As of May 1, I will have officially been at Flint Central Church longer than any of my previous churches. I’ve been around these parts for 8 years and 6 months. My next longest tenure was Lenexa (Kansas) Central Church, 8 years and 5 months. Apparently, I like “Central” churches. I suspect I will retire here. Lord (and congregation) willing. The good people of Flint Central church have put up with my silly stories, my head slapping, my high-pitched exclamations, my stories of Karla, my love of Michigan sports and all the rest of my antics longer than any other church.
Maybe we should give everyone who calls Central Church “home” a medal. The “I-Survived-Rob” medals should not be made out of gold, silver or bronze, but the jury is still out on which medal type is appropriate. Should it be platinum to reward those who have endured my goofiness or tin to reflect my goofiness? Hmmmm….
A few years ago, I was going through some deep soul searching. There was some trouble and drama. Aging and dealing with dementia In-laws. Personal health issues. Church messiness. Kids too far away. You know the deal. Blah. Blah. Blah. Ugh! During that time, I prayed, “God did you call me to the city of Flint or to the Flint Central Church of the Nazarene or to someplace else?” Should I “like a bread truck, move my buns” or like an oak tree plant my roots deep, deep, deep in the ground?
We decided to plant our roots deep. I’m glad we did.
Like all storms, the sun was always shinning. I just didn’t see it. The clouds moved, many of the troubles passed and God’s faithfulness was new every morning. Now, I’m amazed at the transformation taking place in our church.
- I love our pastoral staff.
- I love our church board.
- I love our office staff, facility crew, and tech people. They are the best!
- I love what God is doing here.
- I love the generosity displayed in our IMAGINE Initiative.
- I love that our nurseries are being refreshed. After 25 years, it’s time. The offices too.
- I love that there will be new signage around the building
- I love that our kiddos will have a place to play outside. Central Park is coming in 2023.
- I love that our debt will soon be gone and we will be able to better invest in Flint in 2024.
- I love how the Spirit of God is moving in our services.
- I love what Central church people are doing for Jesus outside of our church walls.
- I love that God is calling young people into ministry.
- I love that Jesus is not done with our older people. (Myself included. You don’t retire from the Lord’s Army. You re-enlist).
- I love that the Spirit is drawing new people; they are staying and getting involved.
- I love our church.
All this to say: thanks for putting up with me. I love you all and can’t wait to see what Jesus does next at Central Church.
Fine Print at the bottom of the page: Central Church is not a perfect church. There is no perfect church. I’m the pastor and I’m far from perfect (ask Karla). The Enemy is still at work. He’s no dummy. He can see the good things God is doing too. Don’t be surprised if that Old Snake ups the attack. He hates what’s happening. Drama and messiness could return. Personal health isn’t guaranteed. Family junk happens. That’s why it is vital for all of us to keep our eyes on Jesus. You can be sure that Jesus never disappoints. Greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world!