You might think this would be about the Pastor’s Kids, however, this is about my husband and I, and “Our Growing Up” in the church and well in a sense, we are Pastor’s Kids, Pastor Barry’s kids and he is truly a spiritual father, the kind that teaches spiritual foundation. When we chose our church in our early years of marriage, we were spiritually immature, and yes, we believed that we chose it, however, we know now that God’s spirit led us to the church where our children attended preschool and He had many good reasons for doing so.
I had been attending Bible Study Fellowship for several years and had made a personal commitment to pray daily about God growing up our church and growing us up in it. I know that God answered my prayers and had begun the work of growing us up before Pastor Barry came to our church. He was already at work growing my faith in actively praying for God’s will. Pastor Barry and his sweet wife Helen came to our church and once again, God grew my faith in the power of my prayers.
Pastor Barry began the work of praying for God’s will for our church. He, along with the leadership of our church, made a commitment to pray for God’s will and discerned our need for a restructuring and rebuilding and adding on, and although we did much of this in the physical realm, such as selling off some office space that was disconnecting us and adding on a much needed youth building and office space, I am talking more about the spiritual foundation that he restructured, that best enabled us to grow up as Christians with Christ as the cornerstone. He brought Fresh Bread Bible reading to our church, and consistently preached about praying for God’s will. He brought us Experiencing God and Knowing God’s will and many other studies that would grow us up, if we set aside our own will and just focused on God’s will. He focused on Christ as the Cornerstone and loving acceptance, hating the sin, but loving the sinner. He encouraged many of us to participate in the “Walk to Emmaus” and those of us who did, were blessed and grew up spiritually. Truly a wonderful experience and a taste of what heaven on Earth can be like.
He is a true vessel of God’s words, spirit and humility. His prayerful and humble leadership edified the foundation of Sanlando United Methodist church that will further enable the next generation of leaders God calls to come in and continue the good work God began through Pastor Barry. We are eternally grateful for the leadership you provided to us at crucial time in our life as parents. We appreciate Helen’s sweet nature and have loved your sermons on marriage and your sweet references to your beautiful bride and thankful to be some of your children who grew up in church. What we learned through your leadership is truly evident in our own children, as we know better how to spiritually guide them to handle life with prayer and to help teach them to follow God’s will for their life. When I think of a Bible Verse that makes me think of Pastor Barry Lane, I think of Ephesians 3:14-21 and the song “They will know we are Christians by our Love” and “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven”.