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A Celebration of Motherhood

When Paul described his ministry among the Thessalonians he said he was “gentle, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children” (1 Thess. 2:7). There’s something beautiful about motherhood that everyone, even the most masculine among us, ought to imitate. As we live together as members of this church, we all ought to take on the gentle, nurturing care of a mother. That means we strive to treat one another with warm affection, tenderhearted love, and watchful care. Even Jesus compared his love and care for Jerusalem to a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings (Matthew 23:37).

On this Mother’s Day, it’s good to remember how valuable motherhood is in the church. Men and women alike need to value God’s design in motherhood. Women are absolutely, unequivocally essential for the health of the church. Mothers, yes, but all women too. We must remember, God gave his first command to rule and subdue the earth to Adam and Eve. Their roles would be different, but they were both essential for playing it out.

So it is in the church today. It may be tempting to think that because men are called to be elders and teachers in the church, that women are not as valuable. This is Satan’s lie. Men and women are equal in dignity, equal in necessity, but different in the roles they were given to play. Adam was called to “work and keep” the garden while Eve was called a “helper.” Both roles were essential.

So on Mother’s Day let’s celebrate that God made women different than men. Let’s celebrate that women tend toward nurturing, caring, and supporting. Men, let’s encourage our women to live out this maternal calling-- at home and in the church. Let’s celebrate the singles who have taken it upon themselves to “mother” a younger generation. Let’s celebrate the empty-nesters who are investing in young mothers with wisdom, grace, and truth. Let’s celebrate God’s grace in motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Posted by Eric Durso with

Committed to One Another

It is one of the great privileges of my life to be able to be your pastor. I am humbled that God would be so kind to me, giving me this congregation to love and serve and teach and shepherd.

When Pastor Roy announced his retirement there were some difficult decisions to be made. Many of you found yourself in this hard place, wondering what would happen next and whether or not you should stick around.

If you’re here, you decided to hang around. I trust one of the reasons you stayed is you were trusting the Lord to lead this church through the uncertainty. You knew the Lord could bring about the changes necessary to bring this church back to health and viability. If that’s you, I want to commend you, thank you, and encourage you do press on in the Lord.

Everyone here has commitments. First, we’re committed to our Lord Jesus. That’s foremost. Underneath that, we make commitments to one another. As a pastor among you, here are some of my commitments to you.

  • I am committed to love you as well as I can.
  • I am committed to teach and preach God’s Word as best I know how.
  • I am committed to pray regularly for you by name.
  • I am committed to sharing life with you as my new family.
  • I am committed to staying here for the long haul if the Lord wills.

Can I ask you to make some commitments to me as well?

  • Will you pray for me and my family?
  • Will you love and protect my wife and kids?
  • Will you put up with my quirks, missteps, and shortcomings?
  • Will you pray that our church continues to grow toward health, even to the point where we’re making disciples, training leaders, and reaching our community?

It is an immense privilege to be a part of this church. I look forward to gathering with you each Sunday. Please, continue praying for a growing love for Christ, an increasing sense of unity, and a heightening zeal for service. The Lord is worthy.

Posted by Eric Durso with

An Intergenerational Church

I’m thrilled that the Lord has allowed me to be part of this inter-generational church. If everyone here was younger, we would lack the blessings of age, experience, and wisdom. If everyone was older, we would lack the energy, excitement and zeal of youth. When the members from Simi and Orange join us from here in Rancho we’ll have infants, toddlers, kids under ten, teens, twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, forty-somethings, fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties! This is beautiful and biblical.

Let’s celebrate this gift. It is a special, unique grace not every church enjoys. It makes us uniquely prepared for biblical growth and ministry.

In Titus 2 Paul speaks about different categories of people. He addresses older men (vs. 2), older women (vs. 3), young women (vs. 4), and younger men (vs. 6). All of them are needed for the church to grow in health. Younger women need older women; younger men need older men. In this sense, a church without older and younger together is crippled. If there are no younger, the older are denied the tremendous growth opportunity that comes with pouring into another generation. If there are no older, the younger are denied the spiritual parenting they need.

This is one of the reasons why it’s great to be here at this church. In Scripture, the aged are never described as useless and the young are never described as burdens. I’m hoping that moving here, my children inherit new spiritual aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. I hope my wife and I get friends much older than us and much younger than us, so we can always be learning and growing and helping others do the same. I hope we all work together to make disciples in our church family and in our community.

These are exciting times. In the coming months, we’ll be doing what we can to get the nursery ready to handle our babies. We hope to prepare some of the rooms for Sunday school. We are going to get the office spaces ready. My prayer is that this church becomes a place humming with ministry-- where children are being discipled, older and younger are meeting for fellowship, leaders are being trained, and people are being helped. We need your help. We need your prayers and your continued faithful support as we look forward to what the Lord has for us.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” Psalm 90:17.

 

Posted by Eric Durso with

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