By Jay Kieve
Two decades or so ago, CBFSC’s first coordinator, Marion Aldridge, wrote a newsletter article describing how difficult a pastor’s job is. I remember this article because at the time I was a pastor experiencing the difficulty of church ministry. I felt seen and appreciated because Marion identified the depth of personal investment in the lives of others that may not be reciprocated, the often demanding schedule, the conflicts that are bound to come…and the frank recognition that the next deacons’ meeting or church business meeting could bring termination and loss of livelihood and relationship.
I know that there are lots of hard jobs in the world. And I know that over past seven months every worker has made adjustments and sacrifices because of the pandemic.
Even so, I’ve seen firsthand the conscientious work of the ministers who partner with CBFSC. They have learned new technologies and new skills. They developed content for online platforms untouched before. They made difficult, health-conscious decisions. They have presented researched, prayed-over Bible studies and sermons each week—sometimes multiple times a week—no matter the technological challenges or other demands on their time.
And in this season of growing partisanship, they have sought faithfully to minister to folks who agree with them and disagree, who laud and criticize. Ministers meet us in the anxious crucible of the world with a consistent Gospel witness of love and grace.
I agree with Marion, being a minister is still one of the toughest jobs. That is why I am so filled with gratitude for the men and women who serve CBFSC-partner churches.
Called and equipped by God to serve us, they accompany our grief and join our celebrations. They call us to faithfulness and help us find forgiveness. They love us, our children, and our communities in tangible and life-giving ways.
Thank you! Thank you pastors and associate pastors; thank you youth and children’s ministers; thank you ministers of music, administration, missions, and spiritual formation. Thank you for your service to God by serving us.
That’s John Roy in the photo above. John has done a morning devotion on Facebook every weekday morning throughout the pandemic. That’s in addition to the Sunday sermons recorded on a weekday in an empty sanctuary and all the other adjustments he’s had to make to do ministry at Pelham Road Baptist Church in Greenville where he’s been pastor for 25 years.