He Took a Chance…
Today marks another milestone in my ministry life, for which I’m thankful. 17 years ago, I came on the staff of Victory Baptist Church as Junior High Youth Pastor (amongst other things) and what a journey it’s been. The earthly “he” in “He Took a Chance…” is Steve Sparks. He was the pastor then at Victory and I’ll be forever grateful for him extending the opportunity for me to be part of his staff. I don’t think either one of us at the time could have imagined that 10 years later, the “kid he gave a chance” would be blessed to be the pastor of VBC.
Michelle and I had just been married two Saturdays prior, and had just returned from our honeymoon. The following week I began serving at Victory. I remember the first day at work very vividly. I shared an office which seriously only had about 48 square feet of floor space with the Senior High Youth Pastor/Assistant Pastor! Our desks faced and touched each other, allowing just enough room for each of us to sit down at our desks, BUT, you couldn’t tell me anything that day, I was on cloud nine! Here’s the thing, I was actually doing what God had called me to do, doing what I wanted to do and to top it off, getting paid a little (key word being “little”!) to do it! When I looked at the assistant pastor’s desk, it was covered with calendars, books, files, etc…my desk? Well, everything I had fit in a shoe box! My Bible, a pad and some pens and one commentary…wow, those were the simpler days!
I remember sitting there (first day was a Wednesday as well) and getting prepared for the teen service that night and thinking to myself…”I can’t believe God has allowed me to do His work.” Honestly, I couldn’t get over that fact, and you know what, I’m still not over it! The heavenly “He” in “He took a Chance…” is the Lord. I’m humbled that He too would see fit to take a chance on a kid to do His work.
So, I first of all, thank You, Lord, from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be a part of the greatest calling in life, Your servant. I too, echo the apostle’s sentiment in, 1Tim. 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” May I faithfully and fully serve You till the end!
Second, Steve Sparks, thank you for seeing deeper than others, stepping out by faith and investing your life and ministry in a young man who will forever be indebted to your example of compassionate soulwinning. I will always love you and consider you my pastor.
Then, Victory Baptist, thank you for being so gracious to me and my family. For some of you, you’ll never see me more than a young man who never had a lick of sense, but you’ve loved me, encouraged me, have been patient with me and have grown with me…thank you, I mean it, thank you for hanging in here and being so very faithful, you deserve so much praise and thanks. For others, we’ve met at different stages of my ministry, whether as a youth pastor, bus director, junior church director, singles director, assistant pastor or senior pastor…and whichever curve of the ministry trail we met, may the Lord bless you for also lovingly supporting me…I’m still humbled by the many who call Victory their home.
Last, but certainly not least, Michelle, as we talked last night, “it’s been an amazing journey.” God has so richly blessed me with you sweetheart! Honestly, He knew exactly who and what I needed when He gave me you, I love you. You are a wonderful example of a Pastor’s wife and I know I shouldn’t have so much pride in my life, but when it comes to you, I can’t help myself! I love serving the Lord with you…may He continue to bless our marriage and our ministry! Cole, Hunter, Malia, Marissa, Mariana and Drake, thank you kids for sharing your daddy with VBC and the calling of God in my life. I know many nights I come home after you’re in bed, yet you are compassionately aware that another kid’s mother or father needs your daddy to love and minister to them as well. Thank you for the many prayers you’ve prayed for me and “whoever daddy is telling about Jesus tonight”. I love you more than you can even imagine, each of you. There will be many more nights, Lord-willing, where I’ll need your prayers for me and that “person”…thank you ahead of time, and know this, I’ll always be there when you awake!