Ministry Lesson #4

Lesson #4: I’m not that wise.

I had not been in Crawford long before I realized that sporting events were popular hangouts. I became a regular at basketball, volleyball, softball, and football games. This particular lesson begins at a junior high football game. I’m standing along the fence line watching the boys go at it when “Jim” strikes up a conversation with me. It was a good conversation. I returned to the same spot on the same fence the next week and the conversation continued.   It was a good conversation but Jim wasn’t finished. He asked me, “Have you eaten? Want to grab a bite to eat?” I answered, “No, I haven’t eaten” even though I had eaten the hour before. What’s a second dinner in the name of ministry?

Conversations with Jim continued for a few weeks when he decided that it was time for him to give his life fully over to Jesus Christ. He wanted to be baptized to mark the occasion. This soon became a conversation I had with his entire family. This was a real “For me and my house, we will serve the Lord” moment. The entire family decided to make a commitment to Christ. I baptized Jim, his wife, his two sons, and his daughter. It was an incredible time.

The next week Jim took a visit to the doctor. A topic of discussion in some of our meetings was his health. He had been experiencing a ringing in the ear, feeling unbalanced.   The doctor visit resulted in horrible news – a brain tumor. He was schedule for surgery the very next week. Less than two weeks after I baptized his entire family, Jim had brain surgery that changed his life.

This was not a low point in ministry. In fact, it’s a pastoral moment that shapes every sermon I preach. My pastoral counseling came at a crucial point in a family’s life. But I know it was God that put me on that fence.

I learned the lesson … I’m not that wise.

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