Love People

I was reflecting and remembering after having lunch with a guy today that I am training to be a pastor. After sharing a few stories that were intended to convey the message, “If I can learn to be a pastor anybody can learn to be a pastor”, I got to reminiscing about the early days of pastoring a little church, 40 years ago. As I did I started thinking about what has changed in me over the years, and one very big thing stuck out in my mind, and it was kind of funny in that I don’t ever remember thinking this before. When I started in 1976 as a very dumb 28 year old, I was driven by my love and devotion to God. I didn’t want to be a pastor, I wanted to be a dairy farmer, but I felt sure that God wanted me to be a pastor, and there was no way I was not going to do what God wanted me to do. I was a complete introvert, I didn’t really like being around people, especially people I didn’t know, most people intimidated me to death. I used to think, “pastoring wouldn’t be to bad a job if it weren’t for all the people I have to deal with”. Over the years I have changed, and today I still love God more than ever, and that love controls me, but I also have a strong love for the people in my church, I care for them deeply, I agonize over their problems and trials, and pray for every person every week that they would grow spiritually and be champions for God. In the early days I wanted to preach well because God was watching and I wanted to please Him. Today I work very hard at my preaching and teaching because I love God and I want so much for every person who listens to me to become more like God in character, to conquer sin habits, and to become more and more righteous and holy in their living.

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