From guest blogger Pastor Keith Albert, Pastor of Missions for Family Church, formerly Pastor of Jog Road Baptist Church for 26 years.
The Assumption of Others
When I meet people in the community who know me and know about what has happened at Jog Road Baptist Church, they often ask me this question: “So how have things been since the takeover?” The question is well intentioned, but it also carries with it the perception that Jog Road was forced into the decision to partner with Family Church. Some think “big brother” kicked out the little guy and took all his stuff. It implies force, manipulation, or intimidation. However, nothing could be further from the truth. We were the ones who approached Family Church about a partnership, not the other way around.
A Unanimous Decision
In December 2014, our church body voted unanimously to partner with Family Church. It was a difficult decision, and it was our best, most strategic option. We studied, discussed, debated, prayed, and made our decision based on what we knew about God and His mission to make disciples as well as on the changing demographics of the area (a need to minister in Spanish). Over the last 26 years I have observed other churches that refused to address their need for revitalization. They appeared to be concerned about keeping the doors open to “their” building and continuing their traditions. Our desire was to be part of a mission that is bigger than us.
My Heart Is Overflowing
Over the last few weeks I have attended services at our former Jog Road campus, which is now Iglesia Familiar Greenacres, to speak about international missions. The place has been packed! Adults, students, and children fill the campus. The parking lot is overflowing…and so is my heart. God showed me how His kingdom is expanding and His name is being made great because of the commitment and sacrifice of the members of our former church. I am convinced that our decision to partner with Family Church is one of the best ministry decisions of which I have ever been a part. Because of the integrity and competence of the Jog Road staff, every person who has chosen to stay is serving faithfully and fruitfully at Family Church.
Revitalization Requires Change
God has blessed our decision, but the revitalization of Jog Road has instigated big changes for our church members and for my family. I have experienced the rich reward of seeing God quickly bless this decision, but significant sacrifices were made. I will address them in my next post. I have learned that kingdom advancement often demands sacrifice and it is always worth it!
Coming soon: Part 3, “Impact on Family and Church”