Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

Gotta have a plan

raod less traveledAfter 30 years of being saved, and 20 years of serving as a pastor, I have a healthy understanding of who I am and who I am not.  I no longer worry about measuring up to other men of God.  I have arrived at a level of confidence that is in no way arrogant (remember, I am fully aware of who I am NOT), but helps me simply serve within the gifts God has given me.  It’s not always what others expect, but that’s OK, that’s why we all together make up the body of Christ.

I have definitely learned how to do a lot of different things that pastors ought to do.  I love to read and study.  I love to preach and teach.  I love meeting new people and work to understand them where they are.  I love helping people find biblical answers to their problems and I love doing it in such a way that no one else knows about and I never get recognized for it.

But if there is one area that really gets my attention and kicks me into high gear it is working to develop systems and structures that help facilitate true biblical growth and development.  I’ve seen far too much hypocrisy and showmanship in Christianity.  It hurts me to see people pursue what they want – yet not what they need to actually grow.  I’m tired of contributing to such things.  At the end of the day, whether it is an actual exercise of a spiritual gift or simply an eternal application of my mechanical engineering training and experience as a project manager, I naturally look for structures that will help guide people to make the right choices.

Jesus calls his people “sheep.”  They need guidance.  They need to be led to the places that are best for them.  My way of doing that is by developing a “path for growth” and implementing it without respect of persons.  When a person follows the path, it works!

If people choose not to follow it, that’s fine, but they won’t grow.  (Generally speaking – anyone can grow in the Lord if they are trusting Him – but usually that means that God is leading them to take specific steps, like the ones we design, which will always include participation in a local church.)  I don’t chase people that don’t want to get involved.  When people didn’t follow Jesus, He didn’t chase them and didn’t beg them to come back or get involved.  The path is available.  That is enough.

What do you think?

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I absolutely agree. In the past, my search for a church has always been about looking for one that had strong Biblical teaching and ways to get involved. That’s what led me to FBC. Years ago, I told Debbie if that ever changed, then we would start looking for another church. We are still here.


I agree with what you have said. I visited 5 different churches before I made my home FBC. What drew me to this church is the TRUTH you preach every Sunday morning. It hits home for struggles I may have or to grow and teach others about Jesus Christ. I know you have not seen me in awhile due to some surgeries but each day I am getting stronger. And the Lord, our King, our God still answers prayers and sends people to me . I am excited that He answers my prayers that I may lead others to the Truth of Jesus Christ. Thank you.


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