Telling Venue Church that he’s not perfect, the pastor reassured them, “I love God with my whole heart and I do love you. There’s no excuse for my behaviors and the hurts I’ve caused, but I believe there is healing in walking out a brand new season.”
“Thank you for loving me, Venue Church,” Smith said. “Never again will I take this platform to minister the Word of God and do life with you—never will I take it for granted—I love you. I love you with my whole heart.” The congregation broke into applause.
To conclude his remarks, Smith went off script after he finished what he had written.
“I’ve really prayed about today. And if I can be honest with you, I’ve been really nervous,” Smith said as he moved out from behind the pulpit. “I didn’t know what to preach or what to say. I was in my head for a really long time, because I thought nothing I say—everything I say, [will] be picked apart—all of that stuff.”
“I didn’t come to preach the situation. I didn’t come to preach to get back at anybody,” he continued. “I just honestly got all of that out of my mind and I just said ‘Lord, what is the word that you have for today?’ And I really believe the Lord gave me this word, and I just feel like He impressed in my heart, ‘Tavner, don’t go up there and be anybody but you. Just go be you.’”
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“So if you don’t mind, I’m just gonna be me,” Smith said. “I’m gonna give us a word that I believe that God has for us. I’m not just preaching to you. I’m preaching to me, and I’m believing with you that God’s going to do something significant in our life through this moment.”
Venue Church’s Facebook page reported that 13 people accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior on Sunday, saying, “What an amazing day it was! 13 souls forever changed [praise hands emoji] God is doing something special each week and we can’t wait to continue to see what he does!”