Hundreds of pastors from across Palm Beach County united in Journey Church in Lake Worth for today’s Church United Gathering.
The morning opened with a small group of pastors and ministry leaders who gathered to pray. Pastor Todd Mullins of Christ Fellowship Church opened the prayer, “Hallowed be Your name,” praising and thanking God for all that He is and all that He has done for His people, and praying for any pastor who feels disconnected and overburdened.
Breakfast followed, as crowds gathered around tables along the church patio. Leaders chatted and enjoyed a full breakfast of bacon, eggs, and assorted pastries.
Shawn Allen, Senior Pastor of Church in the Palms in Royal Palm Beach shared with Aaron Filipone, Senior Pastor of Family Church Downtown Gardens, some of the community minded missions his church and other churches in his vicinity have been working on. Pastor Aaron introduced the Director of Communications for Family Church, Carly Seelman to the table leading to a conversation about social media in the church.
The official Gathering began at 9:30 am in the sanctuary of Journey Church, with Pastor Todd praying for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit that they could lead from a place of being filled up.
Continuing with the service, Pastor Todd thanked Pastor Scott Baugh of Journey Church, for hosting, commending him as a “great pastor, great leader, faithful through the good, the bad, the high’s and the low’s, a blessing to the community…ending with the ribbing, “We’re just glad that you and Pastor Chris were able to meet at Christ Fellowship.”
Church United is a gathering of pastors who meet several times a year to bring about a radical transformation of this region for Jesus Christ. Quoting from John 17:23, Pastor Todd said that the when Christians unite, the Gospel will be known. “Some things can’t be done alone. They have to be done together. We are not just having unity for unity’s sake. We are uniting for mission’s sake, so we will pray and serve and lift up the name of Jesus…to draw all people to Christ.”
Pastor Jonathan Bonar will be providing leadership for the Church United team, and will work to connect pastors.
Three prongs to the mission of Church United include Faith, Hope and Love. Under the prong of faith, their goal is to double the population of believers in Palm Beach County by the year 2023. Under Hope, they want to reach the next generation through supporting schools and programs, and under Love, they plan to serve the homeless population and help hunger initiatives.
Last November, Church United got together and formed the mission, Love South Florida in partnership with Broward. In the first year, over 15 churches participated with over 2,600 volunteers serving over 8,000 hours in the month of November.
Pastor Todd turned the platform over to Pastor Jimmy Scroggins, Senior Pastor of The Family Church Network, a network of eleven independently operating churches in Palm Beach County.
Pastor Jimmy, known for the humility with which he leads the churches, responded, “I never get tired of saying this publicly. God has raised you [Pastor Todd] and your family up in this region for this generation, and we are all very grateful for what God is doing through you and what He has done.” Encouraging Pastor Todd for the work he is doing, he said, “Really, this gathering has gathered steam because God has laid it on your heart and you have kept it going.”
Pastor Jimmy got on his knees, inviting all who wished to kneel with him. With most of the congregation bowed down on their knees, Pastor Jimmy prayed with the pastors and ministry leaders, thanking God for being a part of this Ancient Organization [the church] and asking God to take those who are down-trodden and discouraged and give them encouragement.
We want to decrease so that He can increase.
They prayed together, for God to help those who are emotionally spent, asking that God would fill them with the Holy Spirit and send other people to come alongside them with encouragement.
Pastor Jimmy led them as they prayed for the lost and the broken, the lame and confused, and for those who have been deceived, proclaiming, “We serve a God of light and power who is about destroying the works of the devil.” He ended with the humble plea, “We want to decrease so that He can increase.”
Pastor Scott Baugh, of Journey Church, took the altar to offer a word to the pastors and began with the declaration that the Bible is “all truth” admitting that in his own life, he has not always lived like it’s all true.
He asked the question, if someone is in church, worshiping and in the middle of writing a check he remembers that he has an unresolved issue with someone, does God actually want that man to get up and leave and take care of it? Is that relationship more important to God than worshiping and praising Him?
Does God really mean, “Don’t let the sun go down in your anger.” Does this emotional Father who wept over His people really mean what He said?
Did He really mean, in the last days men are going to dream dreams and have visions? “I’ve never had one,” Pastor Scott confessed.
The question is not, “Is it true?” The question is, “Is it all true.”
Pastor Scott asked the pastors, “Is it true that God really opposes the proud, no matter how good and talented of a leader they are? Are servants really elevated above leaders?”
Is it really true that we reap what we sow?
This singular principle has had the greatest impact on his recent life. The principle is, “You will reap what you sow.”
At the end of the day, in our lives, the seeds that we plant today; our actions, our behaviors, our priorities, our calendars, what we do with our time, talent and treasure in life will ultimately determine what we experience tomorrow.
Do not be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7
Pastor Scott felt the Lord telling him that he was praying for trees instead of planting seeds. When we do our part, we will reap what we sow. We need to pray, but we need to plant what we pray for.
Pastor Scott ended with three principles.
- God takes small seeds and turns them into big tress.
- You don’t always sow and reap in the same season.
- The kind of seed you plant will determine the kind of plant you experience.