To Front Range Baptist Church,
 
About a year ago, I added a simple request to my daily prayer list.  I actually mentioned it a few months ago in a Sunday morning sermon.  It is this:

“Lord, use me to my greatest potential to influence my family, and others, for You.”

I prayed that prayer with the desire that God would extend influence in my place of ministry, not with any thought that it might include some place other than here.  I believe that often the Lord answers our prayers in ways we could not have anticipated, nor even desired.

Last month, I was asked by the pulpit committee at the Campus Church at Pensacola Christian College if I would consider candidating for the position of Senior Pastor.  This is the church where I served for 15 years as youth pastor, prior to coming to FRBC.

I have accepted their invitation and will do so on Sunday, June 24th. That evening, the Campus Church will vote on calling me as pastor and God will either confirm what I believe He is leading us to do, or, He will demonstrate that, humanly, I do not always correctly interpret His leading.

To say that I love serving as pastor at Front Range Baptist Church would be an incredible understatement.  It is truly my high privilege and great honor to do so.  Both Julie and I have always assumed that God would allow us to finish our days of pastoral ministry here.  Proverbs 16:9 says this:

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

It appears that the Lord is directing my steps in a way I had not anticipated.

Recently, I was reviewing some old articles I had written for our weekly bulletin.  I came across this one from January of 2010.  It reads as follows:

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I can’t claim to have grown up on a farm, but when my parents told me to go weed our little garden, I felt like I was being asked to tend to some 400-acre farm.  In actuality, it was nothing more than a rich little plot of ground that made for a wonderful garden behind our old garage (right next to our rhubarb patch).  To be quite honest, it was a small task that I found difficult.  Looking back, it may actually have been difficult for a boy of ten or twelve, but today, I might find it quite enjoyable.

God, in His wisdom, often gives us our own little spiritual “plot of ground” to care for.  Oh, it requires watering and weeding as do all gardens, and it produces some wonderful fruit that you are bound to enjoy.  Then, almost all to abruptly, God plucks you up from your quaint little garden and calls you to tend another plot of ground.  He did this to Barnabas and Saul.  They both had their own fruitful gardens when God “separated” them to begin plowing and planting and weeding in a much more challenging field.  God said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2).  Maybe God has recently been “separating” you from your comfortable garden and placed you in the “back forty” for a work that is, to you, of overwhelming proportions.  Don’t become too attached to the garden in which you are working.  If God takes away your garden rake and your hand shovel, He may just replace them with a tractor and a combine!

I certainly love tending this “fruitful garden.” 

Please know, you are deeply cherished by this pastor and his family.  Julie and I have never, in all our years of ministry, made a more difficult decision than this.  We covet your prayers, even as we trust you know, you are continually in ours.

I, along with our chairman of deacons, will certainly keep you posted regarding upcoming plans.  Should God confirm what I sense He is leading us to do, I am confident that He has already been preparing the one that will stand in this pulpit and shepherd this truly wonderful flock.

 

Please be assured, I love you all very much.

Philippians 4:7 says:

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 
Dr. Jeff Redlin