Nearly seven months ago when Diane and I came to Wesley Chapel, most people here had no idea what to expect from me as their new pastor. They probably thought they’d have some things figured out by now. But I think it’s safe to say most people here still aren’t sure what to expect. And anyone who thinks they will eventually figure it out should talk to Diane or talk to the people of Mason UMC who dealt with me for the last six years. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to do. And I don’t say this to seem cool or mysterious. I don’t even say it with pride. I say it with humility. It’s because I am just trying to follow. I want to be led by the Spirit of God. John 3:8 says,
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
The one thing I want this congregation and community to be sure of is my intentions. I don’t want anyone to think I have selfish ambitions. I don’t want them to think I have any motive other than to follow Jesus through His Spirit and help this congregation and community to follow Him as well. That is my intention. I will not do it perfectly. Yet, my mission, from now until I die, is to follow.
So in the times I appear to be irreverent, arrogant, and/or impulsive; and in the times it might look like all I care about is getting more butts in the seats of the church (as I’ve been accused of), I hope the congregation knows my intentions and knows that my heart is in the right place. Charles Spurgeon puts it this way – “It is not what your hands are doing, nor even what your lips are saying; the main thing is what your heart is meaning and intending.” And my heart so wants to follow Jesus, wherever He leads.