Having appointed and installed my first pastor as an Administrative Bishop in the Church of God, I thought I’d add a new segment to my blog: “Advice to a New Pastor.” I do this in hopes of helping the precious young man that I was privileged to appoint as pastor this weekend and maybe even a few “old-timers” who’ve seen and been through a few things.
I am so proud of you and happy for you.
It seems like just yesterday that Sonja and I drove into town for our first appointment. We arrived with virtually no experience and no plan. There was no salary, no sure lodging, and few resources. It was one of the happiest days of my life.
Because I was convinced that I was called to that little church and its precious people. My conviction that I had been called of God blinded me to the impossibilities and difficulties. I didn’t know enough to know that it couldn’t be done. I only knew that God had called me to be a pastor and this was the door He had opened for me and I ran through it with all my heart.
God’s calling was all I needed, and looking back over my life and ministry, that’s all I’ve ever needed. If you’re convinced that God has called you then nothing else matters. The impossible becomes possible. The rough places eventually get smoothed out. The needs get met, the difficulties get resolved.
Because if God calls you, He means to go with you, and that means that when the dust settles, you will always be on top.
Pastor, you have that same calling on your life. Bask in that calling. Be bold, be brave, and confident—you are beginning an unbelievable journey and don’t let anyone diminish its importance and denigrate its value. And don’t let some bitter greybeard frighten you with their bad experiences. God has called you! You’re God’s man and that is all that matters.