Humph, I think as I head into another staff meeting. I allow my eyes to travel over the group of six gathered around the conference table. I know Pastor Mike is praying about putting one the six on as associate pastor, and I see the hope in their eyes. I grace them with my best grandmotherly smile as we wait for Pastor Mike to make his appearance.
Bunch of young whippersnappers with their modern ideas for running a church. I grab my pencil and pad of paper, preparing to take minutes of the meeting.
“So, Eunice, how long you been on the church staff as secretary?”
It’s Aaron, Outreach Pastor. I probably like Aaron more than any of them. Humble, sincere, really loves the Lord, and has the sweetest wife and little boy. “Thirty five years,” I answer. “Watched this church go from a congregation of one hundred to the three thousand it is now. Pastor Mike’s the fourth pastor I’ve worked under.”
Hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging. I was hired when my youngest went off to school. I’ve been here this long cause I know how to keep my mouth shut and not gossip about church office stuff. Why, there are some things I don’t even tell my Harold.
Aaron smiles and pats my hand. It’s a sweet smile, not condescending like Jared’s. He’s the youth pastor -- thinks I’m an old fuddy-duddy. I can tell. Maybe I am a fuddy-duddy. I remember the days when we had one pastor, and everything else in the church was done by volunteers. Nowadays we have a pastor for everything. There’s Julie, the music pastor, Eva, the children’s pastor, Daniel, the seniors’ pastor, and Anton, the media pastor. Media pastor? Humph! And, of course, there’s Aaron and Jared. Six pastors serving under Pastor Mike, all hoping to become associate pastor. Well, except maybe Julie and Eva. But then why shouldn’t a woman be associate pastor?
Many times I find myself questioning if being in ministry is just a job for some of them, or is it a calling of God on their lives. Anyone can do a job if the pay is right, but a calling, now that’s something else entirely.
“Eunice, why don’t you use the laptop Pastor Mike bought you to take notes? Seems a waste of money.”
“I guess I’m just an old fuddy-duddy, Jared,” I reply, syrup dripping off my tongue. Now why did I go and say that? I need to be an example of Christ’s compassion and humbleness.
Okay, I admit, Jared gets on my nerves. A little too friendly with Deacon Jeremiah’s wife , if you ask me. Oh, now don’t go thinking it’s just an old woman’s pettiness. Pastor Mike asked me to pray, and keep an eye on anything suspicious. That’s what I mean about keeping my mouth shut. You don’t go talking about that kind of thing to people in the church.
I sigh, and smile at Jared. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sound snippy, Jared. I do use the laptop. In fact, I love it. It’s just force of habit, me wanting to write down the minutes.” I feel my heart lurch. Dear God, don’t let this young man fall. People get hurt when that happens. I’ve seen it over the years. Some people leave the church, give up on God. Breaks my heart, it does.
“Good morning,” Pastor Mike booms, striding into the room, that huge grin plastered across his face. “Hey, Euny,” he says, stopping next to me and kissing the top of my head.
Euny! Let me tell you, it irritated me plenty when Pastor Mike first arrived here and called me that. Harold slapped his knee, laughing so hard tears rolled down his face. “Sounds short for eunuch,” he cackled.
It grew on me, though. Now I think it’s endearing. He’s a good man, Pastor Mike. Loves God with his whole heart, and loves people. Now that’s a calling, and not a job, or some paid staff position. All the pastors I’ve served under have been good, godly men.
“All right then,” Pastor Mike says, his eyes embracing each face with kindness and love. “Let’s open with prayer, and then we’ll get down to business.”
I close my eyes and bow my head. I bet they’re all praying they get the associate pastor position. Pastor Mike’s already told me who he’s chosen. But, like I said, I know how to keep my mouth shut.
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