Tuesday, May 25, 2010


June 1st will mark my 20th year of ministry here at LCBC. I am so thankful that God has privileged me to serve in this place for these years! I thought I’d use my blog to share some stories from the past in celebration of this day.

Not everyone was in favor of my coming here to Lewis & Clark Bible Church. My co-workers thought I was extremely foolish to leave my good-paying job at Trojan Nuclear Plant. A family member wondered how I was going to be able to provide for the needs of my family. But the most surprising voice of opposition was that of a local Pastor. Soon after my first visit he called me and arranged for us to have lunch together. I traveled down from our home in Columbia City to meet him for lunch at a restaurant in Knappa.

He explained that he wanted to meet with me to warn me of what I would find at the church. The church had reputation for “eating up” Pastors. They had had a number of Pastors in the previous decade and they all had left under difficult circumstances. His thought was that I should carefully consider whether or not it was wise to take my family to such a place.

Needless to say—I was surprised. My response?—I told him that I was wholly committed to doing God’s will in the matter, whatever that was. “God’s will—nothing more, nothing less, nothing else” is an apt description of where my heart lie in the matter. I also told him that if God called me to Pastor the church then He would take care of us in whatever way He saw fit.

Obviously, I did not heed the Pastor’s advice-and God has provided. And though, I may have been bitten a few times, I have not been “eaten up.” To the contrary, God has blessed us with a wonderful Church family that loves the Lord and loves to serve.

I am reminded by that experience of the counsel given by one of the elderly ladies, Ethel Gustafson, to the congregation. She wrote from the experience of a church member of a church that could not retain a Pastor of the need to take good care of their Pastor. Her message was ultimately published in the Voice Magazine. This is what she wrote for my August 1st Installation Service…

1. We have a challenge to overcome how we are regarded by those in the area:

a. Bad attitudes.

b. We’re a church that gobbles up pastors.

2. We can change if we:

a. Examine our own hearts.

b. Resolve differences as soon as possible.

c. Do not quibble over trivial matters.

d. Work together as a team with pastor, deacons, trustees, and others.

e. Remember our pastor is human (he’ll make mistakes, get tired, and be overworked).

g. Remember no good pastor is good at everything.

h. Remember he has physical needs, financial problems, family needs just like we do.

i. Remember he needs a living wage.

j. Remember he needs time to be left alone for devotions and Bible study and prayer.

k. Remember his children are no better or worse than ours.

l. Remember his wife has as many needs as any wife and can’t be expected to be at every meeting much less be in charge of all of them.

m. Remember he is a special target of Satan and needs our daily prayers.

n. Remember each of us needs to be available to do something and make it known we are.

3. Remember to get things into perspective and ask ourselves, “Why do we exist?”

a. To improve our own spiritual lives.

b. To worship together.

c. To be a corporate witness of Lewis and Clark Bible Church to the area (one bad apple will spoil the whole box).

d. We are a support group each for all and all for each.

Praise the Lord for Ethel's wise counsel to the church family!

Praise the Lord for 20 years of opportunity to serve!

Pastor Jerry

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