It is hard to believe that this month marks the Jackson family’s one year anniversary at The Capital Church! It is amazing to think about all that God has done in the past 12 months and to look forward with anticipation to what He has in store for our future together.
As I reflect upon those early days of deliberating over what God was calling us to do, I am very grateful for how the Lord led us here and how you have welcomed us into this church family. We could not have known at the time what joy we would have in getting to know you and growing to love you as the flock of God. Writing to the believers in Philippi, the apostle Paul expressed joy “because of [their] partnership in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1:4).” Partnering with you to build the Kingdom of God has been one of my life’s greatest joys!
Every pastor searches for direction and seeks God for vision. In my own pursuit of marching orders from the Great Shepherd, He has made several things very clear to me. First, it is not my responsibility to prepare the food for you. It is simply my responsibility to serve it. This is a great comfort to me. I do not have to agonize to figure out something to say to you. The truth is, I don’t really have anything to tell you in and of myself. You don’t need my advice or my inspiration. You need the counsel of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I don’t have the energy or the skill or the life necessary to help you. But, God does, and He does not withhold His wisdom from those who ask for it! I am convinced that the most faithful things I can do to execute the duties of the ministry in this church are to preach the Word with clarity and to live it with conviction.
Secondly, God has helped me to understand that this is not my church. This is His church! He loves it more than I do! I do not presume to construct clever plans for God to bless. I simply seek to do what God has already promised to bless. He gave the invincible promise to build His church so that not even the gates of Hell could prevail against it. It is He who began the good work in you, and He will be faithful to bring it to completion.
Thirdly, I am more convinced than ever of the simplicity of the Church’s mission to obey the Great Commandment and to fulfill the Great Commission. Simple does not mean easy. We possess enough knowledge to shake the nations for Christ. God is calling us to put it into practice!
I do not for one moment think that I am the only one in this congregation who has a sermon to preach. Many of you have preached sermons in the manner of your living that have challenged me and convicted me to love God more and to serve with greater fervency. Thank you for your love and acceptance of my family into this body of believers. Thank you for your faithfulness to God and His word. Thank you for your desire to apply God’s word to your lives. And, thank you for the honor of calling me your pastor. “I thank my God every time I remember you (Philippians 1:3).”