Several months ago, one of my staff members sat in myoffice. He shared with me how an older pastor had offended him with unkindwords.
I tried to encourage him. I don’t remember exactly what Isaid. But it went something like this: “Don’t worry about it. Older preachershave a way of… us younger preachers.”
Staff member’s response: “Did you say, ‘Us youngpreachers?’”
He was right. I am not young anymore.
Today is my 39th birthday.
I have been a pastor for more than 21 years. I have beenmarried to my wife, Crystal, whom I met in high school, for more than 13 years.I am the father of three children. Two of them are preteens. Teens! And, ofcourse, my three-year-old, Hailey, is already a grandmother.
I am not a young man anymore. People call me “sir” when Igo into stores. When did I become a sir? Historical events that shaped my youthhappened decades ago. I cannot stand that music those young people seem to likethese days.
I am not a young man anymore. And when I start to forgetit, it seems that my body is now first in line to remind me.
Okay, Okay. I am not a young man anymore.
But I am still a young preacher.
I remember when I was in my late teens and earlytwenties, people used to say, “Just imagine what of preacher this boy is goingto be when he gets thirty-five!” Well, that time has come and gone. When Ifinished preaching, older preachers used to say, “It has not yet appeared whatthis young man shall be.” I cannot tell you the last time I heard that.
I know that I am not a young preacher anymore.Translation: I am no longer a rookie! Ihave been preaching since I was eleven. I have been a pastor since I wasseventeen. It takes a lot to shock me at this point. I have been there, donethat, and have the commemorative hat, t-shirt, and coffee mug!
But this older man is still a young preacher. That is, Iam still a growing preacher.
I am more excited about following the Lord Jesus Christas I have ever been. I love the word of God more than ever! Studying it andpreaching it seems to take years off of my life! I am still in awe of the factthat get to pastor the people of God. I feel like that eighteen-year-old whocouldn’t believe that as pastor he would get to preach every Sunday. EverySunday! Twice!
I am convinced that still have so much to learn. No onehas heard by best preaching yet. I have gifts that the Lord is still developingin me. My vision is broadening and my focus is narrowing. There are doors Iprayed would be open ten years ago that I am only now ready to walk through.God is not through with me yet!
I often tease that I am looking forward to becoming acynical old preacher. But the very opposite is happening in my life. They usedto call me an old young preacher. I trust they will call be a young oldpreacher. Get it?
The last time that staff member reminded me that I wasnot a young preacher anymore, I informed him that this old man would out growhim and the rest of his ilk over the course of this year.
God willing, may it be so.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heartof wisdom.” – Moses (Psalm 90:12)