Zoom in with Zack
How time flies! It is already September, The Martin’s are on their way to Oklahoma by way of North Carolina, and school is starting again. In a year of change, here comes another big one. After 16 years of Steve and Phyllis, now some new guy shows up and is sitting in his office. This is gonna get weird. Change is uncomfortable, why can’t everything always just stay the same?
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we are created to be in a constant state of change. 1 John 3:2 says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (NIV 2011) We are always moving and being made into what God has intended us to be. The day we stop moving is the day we have arrived or the day we have refused God’s movement in our lives. From day one we have been in a state of “becoming.” Not who we once where apart from God, but not yet made perfect by his presence. We reside somewhere in between and change is a basic requirement of that process.
Sometimes it feels like we have just always been this way. But there is constant need to look back to see how far we have come. Things within the Meadowbrook congregation have changed dramatically since Martin’s arrived. While I am still learning about the spiritual journey of the Meadowbrook congregation, I can point to some everyday life changes that we have experienced in the past 16 years. When Steve and Phyllis arrived at Meadowbrook the iPhone was still three years from becoming a thing, there was no Android smart phones, facebook and youtube did not exist. The coolest piece of technology that you could carry was a Nokia phone. Amazon was still primarily a book store and Amazon Prime wasn’t around. How much have our lives changed since they arrived?
If a look back teaches us anything, it’s that change is on the horizon again. Things never stopped changing during the Martin’s tenure and things will keep changing. I am not Steve and I know it. There are going to be some things that I might do better than Steve, but there will be a lot of things that Steve did better than me. There will be some things I do that Steve didn’t and things that Steve did that I won’t. I don’t know what any of those things will be, but I know they will be different. I am not going to try to be Steve. Steve filled a role that I cannot replace and that is a good thing. God has a plan for us moving forward. I do not yet know what that looks like, but I trust that his vision is greater than all of ours.
As we move onto a new day, a day that will bring about change, I ask for patience, encouragement, and a council. I am going to change things without even knowing that I am doing something different than the way it was done before, simply because I am learning about you. With all of this upcoming newness, it can become frightening and even frustrating. As we move into the fall and yet one more change to add to all of this, let us all commit to trusting in God’s plan. Let’s trust that it is good, that He knows what He is doing, and we don’t need all the answers to follow after Him and be at peace.
I leave you with this passage from Jeremiah. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet of God during a time that would see Judah invaded by the Babylonians and his people taken away into exile. It would be a time of dramatic change, upheaval, and fear. But God called Jeremiah to speak his word faithfully and this is what he had to say to him. Jeremiah 1:4-10
The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
THE TORCH HAS BEEN PASSED……
Yesterday (August 30th) was a great day of worship at Meadowbrook, a day of lifting praises to God and reflecting on His worthiness and His glory.
It was also an emotional day, a bittersweet occasion, and a time to be challenged to continue serving the Lord in faith. Yesterday was Steve’s last day as Sr. Minister of Meadowbrook, and Zack’s installation as the new Sr. Minister of Meadowbrook.
Messages were given by Jaysun, Mike, and Steve as a charge to Zack (and to the congregation). The messages focused on: Pursuing, Persevering, and Preaching the Word. Afterward, Zack accepted the charge by affirming the following statements:
- Do you believe Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God?
- Do you believe Jesus died a sacrificial death for the sins of man, that he bodily rose from the dead after three days, and is now in heaven seated at the right hand of God the father, awaiting the time he will return to earth in glory?
- Do you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God? And do you agree to conduct your life and ministry according to its teaching?
- Do you believe that you are truly called by God to the life and work of the ministry of Jesus Christ here at Meadowbrook Christian Church?
- Do you accept this call, and do you pledge yourself to serve faithfully in the fulfillment of the responsibilities of this ministry to the best of your ability by God’s grace and the enablement of the Holy Spirit?
- Will you endeavor to be faithful in prayer and in the reading of the scriptures and through study to deepen your knowledge of God’s truth and the human experience?
- Will you endeavor to care for the people of God: nourishing, teaching, and encouraging them; counseling the troubled; declaring God’s forgiveness of sin; and giving direction to the life of this congregation?
- Will you have a loving concern for all people and give yourself to minister impartially to them without any form of prejudice?
- Will you endeavor to live and work in unity with all Christians: witnessing to the visible unity of the Church and cooperating with colleagues in the ministry of Christ’s church?
- Will you endeavor to conduct yourself so that your life is shaped by Jesus Christ, and will you continually strive to live a life that displays a character befitting a Christian as laid out in the biblical scriptures?
The elders then prayed over Zack, offering prayers for him and his family, for his ministry, and for the Meadowbrook congregation. We are grateful to God for how He has worked to bring us to this point in the life of Meadowbrook, and we welcome Zack into his new role!
We finished our time of worship by praying over Steve and Phyllis, expressing gratitude for their years of serving God and His congregation at Meadowbrook, and asking God’s hand of protection and direction as they travel to their new home, adjust to retirement, find a new church home, and build new friendships and relationships in Oklahoma. The “goodbyes” (for now) lasted for a long time outside the building, and there were plenty of joyful tears to go around. Steve and Phyllis, you will be missed. God Bless you both as you continue faithfully living for Him!
As was mentioned a few times during the service yesterday, the charge given to Zack really applies to every follower of Christ. Zack is in a very visible role as Meadowbrook’s minister. Jaysun stated it well when he said “people’s impression of you [Zack], will be their impression of Meadowbrook”. If you have read this far, I encourage you reread the list of ‘charges’ above, and prayerfully consider whether you could answer “yes” to each one of them. If there are some items that ‘need work’, make those part of your prayer focus in the coming days.
As a leadership, we often wonder how many people actually read these Newsletter articles. I’d like to ask you to help give us an indication. When you have read this article, and when you’ve reread the ‘charges’, please send me a text – it can be a ‘Y’ (for ‘Yes’), a thumbs-up emoji, or anything you choose.
Have a great day in the Lord. I’ll see you in September!
September Note from the Elders
We have officially entered the next chapter in the life of Meadowbrook Christian Church! This year has certainly had its fair share of changes, twists and turns, and a lot of uncertainty. As a leadership, we have done a lot of adapting, adjusting, and praying as the changes occur all around us. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that we have not done a very good job of communicating what we are working on, and what plans are being made for the upcoming weeks and months.
One item in particular that you can be praying about is the search for our next staff position. Over the past two years, our focus has changed several times. At various times, we were looking for a part-time Youth Minister, or a part-time Worship Minister, or a part-time Worship leader to work with Randy. Recently, we felt led to change course and pursue a full-time position for a Worship and Youth Minister (that’s two roles, one person). This has been our focus for the last three months. The position has been posted on several Christian college job pages, and more recently on a church staffing website. This has been a long process, and we greatly appreciate your prayers as we review resumes, contact prospects, and seek God’s leading for the person He has prepared to come to Meadowbrook.
Some other areas that are very important to the life of the church are also on our prayer/action list. Here is a partial list:
- Shepherding the flock
- Planning for resumption of Life Groups, and other church activities
- Looking to the future of Meadowbrook
- Training up new leadership
- Moving forward in areas of safety and security
Your prayers matter to God and they matter to us – thank you for faithfully praying, and for the privilege of serving together with you. We are truly blessed to be members of the Meadowbrook family!
For the elders,
New Address for Steve and Phyllis Martin
Their new address is 9224 NW 90th St., Yukon, OK. 73099.
Their phone numbers are staying the same.
Send them a letter or card to say hi!
The missions team is excited to announce that thanks to the generosity of the Meadowbrook family, we will be supporting a new mission. Starting this month the Jinja Church of Christ in Jinja, Uganda, (which happens to be the home town of Sarah Schewe) will become our newest mission partner. The Jinja church has been involved with outreach to the region of Karamoja, one of the poorest areas in Uganda. The Jinja family has been working to establish a Bible school study center to train Christian leaders, along with providing support to Karamoja farmers with long-term goals of providing wells for drinking water and establishing schools in the area. Our donations to the Jinja church will support these efforts in the Karamoja region. We are excited to become partners with God’s work in this field.
Closer to home, the missions team would like to thank you all once again for your involvement with the “Cycle the Campus” event supporting His House Ministries. The Virtual Ride has been completed, and at the time of this writing, His House has received $39,191 in donations from this year’s event.
Lastly (but not least), it has been announced in Worship Service that we are soliciting final donations for the TCM mission project started before the lockdown. As you may recall, we were raising funds to refurbish the dining hall at TCM’s training center in Austria. Every $400 we raise will purchase a table for the dining hall. To date, we have received $820 toward our goal of $2000. We will continue to accept donations until September 13, at which time we will send our final gift to TCM. Please look for the TCM donation box in the foyer at the church building, or send a check to the church office written to Meadowbrook Christian Church with “TCM project” in the memo line.
Ron Meegan – September 5
John & Stephanie Ciuba (Ann.) – September 5
Phil Johnson – September 7
Mike & Linda Tingley (Ann.) – September 10
Hector & Laura Urteaga (Ann.) – September 12
Tim & Carol Howell (Ann.) – September 12
Jaysun Thomas – September 23
John Ciuba III – September 25
Pat & Nona Wundrach (Ann.) – September 26
Joy Ciuba – September 28