Continued from Testimony: Sisters.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8 ESV
Since leaving the pastorate in 2006, I can count on one hand the number of times I have been asked to fill the pulpit on a Sunday. I have pursued other denominations to seek to join their pulpit ministry. But I find myself too Baptist to commit and have recently rejoined the denomination, and in fact the very church, I grew up in.
Also in 2006, I began a new career at the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments. There I have written grants to support senior nutrition and supportive services. I facilitated grants for small, rural communities to repair and replace water and wastewater systems. I wrote grants to allow communities to have new streets and sidewalks, safe and accessible for those in wheelchairs. I even won a grant for a rural courthouse to replace its ancient heat and air system with a new hydrothermal system.
In 2009, I was promoted to director of Supportive Services, including the Area Agency on Aging.
Now I am responsible for funding nutrition programs and senior centers serving thousands of meals every day.
We counsel seniors on how to avoid scams and how to save money on their medical bills.
We make it possible for seniors to access transportation, legal aid services, health promotion and education.
We pay for respites for caregivers of seniors and seniors raising children.
We pay to mow the yard for several seniors.
We find seniors paid, community, job-training opportunities.
We help resolve complaints for residents in nursing homes.
We connect seniors and their caregivers to much needed resources.
As my dear pastor friend, Mike reminds me, I have a ministry.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Col. 3:23 ESV
I met Mike during “Music Man” at Duncan Little Theatre. I was the stage manager. He played the lead, Harold Hill. He invited me out to lunch with his wife, one of those sisters I mentioned before. We have been having lunches or coffees almost every week since.
I remember what it was like to be a church pastor. So, the last thing I do is treat Mike like a pastor. I think he appreciates that.
And I appreciate his pastor’s heart full of grace.
Now I have several pastor friends. Real friends. The kind of relationships that have ups and downs. But I never treat them like pastors. I treat them like friends, people with real feelings, people susceptible to all the emotions, all the faults, all the fears and worries we all face.
I may never be back in the pulpit.
But I do have a ministry.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 ESV
What is your ministry?