When Laila and I arrived at Covenant for our first Sunday the congregation was meeting in a 24 x 36 temporary worship center. I moved something to improve esthetics before Sunday. Folks liked the move. The next Sunday I moved another item. Folks like the move. I built a small platform for the pulpit. Folks liked that.
It became a ritual for me to change or add something pleasant and new each Sunday.
There were Saturday evenings that I hastened to think of a change and get it done before Sunday.
Fifty-two Sundays of change passed.
The years have flown by. Change is normal for us. The congregation accepts change as normal if it is wise for ministry. The pastoral staff and elders strategize effective ministries that challenge us to be innovative.
I promise new staff: "You will never be bored." No one has suggested my words are idle.
Change is while normal is not always welcome.
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Brandon and Tonya Scott have shared that their last Sunday as interim Music Ministers will be July 29. They affirm their love for Covenant and the music team.
Brandon was born after Laila and I came to Covenant. His heart has been devoted to Jesus all his life. Tonya grew up in a Christian home and loves ministry.
We thank them for their service, celebrate them and want to be a part of their future ambition to pastor a congregation. They came to us in a time of need and while serving part-time have been a wonderful asset to the pastoral and worship team.
There is also change in relation to our Covenant extended family. Dana, our daughter, was 11 when we came to pastor. In time a young man came to Covenant. He fell in love with Dana.
He was a carpenter's helper. Worked hard. Asked if he could marry Dana. I shared that he would have to go to college. He said that he was not college material because he had learning disabilities.
I said: "Then it will take you longer."
The first year of college was very difficult for him. He had to take remedial courses at a community college. It took time for Rob to realize he was not lacking ability but study skills needed to be sharpened.
Then he seemed to get it. Finished two years of college with a voracious appetite to read and learn. Off to Lee University where he graduated with one of the top awards. Off to Regent to earn an M.A. Served three years at Counterpoint Church of God Northern Virginia rescuing a congregation in distress and leading an excruciating building program. Our elder son, Danny, traveled for two years overseeing construction and helping with music.
Then Rob was off to Biola University for another M.A. Began work on doctorate. Became a pastor for Saddleback Church.
He saw an advertisement for Campus Pastor at Lee University. For the first time since being in California, he thought of the possibility of moving. This position resonated within his heart. He applied.
Monday, July 16, 2018 Lee University did a press release announcing that Robert (Rob) Fultz will assume duties as Campus Pastor in early August.
His roots are Covenant. No we cannot take all the credit. But his foundation was Covenant, and he took his bride from Covenant. Covenant supported them as missionaries in Prague. Covenant has been wind in their sails---and will be!
Dana has believed in her man and been willing to sacrifice things for him to prepare for service to God. She encourages him to excellence.
Change. Yes, change. Sometimes painfully sweet. Sometimes sweet.
We as a people and the leadership of Covenant Church have set in our hearts to mature leaders.
To produce disciples is primary in our mission.
It is Our Lord's Church. We remain steadfast. The Holy Spirit has and will make provision.
Our test is to be faithful. Keeping our eyes on the cross. Feet steady in the path.
In all the change, the prevailing question is whether changes advance the Kingdom of Our Lord. Our God is faithful.
"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17).