When someone does a job well, I like to applaud them. Whether it's something as simple as being a great waitress at dinner or something as major as making great grades at school, I like for people to know that their work does not go unnoticed. There are places where you and I can pass out the "thanks" and the "congratulations" on a daily basis--friends, family and complete strangers love to know they are appreciated for whatever they do.
This particular recognition is especially satisfying. It's for my RCC family. It is for a job well done in fulfilling the call and mission that Christ has put on His church. Beyond that, it is a challenge to never rest, to never settle and to always keep moving forward in fulfilling our purpose. Here, in his own words, the Director of Evangelism for the Tennessee Baptist Convention gives the reason for my excitement:
"...your church ranked in the top 50 churches among 3100 Tennessee Baptist churches in Members/Baptism ratio for 2008. You are to be congratulated for your diligence in making evangelism a priority in your ministry and for your leadership among Tennessee Baptists. The record reveals that it takes approximately 47 Tennessee Baptists an entire year to reach and baptize one person for Christ. Your church baptized one professing believer for every 3.5 members...!"
To God be the glory, Ridgies. You have partnered with the Holy Spirit to change lives and this recognition shows that God is more than willing to do His part if you and I will do ours. I don't care if we ever own our own building or get to a place where we don't have to set up every Sunday if you and I are constantly and consistently leading people to this place of safety in Christ Jesus. Let us not lose sight of the fact that THIS (and this alone) is the reason that God calls us to walk this earth--to bring Him glory and point others to this relationship. Keep up the good work, Ridgies. I'm very proud to be your pastor. Now, let's turn up our efforts and go to whatever lengths it takes to find the lost and bring one more to Jesus.