Pastor Burt's Corner

Something to Think About

From the Pastor’s Heart


2023 was certainly a difficult year for me as a pastor. The year began with great expectations. Classrooms were being renovated in the basement. Building updates were under way. The was a very real sense that 2023 would be a year of great growth for Truth Assembly, both numerically and spiritually. As it is my personal calling to see lives transformed with people reaching their potential in Christ, I looked forward to the changes.


Perhaps the biggest surprise to me has been the revelation of some people’s hearts. As a Pastor, attacks on my character are not unusual. Most often it is through online slander. However, there were also attacks on the church through emails and phone calls to various people and organizations under the guise of Christian concern. 


Despite all that, God is good and gracious. What was meant to bring harm has helped Truth Assembly to build a reputation of a caring church that is willing to go above and beyond as stewards of property and resources. 

In June we officially began using the basement for classrooms for the first time in many years. In September we made a commitment to give monthly to the local Angel Fund through Chariton Community School District. Along with the visual improvements to the inside and outside of our property, we have seen a substantial decrease in utility costs, primarily due to the replacement of the front sanctuary door and the furnace replacement. It is a deep blessing to consider the thousands of volunteer hours spent on multiple projects.


Joyous occasions include the first wedding in several years in our sanctuary, the births of two babies, a first-time commitment to Christ, and a water baptism service of three adults in December. We have seen an increase in children and youth attending on a regular basis. We also welcomed three new members into our church. In addition, we have seen an increase in online viewers. A couple of those viewers have even become regular financial supporters.


In closing thoughts, I believe the Holy Spirit is still directing me to care for the long-term health of the church in a few areas. The first is overseeing the ongoing process of maintaining the church property. The second is financial responsibility. The building loan has been reduced by a significant amount. With God’s help and direction, I would like to see this loan retired by December of 2028. The third area is spiritual growth among all of our members. This will include offering short term classes, one on one mentoring, and online services as well as encouraging short videos.


2 Peter 3:17-18 NIV Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.  

Rev. Burt Schwab