The Real Thing…

Posted: January 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Last week my music buddies and I led worship for a women’s event at my previous church. I’m still very connected there and love the people and the pastor. In the middle of the day, on his day off, with a bad back, he met me there at the church and lugged sound equipment and spent hours setting it up. This was after he stopped by a coffee house to get his administrative assistant a much needed coffee drink. Watching him do all that, the thought hit me… “this guy’s the real thing.”

I’ve worked at churches and been at churches where the pastor had his own agenda. Many times they were controlling and power hungry. Sometimes they were perverted and sexually opportunistic. Some were just mean spirited and could have cared less about the people in their churches.

In my life I’ve also been privileged to know some pastors and their wives who have exemplified everything that’s right about Christianity and the church. They have lovingly cared for the people of their congregation, and a lot of stragglers along the way too. They have been the first at the hospital, the last at the graveside. They’ve been the ones cleaning up the messes left around in any church, be it glue and glitter in the Sunday school rooms or in people’s tattered lives.

I hear a lot of people stereotype the church and pastors and being uncaring and out of touch. But I know that this pastor cares for his people. I know this pastor cares for me. He still takes the time to see how I am. I still takes the time to invest in my life and allow me to share in the life of his congregation. And so does his wife. I love her realness and her willingness to include me in what she’s doing as well.

It hasn’t been an easy road for the new pastor and his wife these last few years. He was the assistant pastor before and took over the church after the previous pastor had deeply wounded the close knit congregation by his own horrible choices and behavior. At the same time his wife was pregnant with their second child. At a time when many couples would have wanted a quiet peaceful life, they were thrown into the middle of something devastating.

The day the previous pastor got up in front of the church and confessed his behavior that made him unfit for church leadership and stepped down, this new pastor came up to me and said “well, here’s another stellar day in your long list of bad church experiences.” But even though it was painful, the truth is that it was a stellar day because I saw him and the leadership of the church do the right thing. I saw him step up and be an example of loving concern and care for all of us. And I am thankful for him and for his wife. May their tribe increase, and may God bless them for their faithfulness.

Originally published June 28th, 2006

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