My First Church…(Part 1)

I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic lately as I’ve found a number of facebook friends from my first church, Pine Mountain Christian Community Church.  So, I thought that it might be fun to reminisce a little bit about how God brought me to PMC Church and some of the lessons I learned there.  This is the first in a series of posts on “My First Church“.

PMC%20Church%20in%20the%20Snow%20B On September 11, 2001 the worst terrorist attack in American History occurred.  I remember watching the news that morning as the twin towers fell and as the pentagon was attacked.  At the time I was working for an Industrial Medical Clinic as Amy was finishing her teaching credential.  Our plan was for Amy to begin teaching the following year and for me to go to seminary full time and begin looking for a church after that.  September 11th changed all of that.

That night my family had been invited to a BBQ where I ran into Scott, who was one of my old youth leaders from High School.  As we talked he mentioned that there was a church in Pine Mountain Club that was looking for a pastor who could lead worship and run a youth program and that I should give them a call.  In my mind, I was thinking that there was no way that I could actually land a ministry position but I knew that eventually I would be candidating and this would certainly give me some good experience, so I went ahead and called the church to get some more information.

pmcsnow1Pine Mountain Club (PMC) is located about 1 hour south-west of Bakersfield in the mountains.  It is a small town of about 2,000 full time residents and is a beautiful place to live.  PMC has a great golf course (which I spent a lot of time enjoying), a recreation center for kids, a community pool, and a lot of other amenities.  The summers in PMC are very pleasant and the winters  are simply majestic due to the snow fall and the mountainous atmosphere.

Having never candidated before I had no idea what to expect from the process.  The first thing that Pastor Ray (the pastor of PMC Church) asked for was a recording of me leading worship, which I promptly drove up to him.  Over the course of the next several months I spoke with Ray, spoke with the elders and even had a few elders come and watch me lead a college group at my home church (Riverlakes Community Church).

The whole process culminated in an interview with Ray and the elder board sometime that November and the next thing I knew, I was hired!  Amy and I went to Pastor Ray’s house after the meeting and spent some time with his wife and kids.  That night Ray began the process of discipling me in ministry.  I’ll never forget the lesson that he taught me that night.  He said, “When you’re in ministry one of the most important things that you can do is to always think the best of the sheep you are caring for.”  It was a simple lesson, but it has had profound implications for me in ministry.  I wish that I could say that I learned it immediately, but it’s probably taken up to this last year for me to finally get what Ray was trying to teach me that night.

I think one of the most significant lessons that I have learned as I reflect back on coming to PMC Church is to appreciate the absolute sovereignty of God over all of life.  Prior to that September 11th I had never even heard of Pine Mountain Club (I actually didn’t know that there was anything west of Frazier Park on that road).  Even after hearing about PMC Church I never actually believed that they would hire me, at best I was hoping to get experience candidating so I would be more prepared when the time came.  In the sovereignty of God, He knew that there was a church in PMC that needed a pastor and so he orchestrated all of the events of my life and the life of this church to bring me there.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

August 03 2009 04:00 am | My First Church

Comments are closed.