Many have asked that the letter read to Keith Hileman in the Pastor Installation portion of our worship service this past Sunday be posted for all to read. Here it is:
Eph. 4:11-13 (ESV) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…
MY PASTOR – A Letter from Trinity Fellowship Church to Keith
My pastor may have titles and degrees. Yet you only cherish one: Follower of Jesus Christ. That one role encompasses your life and ministry to others. I will see you as I see myself, one sinner journeying through this life with another sinner striving to love God and our neighbors as ourselves.
My pastor is not a nationally renowned speaker. You are not required to hold me spellbound with stirring stories or sentimental sermons. I don’t need to be entertained. I need to be fed. Fed by the Bread of Life that satisfies the true hunger of my heart. So I need you to rightly handle the Word of Truth; teaching, exhorting and training me that I may be thoroughly be equipped for every good work.
My pastor is not responsible for adding members and increasing church giving. Growth will not be measured in numbers or dollars in eternity. You will at times plant, other times water, but ultimately God brings the growth. By acknowledging all true riches come from above, you direct me to the foot of the cross and exhort me to yield every area of life to Christ as Lord.
My pastor is not responsible for my worship experience. You will lead me to the place of worship, as a shepherd leads sheep to green pastures. There I am responsible to graze upon the grace of God. There my soul will be restored.
My pastor has little interest in writing books and publishing theological articles. Fulfillment is not found in fame or name recognition. In the humility of Christ, you will be approachable like a friend. You invest time wisely in relationships, never feeling that coming to visit me when I’m hurting is an interruption to your plans. For your plans are directed by the Lord and you serve Him gladly.
My pastor will not be an advocate for every new church philosophy or the latest fad. You will guard me with sound doctrine, shield me with the Word of God and protect me against false teaching from the wolves of this world.
My pastor will not find satisfaction in successful programs or popular trendy themes. You will find joy in a risen Savior who calls you daily to personal repentance and dependence. In so doing I will sense God’s call to personal confession and obedience.
My pastor is not expected to network with the right crowd and dine with the influential. Like the Good Shepherd, you are to care for our flock, including seeking the lost lambs, investing in the less lovable sheep and attending to the weak and infirm.
My pastor is not an island, serving independently and above the body. You will seek wisdom from the counsel of trusted mentors for personal growth and accountability. As Jesus rested, you will at times withdraw to places where your soul finds peace from pastoral labors. You are not alone, but part of a fellowship that upholds each other, cares for one another and shares burdens together.
Above all my pastor will serve from a deep love of the Savior, humbly acknowledging your weaknesses, your biases and your helplessness, except for the work of the Spirit in your life. I accept your vow today to be my pastor. Therefore, I commit to pray for you, I commit to encourage you and I will serve Christ as a co-laborer in the community of believers we call Church.