Freedom. Truth. Marriage.

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Ministers a.k.a. People

We found out today that the pastor of our church for the last 15 years is leaving to do God’s work elsewhere. My wife brought it to my attention that for almost all of our married life Russell has been at that church. He came there as a music/youth pastor a year after we were married. Later, when the first pastor moved on, he slid in to the role as pastor.  Even though we weren’t members there we both had family there so we knew him and he knew us. When we moved back to the area in 2007 he welcomed us back even though we attended church elsewhere.

A few years later we were still attending a different church when my mother-in-law became terminally ill. During those few months Russell was helpful and easy to open up to. One month later when my grandfather, a long time deacon of that church, died he was there again. We eventually moved back to that church and a large selling point was Russell. He also later helped us through some of our own personal and marital turmoil.

I have a lot of respect for him because he carries himself like a normal guy. He’s what a pastor should be: just a person doing what God’s got him doing. No robe, no self-aggrandizing title of “Dr,” no mundane theological sermons. While he has a unique and unenviable role in the Kingdom, he realizes that he is still just one part of the whole. He’s not the church, the church body is the church and he’s here to help and lead. I like that. It forces me to realize that I’ve got a ministry role somehow too. And I need to be doing that.

The “truth” takeaway from this: Pastors and ministers are a lot of things to their people. And they are also people. The difference between them and us is that they’ve surrendered their life and livelihood to further God’s Kingdom. The thing is, we’re all supposed to do the same thing.


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