“Hey Pastor! Was your father or mother a pastor?”
That question has been posed to me so many times over the years.
I suppose when people have heard me talk about my parents—how they had all these pithy sayings of wisdom that they shared, how they had me in church from the time I was an infant, how they disciplined me intentionally and creatively, how they encouraged me when I was still yet a teenager to get on an airplane and go halfway around the world to spend the summer showing the good news and love of Jesus with people from another culture, how they modeled and even had me experience on the job training of serving people behind the scenes, and the list goes on—they would think that they had to be pastors.
My Dad sold insurance. He saw his occupation as obeying God and living for others because that is what occupied his life. His vocation was not completely different than that because he always saw himself as actually helping people. He sold insurance to pay the bills so that he could do what he really loved—serving others. Especially in the church.
When I became a pastor, I jokingly told him, “I am paid to be good. You, however, are good for nothing!” We would laugh because he always said that his reward would be in heaven so he didn’t need to get paid for serving in the church.
When I think about my parents and so many of you who are like them—devoting hours and hours of service to God—not for nothing, but with everything you’ve got, my mind races to the Scripture that reads, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end…” (Hebrews 6:10-11a NIV)
God keeps the books! He sees your work and service to others as a way of showing love to Him! If you’re in the serving game, then keep up the good work. It really matters. And if you haven’t rolled up your sleeves for Jesus lately, why not jump in now? You’re needed. Plus, it will put a smile on God’s face.
And by the way, my Mom is turning 80 years old in a few months. She serves in a couple of ministries at her church in Indianapolis, and she attends one life group while also leading and hosting another in her home. She hasn’t lost a step in showing that “same diligence to the very end.” I actually have a hard time keeping up with her. Good thing she’s on Facebook and Instagram!
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