Tuesday, March 01, 2005

2 Years Down, 25+ Years to Go

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. --I Corinthians 15:58.

Today, March 1st, 2005 marks our 2 year anniversary here at Grace Church, SLO. (Thanks Stella Nuncio for remembering!) Its been a fantastic and exciting two years. Make no mistake about it, I am still in way over my head, but I'm having the time of my life. Many thanks to the people of Grace who have welcomed us, loved us and opened their lives to us. If the Lord should will it, we hope to be here for a long, long time.

WHY?

Because there are certain things that can only happen over the long haul in a ministry. Some fruit takes time to ripen on the vine. There's something powerful about seeing children born in a church family, dedicating them to the Lord, watching them grow up and then having the chance to marry them off. There is something wonderful about living life together with a group of people through the seasons of life. There's something delightful about marrying, burying, preaching, and loving over the long haul. I believe there's an intimacy that develops between pastor and people over the years. The flock learns to hear the voice of the shepherd. There is something deep about knowing and being known.

We live in a day and age when everything moves quickly. Its easy for those in ministry to move quickly too. As John Piper has said, we begin to see ourselves as professionals. There are ladders we climb in ministry too. We speak so little of perseverance in our day. Pastors need to persevere. When we're tempted to leave, we need to stay. In a world where everything is changing, people need pastors who will stay. . . pastors who will be "steadfast" and "immovable." There are certain things that need to happen in a church, that can't happen in year 5, or year 10, but will only happen in year 20.

The Lord can do whatever He wants. The Elders can ask me to leave at any time, and I will do so quietly. I serve at their pleasure. But so far as it depends on me, I'm staying. I am committed to "life together."

3 comments:

David said...

Congratualtions on your two year anniversary. Grace has definitely changed in the past two years and we still have a lot of room to grow. The Lord willing, I'm looking forward to traveling the road that lies ahead with you for the next 25 years ...

Scott Morton said...

Tim, Thank you for your commitment to us at Grace SLO. It thrills my heart to know that you desire to grow, minister, and live with us inspite of how difficult and 'messy' (that's your word) ministry can be; this shows the redemptive work of Christ working it's way out in your life! It seems that contemporary pastoring can also be synonymous with temporary pastoring -- thanks for seeing us in light of the big picture of Christ's gospel and being willing to think long term!

Doug Kyle said...

Tim,
I'm watching your BLOG from afar with interest.
Congrats on your 2 years! For me, it's been eleven and I can testify to the sweetness of ministry over the long haul. There is a freedom today that I didn't feel early on. It is good - life together. Also to see it through my kids' eyes - this is their only church - how rich we are. Blessings to you and your fortunate church.