The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of pastor, he desires a noble task.-1 Timothy 3:1
This July, I will have been in Winston-Salem longer than I was in Seminary or in Ghana, Africa preparing to be a Pastor. I am amazed at how fast time flies.
When I first arrived at Stanleyville I would ask people in the church how they came to be a part of FBC Stanleyville and how they came to know the Lord. Typically, the story would revolve around “the Pastor” coming to visit. I would never know what Pastor they were revering to just that it was “the Pastor”. I quickly learned that “Pastor” was a term of endearment and something I should strive after.
A.W. Tozer has a famous quote in which he says, “the man of God goes into the ground but the Word of God continues.” Tozer wanted to emphasize the importance of the Bible continuing and not a Pastors legacy. As a Pastor I am nothing more than a tool in the hands of the Master Craftman (Jesus) to use as He sees fit and when He is done with me to just throw me back into the tool bag and use someone else.
The longer I stay in Winston Salem and interact with members of the community the more my name is forgotten and the term Pastor replaces the name. Allow me to explain:
The workers at the local Starbucks I frequent to get my delicious brown nectar affectionately write Pastor on my coffee cup due to the fact that I visited one of them when he was in the hospital and prayed with him. The prayer in the hospital has led to a few conversations with Starbucks employees about the Gospel and the claims of Christ.
Visiting church members in the hospital and when I leave having them shake my hand and say, “thank you Pastor for coming to pray with me.” Last week, a doctor stopped me and said “thank you Pastor for praying and shepherding your people.”
Students calling in the wee hours of the morning because they have a burning question or a struggle and they need prayer or just someone to listen saying thank you Pastor as they hang up.
Going to Walmart and having to constantly have my head on a shrivel and hearing people say, “hey Pastor.”
Sporting events, concerts and club events that students have and hearing them tell their friends, “oh, that crazy guy screaming in the stands is my Pastor.”
Finally, visiting an adult male in his home and being there as he prays to receive Christ with his children playing in the living room and knowing that one day the testimony of those children will be, “the Pastor came by and shared the Gospel with my dad and our lives were never the same.”
I love being a Pastor. I pray that when God is through with me at FBC Stanleyville that my name is forgotten but God’s Word which I labored to teach the people will be remembered.
As far as I am concerned there is no greater calling, there is no greater profession than that of being a Pastor and I am eternally grateful God chose me to do it and FBC Stanleyville called me to be one of their Pastors.