Welcome to the launch of the Fredericksburg Evangelical Examiner. While this space is intended to keep you up to date on news and events in the Fredericksburg, VA area, this first article is meant as introduction with a bit of a lesson. I look forward to many articles together.
My back story is that I am a pastor, church planter. I’ve been married nearly seventeen years and have three wonderful daughters (ages eleven, nine, and six). Late last year, my family and I decided to take a call and move to start a brand new church in the Spotsylvania County area.
What this provided for us was an interim period where I was not the everyday pastor of a church.
I was no longer preaching every Sunday.
I was no longer leading music every Sunday.
In fact, in the period between my final Sunday at my last church and my first Sunday at my new one, I am a lot like everyone else: free.
What that freedom has meant was that we could visit lots of churches. We could visit old friends. We could experience differing worship styles. My wife wasn’t a single mom every Sunday, meaning I could sit with her and the kids during a worship service.
At first, we loved this new found freedom. It was nice to exhale. It was nice to catch up with churches that had supported us. It was fun to visit and surprise people. But there was a definitive drawback that I had not foreseen
We took worship way too lightly. We weren’t as concerned about the seemingly smaller details (punctuality, meeting new people, eagerness to worship).
In the first twelve weeks, we visited seven different churches. This immediately changed the rhythm of my family as we had worshiped with the same congregation at the same time for the past seven years.
Those seven years ingrained in us a healthy commitment to the service, to the church’s needs, and to the value of worshiping God with a specific group of people.
The consistent order and style of worship at our old church patterned our hearts in a good way. We walked into worship knowing we would be drawn closer to Jesus through the various elements of worship. The weekly Lord’s Supper at our church patterned our heart towards covenant renewal and the assurance of forgiveness.
The churches we visited were wonderful, gracious, and some were even invigorating. But the only constant was change. Our vibrancy and even commitment to worship began to wane.
So, now we are a few weeks to a few months away from launching worship services with Evident Grace Fellowship. God is knitting our new church together as a community and laying the groundwork for vibrant worship and service to the community.
This interim period for my family appears to be intended to teach us two things:
No matter the service or the church, God deserves great honor.
No matter the service or the church, we should prepare our hearts for vibrant worship
While we wait to launch for services, this family must prayerfully remind our hearts these truths and graciously encourage other families toward regular, faithful, membered commitment to a church body.
As we do that, even if we are in an interim period, we can boldly worship knowing that God calls His people to the obedience of worship.