Pressing On

Greg GosselinI press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

I will never forget when I first decided to hike on the Appalachian Trail. I had several opportunities beforehand but had politely declined. You see, our church in Panama City had a large hiking club. Dan Harrison tried to convince me several times to go. I watched them walk on the beach with their backpacks. I knew they walked the streets for hours on end getting ready. I also knew that the only “running water” came from streams in the middle of the woods, so…no thanks.

So here I was 50 years old planning my first hike. I knew I had to lose a lot of weight (no comments). I had to buy everything. I spent about 7 months of intense training. I talked to people who were dedicated hikers and took their advice. Ed Rutledge was a huge help and inspiration. I walked 5 miles every night sometimes at 1:00 am. I walked in freezing weather, I walked in storms and I walked in the sweltering heat. One time, I spent 2 hours walking up and down the stairs of the coliseum in the middle of the summer! That was dedication.

And the dedication paid off. I have had the most amazing adventures and have met some of the most interesting people on the Trail. I have seen vistas from mountain tops that would bring tears to your eyes. It was a lot of work. It took a lot of dedication, but it was worth every step and every bit of work.

Of course, we know that anything we want to be good at takes work and practice. Do you want to play the piano or guitar? You are going to have to work and practice. Do you want to be the star player? You are going to have to practice and train. Do you want to build things, learn a new craft or art? Well, it is going to take work to be good at it.

Building a church takes no less work. I remember talking to Dr. Huff about Eastern Hills. He told us that we had an amazing, loving church. He said that we were a hidden gem in Forest Hills. He said that it was going to take work to get our numbers back up and get people back to church and reach new people. I asked, “Well, when we get our new pastor, won’t that grow our church?”

His response was, “You could get the best pulpiteer in the country to come to Eastern Hills, but a pastor does not grow a church, the people do.”

The people grow the church. What are we doing to help our church grow? Do you invite the server at your favorite restaurant? Do you talk favorably of your church and invite people who are on your ball team or in your workplace? Do you get involved in outreach opportunities of the church? Are you willing to reach people, even if they are different from us?

Like anything in life, growing a church takes work. It takes all of us doing our part to move forward. It is time to choose, I want to be part of growing Eastern Hills or do I want to be a spectator?


Greg Gosselin About Greg Gosselin

Greg was born and raised in Miami, FL. He is affectionately known as “Father Goose”. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of six at the First Baptist Church of Perrine, FL. Greg came to Eastern Hills Baptist Church in February of 2004 from the First Baptist Church of Paris, TX.