Lessons Learned from the Pastor & His Family…

stone cross

Eight years ago my walk with the Lord was anything to write about…anywhere…let alone home. I was worshiping regularly at the Church of Starbucks each Sunday morning because I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a local church where I could contribute my measly talents and also feel the presence of God in my life. Then, God intervened and sent our family to the tiniest church in our community. In fact it can be effectively argued that this church was dying. But God would have argued otherwise and He sent a certain pastor and his family to that dying church to give it exactly what it needed–a compassionate, honest, non-judgmental man and his talented family. What God and this family has wrought is nothing short of a miracle in the interim. A church that needed intervention now intervenes in the lives of many in our community.

Unfortunately, powers beyond our control are now intervening in a not-so-nice way. This wonderful family is not being asked to minister in Ennis, Texas very soon. And while we are certain, as a congregation, that we will also enjoy and grow from the talents of our next minister and his family, it is difficult to watch them pack up and leave our little town. This family has intricately woven itself into our hearts and minds and souls. So, here’s what they have taught me along the way:

  1. Little Johnny is one twisted kid.
  2. Growing up in Mississippi could mean that you actually grow up in Alabama some nights.
  3. God is a big, African-American woman.
  4. Sarayu means wind.
  5. There’s a lot of wind in Paul Young and that’s actually a good thing.
  6. Jeanie should be loved for all the things she is.
  7. There’s a hole in our gospel.
  8. There are no excuses on Sunday mornings.
  9. Church bureaucracy shouldn’t get in the way of a good idea.
  10. Ministers can be successful without knowing who tithes the most.
  11. Jeanie never met a child she didn’t like.
  12. The best donuts are the ones inside a sanctuary.
  13. The best coffee is the one drunk beside a fellow worshipper.
  14. Ministers can play bass.
  15. Their wives and daughters sing back-up.
  16. Their sons play every instrument in the band and sing lead.
  17. Ministers can wear jeans to one service and a coat and tie to the next.
  18. The best sermons are outlined on a PowerPoint.
  19. Dallas isn’t just a city.
  20. Dallas isn’t just an old TV series.
  21. Ministers can admit that their very own children are the real prodigals and welcome them back onto the family farm without upsetting their firstborn.
  22. Churches do exists where both ex-spouses still fervently attend church.
  23. Real ministers cry through their sermons.
  24. Some ministers are great actors; other ministers act real; ours does both simultaneously.
  25. Bible studies are really therapy without judgment.
  26. A t-shirt and flip-flops are all the formal attire needed to worship God.
  27. The funniest guy at the church may be the one teaching you how to manage your finances so you can give more of them away.
  28. On a bad day the person reminding you why you’re on the planet may be the one who talks the most about Heaven.
  29. More ministers’ wives should be Marys.
  30. I may go to a Methodist church, but I will never understand why good ministers are taken from the congregations who most need them.
  31. Eight years goes by in about eight seconds.
  32. I cry when I read my pastor’s last newsletter article.

Ennis, Texas doesn’t know how fortunate it is. Thanks for how you resurrected a rusty old Christian like me.

Tomorrow’s Post: Ladies and Gentlemen: Start your engines…

You might also like: A MaryAnn in a Martha World, Lessons Learned from Visiting Sam Moon for the First Time, Absolutely, It’s All About the Splash



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This entry was posted on Friday, June 7th, 2013 at 6:50 am and is filed under God stuff, Lessons Learned. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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