Sometimes God has a way of reminding you that you're not as smart as you think you are. That seems to happen to me often. Back in 1990 I accepted the invitation to serve as Senior Pastor at Central Church of the Nazarene in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a nice church in a huge building with no money. By that, I mean that the cost of the mortgage was such that the income barely covered the expenses of the month. However, the wonderful people there made it such that it was one of those pleasant challenges.
Our two girls were teenagers then. Staci was in high school and Jamie was in middle school. Staci was ready to begin driving and more importantly than that, she was ready to date.
There was this boy in the church. Brian. Brian was one of those guys that plays a guitar, wears his hair to his shoulders and doesn't seem to have a job. It was Brian who asked Staci to attend the district church banquet. She accepted. I was not happy. I think my comment to her was something like, 'You are not going to date that boy. He's going to end up in rehab or prison one day. He has no future!!"
After the banquet, she dated him no longer. In 1993 she left for college and shortly after, we moved to Denver and lost track of Brian. To my surprise, he left Tulsa and went to college.
Now for the surprise. When we retired and moved to Green Mountain Falls we started attending the Nazarene church in Woodland Park Colorado. Guess who are pastor is: BRIAN!!
God has the greatest sense of humor. Not only is Brian my pastor, but he's a TERRIFIC pastor. As I write this blog I have just returned from the church to check on the progress of the building that's being erected.
Brian has been the pastor here for about 6 years. The Sunday before he arrived to begin his ministry the church had about 10 people present. Now they probably have 125 or more each Sunday and the attendance expands in the summer to the point where two services are necessary in the small sanctuary. As a result, he has led the church into a building program. Not only that, he has insisted that they build it debt free.
We are home for just a couple of weeks right now before heading back to Topeka to finish our ministry there, but during this time I find myself looking for reasons to drive by our mountain church every day to check on the progress. It reminds me of years ago when I was involved in building a new church. It was so exciting and I guess I live a bit vicariously through Brian. I envy the excitement of watching a crane lift large steel beams into place and knowing that one day soon I'll be able to stand in that new church and continue to lead a growing congregation.
I'm proud of my pastor. I pray that when he comes to the point of retirement that he looks back on these years with a great sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. He's doing a terrific job.