What has made First Methodist Church of Waco such a Wonderful Place to Pastor?
June 20, 2017
As I count down the few days, I have left as Senior Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Waco ... I can't help but reflect on why I think the 20 years I have served here as Senior Pastor has been so amazing. I will narrow it down to a few words... this has been a church that is truly a transforming community. Lives are changed here. People come to Christ and are made brand new here. People are transformed as they draw nearer and nearer to Christ through the ministry of this wonderful church. My family and I have loved our time here, and we have loved our ministry.
Remembering a particular passage about a transformed community, I'm thinking of Acts 432-35 and read:
"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. From time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostle's feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need." (Acts 4:32-35)
Why has this church been such a transforming community?
1. This is a Christ-centered congregation. The people here know the power and voice of Jesus and live that truth daily.
2. This is a congregation that has experienced the nearness of Jesus through experience and truth.
3. This congregation has learned to dream big dreams and to trust Jesus with the details.
4. This church has been obedient to what Jesus has called us to do.
Can a community be transformed? Absolutely. But it takes churches like ours who live out the transforming capacity of Jesus.
My prayer as I and my family look toward a new season in our lives and ministry is that the people of First Methodist will continue to be so transformed by Jesus that they cannot help but show Him to the world. When you/we do, our homes, our workplaces, and our community will be changed forever.
Keep on being transforming and keep on showing Jesus to the world. I'm very confident that will continue.
First Methodist Church of Waco has been a home for the Ramsdell family for 20 years. You have nurtured us with your friendship and love. You have helped our children, and now our grandchildren grow and mature spiritually. As I reflect on the new season of ministry God has before us, I also affirm in my heart that First Methodist Waco will always remain our church. A lasting bond has been forged by all that we have shared together. Although our time is short as the lead ministry family of this church, you will always have a special place in our hearts, as we trust we will have yours.
As we prepare to leave and you ready yourselves to receive a new senior pastor, let us all continue to be sensitive to God's presence and even more response to God's guidance. By being drawn ever more closely to Jesus, this church will become even more transforming in the future.