God has shown me something in the past few years. He showed me that our community will have a tremendous impact on the entire world. I believe that what God is doing here in our church/churches and our community will spread to the point that the whole world will see a pure image of who Jesus really is.
Since the year 1998 the number of religious congregations in the United States has increased by almost 50,000. Yet we see more and more of our young people, society and culture in general, slipping further and further away from religion. In my opinion the reason for the decline is imbedded in my last sentence. “Religion/ religious congregations”. Religion is man’s way of trying to get to God. Relationship is God’s way to get to man. The last time man tried to get to God it ended up with a half built tower and a divided human race and in my opinion that is exactly what is happening to the modern American church today. We are trying to use man’s methods to get to God and it’s leaving our churches and nation more divided than ever before.
We are living in a world that is full of information yet void of truth. 2 Timothy 3:7 says this exact thing. The people in this world are people who have access to all information on any subject in a matter of seconds. Many of these people know more about the church than the average church goer. Therein lies the problem. If we battle information with information then we will be fighting a losing battle, if we are the least informed. On top of that, information is debatable. Even when it’s seemingly solid information. We were never called to inform the world about Jesus, we were called to demonstrate Jesus to the world. For the most part the American church has become nothing more than a religious organization ran by business principles and marketing ideas. Yet Jesus neither promoted nor marketed Himself. What did He do to draw such a large following? He simply walked in the power that God gave Him, the power of The Holy Spirit! I honestly believe that many American churches have replaced The Holy Spirit with business principles, marketing ideas and programs. Don’t get me wrong, these things all have their place, but one thing is for sure. Their place was never to take the place of The Holy Spirit. The world we live in isn’t looking for the best program or business model. The world is looking for something real. Something that can turn their situation around. Something that can totally set them free from the addictions and diseases and poverty that are dictating and controlling their lives. A program or business principle will not invade their situations and set them free. Only the power of Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, can invade a life and completely transform it in an instant! Only the power of Jesus can set addicts free and heal sicknesses and disease. So why has the church in America been growing yet the morals and standards of our culture been decreasing? Because we’ve turned church into big business and instead of working in harmony with each other and demonstrating Gods power and love. We’ve made it a competition to see who can have the largest congregation and the newest programs. The church of America for the most part has turned into the church that Paul was warning Timothy about in 2 Timothy 3:5 when he said “they have a form of godliness but deny the power.” All the power of the Kingdom of God is at our fingertips yet we rely on our own strategies and methods to win the world. The modern American church is living in spiritual poverty because we’ve replaced The Holy Spirit’s power with man’s ideas.
But I believe our community is different. I’ve seen multiple times where our community churches have worked together to not promote their own places of worship but to simply demonstrate the love and power of Jesus to our community. Zechariah 4:10 says “don’t despise the days of small beginnings.” So this is my encouragement to this community, don’t give up and don’t lose heart. If we remain faithful to the task and don’t look to the right or left, we will see a harvest. If we stay faithful to the task God has set before us and encourage ourselves in the Lord daily. Never settling for surface Christianity but digging deep wells searching for the “more” that God has for us. We will see a revival in the community that will be unlike anything any other community has ever seen in the history of the world. A revival that isn’t defined by a set of services or a popular evangelistic speaker but a revival that is defined by a complete shift in the moral culture of the community. Before we can see this revival take place we each must do what it takes to stir the embers in our own hearts and minds to seek after God as we never have before. Revival must begin within each of us before it will spread to our community. Then revival must be demonstrated in this community before it will spread to the rest of the world. This world needs a demonstration of the real, true, powerful God of this universe! Let’s not settle for just giving the world information. Let’s show the world the power and love of the one true God, our God! Jesus Christ!
A little about Pastor Travis Pettus and Family
It’s no secret that if you have a teenager or a young adult from Mansfield, at some point in time, they have probably met Travis Pettus. Pastor Travis has always been a familiar face (and voice) in town at school functions, FCA events, See You at the Pole services, and at the basketball/football games for the Mansfield Tigers.
Pastor Travis and Brandi Pettus have lived in the Mansfield/Huntington area their entire life, and they are Mansfield High School alumni as well as sweethearts. They have been married for sixteen years. Travis has been in the ministry now for eighteen years and has been certified with the Assemblies of God for the past three years. In the past 18 years of ministry, Travis has spent his time at Huntington Assembly of God ministering in some capacity serving as youth pastor and now lead pastor. He has also ministered in music as well as guest speaking at other churches and events.
Pastor Travis works for FedEx Freight and L&P Tile as well as pastoring full time at Huntington Assembly of God. Brandi is a stay at home mom. They have three boys who all attend Mansfield schools. As a family, they like to hang out with their brothers, sisters, moms, dads, cousins and family. They love to watch the Mansfield Tigers play ball and have always been big supporters at the games. When we asked Pastor Travis, “When did you feel called into ministry?” he replied, “I pretty much felt the call into the ministry the moment I rededicated my life to Jesus in 2000. In my opinion, the moment you surrender your life to Christ for salvation is the moment you surrender your life to the full time ministry. Whether at a work place or behind a pulpit, the venue is irrelevant. The call to demonstrate Jesus wherever we are is what’s important. So when I rededicated my life to Jesus, I decided I wanted to reach whoever I could with His goodness, truth, love, and power through whatever means I could!”
Huntington Assembly of God’s morning worship time starts at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday night service begins at 6 p.m. They have a Wednesday evening service that starts at 6:30 p.m. geared towards youth and kids as well as for adults. They also have a van ministry that runs on Wednesday nights to pick kids and teens up who need a ride.