We Promise To Equip You To Serve One Another… To Love You

We Promise To Equip You To Serve One Another… To Love You

July 14, 2022
We Promise To Equip You To Serve One Another… To Love You
Elder Letter by Paul Mermilliod

Sometimes a well-timed question can become an instrument used by the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out. When I was in college, the youth pastor at our church asked me a question that would end up leaving a permanent mark on the trajectory of my life. It was a simple question that on the surface seemed to be of little significance. Here was the question: “Hey Paul, I want to see if you would be willing to lead a discipleship group this summer with some of our high school guys?” Again, a simple question with an equally simple answer: “Yes.” However, for me the answer of “yes” was anything but simple. I had never led a Bible study before, I had never tried to intentionally help someone take a next step of spiritual growth like this, I had never gone to seminary, and honestly I had never had anyone take me through a book study before. I was a college dude trying to figure out how to personally follow Jesus. Now I was asked to help others on that same journey.

Looking back on that moment almost two decades later, I don’t really know why I said “yes” beyond that it was a right and obedient thing to do. Jesus said to “go make disciples” and now I had been given an opportunity to obey and walk in faith. Through that experience God grew me and changed me. When I use the word “change,” I do not mean radical, transformational change. I mean incremental change. He gave me a new degree of love for those guys, His church, His Word, His grace, and His mission.

Not only did God change me, but He also changed some of those guys. Most of them I have since lost contact with. Some aren’t following Jesus, others are living in the grip of cultural Christianity, but for a couple of them God used that Bible study to grip their hearts and to help change the trajectory of their lives. They love Jesus, and point others to know, love, and follow Him. I cannot take any credit for that, because I literally deserve none.

God moved. Not through my eloquence, expertise, or past experience, but instead through my obedience and faith. I knew that Jesus called me as his follower to “go and make disciples,” and that He promised He would be with me.

My brothers and sisters, I love you, and long for you to take this same step of obedience and faith. I long that in the area of making disciples we would grow past being mere “hearers of the word only, deceiving ourselves” to becoming “doers of the word” (James 1:22). I personally know how intimidating and overwhelming this calling can feel. However, I also personally know how the Holy Spirit works in our obedience, even when that obedience is covered in weakness. Ephesians 4:12 says that saints are to be equipped so that they can do the ministry of building up the body of Christ. Every saint (Jesus follower) is a minister, and given the responsibility of helping others take a next step of pursuing growth and maturity in Jesus.

One of my greatest joys as one of your pastors is to help you grow as a disciple maker! There is a unique, God-ordained joy that we can only experience when we help others pursue Jesus (3 John 1:4). I want you to get to experience and join in this joy! Starting this Sunday and over the coming months we are going to introduce many different groups, resources, and equipping opportunities to help you grow as a disciple and take the next step of discipling others. I just want to encourage you as a member of our church family to take a step of obedience and faith, to become a doer of the word, and see what God might do in and through you!

We Promise:
To pursue fellowship, equipping you to connect in community (Matthew 22:39; Acts 2:42-44, 4:32; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
to pursue mutual edification, equipping you to serve one another (Romans 12:3-5, 14:19; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-13)
to pray for you, (Colossians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; James 5:14-16)
to love you. (Matthew 22:39; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Hebrews 10:24; 1 John 4:7,11)

I Promise:
To live in Christian fellowship, connecting in community with my church family (Matthew 22:39; Acts 2:42-44; 4:32; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:14),
to discover, develop, and use my gifts, talents, and experiences to serve one another (Romans 12:3-5, 14:19; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-13).

Dr. Paul Mermilliod

Elder/Lead Pastor 

Pastor Paul has been a part of the Tri-Cities family for nearly all his life and now serves as Leadership Pastor. He and Katie have been married since 2006 and have four children: Jack, Evie, Camden, and Tripp.