Never once in my 43 years as a pastor did I look in the mirror and think, “They are so lucky to have me as their leader.” But there were very few days when I did not stop and pray, “Thank You for your grace in this church. You are so good to me.”
While I made my share of mistakes, God generously provided unity, vision, and many other good gifts.
My first lead pastor role was in a college town inOhio. The church’s name was Grace—one of two churches in that town bearing this name. Ironically, these two churches extended very little grace to each other. Due to hard feelings, a lack of vision, and stalled thoughts of growth and outreach, at 27 years old I was charged with leading a flock of people mostly over 60.
One of the leaders called me “Young Man.” He might as well have called me, “Boy.” But grace and love were embraced, and we began to lead toward change and effective ministry. The church relocated to escape a deteriorating and out-of-the-way building. A group of young adults, including my wife and I, embraced the ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship) movement; and what started with a few of us grew to 18 ABFs (three of which were young adult ABFs) 15 years later.
During those years, the church I once referred to as a “rest home” became an aggressive local congregation with a global impact. Many lives were changed, three building additions occurred on that site, and grace flowed. It continues today, 29 years later, in that church now known for its grace, not just its name.
You must be logged in to post a comment.