Grace Notes: Used Up
Dear Grace Family,
There is no higher privilege than to be called “pastor” by our church family, but it can be an arduous and uncomfortable calling at times. There really isn’t any good job description that tells us what exactly to do or say and often a pastor is required to do the tasks that no one else really wants to face – deliver a scolding, be at the bedside of a dying saint, trying to explain the whys and where fore’s of scripture, reminding his flock of what God needs and demands from us.
And these days, most pastors are bi-vocational, working outside the church because smaller congregations simply can’t provide a living wage in today’s volatile economy. Statistics show that the average Sr. Pastor stays at a church for about four years these days. Many burn out or feel like they are not accomplishing what God needs, or that their work simply isn’t helping their congregation.
A study by Shepherds Watchmen states that 1500 clergy are leaving the ministry every month, with a whopping 83% of spouses wanting their husbands/wives to find another line of work. It states that 80% believe that being a pastor has had a negative effect on their families, 50% feel they are inadequate to meet the considerable demands of the job, and 70% say they don’t have someone they consider a close friend. With those numbers, it’s no wonder pastors question their ability to shepherd.
But then there is a congregation like ours. And when I say congregation, I mean family.
In Titus 1:6-9, the Apostle Paul does give us some guidelines of what a good pastor is. He says “An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” So pastors aren’t told what to do, so much as how they should be.
And leave it to Paul. He didn’t just leave a guideline for the pastors. In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 he said “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.”
And that is where our church family shines! Your pastors feel loved and appreciated, and not just during ‘Pastor Appreciation Month,’ but through every bump and twist in the journey. We are in this together, and we’re in it to win it! Getting our job done is so much easier because we know you are standing with us, not looking for fault but accepting ours – and allowing us to lead in whatever way God dictates. Since there’s no designated ‘congregation appreciation’ month, I just wanted to make sure you know we see you, and we feel your support and love.
God doesn’t assign us a calling so we can be blessed, but so we can bless Him – and more importantly, fulfil His purpose. You all make that possible. Our call is your call, and we are so humbled to be serving with you.
In Ecclesiastes 4:12, the Bible tells us that “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Imagine what amazing things God is doing (and going to do) through the strength of our very interwoven church family.
So thank you – each and every one of you – for loving the Domens, the Collins and I. We are blessed to be the ones God called to lead you during this season, and we are so expectant of what is planned for our future. You are what make Grace Community Church a great place to call home.
Be blessed my Grace family, God is on the throne!
To all the ladies who participated in last night’s fellowship – thank you. It was a great time of refreshing and food. And thank you so much for blessing me with your gifts and kindness. I love you all very much. B
- Thursday, October 28, 6 pm, Worship Team meeting at Pastor Bobbie’s home.
- Saturday, November 6, Jammin’ For Jesus. See Pastor Eric for more details
- Saturday, November 13, 9 am, Men’s breakfast
- Saturday, November 20, 5 pm, Grace Holiday Potluck and Family night – let’s usher in the holidays together!
- Ladies Bible study is every Tuesday night at 7 pm via Zoom. For more information, please reach out to Pastor Bobbie.
- Youth of the Nations is meeting live and in person on Tuesday, 6:30 – 8 pm, at Grace. All Covid-19 precautions will be followed, so please bring masks. Youth will be entering through the D-street entrance.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness in your tithes and offerings so we can maintain our ability to reach out to a needy world. You can give online at here, or mail your checks to 3144 N G Street, Suite 125 PMB 308 Merced, CA 95340.
Sr. Pastor Eric Domen has a passion for his flock, and for the community of Merced and beyond. His strength and leadership are only surpassed by his generosity and passion to evangelize. He holds a degree in Counseling, and has a heart for the people of our community. Pastor E resides in Merced with his wife and children.
Pastor Bobbie Frye is our Administrative Pastor. She has been in ministry for more than 20 years, and is a 3rd generation Foursquare Pastor. She is a writer and musician, and takes care of Womens Ministries and Worship Arts. She has a background in Procurement and Marketing, in addition to her pastoral experience. Pastor Bobbie resides in Merced.