To have served on our congregation's last call committee as its chair was both a privilege and an education. Our desire, from the start, was to seek God's will in our call process, that time and pressure to find someone not be the driving force, so we spent the better part of our first meeting on our team's "norms" (rules for operation) and spent time developing criteria that we felt might best help us evaluate candidates given the limited access to information about them.
It was a privilege because I worked with a fine team that adhered to the work at hand in a serious manner, and the team took the role seriously. We were human, because we are human, but we prayed, we communicated face to face, via email, and with our circuit advisor often. It was an education because I saw that God's will unfolded over the almost year that it took. We might think we had an answer, but on several occasions, God said try again. God's will was very much present in our process.
This month is "Clergy Appreciation Month," and as such, we are encouraged to encourage, thank, pray for, show our gratitude for our pastor. God has placed a faithful servant in our midst at Hope Lutheran - Pastor Eric Hiner. Note the care Paul shows in his spiritual leaders as he writes to the congregation at Philippi, "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so I m be cheered by the news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interest, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served me in the gospel." (Philippians 2:19 - 22) Some (probably within the congregation the notes state) have led the congregation astray or created issues within the congregation, so Paul sends a trusted friend who is a faithful servant of God to be present.
God sends us trusted servants, men of God, to serve the congregation faithfully to advance the gospel. While human, they have shown a devotion to advancing the gospel in our midst, each in his own unique way.
We pray specifically for Pastor Eric as he goes about his daily tasks devoted to the ministry at our church and school, that he may have strength and guidance from us and from the Spirit. We pray for his family and extended family for the love, support, and nurturing needed to each of them and that they give Pastor Eric. We pray for our congregation in that we support the ministry of Christ and give to it fully, each in our own way, building up the body of Christ by allowing the Spirit to work through us. We pray a specific measure of wisdom for our newly formed call committee, seeking a servant to work with Pastor in the ministries we believe we crucially need.
God has sent his servant to us to do His work here in our community as he did in the early church as well. Thanks be to God.
Hope Men's Ministry