I received a phone call last week from a pastor that I’ve known for over 35 years. We first met when he arrived to serve as the pastor of the church I attended when I was 10 years old. For five of my most formative years he was present in our church and community. And, through the eyes of a 10-year-old the fact that he came to our house many Sunday afternoons to play football only made the relationship stronger! There are so many other stories I could share to show my appreciation for his life and ministry.
Winebrenner Seminary exists to equip leaders for service in God’s kingdom. There are many ways that someone can serve as a leader within God’s kingdom – in fact, since we all have influence over others any one of us can lead others in God-honoring directions.
Today’s post is a specific reflection upon those who have been called to serve as pastors. October is traditionally “Pastor Appreciation Month” and I am taking a moment to express appreciation to those who serve as pastors. Several years ago Winebrenner had an employee who frequently referred to pastors as “spiritual first responders.” That’s a powerful way to think about those who serve in paid and unpaid pastoral positions within churches and communities.
Returning to the pastor who called me last week. Through the years we have remained friends. We have found ourselves in various situations throughout the years and I know that we haven’t always agreed on all elements of life and ministry. However, his presence in my life has shaped me into a stronger husband, father, and President of Winebrenner. I am grateful for his service and for all who serve as pastors.
I encourage you to speak with a pastor who has influenced you and express your own appreciation.
- Brent C. Sleasman, President