Stephen Neill

Subtitle

Want to know more about us but not just facts?  Want to gain a closer more personal look at our life?  

This section is still under construction:

What do you think about meetings?

I love meeting and they energize me as long as we are moving forward.  I have a real desire to create, build, grow and develop everything to the fullest potential.  I believe that God has gifted me in that way and wired me to see the best in people, polish that best and allow them to shine!  I see many organizations that are willing to stay the status quo or mediocre.  My desire is to give my 100% best in all that I do and all that I am to the glory of God.  

Meeting that are about finding Gods desires and best plans for our lives and activating those plans energize me.  I have been in meetings where all week I lacked sufficient sleep but when in a meeting where we were finding, seeking and planning to give our best to God for His glory, I walked out as if I had the best night of rest in my life.


What is your favorite Book of the Bible?

James


What is your favorite verse?

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)


What version of scripture do you use in your preaching and teaching ministry?

I use the ESV, English Standard Version, when I preach and teach.  I will will refer to versions such as the NKJV, New Living Translation, Amplified or other versions or translations while I am preaching and teaching.  These usually assist us in learning and understanding the passage better or easier,  Many times this add a flavor that will enhance our time together.


Tell me something that is so important to know about you.

I think the above is one of the biggest.  Moving forward and reaching our potential for Gods glory is my desire.  Within this we must ask God and look how He is already at work to reach this and the next generation.  There are stats that reveal we are loosing them faster than we are gaining them and we must make adjustments that keep our message the same but our methods adapting to reach  them.  



What is one of your favorite recreational activities?

One of my favorite activities is white water rafting.   I have rafted rivers from Maine to West Virginia and even in Tennessee.  The bigger and faster the river is moving the more exciting.  I also think that a big part that I love about rafting is every person in the boat needs to work together to provide for the safety and security of the other.  It becomes important to listen to your guide and follow their instructions.  I have learned so many lessons rafting as well as built some strong bonds with friends.  


Do you work in your strengths or in your weakness?

My desire has been to work in my strengths and staff in my weakness.  I may not be able to staff (A paid position) in all my weaknesses but finding volunteers that do something so much more efficient than I do allows them to use their God given abilities for His glory.  When we work in our strengths we usually state something like:. . . "This is how God has wired me or gifted me."  I often find a person who is gifted in spreadsheets, budgets, data bases or has an accounting background they direct their attention to God and His glory because He created them to see life through this lens.  It works for them.  When we try and work in our weakness it robs God of what He desires to accomplish.  Focusing on our weakness only creates an environment where we become more of a "Self-made Man or Women".  There have been those times in life where I have seen God begin to rewire some one to accomplish tasks they were not originally gifted to accomplish.  This again reveals Gods glory and sovereignty.

God has given me specific gifts and talents.  These are found on the about me section.  Preaching and teaching in a relevant way is How God designed me to see life and His word working in peoples lives.  I am creative and think out of the box on most issues.  Casting vision for our future is how God works with me and through me.  God has given every church certain people and we must allow each person to use their gifts and talents in a way that allows us to reach people with the Gospel.  


All time Favorite vacation spot.

Hilton Head Island.  Most of my friends laugh because I do not golf nor can I golf.  I am one of the worst golfers you have ever seen.  It isn't even funny.  So if you are a search committee and you like to golf I will go and enjoy your fellowship but If we golf together I may frustrate you.  I am willing to  join and will just know friends who have golfed with me have stated lets not do that again.  I laugh and say well I tried to tell you.  Then we laugh together.  


How have you personally experienced God in your life?

There have been many times that we have seen God work in marvelous ways guiding and directing our lives.  There are two big ways God has revealed Himself to us.  One of those is through many different financial needs that we have had and He through His grace has provided everything and more.  Some of those have been through God giving us a much needed vehicle or a vacations.  He always seems to provide a need right when we needed and right when it was least expected.  

Another way we have experienced Him is when we have been going through a specific trial, test or external circumstance and He brings others alongside who are going through similar circumstances and situations.  We are able to share with them, both those who do and don't follow Christ, how He is guiding and directing our lives.  He has used these moments not only to help strengthen others but to strengthen us as well as use these moments to reveal His purpose and plan.

During these moments it is always interesting how God provides peace and scripture to comfort our hearts and minds as well as give us His truths that we can share with others.  To be transparent here:  A pastors life can look real easy when you look at it from the shore but when you are in the boat together it helps others to see we all work together for Gods good and God purposes.  


Would you consider yourself to be an athlete or an artist?

Defiantly more of an artist.  Although sometimes we wrestle through ideas thoughts and how to present truths from scripture I see preaching as Spirit directed artwork!  Today we are so much more a visual society and it is important, when possible, to reveal Gods truths with visual concepts.  Jesus did and I talk my lead from Him. 


What would you consider the most embarrassing moment of your life?

I am not easily embarrassed but I have to say there are some that make me laugh.  The biggest one would be the time my wife , Beth and I were flying to a conference.  We were enjoying the moment on the plane when I was served my Diet Coke.  Something happened and the whole can spilled off the lap tray and into my seat.  It would not have been such a big deal expect that the seat was a type of leather non absorbent material.  Lets just say this is not the first of these events and it makes for some good stories.  When we get together there are the good stories of falling asleep at a Denny's and Starbucks Iced Peppermint Mocha.  If you want a good laugh ask about how I dropped my Best friends child on his face, no he did not get injured but did cry, during a strange night where my car light was out.  


What is your favorite date?

All time favorite date was going Cross Country Skiing with the love of my life, Elisabeth Neill.  Perfect day with the perfect women!


Would you buy a salad or burger?

A Burger


Would you rather be in a warm climate or a cold?

Warm 


How do you see people growing?

My desire is to see people grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ.  Both of these must be existing and functioning  for someone to keep growing.  When we gravitate toward one, knowledge or grace, over the other we create an unhealthy balance that produces frustration.  Focusing on knowledge over grace can build a sense of preformance or checklist christianity.  When we focus on grace over knowledge we can build a people of excess and self-centeredness.  Our desire is to be like Jesus who was "Full of Grace and Tuth." (John 1:14) We must know the truth of God but we also must be experiencing grace to grow.  Grace is often shown or revealed through conversations, openness and living our our walk as described in Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and The Sermon on the Mount. This seen expressed by Jesus in the book of John.  We will all tip or be tempted to tip  the scales from time to time.  Keeping a mind set that Grace points to truth and truth points to grace is vitally important.  (John 1:14,17) We will need to keep a Christ centered life to keep us in  healthy balance using both grace and truth.  


Favorite food.


How does someone gain come to God?

It is only found by the grace of God through faith in  Jesus Christ.  There is only one way to a right relationship with God and that is through Jesus Christ.

Favorite book of the Bible?