A Privilege I Do Not Take for Granted

2 Samuel 23:3–4

One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning.

Acts 20:28

Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.


I have two distinct early memories regarding church and pastors. I recall setting up a makeshift pulpit and “having church” for my sister in our living room. I was also aware of the importance of Holy Communion, and recall that I was disappointed that we didn’t have any saltine crackers to share with my single congregant.

Contrast that with another memory: I knew from early on that I didn’t want to be a pastor because I would have to go to church every Sunday (!), and stand up in front and yell at everyone. I didn’t want to do that!

So how is it that I will finish my 37th year of serving as a pastor in the Lutheran Church this June. I have had the privilege of serving in Utah, Arkansas and Texas, experiencing great joys and challenges along the way. There have been tears, laughs, celebrations, and disappointments.

The opportunity to shape the spiritual, moral, and mental/emotional character of the people in the churches I have served is a great privilege. To have the possibility of helping someone see the light of God’s love, understand anew the depth of his grace, be undone by the sheer weight of the Law, and renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit is a remarkable honor.

When I read the passages above, I want all the more to be faithful and effective in this calling. I must align myself with Martin Luther as I consider how “if it were up to me I would have ruined it long ago.” But thanks be to God that he uses broken people to accomplish great things for his kingdom. I thank God for the Holy Spirit who has made me an overseer of Christ’s flock.

1 comment
  1. mArtha Warnasch said:

    I too thank God for having sent you as undershepherd to us broken people at St John.

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