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East Pickens Baptist Church

Okay, so it’s been a few days since my last post. I do have a great excuse though…it is my first week at a new ministry position and that takes a lot of preparatory work. More on that later…

I am in my first week as Pastor of Creative Worship at East Pickens Baptist Church in Pickens, SC. Several things drew me to this church…first and foremost, God’s direction. Some of the other drawing cards were two separate services covering traditional worship in one and contemporary worship in the other. Though blended services (a mixture of the two) are another alternative, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to meet the needs of everyone. Those who prefer traditional, only get a portion of their needs met. Those who prefer contemporary, the same. Though splitting into two services does create somewhat of a void between the two groups of people attending the separate services, this difficulty can certainly be overcome in many ways (church-wide fellowships, somewhat frequent joint services, specific prayer for the “other” service, etc.)

A second aspect that drew us here are the abundance of young families. With Heather and I having our first child in December of 2008, we felt a strong desire and need to be surrounded by people in the same stage of life. The contemporary service is overflowing with young families. The young couples Sunday School class is already busting at the seams. We are very excited to be a part of this.

A third part of this draw is that East Pickens is a mission-minded church…an “others-focused” group of people. The local church is not designed to be a place just to take care of our own (“us four and no more” or the “country club mentality”). The church does meet the needs of its own (see the book of Acts), but it must reach outside the four walls to others. We got a packet of material from East Pickens in the interview process. Included in that was a calendar of events for the next 6 months or so. That list included mission trips to Romania, Thailand, Nova Scotia, South Korea, Peru, and Blufton, SC. That blew me away…and with Heather’s background in missions, she was quite impressed as well. A church not thinking of itself but others…what a concept.

Another drawing card for me specifically were the connections made in the interview process. When I was in college, I played disc golf (a specialized golf course that uses flying discs – like Frisbees but smaller). I haven’t played in a long time…talked about it, but haven’t. There is a group here, a large group, that plays on an almost weekly basis. I will definitely be hooking up with them. Secondly, Heather and I have been trying for over a year to sell my motorcycle. It just hasn’t happened…but we think we know why now. Probably a third of the church ride motorcycles (estimate based on the very large number of people I talked with that ride). I’m seriously looking forward to that!

So there’s the low down on some of the things that drew us to East Pickens. This isn’t all inclusive though. The people are great, the staff is awesome, the facilities are nice, etc… So to those of you at East Pickens, I’m ready…are you?


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