Have you ever wondered why the name for the score of zero in tennis is called love? I was reading about it in an article written by J Michael Shannon. No one knows for sure, but one of the best theories suggests it is an English corruption of the French word for egg—a word that sounds a lot like love. A zero resembles an egg, so zero was called an egg. Today, we sometimes refer to zero as a goose egg. In life, however, love is never a zero. In fact, if you read the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, we are zeros if we don't have it. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I had a phone conversation yesterday with Ryan S. Kozey, who walked me through the results of our recent church survey on Spiritual Formation and Missional Activity. We covered a lot of things, and he gave us a number of action steps, but the phrase that will stick with me the most is when he said: "Your first priority here, is to move your people from zero... to one." From zero to one. What did he mean by that?

Well friends, be encouraged. Because far and wide, the church survey indicated multiple layers of spiritual health and an individual commitment to Jesus Christ. Our congregation reads their Bible 5 days a week, attends church at least 3 times a month, and invites others into their homes at least once a month. Our congregation seeks active involvement in various Bible study groups, and numerous service projects to the extent that we more than double the national average in these categories.  Our people feel cared and loved for by the church leadership, are challenged by the preaching and teaching, and are drawn to a closer to relationship with God by the music and worship ministry.

Where we have to grow, is where we need to move from zero; to one. In the last 12 months, there were a fair number of people in our congregation that intentionally built a personal relationship with someone far from Christ. In the last 12 months however, (other than one individual who shared their faith 40 times) most of you marked "zero," as the number of times you personally shared the Gospel message / your Grace Story of Jesus Christ.   

Here's the thing. Nearly half of the people who marked "one" or more as the number of times they shared the Gospel, also marked "one" as the number of times they personally saw someone come to faith in Jesus. Isn't that wonderful? The word of Christ will not come back void! When we share God's love with others, love is never a zero. Love never fails. 

God, would you do something incredible in our church. God, may you take the spiritually healthy roots here, and drive them down even deeper. God would you take our church from Zero... To One. Praise be to God!

- Pastor Milo


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I ordered lunch a few minutes ago and sat at my table to jot down my thoughts. Like many of you, there has been a lot for me and our team to consider over the last few days. Upon entrance to the restaurant, I was asked to wear a mask, but now that I’m seated and consuming my meal, my mask is on the table beside me. 


Yesterday I had a cup of coffee in another local establishment, and witnessed a commotion with the cashier and a guest. The guest refused to wear a mask upon entry, because of the latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations regarding vaccinated individuals. The person behind the counter was most likely a high school student, and he struggled to handle the situation as it escalated before him. Within seconds, the other customers waiting in line divided into two camps; those agreeing with the unmasked patron, and those in support of the ill-equipped youngster simply trying to do his job. 


Upon the CDC’s recommendation(s), the State of NY issued its own guidelines this week regarding Covid-19 vaccinations. These guidelines created two classifications of people; two different sets of rules to abide by. How does that mixed messaging translate to local businesses? More importantly, how do we make sure that this doesn’t negatively effect the united gathering of the local church?


First, we must acknowledge that we are Biblically to be a people of unity, bound together by a God-given desire to lift up a Christ-like banner of love in all situations. We are God’s people. We are the Church. We are to honor and respect one another, and there is to be not even a hint of division among us. Behavior like what I witnessed in the coffee shop has no place in the local Church. We are one. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. 


As a church, we want to make decisions that are sensitive, responsible, and forward-moving in hope. We recognize that the new guidance provided to us differentiates between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. We see vaccination as a Christian liberty issue, with neither choice being an issue of spiritual maturity or of sin. What we must realize though is that we have a responsibility to love one another well and to look out for one another. As Philippians 2:3 tells us: “...in humility, value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”


When attending our worship service this weekend, May 23rd, you will notice that we have relaxed our mask mandates to match the guidelines given to us. As a matter of personal conscience, we would ask that you exercise a prayerful balance of personal freedom and love for your fellow man. In all things, we will be a unified community who love and respect each other. 


If you have family in our weekly programming, you should know that there is very little guidance given regarding the local church for young people. We have been, and will continue to monitor closely the directions given for children and youth in public schools, as well as instructions given to summer camps. In that light, we are making no changes at the present time to our protocols for children and youth, or for the adult volunteers working with our children and youth. 


Finally, if you and I bump into each other this Sunday, you will find that I will be wearing a mask. I meet and interact with a lot of people every week. If I’m vaccinated, you will know that I’ll be doing this, because I want to show love and kindness toward each and every person I meet. If I’m not vaccinated, you will also know that I’ll be doing this because I want to show love and kindness to each and every person I meet. Maybe you’ll never know which :-)


I love you all, and I can’t wait to be with you this weekend. Isn’t it good to be together? We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord.


Grace and Peace be with you all!

Pastor Milo



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The role of Family Pastor / Minister is somewhat new in the church. Titles can be confusing, and because the title alone is not common enough, like Executive Pastor for instance, we have to clearly define what is meant by that title. I'm referring to a staff person who is responsible for leading a team of people (some stipend, but mostly volunteer) that oversee children and youth ministries, from birth through high school and even the first year(s) of college. While the role is somewhat new, it is rapidly becoming more recognized, as seminaries create education tracks for those who desire a holistic approach to family ministry. 

At Randall, we are committed to equipping each believer for significant ministry by discovering their God-given gifts, talents and experiences. Family ministry recognizes that parents are uniquely responsible for the spiritual guidance of their children, regardless of where they may be on their own faith journey. The church's role is to equip parents with practical tools that they can use at home to lead their children in that effort. 

As we are making steps towards a new hire, we are also making internal adjustments to our structure in order make some of these changes possible. Recently, our children's director, Stephanie Bochynski, and I were talking through the ministry needs of our kids and some of the ways we can be more intentional about meeting with parents. How can we better help parent's be the primary disciple makers in their home that they were meant to be, while still navigating the complexities of life together?

As a result of much thought and prayer, Stephanie let me know that she would like to step aside as a paid employee at Randall Church in order to create more financial margin to bring on a Family Pastor in a full-time capacity. She will continue to be a leader in the classroom, as well as a champion for all thing children's ministry related, but when the time comes, much of the "big picture" thinking will be the priority of this new hire.  

In one sense, all pastors are to be family pastors. God tells us that a pastor is to "manage his own household well seeing that his children obey him with proper respect" (1 Timothy 3:4). Godliness is lived out in the home. But when it comes to a paid staff position, a Family Pastor / Minister will, in the spirit of Ephesians 4:12, be very intentional to equip the flock to live the gospel out in their homes and in their interactions throughout the week. 

This happens on an individual level not only when the Family Pastor / Minister gives oversight to the equipping of children and youth to love God at their weekly meetings, but also in equipping adults to lead the family to glorify God the other six days of the week.

Please be in prayer with us as we seek God's candidate for leading the family ministry at Randall Church. If you know someone who fits this description, or would like to be considered yourself, please submit an application through the job posting listed at our website at jobs.RandallChurch.org  

This is a season of transition for our church. Change is hard. I look forward with great expectancy for what God has in store for his people on the other side! Let us be vigilant! Let us be faithful. To God be the Glory!

-Pastor Milo

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Over the course of our lives, its normal to go through various life transitions. These are changes that are so big that they tend to upend our normal mode of life. Family and occupational changes account for the majority of these. Take these transitions and add in all that life throws at us on a daily basis and it can be a stressful time.

Where can we go? What can we do? We cant do it all, we must simplify, and pursue.

We are entering a time of transition as a church. Memorial Day is coming sooner than you might think, and with it, comes the "official summer" of WNY. A time to come out of hibernation, and be together once again. Similarly, we will use that weekend at Randall as a milestone, for reuniting our congregation back to one Sunday worship gathering, and for returning to a more "typical" summer schedule, including VBS and various Connect Events to gather together for fellowship.

We are also entering a time of transition for leadership in the church. As many of you are aware, Pastor Mario announced his resignation earlier this month, and we will spend the next few months searching for his replacement. Mario and Denise are dearly loved by all of us, and making a change is not easy to do. However, we know that they are following God's direction, and we are confident that there is someone else out there who will faithfully follow God's prompting to come and join our pastoral team in the same manner. Our desire, Lord willing, is to see that all come together by the Fall Semester.

In every season of transition, we must do our best to simplify all the variables, all the possibilities of what might happen, and just do the "next right thing." We can't be sure of anything in this world, but we can be confident that the Creator of this world has everything under control. We just take it one day at a time and pursue His will for our lives, the best we can.

In our own strength, a time of transition will leave us exhausted, overwhelmed, and anxious. But look at the lilies of the field Jesus says... "Take a look at these wildflowers. They don't fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?"

God will take care of you. God will take care of us. God will take care of His church.

As we enter a time of transition, when we don't know where to go, when we don't know what to do, may we do our best to simplify and pursue. To God be the Glory.

-Pastor Milo

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Whether its for your computer, your car, or your annual physical; its important to run a diagnostic check from time to time to make sure that things are working properly. Sometimes, the feedback is encouraging, and other times it can be difficult. But all feedback, when it is given in a constructive manner, is valuable to consider. This is why we will be conducting an all-church survey, this Sunday April 18th.

So let me say this to those of you who call Randall Church home. These questions matter. Our church wants to be a place that shepherds every man, woman, and child find their place upward in Christ, inward at the Church, and outward in the Community. Our church’s guiding principles ask us to do this on a regular basis in order to asses our intentionality in doing these things. Therefore, we want to ask some hard questions of ourselves, and we want to ask some hard questions of you in order to evaluate the following: 

1. We truly want to see how we are doing when it comes to spiritual formation in this church.  
2. We truly want to see how we are doing when it comes to engaging lostness in this church.  
3. We truly want to see how we are doing when it comes to stewarding our lives for the Glory of God in this region. 

Practically speaking, we are making room within our order of service for a 10-15 minute window to fill out the survey. Most people will complete the questions easily in this amount of time, but some will finish at home later. Also, we are asking you to have a digital device, (preferably a smartphone) with you in order to complete the survey completely online. 

Finally, it is our desire to have these surveys completed and tabulated in a timely manner, in order to have the results be part of our annual report coming up in May. This will be a very useful tool as we look ahead to what God has for us in the coming future. Thanks everyone.

Be blessed.  Be encouraged. Our God is at work!

-Pastor Milo

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