I was a pastor of the same church for over 50 years. In that time, we moved from a small store front property to a large building that sat 500 in the sanctuary. And we ended up filling every seat on more than one occasion. By the time I retired, the church had grown to where it had two services to meet the needs of the growing congregation. The Lord certainly did some amazing work while I was pastoring.
Since retiring, though, I have found that the Lord has even more for me to do. My days aren’t as full as they once were, I am 90 after all, but I do what I can for the Lord.
Most of my time on the weekends is spent filling in at churches without a pastor. I preach, counsel, and help these congregations as I am able. Many of them are small, rural churches that are hard-pressed to find a pastor willing to serve for so little salary. But they are wonderful people and I enjoy helping them.
During the week, I visit shut-ins and people in the hospital to pray with them. We sing hymns and share old stories of what the Lord has done over the years. Then I will go to various auctions and farms around the area, picking up food for the food bank. There’s never enough food for the number of people we serve each week, and this is a way I can contribute. I hop in my pick-up and make my rounds, knowing that the local farmers and auctioneers will give me a few bushels of this and that for the poor.
I may be closer to my eternal reward than my birth, to be sure, but there’s still some fight left in me. And as long as I have breath in my lungs, two legs that work, and a mind that is sharp, I’ll keep working to spread the love of Jesus in tangible ways in our community.