We are pleased to announce…
It’s Official! Tonight I am again a church planter and pastor.
Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL convened this evening and voted to agree that God has called Mary and me to stay put here in Southwest Florida to start a new church. We are happy to stay and we rejoice in their prayerful affirmation of this new endeavor.
Grace has called me to serve as their Pastor of Church Planting. My primary role will be to devote my energies in serving eastern Lee county with the hopes that God will transform lives with the Gospel and raise up a new church for His glory.
Another exciting element in all of this is that Grace has a vision for seeing God start many more churches through a new church planting network. I will be assisting them in attempting to see this vision realized.
One blessing I celebrate, having had a small part in seeing Everglades Baptist in Okeechobee form, is to see the enormous impact for the Kingdom of God the church continues to make. I long to invest my life in eternal investments, which God can still use long after I am gone. Starting new churches is a New Testament method of doing this.
Like the birth of a child, or the new birth of a believer, the birth of a church is a miracle. Much stands in opposition of a new church ever getting started. Mary and I face the fact that unless God moves, our efforts will be in vain.
An update on what happens next for our family is expected real soon. Meanwhile, I have had a little extra time lately to do some thinking. This can be dangerous, I know. I realize many (very old and very new friends) who have read this blog might be wondering, “How’d we get here?” Here’s the short version…
Nearly 14 years ago this month (Apr. 1995), I was a seasoned freshman in college. The most important thing in my life then was baseball. I had just met a pretty girl who attended a nearby college and she was out of my league! One night at the college I attended in WPB, we were sitting on the tailgate of Ole Blue (my first p/u truck), and she told me about her faith in Christ. At that moment, my thoughts went from, “How lucky am I right now?” to “This is just my luck! This pretty girl is one of those weird religious types!”
I was raised Catholic, and throughout my teenage years God to me was just plain irrelevant to life. The only times as a teenager I attended the parish I grew up in was to see a girl I liked. I had two good friends in high school who would try to convince me of the existence of God, but usually it was while we were out together late at night doing things we were not supposed to do. Needless to say, since their behavior was no different than mine, my so-called “Christian” friends’ behavior supported my claim that God was irrelevant.
On February 8, 2009, our friends Carlos and Lily Llambes, missionaries in Santo Domingo, shared with our Sunday School class that the surprises from God are always good. Four days later, God surprised me!
Many of you, our friends, have been wondering whats happening with the Bergens. We have been somewhat out of touch for two months. Over the next few weeks, I hope to share the latest developments and happenings in our life and ministry through this blog.
We have had some surprising changes in life as of late. Yet, we are confident none of this has caught God by surprise. This surprise did not come gently to us, but we have found Christ to be enough in life. And, we see the potential for exciting changes on the horizon.
Over the past two months, we have been sustained by the grace of God, and have been encouraged by many of you, with your kindness to us and your prayers. God has truly lavished His goodness on our family through so many who have prayed with us and stood with us to bear some of our burdens.