Have you ever seen something great and did not really know how to take it? I remember as a child I went to a Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls game when Michael Jordan was still playing. I had the choice to have courtside seats or to go to the nosebleed seats. While I loved Jordan, I really wanted to ride an elevator.
Michael Jordan was in his prime…in my hometown…and I went to the nosebleed section for my own selfish reasons. I missed greatness because I had a story I wanted to create.
As I began this journey called Pastoral Ministry I met a lot of amazing preachers and Pastors. Not until recently did I really appreciate how great they were. Before you run and think I am talking about the 65+ group, I am not.
Shout out to the 65+ year-old pastors. They are well deserving. I am because they were and are.
I am in my Third year of Senior Pastorate ministry and as much as I love the “senior” pastors, I must take a moment to appreciate the 40(ish) - 60(ish) Pastors. That generation of leaders and pastors are undeniably unique and have battled so I don’t have to battle. So, to you brothers and sisters, I want to thank you.
The 40-60 year old pastors have dealt with so much! ThInk about it. They started pastoring around 15-20 years ago. They have seen 3-5 cultural swings, the boom of the “mega” church, the influence of social media, the movement of praise and worship, and more. How dare we overlook these brothers and sisters!
The wisdom they have given and yielded to, teaches abundant lessons that can shower like rain to remind you of the grace of God. It was their seminary training that the work of Black Liberation and authentic expository preaching was in her infancy and they have been intentional to stretch that to give us what we love to turn to on YouTube or Facebook lIves when we leave worship.
They showed us Preacher style before preacher style.
They took risks at old churches
They took risks to start churches
They made it cool to have a handheld and lapel mic
They made Hip-hop in the pulpit cheesy, cool, and real.
They gave us the opportunities that some of them wish they had
They opened their pulpits to us when they were just starting.
They were the Second Sunday of June Youth Day Checks we looked forward to
They were the ones we laughed at when they started out, but the ones we love hearing now.
They were the ones who endured the ridicule of being Young preachers before we were even called.
They have fought battles that we cannot even fathom
They made Church Staffing “cool”
To You, I Salute You!
You have been Paul and Timothy at the same time. You have exemplified Radical hospitality and true Authentic Leadership. You have opened your homes, minds, hearts to show me that there are Pastors out there who are making it difficult for the news to find something wrong with the church.
Pastoral ministry and leadership is as Henri Nouwen suggested, a lonely inward journey. On that Journey God has allowed my wife and I to meet some amazing pastors and wives who are unselfish, humble, anointed, and purpose driven.
As busy as they are they have paused to pray for me, intercede for me, pour into my life, trust me with details of their lives that I have been surprised with. To you 40-60 year olds, THANK YOU.
Young Millennial/Gen-Z Pastors take a moment to thank (and probably tweet) your mentors, pastors, loved ones who have cared for you and prayed for you. I cannot wait for the day I can honor you beyond this blog post and to do for the Gen-z generation what you have done for Millennials.
Who is a Pastor that has had influence on you/That you pray for?
On a personal note, let me shout out the ones in my life!
Pastor Vincent Windrow - I don’t think I can describe the influence PV has had on my life both in ministry and beyond. I look forward to just being able to talk to my pastor. I pray for him weekly. Before Dr. Buchanan passed he asked, “who is covering you and who are you covering?” Immediately I responded with PV. Words can’t describe our relationship. If I need a good butt-whipping…all the way to if I need to cry…My Pastor is a Pastor.
Pastor Michael Walrund - We were connected and I am eternally grateful. Being in his presence you just sense a calm, authenticity, and powerful presence of the Lord. Even though we just met I am glad we will never depart!
Pastor John Faison - God literally will ordain relationships. I remember the Day God told me, “Reach out to Pastor Faison.” Ever since then a month doesn’t go by without a 1-2 hour conversation about both of our lives…celebrating and correcting. Some of the lowest moments of my personal life were met with, “get up, Im praying for you” Thank you!
Pastor Breonus Mitchell - My love for Preaching starts and ends here. All of my Preaching books that I have read and suggested all start and end here. Pastor Mitchell is the epitome of an Expository Exegetical Preacher. Pastor, I salute the gift you are to the Kingdom.