Foreword: Pastor Tommy Barnett
There are few men that I have met in my 63 years of ministry that I felt had such a tender heart for God and His work as Pastor Moe Redding. When I first met him, he was on a quest to know God and to know God’s heart. It was a quest that he was on personally, but one on which he had also brought along his entire church. On this quest, I saw him bring scores of people to the Dream Center to learn what an expression of the body of Christ, beyond denominations, could look like. In fact, his church was one of the very first to support the work of the Dream Center and to touch my heart in doing so.
I’ve found that it’s the deepest desire of most pastors to want their congregations to not only know the Bible, but also to know how to turn what’s in the Bible into practical and world-changing actions. As Pastor Moe’s church began to do food and clothing drives, and then rally together to take it to the hardest hit and most poverty stricken areas of our city, I have no doubt that their pastor—and God—rejoiced to see a church do just that.
When I learned that Pastor Moe had written Pure Power! I was thrilled and I thought, “There could not have been a more relevant time for the body of Christ to get its hands on this book than right now.” Pastor Moe writes in this wonderful book that I played an inspirational role in his life. But what he didn’t write is that all along the way, he was encouraging me, too! I treasure the letters he wrote to me telling me of his quest and of his journey, and through them I felt I was right there with him—as you will, too, as you read this book.
In Pure Power! Pastor Moe moves the reader along the sometimes raw and real journey that many pastors take through ministry—the calling, the doubts, the setbacks, the questions, the balancing of occupation with family—and how he came to make a dramatic turnaround that saved and revolutionized his own life and calling to make disciples. Along his journey, Pastor Moe was reminded that ministry leadership can and should be more than merely being overworked and overwhelmed, because it really doesn’t even belong to “us,” but rather to Jesus.
He details a pivotal story involving his own church board of directors where huge changes were made to how all of the administrative and ministry departments were going to be run. Much of it would now be out of his hands! Many pastors would have seen the changes as a deal breaker and a “sign from God” that it was time for them to move on. But Pastor Moe saw it as a launching point and as a word from the Lord to change the course of his own ministry life. He took the path that emerged through those board changes, knowing that his ministry work, his relationships, and his very purpose would never be the same. What he found on that path rejuvenated and revitalized his ministry and changed the course of his church and his community.
With great insight and depth, Pastor Moe lays out a plan and a roadmap that many pastors in similar situations can follow. And which of us hasn’t been in a similar situation? I found his insight into the challenges that we all face, as well as the tools he sets forth, to be timeless in their ability to change our ministry lives and the fruit of our ministries in a way that glorifies God and rejuvenates our souls.
This book is a celebration of our pastoral quest to better know and serve God. It’s a proclamation and a voice crying loudly for all of the leaders of the body to rally around our central quest of humility and to leave a legacy pointing toward Jesus Christ, not toward ourselves. As pastors and caretakers of people, it’s so very easy for us to get tied down to the day-today seemingly mundane things that perhaps really do need to be done, but not always by us. God, who was so faithful to call us, is equally faithful to shake up our world when we’ve allowed our “ministry business” to make us stray from His very own heart. It’s in these moments that, as Pastor Moe shares, we so desperately need our first love in the ministry to be ignited again. Yes, our first “dolphin miracle,” which was never intended to be a onetime thing but was intended to remain throughout the course of our entire ministry life and to be handed off and passed on to generations beyond us.
Pastors, are you tired? Burdened? Questioning the call? Wondering where the miracles are? Friend, I encourage you, as Pastor Moe did, take the principles and the strategies set forth in this book and put them to work in your own life. If you do, I know God will do a work in you that he’s so obviously done in Pastor Moe’s life, and in my own life, too—a work that stands the test of time, of culture, of change, and of uncertainty. A work that stands at the end of time to hear those words we are all longing for. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Well done.
- Pastor Tommy Barnett
Senior Pastor, Phoenix First Assembly of God, Phoenix, AZ