In honor of pastor appreciation month I felt compelled to share with you ten pastors (in chronological order) that have impacted my life and what I learned from them. Here goes:
Ron Lyles: I got saved after Dr. Lyles shared the gospel during my first VBS. I watched him always give dedicated attention to each person that wanted to talk to him every Sunday after service. He made time for anyone and everyone.
Bobbie Miller: Bobbie served me and my family countless times through difficult hardships. He was the first to cultivate in me a passion for singing. Watching Bobbie showed me that a pastor could serve people with a smile even in the most troubling situations.
David Scott: David, invited me in to ministry even if he didn’t know it. He invited me to join him every Tuesday night when I was in High School to go and visit families that had visited our church. He gave me an incredible amount of one on one time, but more than that it was the first time I got a chance to “do ministry”.
Kile Bateman: Kile, has the illustrious honor of being the first to ask me to preach. It was the summer after I graduated High School on an inner-city missions trip in D.C.. I don’t know what he saw in me, but that night God unleashed a calling on my life that set me on life long course in ministry.
Jim McNabb: I interned with Pastor Jim during one of my summer breaks in college. He taught me some hard lessons that a young, immature, arrogant, bible college student needed to learn and he did it with firmness wrapped in grace and mercy. So grateful for the wisdom he poured in to me.
Gaylan Claunch: Dr. Claunch was not only one of my pastors in college he was also one of my college profs. I remember coming into the sanctuary one Wednsday evening when he was all alone weeping in the altars praying. The presence of God was palpable and it moved me deeply. I vowed to be a praying pastor and not just one that merely talked about it.
Kent Anderson: Kent, was the first pastor to take a chance on me and hire me after I graduated college and I do mean he took a chance! I’ll save that for another story, but suffice it to say he invited me to come partner with him in ministry when many would have moved on down the road. I learned from Kent that a sense of humor is a prerequisite to survive the ministry!
Jim Cornwall: I worked under Dr. Cornwall for over 5 years. I watched him deal with very difficult situations with amazing patience and grace. He always told me when it came to people leaving the church, “Don’t worry about it when people leave, many times they’ll live long enough to learn to love you again.”
Robert Hogan: I watched Pastor Hogan from a distance bounce back from amazing adversity in ministry. What might have driven many pastors to spin out in their ministries, drove him to come back even stronger. He was a walking billboard that resiliance and tenacity should be in every pastor’s tool box.
Dan Steffen: Dan is one of my closest friends and mentors. His insight, friendship and like passion for ministry has been steroids for my growth as a pastor. I learned from Dan that vulnerablity isn’t a weakness, but a strength when it comes to leading people. I’m better because he’s in my life.
I’m so grateful for these and my many other friends in ministry that have made an investment in my life. Any good I might accomplish in this life should be credited to their account.
What about you? What pastor has impacted your life in a significant way? Feel free to share here.