Rekindling the love of God and each other
July 5, 2017 / By Pastor Scott Rogers, Whitehall UMC
Editor’s Note: The Adirondack District Superintendent, the Rev. Bill Mudge informed the UNY Conference about the pastor of Whitehall UMC; he said, “Pastor Scott Rogers came to us as a missionary - he agreed to take on a congregation that admitted they could not offer much in the way of financial support because he was following the call of God on his life. The congregation and its ministry has revitalized and grown both numerically and in depth of spirit.” This is what Pastor Rogers has written about his ministry.
Look for the next issue of the Advocate, arriving in churches and published on the UNY Issuu website within the next couple of weeks, which features several stories from churches and individuals who, like Pastor Rogers, have trusted that God is enough.
Brief Testimony on The Sufficiency of Grace:
Is Jesus enough? I have learned and continue to learn that Christ alone is certainly enough. 2 Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
God’s Mission & Today’s Ministry Context:
What a beautiful story! God has set out to redeem and restore all of broken creation through the blood of his son Jesus (Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1: 15-17). From this perspective, it is my understanding that disciples go with Jesus and not the other way around (John 8:12; Matthew 28: 18-20). This is because it is God’s mission in the world and not ours. His beloved Church, in the power of the Holy Spirit, receives with joy this grand invitation for participation (Acts 1:8)!
God developed a sense of urgency in me to reach our contemporary post-Christian American culture with the Good News. This is a tall order! In some cases there has been a subtle effort to undermine the power of scripture (Sola scriptura) to transform our lives, (John 8: 31-32; Hebrews 4:12) which leads to transformed kingdom shaped communities. Without this crucial connection to the source of faith and love (John 1:1-5), families become untethered to the truths of God and we lose our way
My Current Assignment(s):
My first step of faith was helping my brother, also a pastor, with church planting efforts in Vermont during the summer of 2014. My family and I served with this planting team for one year before we began a season of fasting and prayer regarding how God could use us independently. It was during this time that God orchestrated our relationship with Bill Mudge and we began discussing the opportunity to serve Whitehall UMC and Fort Ann UPC. We accepted God’s call in July 2015.As a novice, I only knew to do one thing--Tell the story of Jesus (Mark 16:15).
The average attendance for Whitehall UMC has increased from 12-15 each Sunday to approx. 50-60 over a year-and-a-half span. Our best number to date is 90. To God be the glory! For better or worse we have not used any special curriculum, style of worship, or outreach effort. Together, we are simply returning (an act of repentance) to the word of God and learning to trust God in all things. Love for God and each other are being rekindled in both churches. Although we are not yet where we want to be; God is bringing the increase spiritually and numerically and in this order (I Corinthians 3:7). We trust that as we grow we will bear more fruit (John 15:5).
It is such a special blessing to be able to spend time in God’s word each week and for him to reveal the nature of his love for all of us in this process. For me, the only thing better than preaching is preparing to preach during the week! I have simply felt compelled to expound on this each Sunday morning. The summation is always Christ’s life, crucifixion, and resurrection from the dead (I Corinthians 1: 23). Finally, we are all, as disciples, continuing to grow up in Christ (Ephesians 4:15) and learning that the Spirit that lives within us is very bold (2 Timothy 1:7). So, is Jesus alone really enough? You betcha (Philippians 4:19; 2 Peter 1: 3-4)! We trust that you will pray with us that laborers are sent to testify to Him! (Luke 10:2)