I forgot to mention that Wally and Barbara Rendel came to visit us on Friday. Wally is the minister at the Southern Acres Christian Church, Kelly's home church in Lexington. Wally did our wedding ceremony and he and Barb took us out to dinner for our final session of premarital counseling. He's the founding pastor of Southern Acres and will retire in June. The fact that they drove from Lexington, Kentucky [a three-hour round trip] just to see us for an hour is rather humbling. Southern Acres has about a thousand people attend each week. There are constant demands in a ministry that size and making a trip to see us would seem like low priority. And especially doing so as you're nearing the end of your ministry, when you don't need to put in that kind of effort, is very impressive. But that's just the kind of pastor he is.
As I recently wrote, I didn't get into ministry to be a pastor; I just loved to preach. To be a good pastor takes a set of skills entirely different from just preaching. You need to love ministering to people. Investing in people's lives demands a lot of time. There are definite joys, but a whole lot of heartache. That's why there's a lot of turn-over in the ministry. But I've learned over the past few years what it takes to be a good pastor. I'm doing my best to put those skills in action.
If I can be half the pastor that Wally is, I might make a good minister after all.