This Is What We Are Here For

This is a continuation of my conversation with Pastor Pete

At this point, Pastor Pete took the lead in choosing the content of our conversation by saying, “There is such a change now in ministry. When I started, the philosophy of the church leadership was to put the young minister in a place that was almost impossible and if they made it, they made it.” I asked if he thought that was a good thing. He replied, “Yes, it helps you learn how to respond to the things that are going to be coming your way in the pastoral office.” As more memories surfaced he added “seniors were respected in that day. Now, I read an article by one of our Senators that describe seniors as a drag. It is an entirely different perspective.”

 I told him that I believed James Houston when he said we don’t minister to Senior Adults, we benefit from them but I hoped our church didn’t know that or they would stop paying me to do this ministry.

Keeping to this theme, he said that seven years ago, after his first wife died, his son informed him that he would need a new heart valve. Pastor Pete said he knew this would cost, even back then, between $50,000 and $70,000. He said he remembered thinking that he wasn’t worth that and maybe should just join his wife in heaven. He went so far as calling his insurance company and asking them if they thought He was worth it. To my relief, he reported that the answer of the insurance company was “This is what we are here for.” I said it had been a long time since I had heard anyone think they were getting more from their insurance than they deserved. Somehow, the generations which followed his are quick to report that they deserve more than they get.

I said I had one final question. (The half hour I had planned to spend had become actually over an hour but it had seemed like minutes to me.) I said that most of the leadership of our church is younger than I am. I explained that I am the oldest person on our pastoral leadership team and the only women. I asked how I could know when my opinions were preserving tradition that was important to preserve and when I was resisting change. He said that we need to know when we are reaching out without dumbing down. He counseled me to look at what the change is about and then ask 1.) Is it biblical? and 2.) does it further the cause of Christ? I thought, isn’t that what we should be here for–to further the cause of Christ.

What have you done lately to further in the cause of Christ? Share you stories, your ministry with us.

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