Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An Open Letter to the Pastors in the Cedar Rapids Metro Area:

Pastor friends,

And yes, I mean friends. I have served in the area for almost 3 years. When I arrived, I was 29 years old. I was called to pastor a church of 65 people (80 if we counted the stuffed animals in the nursery) that didn't, and still doesn't, have a permanent church facility. I was and am a small church pastor.

And yet, I have been loved, blessed, and served by dozens of pastors in this area. You have coached me on church leadership. You have prayed for me. You have bought me lunch. You have challenged me. You have shared your building and facilities with my church family in times of need. You have cared for me.

I love that pastors in this area work against "sheep-stealing." Instead, when people attempt to move churches in the area, we call each other and make sure godliness and grace are at work.

I love that pastors of different theological stripes can lovingly disagree with one another on the minor theological differences, and yet we cling fiercely to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I love that we gather our churches together to pray for this city, care for its citizens, and share Christ graciously and winsomely.

To be honest, I am so impressed by the godly pastors, churches, and ministries in this area. God has set a rich banquet of goodness in the heart of Linn County. You are mighty men and women of God. You have great churches. You are great preachers, shepherds, and servants. I feel bad for anyone trying to choose a good church in the area...because they have lots of great choices. Thanks for making the work of "church shopping" so difficult. Thank you also for preaching against church shopping.

I wouldn't want to serve in another area. This is home.

I'm excited to lock arms with you for the sake of Christ and this city for years to come.

Your indebted friend and servant for Christ's sake,
Pastor Matt Proctor
Cornerstone Church, Marion (www.cornerstone-marion.org)
April 30, 2013

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