Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cornerstone Bible Church

Last week, I told a bit about my previous church, Grace Bible Church in Hutchinson, Kansas. At the end of that blog, I said I would say a bit about my new church, Cornerstone Bible Church in Middlefield, Ohio. As of yet, I have not done that. It has been a very busy couple of weeks as I have been getting acclimated to the office and ministry here at CBC. But I wanted to share with everyone a letter I wrote yesterday to the church here. It will be part of the annual report that will be passed out in the next couple of weeks. I guess, this is somewhat of a spoiler for those that go to Cornerstone. Here you go...

Cornerstone Bible Church, 
Let me start by thanking you for your kind welcome to me and my family over the course of the past couple of weeks. We are truly thankful for all that you have done to make us feel part of your family. From the time that I felt called into pastoral ministry, I always knew there would be a time in my life when I would step into a senior (lead) pastor role at some church. And you’re the church! I wanted to take this opportunity to explain to you how we got to CBC.
I want you to know the main reason I was drawn here was because of the relationships I foresaw being built with the elders. We chose CBC over other ministry opportunities primarily because we felt called to go to a place where I could be part of a team of men who work together to shepherd God’s people. I saw that in these men. I know there will be ups and downs with them, but I pray that they will be involved in my life as I am involved with them. Let me be so bold at the beginning to request of you to pray for all the elders on a continual basis. This is not a position to be taken lightly as we are told in Hebrews 13:17: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” When you pray for the elders, I want you to see past the first part of that verse (obey and submit) and think of the second part (those who give an account). I ask you to pray for unity, patience, vision, and forgiveness. Continually through his epistles, Paul asked for the people to pray for him. Trust me, if Paul needed the prayers of the people he ministered to, we need them more.
Another reason that drew me to CBC was an apparent fit with my giftedness and the needs. Almost every spiritual gifts test I have ever taken has told me that my primary gifts are administration, preaching/teaching, and leading. Those were not new revelations to me, for they have been revealed and confirmed to me over the years of being involved in ministry. I love to preach and I hope you will come to understand that. Yet I also love casting vision and leading people. And I love things to be done with decency, order, and excellence (Col. 3:17). Let me be very clear, I am not saying that there hasn’t been preaching, leadership, or administration at CBC. What I am saying is that while candidating, these things came up time and again as we talked to different people as needs at CBC. So, it is my commitment to you to use my gifts to help you do the work of ministry. Paul says it like this: “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11–12). I want to preach, lead, and administrate in order to equip you to do the work of the ministry so that the church is built up. Nothing would please me more. 
On the first Sunday here as I greeted you, I mentioned to you that I am not Jesus. Let me reiterate that, I am not your functional savior in any way. It has been over two years since you have had someone in this position, but let me remind you I am a human just like you. My goal is to point you not to me, but to the One who is our Savior. His name is Jesus. He is much greater than any pastor could ever be. It is my prayer that my life and message will be a reflection of Him in all things. And if that is the case, then I beg of you to follow my example (1 Cor. 11:1). 
I am sure over the next couple of weeks and months you will get a glimpse of my passions and heart for ministry. I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in and through our relationship as we strive to reach Geauga County. 
Serving Jesus, 
Thadeus L Bergmeier 

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