Odessa ordinationGod has not called C2C to be a network or fellowship of ministers but family of churches. God’s family nature is to be at the heart of all we do. When it comes to ordinations they are not professional, ecclesiastical, or “ministry” events.  They are family events.  Much like Jesus’ experience at His ordination on earth. The Family in heaven confirmed His calling (Holy Spirit coming like a dove, and the Father speaking) as Jesus was baptized by His family on earth (cousin John).

Mat 3:16-17 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son (not minister, Messiah, but the family name “Son”), in whom I am well-pleased.”

Several from the C2C family participated in the ordination of Elders and Deacons at The Crown in Odessa Mo on May 18th.  It was a great family event with our heavenly and earthly family. Bud Shepherd gives great insight into the ordination and journey leading up to it (not an easy one).

Over fourteen years ago, a group of us from the Odessa fellowship had the opportunity of meeting Pastor Jerry Curry and Tom Bedford at a meeting with the church in Waverly, MO. But it wasn’t just a meeting. That night we all experienced an explosive encounter with the Holy Spirit. It was so powerful that it still makes me shake inside when I think about it.

In the years following, our contact went through diverse seasons, some of great fellowship and relationship as well as others of seemingly unavoidable distance due to difficult circumstances and adversities. But now we recognize that from the very beginning “God seeds” were planted in our hearts, and God had plans that we were not aware of, but longed for.

Just a few years ago, I found myself in the middle of some dark times. We called upon some of our friends, who had also been through some similar difficulties, and asked them for help. Several of them were going to be at a conference in Kirkville at the time. So some of us from Odessa attended, hoping to reconnect and pursue solutions.

When I arrived at the conference, everyone was already singing and worshiping. As I walked in the door to the main auditorium, the Presence of the Lord was so amazing and so clear. I heard Him gently speak to me, saying, “You’re Home”. It was truly overwhelming. I will never forget it. God, Himself, was doing something incredible during that conference inside my heart and in the hearts of others from the Odessa fellowship.Odessa elders and deacons

“Home” is this place where you’re “at home” with each other. It’s where we experience family. It’s where we can be who we really are, and we still love each other. It doesn’t matter what we go through, we stand up for each other, and we help each other, because we see the love of God working toward one other.

For me, that conference at Kirksville was a marker in my life. Although dark times had left my heart shattered into pieces, I felt God, in my family, gently catch each piece with grace, compassion, and understanding. It was literally this huge loving embrace wrapping itself around a group of very broken people, much like warm comforting shelter in a cold dark storm.

Amazing things have taken place over the last couple of years. Last May we were blessed and honored to have several leaders from across the country and beyond participate in the ordination service at The Crown in Odessa. It would have never happened, nor can it ever truly happen, without family. But this night was a milestone in the Spirit that fully shifted church government into proper functional alignment together with Jesus. We see these things as new beginnings from which the Lord supernaturally builds His family together through serving in love. We are very excited about the days ahead. These are the days we have longed for. And I am so thankful.

God is One Who loves doing miracles. I have come to truly love that about Him. Thank you for being God’s miracle family.

Bud Shepherd, The Crown, Odessa, Missouri