Rhema Worship Center is a community focused church plant located about forty-five minutes northeast of downtown Birmingham, in Odenville, Alabama.
Though the vision for this mission focused church was conceived a few years prior in the hearts of Woody and Vanessa Salter, they didn’t begin worship services until August of 2013. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this glimpse of Pastor Woody’s wisdom as he shares with us in this month’s guest post from a different perspective.
I was told many years ago by a trusted pastor and mentor that (we) our culture, needed more Bible-believing, Spirit-filled pastors that would not compromise the Gospel but who would be willing to utilize new ways and inventions to reach people with the life-giving message of Jesus’ love. Wow! Even now, this is a powerful memory for me.
When I first heard that message, I was young in Christ and did not fully understand how profound the words of that wise man were.
Vanessa and I traveled around for music ministry for twenty years. One thing is for certain. We saw a great need in local churches for pastors who would not compromise the Gospel. And for pastors to break away from the mentality of doing ministry because we’ve always done it this way.
Please understand, I am not necessarily talking about a style of music or a tenor of preaching. We would hear announcements for various annual events to raise money. Then whispers would ring loud from the pews of how no one really participated anymore and the money is never used at all. We also heard too many sermons that were not Holy Spirit inspired, but cleverly organized opinions with just the right amount of Christian catchphrases such as “if that don’t light you up your wood is wet.”
That message that I received in the 90’s from my trusted friend was so on point. The Lord soon called our singing group to an end and gave us all various new assignments for His Kingdom. My calling was to preach and from a humble Bible study in our home, Rhema Worship Center was born.
I kept that counsel close to my heart as we embarked on the new adventure. I have been open to new ways to share the Gospel. However, I remain closed about changing the Gospel. It does not need repair. The Word of God stands the test of time and it is good forever.
Let me encourage you with this word of wisdom. Local churches must be willing to utilize innovative, non-traditional, soul-winning approaches and methods in order to reach the twenty-first-century community.
Even better, in God’s Word, we read this beautiful passage. “Then the king will say to those on His right hand, Come, you blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:34-36).
This is Rhema to the core. We simply do what this Scripture says. We feed, clothe, and visit. God has blessed this church plant from day one. His hand is on His work and we humbly ask that you pray for us as we strive to be the hands and feet of Christ.