A Word From Steve Jones
July 15th, 2019
A Word from Steve Jones: "Insights from our veteran Pastors on what fueled passion for local church ministry"
Recently I asked some of our veteran and retired pastors and missionaries to comment on the following. Finish this sentence: “Through the years, the one thing that has helped fuel my passion for local church ministry is…”
I was moved, inspired and appreciative of the “nuggets of gold” I received from many of our veteran colleagues who have served our movement for many years.
Here are some of their statements:
“Whether in personal soul-winning or preaching it was the knowledge that God’s Word was authoritive and powerful. The more I shared God’s Word the more the Holy Spirit used it to transform lives. ‘They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:4-5. Remember: “God cannot bless what we do not do”. Our mission as a church was to exalt Christ, edify Christians and evangelize the community.”
- Pastor Stu Silvester, Pastor and former Fellowship National staff member
“Through the years the one thing that has helped fuel my passion for local church ministry is mentoring and building into the lives of young men. Gordon Seattle, Stirling McCleary, Norman Rowan were my mentors and it has been a joy to keep passing the torch down.”
- Pastor Donald Perkins, Pastor and Shepherd to pastors
“Separate what you do (pastor) from who you are. Don’t seek significance from what you do. It will help during the challenging times and allow a meaningful retirement. Significance and security come from God and God alone.”
- Pastor Jack Hannah, Pastor and former Fellowship National staff member
“Going to Italy as a missionary meant I would be writing a prayer letter every month. After years of very few visible results I was under great pressure every month when I had to send out a new letter to my supporters and those who were praying for our ministry. What caused the pressure was what I viewed to be success. Having grown up in a western capitalistic society where success is measure in “more”… of whatever the “bottom line” of the balance sheet was, I thought if I didn’t have more converts, baptisms or church plants in short order, I was a failure. Through reading the Scriptures, the Lord slowly taught me that success was not measured in numbers but faithfulness to Him and His glory. That meant sharing the treasure He had entrusted to me, namely, the Gospel. That thought liberated me. I then was able to put on my calendar each day not an “S” or “F” representing success or failure, but an “F” or an “F” standing for faithful or failure. If I went out and shared the gospel I was faithful (and therefore a success). If I did not, I had failed the trust the Lord gave me. The results of each day’s work were left in the Lord’s hands.”
- Fellowship International missionary Mario (Rose) Bruno, current pastor of Parklawn Baptist, Etobicoke, ON
“For me, it has been a definite call to pastoral ministry and a deep love for the body of Christ (the local church). Those for whom Christ Jesus gave His life and holds me accountable for when I stand before Him.”
- Pastor Dennis Burriss, current Associate Pastor at Bethany Baptist, Red Deer, AB
“Through the years, the one thing that has helped fuel my passion for local church ministry is my increasing awareness of the need for us to see ourselves as a community of believers who together are seeking God, demonstrating the love and unity for which Jesus prayed and focusing on the corporate nature of witness through our relationships of grace. The degree to which we have absorbed the individualism of our culture is counterproductive to our witness for Christ. The local church is corporately the witness for Christ.”
- Dr. Glenn Taylor, Church Planter, Pastor, Professor, author and counselor to pastoral couples and missionaries
“’What is the fuel for the passion?’ I will summarize it like this: When I consider the hopelessness of my unsaved years as an adult, I look at the people around me — family and friends — in the same condition, I’m moved to share my faith and the Gospel. Expanding a bit on that, when I came to the Lord, I only asked Him to save me. In my ignorance I knew nothing of the blessing of following the Lord other than salvation. I want others to sense the peace and joy of walking with the Lord and to know His hand of intervention and interruption amidst difficult situations or events in life. This has been my life experience. I want others to experience it too.”
- Pastor Frank Kohler, Pastor and current Interim Regional Director of our Fellowship Atlantic Region
“Through the years, the one thing that has helped fuel my passion for local church ministry is fuelling my mind and soul through memorizing and meditating on large chunks of God’s Word. I don’t mean a verse here or a chapter there, but long sections and books. For this year – the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – I am re-learning Romans. For me, the Scriptures are like songs in the night that awaken my soul with joy in the morning to press on in passionate ministry.”
- Pastor Bob McRoberts, Pastor and Bible memorizer
Good stuff, eh? Pure gold! Thank you to those who contributed. I hope to send another email sharing insight from other friends serving for many years in the advancement of the Gospel.
I leave you with one last thought from our good friend and my mentor, Dr. Roy Lawson.
“The New Testament view of ministry, as I see it, runs something like this:
I have the privilege of knowing each of these Christian leaders. Most for many years. What each says rings true of who I know they are. Thank you, brothers.
So stay tuned… more of these “nuggets of gold” are on the way.
Have a blessed week,