Here is how I introduced a sermon I just gave tonight.
I grew up as a pastor’s kid. Because my Dad was a pastor, I figured I knew what a pastor was.
I saw Dad leave in the morning to go to church during the week.
I saw Dad stand up front and speak.
I saw Dad studying his Bible.
I saw Dad’s sermons that used big words and were covered in 4 different colors of highlighters.
I heard Dad begin sermons with an interesting story, and then relate it to the text he was about to teach.
I noticed that we generally had a cool place to eat on Sunday after church because people would invite us out. I started to think that being a pastor might just be the coolest job ever.
Then I started to notice other things.
I began to notice letters that were anonymous and said terrible things.
I began to realize that there were certain people who weren’t very nice at church and didn’t treat my Dad like he was awesome like I thought he was.
I noticed when people would come over to pray, or would just say it in conversation, and realized pastors must need a whole lot of prayer.
I noticed that my Dad would wake up hours before me, sometime as early as 3:30, just to have quiet time. I realized that pastors must be busy.
I noticed Dad tired, frustrated, and disappointed.
But I would also notice that at times he was overjoyed and thoroughly thankful.
I recognized that sometimes he said things when others didn’t. Like at my school one time. No one was saying anything…so he did.
And I was really proud of him.
One thing that I recall always appreciating about my Dad was that he always got up and went to church.
He was faithful to his mission.
He wasn’t perfect.
But he didn’t ever give up on his mission.
And he continues it today.
I was preaching on Acts 20:17-38, and as I was going through it I had an overwhelming sense of awe at how God has equipped and sustained the men who have discipled me in their ministry. None more so on this earth than Sam Rima.