11 Sep

September Pastor’s Pen

On September 10 at 9:00 a.m., I will be installed as the next Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church. Wait … does this mean I haven’t really been the Lead Pastor since March 1?

No! I’ve officially been your pastor these past six months. This hasn’t been a trial or probationary period. You’re stuck with me for a long time, I hope. So, what is the point of an installation service?

The installation service is a beautiful and meaningful tradition for the new pastor and congregation. It is a festive, welcoming ceremony to recognize the pastor’s calling, acknowledge her responsibilities and duties, and celebrate a new chapter in a congregation’s life. We are making vows to God and one another.

As your pastor, I vow to love, serve, and pray for you. I promise to be diligent in my study, teaching, and preaching of Scripture. I covenant to follow the example of the Good Shepherd in ministering and caring for this congregation and community. I vow to challenge and push us to obey the Spirit’s direction in our lives and congregation. Above all, I promise to prioritize my relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ above all others. With reliance upon God, I make these promises to you.

As my congregation, I also ask you to make promises in this covenant relationship. Promises to accept, love, and pray for me; to be faithful servants and partners in ministry. I ask you to covenant to support, honor, and trust my leadership, to grant me the freedom to learn, grow, challenge, and make mistakes along the way, and to discern with me what the Spirit is calling us to be and do as God’s church.

September 10 is OUR installation service, not mine. We are celebrating that God has joined us as pastor and congregation for such a time as this. I hope you will be present as we mark this historic beginning and celebrate what God has done and will do as we begin another chapter in First Baptist’s long, beautiful story with God.

Pastor Mel

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