Telling People About God
by Tom Goodman
March 17, 2010
This summer, I will mark 30 years of being a pastor since my start as a college sophomore. After attending many conferences and reading many books on the work of ministry, I still haven't found a better definition of a pastor's job than the one
given by my firstborn when he was a preschooler.
When Michael turned four, it was time for him to start sitting with his mother in church services instead of attending the preschool care. After a few weeks of observing the hour-long services of songs, prayers, and my teaching, he had an
"I know what your job is, Daddy," he told me over Sunday lunch.
"Your job is to tell people about God."
"Well, that's right, Michael. I'm a pastor, and my job is to tell people about God."
"Daddy?" he continued.
"It takes a lo-o-o-ong time to tell people about God, doesn't it, Daddy?"
Well, I guess the boy was right! When your job is to tell people about God, there's a lot to say.
What an honor to be called to the "noble task" of pastor (1 Timothy 3:1)! Throughout the week, about a third of my time is spent in study as I prepare to tell people about God. The rest of the time is spent in telling.
Most of you see me doing that job in the pulpit, but there are many more settings for practicing "prayer and the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6:2). There are the phone calls to visitors, prayer with shut-ins, encouragement in a hospital room, Anchor Course sessions, and counseling at the office, to name the most common settings for me. These days, technology extends the ministry of the Word through responding to e-mail and creating e-newsletters, blog posts, status updates, and, most recently, "tweets."
I was reminded of the joy of this job last Sunday. After preaching (where, yes, I took a lo-o-o-ong time), I dropped by the Dell Children's Hospital to visit a family. The dad and I talked as he held his recovering 3-year-old in his lap. He regarded
his daughter's crisis as his spiritual wake-up call, and we talked about how to make Jesus the center of life.
Yes, my job is to tell people about God. And my job rocks.
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