What's Changed and What Hasn't
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,  being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.  And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,  for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Last Spring I received two phone calls that changed my life. One was from a fellow Pastor in New Mexico. "How would you like to move back to California?" He asked.
Your pastor search committee had contacted him while they were looking for a pastor. After spending some time in prayer, he'd come to the realization that it was not God's will for him to relocate to California, but called to ask me if he could tell the committee about me. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses and something about your church, he felt we were a good match. My reply was simple-- "I'm really not wanting to move." He persisted, so I agreed to let him mention my name to your committee.
About a month later, Susan Jones gave me a call. When I told her that I really wasn't wanting to move she said something that startled me. "Good! We're not interested in anyone that is wanting to move." Over the years, I've gotten several exploratory phone calls, but I've never heard anyone say anything like that. "Will you allow us to begin praying for you to see if it is God's will for you to be our next Pastor?" She continued. How could I say no? Before we said goodbye, I agreed to send a resume and a sermon tape and the rest, as they say, is history.
I'm glad to be here. We believe it is God's will. Because it is God's will, be believe it is what is best for this church and the one we left.
Now what? What are we supposed to do now? The first step is for us to get to know one another better. To help us get better acquainted, I've browsed through my sermon file to find a collection of sermons that typify my passion for ministry and my philosophy of ministry. Those sermons comprise a series I'll start next Sunday evening, entitled, "A Quick Start guide to Pastor Jim." Even if you don't usually come on Sunday evenings, you will need to attend this series. These sermons will be foundational to our relationship.
You can also get a copy of my latest book, The Boomerang Mandate in the foyer. It will give you insight into my leadership. Susan and I have donated the money to pay the publisher for the book so that 100% of the money you give will go into the church's building fund. If you cannot afford the price, but will read the book, feel free to take one without the donation.
During our time this morning I want to focus on two things: what hasn't changed now that you have a pastor and what has changed.
What hasn't changed?
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