Friday, July 29, 2011
Bozoo is in Monroe county just about 5 miles outside the city limits of Peterstown WV. Now where is Peterstown? it is about 15 minutes EAST of Princeton, WV off of Highway 460 (on rt. 219 out of Rich Creek, VA) or it's about 15 minutes WEST of Pearisburg, VA or 45 minutes WEST of Blacksburg, VA, home of the VA Tech Chokies, I mean Hokies.
Bozoo is a small rural farming community and is nestled beautifully in the moutains of southern WV and within 30-60 minutes of many places including Bluestone Lake, Pipestem, Winterplace Ski Resort, Lewisburg, the Greenbriar, New River, etc...so many places to camp, fish, sightsee, and enjoy the outdoors.
Bozoo Christian Church is where I will be preaching. It's a small church that has it's roots back to 1896. The church used to be a larger and more active, but in recent years has dwindled down to over half of what they used to be to about 40 faithful people, due to either lack of leadership, no minister, or various other circumstances. However, those that are left desire to see the church grow, get the church moving again, and see God work in their community again. They realize if they do not try and get a full-time Minsiter now, that in the near future they would be in danger of even exisiting or still having services.
Many people my age and situation may want a larger church, or many people seem to be in the movement of going and starting new churches and doing church plants. I've read it's easier to go into a community and start a new church, than it is to go into an old church and try and change it. While this is probably true, I am not going in with the mindset of trying to change the church. I am going in with the mindset and attitude of being faithful with the small things. Helping this church get organized and structured, and provide leadership. I also know with this ministry there will be no quick fixes. It will take much time, prayer, effort, and most of all relying fully on the power of the Holy Spirit and trusting in God to work. As long as people are willing to follow me and we work together, we can change and can grow all under God's blessings.
I like a challenge. I like the thought of going into a church and helping them. I told my wife we are really going to be missionaries to Bozoo. We will not have the resources and things we need at first, and that is why i've asked some of my ministry friends and friends at churches (and I'm asking you) if you want to motivate your church, SS class or small group, or youth group to give a one time donation to the church at BCC there are lots of projects where there is great need and will cost money, which as you know in smaller churches is not in great supply. (if you do want to help, email me firstname.lastname@example.org ). They are going out on a limb to hire me and have spent much money fixing up the parsonage, but there is much more to do.
However, though we may have some resources we will be lacking, we will build toward those things and strive to make the church in all areas better and healthier and it will take time as i grow in relationship and trust with the current members and as wel begin to reach out to that community. We may not have all the high-tech stuff, modern contemporary worship I enjoy, but there are some things in smaller country churches that are nice too. Like great home cooking, friendliness, loyalty, and a giving spirit.
I joked with a freind I am not exactly in high demand, I've moved around too much the past few years, I don't have the typical bible degree from college, and my wife has been married before, so many churches look over me, but I like to think I'm a diamond in the rough. That God isn't finished with me yet, and that if I am faithful and obedient, He will bless me and my family and the church I serve Him in. It's His church and His will be done.
We are looking forward to going to Bozoo, even with the challenges and things ahead, I am confident in God and my ability to serve Him, and with the core group of people there that Bozoo Christian Church can be effective and relevant to that community again. There are not shortage of lost people or unchurched people out there, and there is no shortage of casual christians, church hoppers, and non-committal christians out there. There is plenty of work to do, no matter where you go or serve.