I can't remember the exact time, but it was on Saturday 21st of March, 2015 when Pastor Bill Morris called me and dropped a change of direction into my (and my family's) life. It was a phone call that only lasted a few minutes - but he wanted to know if I would be willing to pastor a church in Cairns.
On Wednesday, 19th of November 2014 while on FaceTime with Dad, I told him that I felt I was called to pastor. At that stage, we were in Vanuatu still, so I assumed that it would be somewhere in Vanuatu. Needless to say, Pastor Bill's call was a great surprise - but only to me, not to God.
So now we have been in Cairns for nearly two years and pastoring for about 18 months. It has been a very interesting journey - and I thought I would share 3 (of the many) things that I've learned so far. I've picked these things to share because since I've started pastoring, I've found these three points are absolutely essential.
The need for prayer
So this one shouldn't really be that surprising right? It was Martin Luther who said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”. It is prayer that brings relationship because prayer is simply communication with God. It's impossible to have any kind of relationship without communication. But as pastor, I've learned that I need to model for the church what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ - and to do that, I need to be in prayer.
The need for fathers
As a pastor, I've learned the importance of having father figures in my ministry. These are experienced ministers who have been serving the Lord for many years. I've specifically given them veto power in my life. They have the authority to pull me aside and correct my path at anytime. They are also a great source of wisdom, encouragement and help. Without father figures in my life, I'm a bit like Mario without a mushroom. Kinda small, and one hit and I'm dead. (P.S. If you are one of my father figures, and you are reading this, I don't consider you a mushroom)
The need for love
I had the absolute privilege of spending some time with Brother Art Hodges a couple years ago at a men's camp. We had decided to come to Cairns at that stage, but we had not left yet. I asked him what his best advice for a young pastor would be - and he said: "you need to love people".
That sounds fairly simple to say but honestly, I've learned that it has been harder to put into practice than I thought. I already thought I loved people, but becoming a pastor has taken it to a whole other level. For I've found love takes me far beyond where duty and obligation will. A hireling concerned with duty will never care for saints like a pastor moved with compassion. (See John 10:12-13). The moment duty takes over from love is the moment I hope I get pulled up by one of my father figures. I've also learned that everyone in the church needs to know that I love them - from the youngest to the oldest. That means I'm interested in anything from fidget spinners to hip replacements.
Over to you. There are so many other things I've learned since I've started pastoring. What have you learned since you've been involved in ministry? What does your pastor do for you that makes you think "I've got the best pastor in the world"?
I would love for you to share your thoughts below.
I'm a Husband and a Daddy, a minister, a teacher and preacher, writer, youth leader, blogger, and servant of a great God.