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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: Expecting Geat Things From God
By Tom Parsons


The widow of the founding pastor of the church. One of the church’s charter members. A professional artist specializing in artwork for signs. A member of the church interested in the church’s history. And me, the deacon charged with leading this committee in the planning and execution of the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of our church’s founding.

We wanted a theme that would unify the several events scheduled for the two-day celebration. We shared several ideas and discarded all of them for a variety of reasons. We had not yet hit upon the “magic” phrase that would say all we wanted it to say in as short a phrase as possible.

The church was founded in the mid 1960s, a difficult time in America, and a difficult time especially for Bible-teaching churches. The Bible was being publicly challenged in a way that had not happened in America previously. The founding pastor expected the new church to be Bible-based in all its teachings, policies and ministries. It was to stand firm in its commitment to proclaiming the grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ and in His redemptive work on the cross. To help accomplish its goals, the church was established with the goal of providing a K-12 Christian school as soon as it was able to do so. The school was expected to be a means of countering the growing secular indoctrination Christian students were receiving in the public schools.

With all these expectations in mind, the church began meeting in a rented school building. Soon a property on the edge of the growing city was purchased, and the first building erected. In a matter of months an elementary school was started with the goal of adding grades as resources allowed until there was a K-12 school in place. Before the church celebrated its tenth anniversary, that goal was achieved.

It was the founding pastor’s widow who suggested the phrase that we readily agreed expressed the principle we wanted our celebration to embrace. Our artist incorporated the phrase into a well-designed logo for our weekend. The logo appeared on all letters, invitations, decorations and bulletins we produced for the occasion. Because of my love for writing and for photography, it was suggested I produce a fifteen-minute video of the church’s history to be played at one of the events scheduled for anniversary weekend. It would begin and end with the logo and bear the theme as its title. I eagerly accepted the challenge.

Our weekend came and our people were thrilled as they reviewed what God had done in the four decades of our church’s history. Afterward the general consensus was that our choice of theme was an effective one for conveying what God had done for and through our church.

Perhaps all of us who walk through this life with Jesus Christ should adopt the phrase we used as our theme for that anniversary weekend. Our founding pastor and the charter members expected God to do great things in the new work He directed them to begin. Like them, all of us should have great expectations about what God can and will do. Only our theme was not the title of the Charles Dickens’ novel about an orphan named Pip. Instead our theme stated that walking with God should produce in us Greater Expectations.

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This article has been read 406 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 09/03/11
"Instead our theme stated that walking with God should produce in us Greater Expectations"....Says it all! Nice job. God Bless~
Tom Parsons 09/03/11
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.
Linda Goergen09/05/11
I enjoyed this ...my favorite line was "Like them, all of us should have great expectations about what God can and will do."
That is so true! If this is based on a true story it seems this would be a wonderful church to be a part of!
Edmond Ng 09/06/11
With God, we can certainly expect greater things than before when we are doing the very thing He leads us to do! A nice tribute to a growing church, and an interesting read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/07/11
This is a sweet story.