Called to Serve, Ep #12

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By Emerson Fersch. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Pastor Rodney Nichols learned at a young age that he was musically talented and was asked to direct the Pastor’s choir. But he knew God had a greater plan for him. In June of 2000, he accepted his calling to be a preacher. He became the Pastor of True Faith Holiness Church for four years.

After he met his wife in 2008 and graduated from Bible College, they planted the Garden of Praise Christian Fellowship, where they serve today. Their mission statement is to “extend, equip, and deploy.”

They extend the hand of God to the lost, equip those who are seeking with the teachings of God’s infallible word, and deploy those who they’ve equipped to build the kingdom of God on earth. Pastor Rodney’s motto is “If God is in control, then we won’t be out of control.”

In this episode of Upthinking Finance™, we talk about Pastor Rodney’s church, his ministry, “Midnight Soldiers,” and following God’s calling on his life.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • [5:46] How you can feel God’s call on your life
  • [7:22] Forming Garden of Praise Christian Fellowship
  • [16:14] The mission and vision of Midnight Soldiers
  • [18:33] The power of small churches to make a difference
  • [24:29] What’s next for Garden of Praise Christian Fellowship

Learn about Garden of Praise Christian Fellowship

Pastor Rodney pastored a church in Los Angeles for six years when God shared that it was time to go back to his home church. He sat on the “sidelines” for five years. After he married his wife, God laid on his heart that it was time to start his own church.

God strategically put things in place so that Pastor Rodney’s wife knew it was his hand guiding their steps. When they were doing the 501c3 paperwork, they met someone who completed the paperwork for free. God continued to strategically put people in place through the journey.

Running a small church has always been a financial challenge but God continues to provide. Like many small churches, they rely on their church members to continue their mission. As a leader, he has to trust God and believe that the congregation is trusting God as well. Pastor Rodney emphasizes that “You have to do your part for God to do his part. Your only guarantee is your faith.”

The mission and vision behind Midnight Soldiers

God woke Pastor Rodney up at midnight one night and gave him the name of the ministry—Midnight Soldiers—and told him what he needed to do. The goal of Midnight Soldier is to bring blessings to the homeless population in Los Angeles at midnight, a time when many people feel hopeless.

God connected him with Pastor David at Oceangate who connected the church with the airport that supplied them with sandwiches, parfaits, salads, and more. One Friday night a month, Midnight Soldier hands out meals, hygiene kits, clothing, blankets, etc. to the homeless population on Skid Row.

I had the opportunity to walk alongside Pastor Rodney numerous times. We’d show up singing gospel songs and march the streets handing out resources. We took the time to meet people and hear their stories. We prayed with them and offered emotional support.

We might not have been able to change anyone’s circumstances but in that moment, people knew that someone cared about them and that there was hope.

Small churches are powerful but face many challenges

I believe that small churches have the ability to make a difference. Finances should never get in the way of that. Sadly, people don’t realize that finances hold many churches back from being able to do more in ministry. Many churches fold because they can’t meet their budgets. If money was no object, there would be highly successful ministries doing bigger things for the community.

What’s next for Garden of Praise Christian Fellowship?

Rodney’s goal is to grow the ministry over the next two years and plant another Garden of Praise location. His desire is to impact another neighborhood to feel the authentic love of who God is through his people. That can only happen if people are willing to stand up. Learn more about Pastor Rodney’s mission and vision in this episode of Upthinking Finance™.

Pastor Rodney Nichols is not affiliated with or endorsed by LPL Financial or Capital Investment Advisers.

Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial. A registered investment advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC.

The financial professionals associated with LPL Financial may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the states in which they are properly registered or licensed. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident of any other state.

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