It was beautiful last night. There was a light breeze. The sky was clear and the sun was setting. Hazard took me on a long walk and I got to thinking about being a pastor.
On August 11 I will have been a pastor 34 years. I pastored my first church when I was seventeen. I’ve known I would be a pastor since I was fourteen years old. I’ve never had a day that I regretted being a pastor… not a single day. Here are some things I have loved about being a pastor:
The sound of a church bell ringing through the village
Quiet Country Churches set among tombstones
Christmas pageants and candlelight services
Faithful “salt-of-the-earth” deacons
Funeral dinner ladies doing what they do
Full-volume choirs and organs with their stops pulled out
Happy tears of repentance
Excited kids boarding the bus for summer camp up north
Whole-hearted, hands-lifted, singing
Serious men reverently distributing the elements of communion
A full parking lot and a full balcony
Dinner on the grounds
Scalloped corn in the fellowship hall
Pronouncing a couple “Husband and Wife”
Missionary adventure stories
Dressing up on Easter
Orchestras and praise bands
Sunday morning sun through stained glass from the inside
Sunday night lights through stained glass from the outside
People who weep when you pray with them in the hospital
Shaking hands on the steps a little after noon
Chatting with people before the service starts
The applause when a new believer emerges from the waters of baptism
The rustle of Bible pages when I announce the text
Giving biblical counsel to someone and watching “the lights go on”
Having breakfast with one of the men of the church
Discipling new believers
Standing around talking until the last car leaves the parking lot on a Sunday night
Funerals of people who knew and loved God–They are like a revival service
Telling the Old Old Story of Jesus and His love
The quietness that sweeps across the auditorium when I use a story to make a truth clear
The point in my message every Sunday when we slow down and “climb the hill to Calvary’
That’s all for now. I pray that because of how I am spending my life people come to know the sweetness and beauty and comfort and mystery and God in the local church.
June 13, 2012
Glad you came to us in Taylor….
Thanks Evelyn. I’m super-glad to be here. We sure love you. My book is at the editors. I will have the first copy ready for you.
Wow, the cool thing about this list is that I can see your face at each one of these moments! Beautiful!
Thanks, Kyle. I see your face a lot, too, even though you are a long way away.