And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. -Psalm 40:3-5 (KJV)
I have had a unique privilege of being pastor at my present church for a little over 15 years now. As I look back and reflect on this period of time I am reminded of how blessed I have been to have served here for so long. Pastors have a way of moving around every so many years, and to stay in one place for this length of time has made for a more fruitful and blessed ministry. One blessing of an extended ministry is how I have gotten to know so many people over the years. Some of these people have come into my life and while I may not see them for a number of years, there is a connection, and this connection is vitally important, for it provides a means of reaching out in the name of Jesus.
The other day I was conducting a wedding for a young couple. The bride attended the church here as a child, and when she became engaged she asked me to perform the ceremony, which I was glad to do. At the rehearsal there was a relative of hers who I had not seen since the girl was a child. The young lady saw me, threw her arms around me, and said, “Hi Father Dan!” “Father Dan?” I have been called a few things in my time, but “Father Dan” was a first. There was no way at that moment to correct her or explain how in our denomination we go by a few titles (brother, pastor, or reverend), yet Father is not something Baptist preachers are ever called.
My point is that while this young lady had my title wrong, her intentions were good. She desired to show me respect, yet she didn’t know how to do so. My hope and prayer in such a situation is God will use the connection I have to open a door for continued ministry. Understand when we are faithful God uses the connections in our lives as a means of sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others. Let us always be looking for ways to share with others the wonderful love of Jesus – by any means possible.
No doubt there are people in your life who need to know how the Lord offers a better way. He has placed His love in our hearts, and we are called to share His love with others.