Needless to say, I am overwhelmed by the Lord’s work in my life over the past few months. And by being asked to take up the mantle of Senior Pastor by Pinecrest this past Sunday, I am truly humbled and honored. To be able to continue to serve with my Pinecrest family in this new role is a blessing that I look forward to with an excited joy. I do understand the weight of the task now laid on my shoulders, but I am confident in the Lord’s leading and by knowing I will have your continued love and support.
The role of Senior Pastor in my view is one of shepherding and building up. I take this from several passages of Scripture. 1 Peter 5:2-4 exhorts the leaders of the church to shepherd God’s people, not out of compulsion but out of a willingness to obey God’s call on your life. Peter reminds Pastors to be “willing to serve.” That’s the cornerstone of ministry in my opinion. This means loving, visiting, praying for, crying with, rejoicing with and living life alongside those God has brought into the Pinecrest family – shepherding beneath the Great Shepherd, always using Christ as the model. In fact, the word “Pastor” in the NT Greek means “shepherd.”
Next, one of the distinctive characteristics of a Pastor is the ability to teach. This comes from 1 Timothy 3:2. So it would follow that one of the primary jobs of the Pastor then is to help the congregation grow by teaching the Word of God as often as he can. I’ve always told you, in the core of my being, I’m a teacher. So this part of being a Senior Pastor is something very dear to who I am. Paul calls this role “Pastor-Teacher” in Ephesians 4:12-13, saying that those who fill this role are to “equip [Christ’s] people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” The Senior Pastor is to help believers grow and to give them opportunity to serve the church and God’s kingdom by utilizing each person’s gifts and abilities. It’s not the Pastor’s job to do everything – that’s why God gave us each the myriad gifts we possess. It is his role to help each one of us recognize, develop and employ those gifts in service to each other and to the community. As the church empowers people to serve in leadership roles, through committees, classes and organizations, the Pastor helps guide and coordinate all of those efforts toward the common goals and growth of the church, working to preserve the unity of the fellowship along the way, offering direction, redirection and encouragement.
So as we embark on this new chapter in the long history of our mission church here on 19th Ave, I now join the ranks of remarkable, loyal, loving, faithful and honorable men who have pastored this church since its beginning. Misty and our family stand ready to continue to serve you to the best of our abilities. I am not perfect, and I will make mistakes. But you know me, you know my heart, and you can be reassured of my love and devotion. I am blessed to be called your Pastor!