Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)
TITLE: The roles of pastors
By Marsha Mundy
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One of the first memories of a pastor was Ben Middleton, he was our visitation pastor and would periodically make calls to all the members of the congregation. As a child, I remember Reverend Middleton coming to my aunt's house one day. Back in the 50s, men wore hats all the time and he removed his hat and laid it on a chair when he came into the house. My cousin Kenny didn't notice the hat and plopped down on the chair. When Rev. Middleton got ready to leave, he had to reshape his fedora. But he was so kind about it. He just sort of laughed.
I remember the pastor that married my husband and I. He was a very wise man and if I ever get the opportunity to thank him, I will. He counseled my husband and myself before we "tied the knot." My husband was unsure about his baptism as a child and Reverend Robert Scully insisted that he be baptized and join the church before we got married. What an honor it was to see Don baptized and to realize that his love for me was so great that he was willing to do this in order to marry me. I truly believe that his wisdom saved my marriage years later when we experienced difficult times. God honored and blessed our marriage because we put him first as we began our life together.
My definition of a pastor is one who shepherds a flock, one who tends the sheep (or congregation) entrusted to him. One who instructs the saints how to live Godly lives and listens to God's spirit instruct him as he leads those in his care.
Several years ago we had a pastor who fit that description in every sense of the word. When my husband and I first met Pastor John Gordon he was fresh from seminary, full of God's spirit and very much a shepherd. For more than two years, we sat at his feet learning how to become all that God wanted us to be. He lived his faith and continues to be a friend today because of the love he had for my husband and myself.
There have been other pastors that I consider true pastors in the different churches we have been affiliated with, but my current pastor is probably the most honest and trustworthy man I have ever met.
He has a way of reading scripture and interpreting it that seems uncanny. He can take what he has learned and apply it to the daily struggles people experience. He shows love for not only to the people in his congregation, but also to everyone he meets. He has a genuine concern for the health and well-being of people and his prayers reflect his faith in the one who can heal and provide for all our needs.
I know that he had to overcome extreme adversity to become the man that he is today and he gives the credit to Jesus for changing his life. I know just how devoted he is to his calling because I have watched him grow in his faith and I've seen him struggle to get to the place where he could answer God's call on his life. He is not only my pastor, but my husband and my best friend.
Pastors have nurtured me, taught me, loved me and strengthened me throughout my life and I am indebted to each one of them. I thank God for each pastor I have had and ask for him to bless them and protect them.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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