Hopedale continues to grow and to reach out to young families and I really believe that adding these two guys will help young families to better identify with our fellowship and to see how there is a place of service and ministry for all of us.
I have been as open as I can be about my church. I absolutely love my church family. Our history is not without its battles and battle scars. We have had disagreements and there have been people that have left with hurt feelings. I believe that some of them needed to leave to fulfill God's calling and had become too comfortable at Hopedale. Often times, God's discipline is difficult to understand until we are able to see the result of His leading. I am sad that there are probably some that have left angry and haven't moved past that or shouldn't have left in the first place. In some ways, we are like many other Southern Baptist churches.
Having said that, Hopedale is not your daddy's church.
We have kept a traditional service for many of our members that prefer that structure and more traditional music. We have an excellent service designed to appeal to young families with kids--lots of kids. Our children's programs are great and our youth group is growing. Much of our growth (but not all) is coming from this area of service.
...And our pastor preaches the Word. Rock Solid. Sound doctrine. Good News. Jesus is Lord and Savior. Good preaching.
As Hopedale continues to grow, we will have the occasion to set aside more men for the purpose of serving one another and meeting the needs of our members. But set aside or not, we are all called to meet the needs within our family of believers.
If you need a church home and are in the Ozark area, I want to invite you to stop by and see us. If you can't make it in person, worship with us on the internet. Our service is streamed live and also available via podcast here.
I guess it seems strange to congratulate somebody or to honor them by placing them in the role of a servant. But that is what we have done. And I mean to honor them and encourage them by this post. Taking on the role and nature of a servant is the best way to model the behavior of our Lord Jesus.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.