Next month I will be retiring from full time ministry. I have been preaching and doing ministry for the past 35 years which I personally believe allows me to say, “As I look back on my life...” Thirty five years is a long time and much has happened in that time. There have been many baptisms, professions of faiths, weddings and funerals as well classes that I’ve taught and people I have counseled. There have been more meetings than what I can remember and hours and hours of simply being with God’s people in his church. And then there are the sermons...
I have kept a log of every sermon I have preached through those thirty five years and between the two churches I have served, it adds up to 2,161 sermons I have preached, 1,311 of them here at Faith Church. To put into some perspective, if sermons were miles and if we were to drive from Los Angeles, California to Nashville, it is approximately that distance. That’s a lot of miles and that is a lot of sermons!
I must admit that it’s difficult to imagine me not doing this regularly. This was my life and it still remains my calling. I still feel that God wants me to use my gifts but I’m not sure exactly how that will be and what that will look like. I do know that I don’t believe that it will be weekly preaching. My journey in that specific regard is over.
I remember having a conversation with someone here at Faith Church about 10 years ago and I recall saying to her, “All I really want to do in my ministry is make a difference.” As I look back, I pray that it that is true. I never started ministry as an idea that I had. From the very beginning of when I felt God’s call to ordained ministry, I felt God urging me to this. While I have been very human and flawed in every aspect of my work and life, God has still chosen to use me to make a difference in the lives of many others. I can only humbly thank God for this opportunity to minister and I give him all the glory for using me.