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Onward and Upward

By Barry Jones
In eLetter
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The first time I stepped on stage to preach a sermon at IBC, I was so nervous. It was 2007. I was a first-year seminary professor. This was the church I loved. And my preaching hero, IBC's pastor Andy McQuitty, was in the audience. I was scared out of my wits. But I was also so incredibly grateful. I was doing what I loved, in the place that I loved, with the people I loved. I could never have imagined on that day that 15 years later I'd be IBC's senior pastor.

2022 is a year full of milestones at Irving Bible Church. 60 years of God's faithfulness since the founding of this church. 35 years of faithful service from Pastor Andy, our pastor emeritus. 20 years since we opened the "new" Worship Center. And 15 years since I preached that first sermon on that stage. It was such a joy to see us celebrate those milestones on Family Weekend.

Much has changed in the 60-year history of Irving Bible Church, but I hope you heard loud and clear on Family Weekend what will never change around here. We are, and will continue to be, a church that is centered on Jesus, deeply rooted in the Scriptures, and focused on advancing God’s kingdom work of hope, healing, compassion, and transformation in the world. We are, and will continue to be, a church that will do whatever it takes to get people to Jesus.

As we looked back at the significant moments of days gone by, I hope you also heard and felt the excitement about the days ahead. The same God who has been so faithful for 60 years at IBC is alive and well and will be faithful still as we boldly move forward into the future. Just as we can look back and celebrate the many great days that lie behind us, so too can we look forward to what I believe will be even greater days that lie ahead.

As I think back on IBC's history and on my own personal history with IBC, I still find myself feeling so incredibly grateful. I'm still getting to do what I love, in the place that I love, with the people I love. That is a gift I could have never imagined. But it's a gift I cherish as we move forward together into the grand future God has in store for us. As I've heard Pastor Andy say so many times, may we continue to move "onward and upward.”

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