Today is the big day: the theater premier of "Fireproof". A movie made by a church in Georgia. The little church that could, that dared to dream big. Anyone ever been to this church?
Well, I FEEL as if I have, through a book written by her pastor, Michael Catt, called "Prepare For Rain". In this short book, Pastor Michael chronicles the growth and the vision of the church and of her pastor.
Easy to read, almost conversational in style, Pastor Michael's book begins with a bit of his background and how he came to be the pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church. Much of what he shares rings a resounding bell of truth in my heart...I've been where he once was.
He goes on to share his early years as SBC's pastor, about how changes that were necessary for growth came about and what it ended up costing the church...and ended up costing him.
Pastor Michael is transparent in his writing; he holds nothing back. This is by no means a glorified, candy-coated, hallelujah laced story. There were moments of intense pain and doubt. Seeds of teaching that were planted early in his life and ministry took root and flourish during some of the hardest moments in the life of his church.
He recounts how one ministry team member told him "16 people in his church hated his guts". He then faced a choice--he had to choose to focus on the wealth of people in the church who loved him and wanted him as pastor versus just those 16. How often have we in ministry been there, done that?
Pastor Michael shares story after story of God's mind-bending power in people who will let Him out of the box and will walk by faith and not by sight. I want this in MY church. I believe it's there...a spark, a tiny flame...
As I review this book, God has taken the church my husband pastor's from a tiny flock of 12 to over 70 in four years. We have a crew ripping out the choir area this weekend to make room for 30 more seats, and a team forming to map out future building plans.
But, my husband is still a bi-vocational pastor who longs to leave his 'secular work' to pastor his flock full time (there is NO SUCH THING as a part time pastor!). We have members who squawk at every change. We have some who seem lackadaisical in their service.
We have some who haven't caught the vision.
So did Sherwood Baptist Church. They are people, just like you and me. They just caught the vision of what God wanted to do through them. This book is to wake us up to His vision, His purpose, His high calling.
Will you heed it? Will you become a person of prayer, who's single-minded on God and God alone? Will you take a chance and read this book? I can't WAIT to share it with my husband! This is exactly the message we need at this point in time! God is SO GOOD!
I'm giving "Prepare For Rain" five out of five bookmarks, with a telescope for a charm...they'll need it to see just how far God wants to take this little church that not only could...but still can!