So first things first, I am a pastor.  But I have a pastor too.

So I do understand that this is a bit of an interesting opening line, but I’m not speaking about myself. So I am a part of a church that replanted about three years ago and the retiring pastor stayed at our church and now leads our senior adult ministry.  He and I are great friends, and he is always ready and willing to give me wise counsel when I need it. He’s about 40 years older than me, and our styles of ministry are somewhat different, And our training was VERY different, but we still get along. He is one of the most amazing man I’ve ever met, with one of the sweetest hearts. I’ve great respect for the ministry he does, and especially for the way that he passed the baton to me when I came to be this church’s pastor.  If he ever has something to say to me, it is always in private… He defends me to anyone who has anything to say at any time. When we started this venture a little over three years ago he told me that he would completely hand over leadership of this church to me and would never be anything but supportive. This is a promise that he kept. And it is made all the difference.  His attitude has always been awesome, even though I know there were things along the way that were difficult for him to accept and support…he always did.

People love their pastors, and most people had positive experiences in churches.  They have pastors that have done their weddings, buried their parents, and just walked with them through loss and life.  People love their pastors… until they don’t. Until pastors have to become the bad guy, and speak difficult truths into their lives, then they become the enemy. Pastors are easy targets; it is always easy to blame somebody, and state a negative experience, then to be supportive of someone who is trying hard to bless the lives of others.  It is easy to call the plays from the sidelines without every being in the game.

So here I am today and it’s a Monday. We had a good Sunday this past weekend and our building was almost full. Our children’s ministry is booming and our students are thoroughly enjoying their new classes. We have camps coming up and adventure week (VBS), along with many summer activities. Things are overwhelmingly good right now. But it’s a Monday, and ministry Monday.

If I’m honest, today is just a tough day. It happens in ministry, not that often, but it does happen. There is somebody in the hospital who recently left our church badly, that is now fighting for his life, and I felt compelled to go and see him. But I didn’t have to go alone…my pastor went with me.  There are some strong critics at our church right now, that are saying some difficult things to hear. I understand their feelings are real but some of the information is not. Nonetheless these are still difficult things to deal with. And these are the moments that pastors often feel very isolated and alone. But, I have a pastor I can talk to. In the past three years we have made a lot of changes at church, and I’m sure to your great shock, not everybody has loved everything. The changes have not been to upset people, they have been with vision, so that our church can more greatly reach the community that is coming to our doors. But because our churches are filled with people, not everybody agrees with everything all the time.  Sometimes these days can be hard to handle, but there is great comfort in knowing that I always have a safe place and person to go to, outside of my family, and even close friends… because I have a pastor, a great pastor.

Today’s t I’m just thankful that I have someone to walk with and share with. Charlie has been a great pastor to me, and I’m grateful for him everyday.

Appreciate your pastors, they are human.  They have good days and bad, just like you. Build them up, pray for them, thank them.

Thanks Charlie.  Thanks for being my pastor.