Recently our pastor had announced that he and his family would be moving to another church. I was flooded with emotions. Some of the emotions were selfish in nature but many would fit the understanding category.
I wanted to share the impact Rusty Wirt has had on me. I do not know if I could actually say this in person so I wanted to write it down. The older I have become the more emotional I have become. I can go from zero to tears in seconds.
Here is the impact one family has had on us:
After being in vocational ministry for 12 years we decided that God was leading us in a different direction. We were hurt in our last place of ministry and the scars ran deep. To be totally honest, I really never believe I would even grace a classroom or pulpit again. I was exhausted, fed up, lacking trust in the church and drained. I had decided it was time to just "be a church member".
Little did I know how God would begin to heal these scars.
Our first visit to Community Fellowship was one where we knew it was home. We felt welcome, we loved the worship, the teaching and just atmosphere of the church in general. I finally felt that I could heal in a church like this and worship unhindered. It was almost like I could breathe again and Sunday was something I was excited about again.
We were invited to eat with Rusty and Sherry Wirt and fellowship at their home. We began sharing our story with this wonderful couple and they listened. What was crazy is that they had been through some similar situations and I felt like we could relate. It was refreshing to be able to open up to someone about our past experience and know that they cared. They genuinely cared!
We dove in pretty quick at Community Fellowship and it was amazing. What I enjoyed the most is that my thoughts were being challenged. Why do I believe the way I do? What does the scriptures say about it? It was time to stop taking everyone's word for it and really dig in. I had explored the scriptures like this before but the environment was always one that I could not really share my thoughts.
Doing this began to unveil the minister/teacher that God had always wanted me to be. I had spent so many years patterning each pastor I ministered under. My sermons were almost textbook and just felt dry. There were the:
- Messages with points that rhymed.
- Messages that points all started with the same letter
- Messages that were topical in nature that really did not use the scriptures in the way they were intended.
This is not what God wanted from me. God called Jamie into ministry he did not call some pseudo Jamie. I have unique experiences, talents and gifts that God has given ME to further his message. It was time to really start searching through the scriptures and challenge myself. It has been a wild ride and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
So to our pastor Rusty Wirt:
You will never know how much the brief few years we have known each other has impacted me. I had spent so many years patterning each pastor I worked with and I seemed to have lost the very person God intended me to be. I know now who that person is and will never veer from that path. I will ever be grateful to you and your wonderful family.
I know God has moved you onward and we may not meet many times after July but know your teaching meant something. God has and will continue to use you and Sherri in an amazing way.
I am "tracking with you" brother. (1 Timothy 4)