For those of you that may or may not be involved with a great church directed by a fabulous Pastor, you will appreciate this.
Since 2004 I have been involved with The Oaks Fellowship, Red Oak Texas. The pastor is so cool! When I began attending TOF, I had so much religious baggage, layers & layers of walls around my heart. Previous religious experiences had left me searching for the “real deal”. Well….immediately after attending TOF, I realized God had landed me right where I needed to be.
The ultimate decision of where I would attend church was left to my son, Bryce, who was 15 at the time. If you can imagine the dysfunctional thoughts I just mentioned above meshed with doubting God, you will understand what I was up against. Moving from Louisiana to Texas encompassed only 2 prayers. Bryce’s relationship with God would be restored & my career.
We visited on a Sunday and these were Bryce’s words as we walked to the entrance of the church. “Mom, how do you feel knowing you don’t know anyone here, no one know’s your name, you are not on staff, or in a leadership position?” To which I replied, “It feels great, because this is not about me this time, it is all about you.” That first Sunday, a youth leader invited Bryce to a home group. A month or so later I was enrolling him for a summer discipleship course on a Wed nite and on the way to the car, he said this. “Mom, please don’t take me out of this church. I feel like I belong here , these people are who I need to be around, & I believe this is where I need to be.” Even as I write this post, tears fill my eyes knowing how my heart felt at that moment.
Bryce found his own identity. He was not, “Geneva’s son”, or “Summer’s little brother”, but he was Bryce. He grew in leaps and bounds, become involved in home group, fine arts performance & coaching, etc. This is where he emerged from doubting if God still cared to wanting to be in full time youth ministry. There were rough patches in the past several years, but to this day he loves God and desires to fulfill the call of God on is life.
Me? I became the Director of the Singles Ministry, taught S.S., led a small group, developed leaders within the singles ministry, helped form another ministry for single parents, formed a consortium between 9 area singles ministries from 2 counties in which we all supported one another. Just prior to beginning the ministry pilot of , Living Single Again, (the next step after Divorce Care), I resigned my position to focus on my business–A leadership development organization!
Why the walk down memory lane? None of this would have been remotely possible had it not been for a tremendous pastor/mentor/leader/coach—Scott Wilson. I have been saved and fully devoted, serving in church since 1986. I was a judgmental wreck when we started at TOF. Within months, I personally took off the layers surrounding my heart, submitted to leadership and wanted to serve.
Scott Wilson is not only an incredible pastor, visionary, husband, dad, friend and community leader. He is recognized by national leaders and has become a tremendous author. His latest book, “Steering through Chaos” is sure to become a leading best seller.
Since being at TOF basically at the beginning stages of our growth spurt, I can say from experience in leadership, you do not sustain the growth we have during these economic times without a solid plan. Change is imperative. I remember a story of a young 17th. century pastor that had an extremely large church that did not change with the times and his church was reduced to nothing.
Scott has always listened, not only to the voice of God, but also to his people, his community and to what is happening nation wide. For this I am eternally grateful.
If you are a pastor, youth leader, community leader or anyone with a heart to learn, grow and change….this is a must read. Change is eminent, transition is difficult. Know where you are going, know who you are following & most of all….know how to lead!
I love my pastor, church family and that ability of knowing I will always be challenged to change! Finding The Oaks was truly the Providence of God!