As a pastor, I am constantly asking myself this question: Is my life and ministry making a difference in the lives of others? I assume this is a question that most pastors ask themselves regularly. I know I do…
Each week as I minister, serve, invest and preach God’s Word, I get so busy in the work that I rarely slow down and evaluate the life change in people’s lives. To be completely honest, very few people share with their pastor how God is working in their life because of their investment into them. So, this morning as I was celebrating the inward and outward change that I can see in our church family, I began to think about those men in my life that have poured TRUTH into my life and ministry through the years.
I would like to share briefly some wonderful “Words of Wisdom” from some of these men:
1. Bryan Alexander- when I was wrestling with God about answering the call to ministry, I ask my brother a question… I said, “Bryan, when God called you into ministry how did you know where to start?” He said, “Matt, I just started digging where Daddy Dug.” (Genesis 26:18) You see, our Dad was a pastor and he dug some wonderful wells for us to go and reopen. He set a great example for us and Bryan was challenging me to just follow in Daddy’s footsteps.
2. Wilburn Hill- he mentored be without even trying for over 24 years. I grew up under his ministry and I watched every step he took and listened to every word he spoke. I ended up serving on staff with him for a few years before he retired in 2010. He always told and modeled for me this phrase… “Matt, love the people. They will put up with a lot if they know you love them.” Boy, those words have never been more true.
3. Johnny Hunt- Even though he does not know me, he has ministered to me in a major way since 2000. One of the main things I use to hear him say over and over and over to men at conferences and pastors in meetings and from his pulpit was this simple prayer… “Lord, keep me close and clean.” This is my pray as I strive to lead a body of believers and my family.
4. Stan Jordan- I think I shared this in an earlier post but it’s worth repeating. I was sitting in class at NOBTS one evening and Stan was our professor. Stan was always early to class and on this particular evening, he was not on time. I was experiencing a heavy weight in my life and was stretched out and time was flying so fast that I could not get everything done… Stan walks into class and he sets his bags down and collects himself and begins by opening class in pray like he always did. Stan began to pray and he confesses that he had a busy day and then he said these words… “Lord, thank you that in scripture, we never see Jesus in a hurry.” Those words are a constant source of help to this busy pastor.
5. Danny Singleton- this man has poured into me like very few people. Danny lives a transparent life and he has given me so many “words of wisdom” through the years. Here are a few… “Guys, we are just 1/2″ away from STUPID at any moment.” “Hey, you would not like me if you really knew me.” “God has called us to BE DIFFERENT ON PURPOSE.” These truths have marked me and I’m thankful.
6. Neal Hughes- I’m not sure any man has marked me in such a short period of time like my friend, Neal Hughes. Neal is the most caring, genuine, loving, compassionate, and intentional man I know. Neal always has time for everyone and when he says that he loves you, he means it. At the end of every service at CBC when he was our interim pastor, he gave us these words of comfort… “Have I told you today that I love you?” It’s feels so good to be loved and I’m thankful for the love of Neal Hughes and the love of my Savior Jesus Christ!
I pray that my ministry and life mark people like these men! I pray that God will give me “Words of Wisdom” for people in my circle of influence! It will take intentionality!