Vantage Point: Grateful for how our churches serve their community

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My wife, Kathy, can make a mouth-watering, jaw-dropping, mean coconut caramel cream pie. She always makes two for special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the Fourth of July. Before eating too much at mealtime, I’m thinking about how good a big piece of pie will taste with a hot cup of coffee. Well, as you can imagine, after eating too much, I always end up with a small piece of that mouth-watering, jaw-dropping, mean coconut caramel cream pie. After settling down for the evening in my recliner and reflecting back on all that I consumed at dinner, I am so thankful for that small piece of pie.

The North Carolina District of MB Churches (NCD) is the smallest USMB district. There are seven MB churches in the western part of the state.  As the district minister/pastor, I often find myself praying to God for more ways to multiply churches in our MB family and in particular here in North Carolina.

Yes, I sometimes daydream of what it would be like to have 20 or even 50 more churches on the East Coast. To have two or three new thriving church plants and excited churches supporting them. But then, I am reminded of and encouraged by the Holy Spirit to be thankful for the seven churches that we do have and the great things that are happening within the communities they serve. We are a small piece of what God is doing across this nation, grateful to be a part of a larger body of believers who agree with his Word.

As the Apostle Paul was closing out chapter three of his epistle to the Colossians, he reminds them and us to be thankful: “Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful. Remember what Christ taught, and let his words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, and come with him into the presence of God the Father to give him your thanks” (TLB, emphasis mine).

As a small district, we are grateful and thankful for the U.S. Conference that invites all five districts and over 200 churches into kingdom-building together. To networking resources as partners, maximizing disciple-making and church multiplication. Together, with thankful hearts, we can empower local churches (even small ones) to reach their full God-given potential to impact communities around the world. Now with more partners like Multiply (MB Mission and C2C) working with USMB churches, we have more tools for increase and reasons to celebrate.

The Boone MB Church, under the leadership of Pastor Mike Mathes, celebrated its 100 anniversary June 3-10. These eight days of celebration included a concert by the choir, three evenings of revival services, one evening of history and reflections, a picnic on Saturday and a Sunday mortgage burning with an afternoon meal. Two NCD pastors were also ordained at the centennial.

Thank God for each “small piece of the pie.”


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