5 Years

Five years ago this past Sunday, I led my first service as your pastor.  I am amazed at all we’ve experienced in the past five years and so thankful that God allows me to be a part of what is happening in and through Grace Fellowship.  I’m thankful for the many friends we’ve made.  I’m thankful for the staff and leaders God has provided.  I’m thankful for the Home Teams we’ve been a part of.  I’m thankful for the way so many of you have blessed my family.  I’m thankful for the land and amazing building God has made possible for us to enjoy.  In spite of the fact that we’ve not arrived (never will) and make our share of mistakes, I’m thankful for a church family that loves being a part of this church and loves their pastors.  I’m thankful for a church that is not afraid to take risks and get outside the box.  I’m thankful that’s it’s fun to serve here and that my family loves being at GFC!   I’m thankful there are too many blessings to recount – a multitude of amazing things that God has done in our midst! 

I’m still mindful that God’s vision for us and our church is so much bigger than our vision.  I believe He wants us to do things no one else is doing to reach people no one else is reaching!  I believe our greatest days are yet to come!     I’m thankful for a church family that is learning: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. 

I’m even more convinced that a great commitment (a genuine commitment) to the Great Commandment (Mt. 22:37-40) and the Great Commisson (Mt. 28:19-20)  will grow a great church – and a great man or woman of God.

I know God’s desire is for every person to be saved and know the truth, and we have the responsibility to do everything we can to fulfill His desire in our generation.    I’m so pumped that we’ve seen over 1000 people make commitments of their lives to Christ in the past 5 years, but there thousands more all around us who need to know Christ!   If we get slack in taking care of the fields He’s entrusted to our care,  He’ll find someone else who will be faithful to do the work of the harvest.  Therefore it is an absolute necessity that we keep the main thing the main thing – winning men and women, boys and girls to faith in Jesus Christ – locally, nationally and around the world.

We also have the responsibility of helping believers grow to maturity, but you can’t help people grow if they never become Christ Followers.  We have to reach them before we can teach them, and the kind of growth they need is the kind that helps them become like Christ.  Spiritual maturity – being deep in your faith – is not being religious, it’s being like Jesus.

I believe we’ll continue to experience God’s blessing if we’ll remain in a posture that’s blessable.  That posture includes many things, but especially humility, obedience, integrity, faith and unity of spirit & purpose.  That posture includes having the attitude of Christ (Phil. 2) and being a fellowship of grace; a place where anyone can come and experience the grace of God at GFC.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 has long been one of my favorite passages.  It’s a reminder to me that what has happened in our midst is not the result of our wisdom, might or financial strength.   What has happened in our midst is the result of God using ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things and giving Him all the glory.   Jeremiah 9:23-24 states:  23 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, “declares the LORD.    After 5 years of incredible blessing – I MAKE MY BOAST IN THE LORD and praise Him for the privilege of serving Him here and for the joy of seeing what He continues to do in our midst!  

As we say often at GFC —- GOD IS GOOD – ALL THE TIME! 

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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