Greetings everyone from Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m here with a group of about 30 pastor friends from our denominational fellowship – some of the finest people I’ve ever known. It is an awesome event.
Former Orioles broadcaster John Miller used to say that Maryland was “the land of pleasant living.” Well, I’ve no complaint with that being true. But wow… this city here is amazing! All of the streets in the neighborhoods are lined with blossoming trees. It is an incredibly gorgeous city! I’ve never seen a place quite like this other than Dallas – where you can drive mile after mile after mile of beautiful neighborhoods and homes! Our host pastor – Jimmy Kallum – swears that there are poor people and neighborhoods around here somewhere, but I ain’t seen them yet!
The purpose of our gathering is to talk about church ministry and share common challenges, experiences, successes, etc. At the same time, I am both struck by how many similarities we have, and yet how many differences there are.
The differences relate to the broad varieties of communities and cultures we all come from. There are guys here from Southern California – places where it is almost impossible to hire church staff due to the extremely high cost of living. And as well, there are pastors in attendance from Iowa and areas where corn in king. Obviously, there are differences between these locales.
The similarities are the needs of people everywhere and the overall challenges of an increasingly post-Christian culture. An encouraging word is that we at TSF are doing so many of the same things that have been fruitful ministries in other locations. We just need to remain faithful, as it is God who gives the increase.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.