Monday, March 20, 2017

A Season of Encouragement to Other Pastors

On March 10th, Renee and I , along with dear friends, Pastor Tom and Donna Pendergrass from Urbancrest Baptist church, joined Lifeway's Director of Lifeway Pastors, Mark Dance and his wife Janet on a panel to encourage pastors and their wives. Mark is leading a relatively new position for Lifeway, and as a former pastor himself, he knows the heart of the pastor as well as the ups and downs of pastoring a church.

Urbancrest hosted it for us and prepared for over one hundred in attendance, and you know what, nearly everyone was able to make it.  I have learned that whatever Lifeway is involved in, it will be done with excellence, and Pastor Tom and Urbancrest hold the same high standard. Mark and Lifeway blessed the pastors with a number of resources, and Janet blessed the wives as well with some great gifts.

Couples would text a question anonymously to the Dances and then they would move them back and forth between us couples to address. The questions really involved healthy relationships with God, your spouse, and your family. Renee and I kept asking ourselves, "What do we have to offer?"
Twenty four years and counting, in the only church I have pastored, I thought, "Lord help us pour into someone tonight.  As the night unfolded, our hearts were blessed to be part of a ministry that was encouraging pastors.There were laughs, and tears, among Pastors and their wives, young and old. We were crossing generational lines, styles, and customs, yet all of us had a clear rallying point.  We were called to preach the Gospel , glorify God and shepherd His people. It was a real thrill to have Renee right there with me.  She has been nothing but a blessing to me and our church over the years.

I think that is one way God may be wanting to use us as we continue to pastor some of the greatest people in the world here in Camden.  They have blessed us in so many ways, and I recognize it isn't like this everywhere.  The kindness this Church shows to me is not taken for granted.  I believe God wants to use us, our church, and ministry to encourage pastors in different places. Staying in the trenches together, faithfully preaching, serving, and blooming where God has planted us as H.B. London once said.

I think that is part of  the season I am in now.  Pour into those in the same role and help them avoid the same snares and pot holes that I have encountered in the ministry. Just like the Johnny Hunts that have poured into our lives over the many years.  They may not all have platform that God has blessed Johnny with, but so many have invested in us. Thank you to those still serving and encouraging, and to those now with the Lord.  May He find us...faithful.

What a blessing to be called pastor, or in my case...Bro. Greg!

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