The thought of a pastor having a pastor can be hard for some people to grasp, but it seems like the most natural and appropriate relationship in the world to me. It was a joy to host Pastor Scott as our guest yesterday. For more than 13 years, I have looked to Scott as a pastor, mentor, and friend. I am thankful for his leadership and wisdom, and I was excited by his message from yesterday.
As you are aware, Emmanuel Fellowship is a non-denominational church. But, that does not mean we are un-connected, anti-relational, or non-dependent upon the influence of others. Our local congregation is autonomous in that decisions affecting our church are made by our local leadership, but we have chosen to live by the Biblical principles we teach. In a practical sense, this means that we as a congregation tithe ten percent of our income into ministries and missions around the world, and our leadership seeks out godly relationships and accountability. I hope it is encouraging for you to know that your pastor has a pastor, and your pastor’s pastor has a pastor as well!
The primary framework for our church’s relationships comes through an organization called Summit Ministries International. SMI is a connection of churches and ministries who have banded together to tend to the basic needs of ministers and ministries. SMI provides an avenue for fellowship, vision sharing, cooperative mission endeavors, continuing education, and church assessments.
The point that I want you to consider is that no man and no church is an island. Though each of us carries the final accountability for our actions, we were designed to live in relationship. Each of us, pastors included, needs the benefit and the blessing of connecting with a spiritual vision larger than our own. It is my sincere prayer that Emmanuel Fellowship Church is more than a place for you to attend. I pray it is a ministry you can connect with. I pray it is a place where fellowship, vision sharing, mission endeavors, education, and personal growth can occur in your life. I know it is occurring in mine!