Thank You From Pastor Roger - Mount Vernon Grace Community Church

Service and Worship Times

18350 Hopewell Road
Mount Venon, OH 43050

  • Sunday Morning Prayer
    10:00 a.m. Prayer time prior to Sundays service
  • Sunday Morning Service
    10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Nursery is available and Sunday School classes are held for children preschool age through 12 during the sermon
  • Wednesday Night 
    Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Teen Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 pm

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Thank You From Pastor Roger

Thank you and a short trip into the mind of pastor

      Where do you start? Sunday October 27, 2013, was an exceptional day. It spoke volumes about the health and state of Grace Community Church of Mt. Vernon Ohio. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be the pastor of this church. It is people like you, not me, that will keep the momentum going. You put the 80-20 theory on its back and proved it wrong, at least for GCC. (80-20 is the theory that 80% of the people set in a chair on Sunday morning while 20% do all the work.)

     We have been averaging around 123 to 140 on Sunday morning. Approximately 115 of you showed up for our faith in action Sunday and performed labors of love at the church property and all around the community. (Stan Fry could tell you what that percentage is off the top of his head.) I appreciate the kind words that were spoken on behalf of me and Melodee. That was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. (I would like to meet the guy you all were talking about.)

     The old saying "actions speak louder than words" became a reality. Your words of appreciation, your cards, the weekend getaway are all very special to me, but your actions Sunday, your care for people that are struggling, your ability to accept those that are different than you, [a tire for my motorcycle], those things told me Sunday that you get it.

   Have I had doubts? I’m a pastor. It goes with the territory. It’s never good enough. We’re never doing enough. We always wonder if anyone ever really gets it. We often feel like complete failures. Most of us feel like we have no idea what we are doing. We sometimes lie awake at night wondering what to do and how to do it. We wonder when the proverbial "hammer" will drop; when, where and how will it all come unraveled.

     It has always been this way. Paul talks about a young man Demas; “Demas has forsaken me having loved this present world and is departed…” (II Tim. 4:10). Notice Paul didn’t say Demas has forsaken God but Paul. I think that is important. I think Demas got scared, maybe discouraged and Paul got offended. We know Paul, especially in his early years, didn’t have much patience and no compassion for quitters. Paul and his closest companion Barnabas split over conflict with John Mark who got cold feet for a while and split. The stats tell us that 1400 Pastors a month are "splitting." The pressure gets to be too much and they leave.

     In Paul’s final letter before his execution he writes to a young pastor to encourage him to hang in there. By this time Paul had gained some compassion for his fellow ministers. He very compassionately told Tim to hang in there. He says “Hey, Tim, I know what you are going through. I have fought some of the same battles. I have fought the good fight, kept the faith and finished my course and heaven is waiting.” (Roger’s translation of II Tim.) Paul told him in his first letter to Tim, “Drink a little wine for your stomach problems and for your frequent trials and lack of strength.” (Also Roger’s translation of I Tim. 5) All that to say this, a feeling of incompetence is not unusual in this "profession." I would guess that is why 1400 pastors a month are doing what Demas and John Mark did and they are departing.

     Pastors aren’t omnipresent. We think we should be because we feel so responsible for the flock God has entrusted to our care. We know our weaknesses and sometimes we downplay our strengths. We see things from a different perspective. We know where we fall short. We know when someone has fallen through the cracks because we haven’t been able to meet their need. The things we haven’t accomplished; the people we haven’t been successful ministering to; the ones that leave disappointed or worse yet angry and bitter; these are the ones we [wrongfully] gauge our success by.

We won’t always admit where we excel because we don’t want to fall into the trap of pride. We love compliments and that bothers us because we genuinely want God to get the glory for the good stuff that happens. Compliments are sometimes difficult to take because we see all our own faults that are hidden from others. It is a paradox for us because we want to be complimented but we don’t.

     OK Pastor Roger, just what are you trying to say? I’m not totally sure. (We also have conversations with ourselves, and yes, we answer our own questions. Kind of eerie isn’t it? I mean it when I say you don’t want to climb inside this head.) I guess I’m giving you a peek inside the mind of a pastor.

Back to the question from the fourth paragraph: have I had doubts? The answer again is I’m a pastor. It goes with the territory. Most of my doubts are with me, not you for reasons mentioned above. As I have said we will never be good enough till we get to heaven. When we reach a pinnacle there is always another one in front of us that is higher than the last. I want us to always be climbing to that higher pinnacle. We don’t want to get comfortable and satisfied with where we are.

     Paul wrote kind of a love letter to the church in Philippi. The only word of rebuke is found in the fourth chapter where he tells a couple of women to get along with each other. Over all it is a letter of encouragement and praise. This church was a bright spot in Paul’s ministry. Philippi is a pastor's success story.