A Statement from Fellowship Elders
The past twelve months have been challenging for our country, and for us at Fellowship. The impact of a pandemic, demonstrations, a raucous election, and cries for social justice have all worked to divide us. Pastor Joe’s prayer last week was meant to implore God to bring his will to bear in our country and the Church, but it resulted in upsetting some in our body. As an Elder Team, we reject divisiveness. And we, including Pastor Joe, regret that some felt he was creating a political divide. That breaks our hearts. This would never be Joe’s intention or ours.
We at Fellowship are part of God’s church, his visible image on earth. We recognize Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. Our mission is to follow him in the way he commanded. And, Jesus is love. As such, we decry violence, whether it is physically harming another, or destroying a business or a federal building, or storming the Capitol. We are to love others as Jesus loves them, and he loves everyone regardless of race, gender, age, religion, or politics (John 3:16-17).
We exist to show people who Jesus is and why they should follow him.
Despite the conflicts in this world, our mission at Fellowship has not changed. Our biggest challenge now is Satan’s attack on our unity. He wants to destroy us because he knows God has great plans for us if we obey him and remain unified. But we must respond to Satan as Jesus did, by reminding him of what God the Father said, and who the Father is. We must stand firm against the attacks of the devil by putting on the full armor of God and relying on His protection and His wisdom. Scripture teaches us that our battle is not against people, but against the evil one’s intent on destroying our love (Ephesians 6:12, John 10:10). Further, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:43-44).
As such, we must love one another better. Scripture says the world will know we are his disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). Love does not insist on its own way and does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth; love endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:5-6). We must give each other grace as we have been given. If we are offended, we must forgive. We must trust in the heart of our church leaders (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). And if we believe a member of our body is going astray, we must have the courage to go to that person and talk with them, in love (Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20).
Friends our best days are ahead of us. If we abide in Christ, we will see God doing amazing things through this body. Let’s walk together and show each other and the world the beauty of Jesus. If we do it well, He will be pleased.
Please contact any of us if you want to talk further or email [email protected]
The Fellowship Elders
The last five days have served multiple fresh reminders of how challenging the role of pastor is today. I believe it's the most difficult season of ministry in the history of the U.S. church since at least the Civil War.
In light of recent events, a ministry leader who remains silent, especially in Fellowship's context, is committing ministerial malpractice; to speak, however, can be an act of ministerial suicide.
I am thankful Pastor Joe brought this issue before the Lord and the body Sunday, and I am even more grateful for the heart and desire behind his words. In a diverse church with varied backgrounds and perspectives, addressing complex (and emotional) issues will often leave some dissatisfied, hurt or offended.
I am thankful for the reminder--and invitation--from Fellowship's elders to live out our faith in Jesus and love for others through forgiveness.
The Enemy comes to rob, steel and divide. FMC has always been a place for the Love of Jesus and for one another. Pastor Joe has continued to be a Strong Leader and has Always been one to teach the Word of God in Unity and Love!