Message from the Pastor's Desk
1 Corinthians 4: 20 "Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found faithful".
I'm sure you're all aware that our congregation here at Old Brick Church holds membership in the Reformed Church
in America, the RCA. The Reformed Church in America is the oldest Protestant denomination in the United States. It
is also a rather small denomination with a total membership of approximately 220, 000. Even though it's relatively
small, the RCA is a wonderful denomination with a great heritage and a strong sense of mission. Visit the RCA.org.
website to learn more about the RCA, the denomination in which we hold membership.
Each year congregations, as part of their obligation to the RCA, are required to submit an annual report concerning
our church life. In the report we're asked some statistical information such as the number of confessing and
non-confessing members, the number of families in the congregation and the number of active and inactive members we
have on our Church rolls. We also report the number of baptisms we've celebrated, as well as the number of new members
we received, the number of those who have died, and those who have transferred their membership to other places. While
sometimes tedious, those reports are helpful to folks in the higher judicatories to gauge how our denomination is doing
nationally and in various regions of the country.
I'm sure you'd agree with me while statistics do shed some light on trends and the direction where, generally, things
are heading, in and of themselves statistics don't really provide a full picture of the success or lack thereof of a
particular church's ministry. For example, in my 41 years of ministry, I've seen congregations, many in fact, that were
small and struggling accomplish incredible things for the Kingdom of God. Some created Christian schools in urban
communities, some churches created food pantries, or became senior citizen community centers. Others established drug
rehabilitation centers and many other remarkable ministries for Christ. I've also seen, sadly, some large churches with
huge memberships that were stale, dry and lifeless. Statistics, while they have their place, never accurately measure
the true spiritual health of a congregation.
The really important issue is this: Are we faithful to the Lord personally, as individuals, and corporately as a
congregation? Are we committed to Christ and to advancing His Kingdom? Are we devoted to prayer, worship, the study of
scripture, and yielded to the guidance of the Holy Spirit? And, are we faithfully using the gifts and talents the Lord
has given us for the glory of God? Paul tells us the most significant criteria for a follower of Christ. In 1 Corinthians
4:20 he says: "Moreover it is required of stewards, (that is those entrusted with their Master's possessions, that's you
and me), that they be found faithful, or, trustworthy".
Faithfulness is God's requirement for individuals and churches. I'd like to think if our Lord were to assess our ministry
here at Old Brick, examining all that we do, how we relate to Him and interact with one another, He'd commend us and say:
"Well done, good and faithful servants" ... "Stay the course!" "Keep on doing what you're doing". "Remain faithful and
leave the rest to me".
Yours in Christ,
Pastor George Kaden