Change can be challenging.  Change can be exciting.  Change can be difficult.  Change can be rewarding.  Change can be frightening.  Change can be disastrous.  Change can be uncertain.

Change is inevitable. 

When the clock struck midnight this past Wednesday, the calendar changed.  We entered  a new day, a new month, and a new year.  When the clock struck midnight this past Wednesday, it also marked the end of fourteen years that Donna and I have been blessed to be a part of this great congregation.

I’ve been thinking recently about just a few of the changes that have taken place during the last fourteen years.  There have been quite a few.

It would take some time to document all of the changes in the eldership and among the deacons during the past fourteen years.  I don’t think I know of any congregation anywhere that has experienced as many changes in these areas of service as we have.  I find it to be of particular interest that none of the men presently serving as elders were serving in that capacity fourteen years ago.  In fact, none were even members here on January 1, 2001 except for me — and Donna and I had just become members on that day.

We have gone from having a “part-time” minister on December 31, 2000 to having two full-time ministers today.  The “office staff” has also changed.  Four different sisters have served this congregation as our secretary during the past fourteen years.  Each one has been a blessing to all of us and to the work here.

The number of people who worship here has definitely changed. The Lord has blessed us with numerical growth during a time when many churches are in decline.  I don’t know how often you thank Him for that.  I express my gratitude often; but not often enough

Along with that, the “demographics” of this congregation have changed.  I can remember the time when the number of young people (all the way from those who were infants through those in high school) could easily be counted on two hands.  Have you looked around lately?  There has definitely been a change there — and in all of the segments of our family.

Other changes could be documented.  There have been changes in our facilities, our budget, the works we support and in which we are involved, and so many other things.

Unless the Lord returns very soon, there will be more changes.  If He does return very soon, the “ultimate change” will take place.

Remember; change is inevitable.

However, there are two things about Central that I pray will never change.  They are two things that drew Donna and I to you fourteen years ago.  They are two things that we pray will always be true.

First, a love for the Lord and a commitment to doing His will as revealed in His Book was very evident.  That may repel some people today, but it is very important to the Faughns — and evidently quite a few others.

Second, we could not help but notice the friendliness, warmth, acceptance, and mutual love of the people who worshiped here fourteen years ago.  You may have no idea how important it is for some people to find a true “church family.”  For some very personal and unique reasons, that was very important for us fourteen years ago.  We definitely found one!

A love for God and a love for one another were very evident fourteen years ago.  None of us is qualified to predict all of the changes that may take place in the future, but it is my prayer that those two things that were at the core of making Central such a special place fourteen years ago will always be true here.

One more change was announced last Sunday.  As was announced, that change will affect my “role” here.

However, it would be difficult for me to think of anything that would change one thing.  Fourteen years ago (and many times during the past fourteen years), I expressed my confidence that Central’s best days are still in the future.  I still believe that to be true.

Hopefully, it is not too late to make one more resolution for the relatively new year.  Why don’t we all work together with the Lord to help make the future of Central as bright as it possibly can be?!