About Pastor Donis:
Pastor Donis came to our church in 2011. He is married to his wife, Patty, and they have an adult son, Zach. Donis holds a degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon Ohio.
Philosophy of Ministry:
The Holy Bible records that Jesus was once asked this question: “What is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind…and the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”- Matt 22:37- 40 (emphasis mine). Any biblical philosophy of ministry must be founded upon what the Son of God commands and what He commissions. These two foundational commandments to love God and love others lead us to embracing Jesus’ last words to his disciples, “… go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” – Matt 28:19-20.
With this in mind, when I think about pastoral ministry, my heart and mind embrace three elements that, I believe, encompass the mission of the local church: Worship, Evangelism, and Discipleship. First, Worship of God declares our highest allegiance to the Holy One who has created us and redeemed us through the death and resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ. Worship is so much more than a style of music or what is accomplished within a certain period of time inside a “house of worship”. It is the way we live our lives in passionate acknowledgement of what God has done for us, who He is, and what He desires of us. Worship’s main resource is prayer. And prayer is simply communication with God. As a natural outflow, our lives become a loving and holy expression that communicates the power and presence of God to others beyond the walls of a church building.
Evangelism in turn, is more than a program on paper but an attractive essence that changes its surrounding atmosphere. We as Christians – followers of Jesus Christ – reflect the light and love of God into a spiritually dark world so that others can “see” their way to finding Jesus Christ as their Savior. This reminds me of the admonition of the writer of the book of Hebrews when he says, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” All too often our actions have tragically spoken louder than our words. An example of this is found in a comment made by the Hindu Spiritual Leader Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Authentic evangelism is attractive. It communicates the irresistible love of Christ as it reveals the eternal salvation plan of our Heavenly Father demonstrated in and through the power of Holy Spirit-filled believers.
Thirdly, I think of Discipleship. This is simply growing and helping others to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 3:18. It is not coldly complying with a predetermined set of rules but honoring an ever increasing intimate relationship with God in and through the power of His Holy Spirit. Discipleship is the perfect marriage of God’s holiness and love. And it is in a growing awareness to live and proclaim His holiness and deeper love that captures God’s gaze of approval. 2 Chronicles 16:9 proclaims, “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (NLT). It is His approval alone that matters.
And so, the mission of the local church must focus its energy upon developing these three elements – Worship, Evangelism and Discipleship – within the life of every believer. As a pastor who stands before God, I must lead by example and steward God’s gifts and anointing that He has graciously given me to “…prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” – Eph 4:12-13.