no credit for how they have turned out. The truth is that for many years, my priorities were more with the church than with them. That makes Pam even more amazing in my book... she held things together at times and always projected a love for Jesus in everything. Her influence in my life, my ministry and in our children and grandchildren can not be measured. Our kids are all super young adults... who love God, love their mom and dad and love the church. Again, I do not take credit for that... It was God. And it was our church for the last 15 years. FCC OWASSO is an unusual place because it does not put pastor's kids under a microscope. This church has let our kids grow at their own pace and in thier own way. I know the stories about how it goes in other places... so for this I will always be thanful.

The future??? Well, at this point, I would love to spend another 15 years serving here. But if the truth be known... I have always made one committment when it came to length of ministry. I will serve at FCC OWASSO for as long as God wants me to. Not a day longer... and I hope not a day shorter... I see great possibilities for kindgom work through FCC OWASSO....for me. I am excited about those dreams...I am enthused about our teams....

This morning I said, "The best journey's are shared journey's." That certainly is true for ministry. So thanks to a great church, a great staff team, great elders and a super great family.... But most of all thanks to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit... the best team of all when it comes to making dreams that really matter come true.


CLM said...

You are a blessed man Charlie and I, as well as many, many others, have been blessed to have known you. You are great at what you do. Take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Julie Jabbers said...

Aaawww, I'm so glad God led us to FCC and that you have been used in amazing ways to carry out God's work. Congrats on the FCC 15, much better than the freshman 15! :)

Steph T. said...

So blessed to serve with you & Pam. Thanks for your example & leadership as a dad...a family...& a man of God. We look forward to serving with you at FCC until Jesus comes back!! :)

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