This is my twentieth year working with students. It’s sometime hard to believe I’ve been working with students this long. Some days I feel a great sense of accomplishment, and some days I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.
Regardless, it has been an amazing adventure. When I look back, I an truly blessed by all that God has done in my life and ministry.
In the last twenty years I have seen God do some awesome things in my life…
– I have an amazing, loving, and supportive wife.
– I have 5 incredible kids.
– I have a career that I love.
– by the end of this year, we will be debt free, thanks Dave Ramsey.
– we have had to deal with 5 significant losses: my wife’s mom, and my 2 grandfathers and 2 grandmothers.
– my oldest boy has started attending my youth group.
In ministry God has blessed us with…
– 20 years of ministry to students.
– 2 amazing congregations to serve.
– I married 2 former students, my first wedding.
– I have cried with students who lost loved ones.
– I have cheered with students who accomplished great things.
– we have seen students graduate, get jobs, and become active Christian adults.
– we have see the church do thing wrong.
– we have seen the church do things right.
Life and ministry are full of ups and downs. So much of life impacts the ministry we do. And so much of our ministry impacts how we live life. You can’t separate the one from the other.
Even as I write this blog, I’m sitting in an ICU waiting room while my dad lays in a unit bed waiting for answers. I’ve dealt with a number of emotions including fear, frustration, and helplessness. It’s hard to be here, and yet, I can’t help but think, “I know this experience will give me a greater understanding of students and family who hurt in crisis.”
Life is ministry. Ministry is life. The two are one. And we become stronger pastors when we recognize that truth.