Friday, February 15, 2013

A Thought About Pastors And Their Families

Our older son's 40th birthday is today. 

It is so hard to believe that it has been that long since he arrived at Cabell Huntington Hospital in 1973, but that's another story, and I don't want to sound like the old geezer that I am becoming.

What I do want to do, however, is to share a few thoughts with you regarding a pastor and his family.

Jay is working on the last stages of his Ph.D. work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, but he also serves as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Westwego on the west bank of the Mississippi River in suburban New Orleans.  Both tasks are a full time job.  He has served at FBC Westwego for just over 10 years, and previously he was mission pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church in South Shore, KY for five years.  He also had the distinct "privilege" of growing up in a pastor's home as a PK (Preacher's Kid).  Like me, he has witnessed the challenges of a pastor's family from both sides of the equation.

He and his family were looking forward to a special week of vacation.  Michelle shares a birthday with Valentine's Day, and Jay's birthday is the next day.  They had looked forward to spending that special week together as a family in one of their favorite places.  They had just arrived in Orlando, FL late Sunday night for their family vacation when "that call" came in.

A dear saint in their church had passed away unexpectedly.

To make a long story short, Jay and his family were faced with a situation that all of us in pastoral ministry for any amount of time have faced.  He has had it happen before as well.

Well, he did what he felt he needed to do in obedience to his calling from God.  He spent as much time with Michelle and the boys as he could, and then he boarded a flight very early this morning so he could do the funeral service this afternoon in New Orleans.  Michelle and the boys have stayed on for a couple of days and will be driving back to NOLA by themselves.

A post that Jay placed on Facebook last night touched a familiar chord with me, and reminded me of similar situations I have experienced, both as a PK and a pastor.  A pastor's family is not like most others.  It takes a very special kind of woman to put up with all that is involved, and often the children just DO NOT understand why their lives are so different than that of their friends. Please take a moment to read Jay's brief post, and then, if you are blessed to have a good pastor, please take another moment to thank God for sending him your way, and ask God's blessings and grace on your pastor and his family.  I know they would appreciate your prayers.

Read Jay's post here.

Happy birthday Son.  May God bless you and your precious family.  Thank you for giving to the Lord.  The hours are tough, working conditions are not always ideal, and the pay is never enough, but the "benefits" are "out of this world"!

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