Monday, July 30, 2012

Encouraging Words

Yesterday I spent the morning worshipping with Pasadena A/G.  I have always had a special connection with that church because in addition to being the first church I pastored on staff, it is also my home church.  When I was in college and preparing to graduate I wanted to go anywhere on staff but Pasadena A/G.  The reason was that all my professors at school warned me it was a bad idea to pastor at your home church.  It often creates conflict because of a lack of respect between board members and pastor.  Baggage from youthful mistakes can shade the view of the Pastor-leader.  But I also spoke with our campus pastor Dr. Earl Baldwin, and he told me that the best experiences he'd ever had with staff pastors were home-grown hires.  He encouraged me to do it, and I'm glad he did.  I worked for six years at PAG, and loved it. 

Over the last couple years of "free-agency", I have appreciated the care, support and warmth that my family and I have received from this special branch of the body of Christ.  Yesterday they prayed over me as then sent me out yet again into a church to serve as interim pastor.  After service a member came to me and grabbed my hand.  He looked me in the eye and shared that he remembered a service in which a guest minister prophesied over me.  He simply said, "Ben, I believe it with all my heart." 

What a tremendous gift to be surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, and such encouraging words.

--Ben

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