This Sunday, Sep 29, 2019, marks the end of an amazing time in my life as lead pastor of City Church Del Río. God has been so faithful and gracious to me and my family, as well as to our ministry staff. In 2015, about 20 people started a new work, with the hope of creating a new direction for the community of Del Río. Now 4 years later and 5 different address changed, I can look back and see the Hand of God and His mighty power in the people of City Church Del Río! We had so much help along the way from many friends and many churches who came to Del Río to love on us. God has called me to El Paso for a new adventure, but I sure am Going to miss my church. We have one of the most amazing churches that I have ever been associated with. It’s all about the people, not so much about the pastor.
Today is September 11, 2019, just 18 years after the tragedy of the bombing of the world trade center. What an awakening moment in the life of our country. We will never forget and we will always remember the lives lost and the actions of our police, fire, military, chaplains, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and civilians, who gave all they had on that day that changed us.
I want to address the tragedy that is ongoing in the life of pastors. Pastors are a group of men and women who also have given their lives for cause of others. They work tireless hours, being available 24/7, and rarely have true time off or vacation time. In light of recent events of pastors falling into temptation, and now even taking their own life due to mental illness, I came across Thom Rainer’s daily post, entitled “How pastors discern their true friends.” We as pastors have to do a better job of taking time off and protecting it, spending more quality time with our families (this is a whole other subject in and in itself), and finding ways to engage with friends who will keep us in check.
As I am embarking upon a new position to become the Executive Director of the El Paso Baptist Association, I am challenged to be a friend to our pastors of the many Baptist Churches of El Paso. We need each other. We need to cooperate with each other. We need, we need, we need. We are afraid to admit that at times for fear of appearing weak. Pastors always want to make a good impression of being strong and having their lives all together. The Pastor is an endangered specie. Pastors are leaving the ministry in record numbers. More churches are pastorales than ever before. More pastors are now bi-vocational as well, since giving is at an all time low.
When you think about your pastor, please, please, please, pray for them. They are people too. They have needs too.