Has there ever been a pastor who was just precious to you and was a part of landmarks in your faith journey? I’ve been blessed to have two who have been actively involved in my spiritual walk.
I met Frank Edwards when I was in sixth grade. He seemed a little serious and distant, but we managed to drag him into youth group and get him to participate in games, songs, and the message. I grew to love him dearly and throughout my school and college years, he was a major influence in my spiritual growth. He was part of every big event that took place in my life during that time. Frank is now retired and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. While I don’t see him or talk to him often, I look forward to his Christmas card letter every year. Instead of the typical here’s the latest with me and my family, he writes a Christmas message that would rival his best sermons. I am so encouraged, challenged, and blessed by it. He is still sharing the Gospel, just in a different way.
Charles Sineath is the other pastor who has left his mark on my life. He was our pastor for 8 years before retiring and moving to Jasper, Georgia only to take on the job of pastor for another church. Yesterday was his final sermon as pastor of Mountain View Community Church. We drove to Jasper to be there. He stood before a crowded church and declared “I want to make one thing clear. I am retiring from the pastorate but as long as there is air in my lungs and I am able, I will preach the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
We are all called to do the work of Jesus Christ until our death or His return. Matthew 28:19-20 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Sometimes that task will take you across the street and sometimes it will take you across the seas [Acts 1:8]. Wherever you are, whoever you are with, the task is still the same. We are to be about our Father’s business just as Jesus was [Luke 2:49]. We are to share the hope we have in Jesus and offer it to others.
We may retire from our place of employment, some sooner than others, yet Scripture never speaks of retiring from the calling of God. There are people whose lives depend on us. We carry the source of life and it is our job to share it with the world [Hebrews 5:9]. Are you ready? There’s a whole world out there that needs Jesus.