Last month, I experienced one of those “life moments.” I was given the privilege of baptizing my granddaughter. As I stood beside Avery in the baptismal pool, listening to her confession of faith, my mind wandered back to a moment some twenty years before, when I stood in that same spot next to my daughter, Avery’s mom, as she shared her testimony and was baptized. In fact, I baptized each of my children in that pool, as well as dozens of other children for whom I will always feel a special affinity as their former pastor. They are all adults now. Most of them are still serving the Lord, and a few of them are taking places of leadership in the same congregation where they were baptized.
I only get to be in my home church two or three times a year, so it is always special to be there, but this particular day was loaded with significance. It was not only about a special day for my family, but it was also about relationships that have been forged through many years of fellowship and shared ministry. This kind of experience is a great treasure in an era of disposable church experiences and consumer-driven congregational connections. There is little better than the fruit of pastoral ministry that is developed through years of covenanted worship, nurture, and service. There is a beauty to tenured pastoral ministry that is worth the effort, worth the tears, and worth the long nights of wondering if you are making any difference at all.
There is a beauty to tenured pastoral ministry that is worth the effort, worth the tears, and worth the long nights of wondering if you are making any difference at all.
If you find yourself weary or uncertain about your place of ministry, may the Spirit help you see what is true, good, and lasting in the service you offer to Christ and the church. In the midst of this season of anticipation, I pray that these Advent and Christmas seasons will be significant for you and your congregation as we again tell the story of our own redemption in the birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God bless you, Pastor. Your life and your work make a difference. May the Lord help you be faithful and effective as you shepherd the people of God.