I recently had the honor of assisting Fairy Baptist Church in celebrating its 50th anniversary of service by Pastor Bob Ray and his wife, Rosalind. As you may have guessed, Bob and Rosalind are also my parents.
My father accepted this call to pastor Fairy Baptist Church in August 1965, and a week later, I was born. I have learned a lot from my father about life and ministry over the last 50 years, but the most important lesson I learned was how to remain faithful to God’s calling in life.
So many pastors seem to be looking around the corner for the next opportunity and often forget to serve where they are. When a pastor is looking for future opportunities, it affects how he presently serves. Many pastors are looking for the right church in the right location with the right benefits package, and they never seem to be content to serve God where God has called them. Pastors often look at a church as their next stepping-stone to their next church, forgetting to remain faithful to where God has placed them.
The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:17 and 24: “However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him. This is what I command in all the churches. … Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.”
It is so important for a pastor and/or staff minister to understand that to be effective in that ministry, he must remain faithful to that calling, wherever God calls him to serve. This is the lesson I have learned from my father, who accepted a call to serve God’s church and has remained faithful to that calling, never doubting or questioning that calling. A successful pastor is determined by how faithful he is to his calling.
I want to encourage every pastor: If you will remain faithful to the calling God has placed in your life and serve him regardless of the situation, then God will remain faithful to you. Psalm 37:3-5 reminds us: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.”
Serve the Lord in faithfulness, and you will find delight in the Lord, and you will discover his desires will become the desires of your heart. It is then you will find contentment and joy in serving the Lord, no matter what situation you are in. My father has served Fairy Baptist Church 50 years. Some will say, “That is amazing.” Others will say, “That is too long.” But I say, “For the last 50 years, my father has remained faithful to his calling, and he’s not done yet.” His faithfulness has taught me to remain faithful to my calling as I pray you are to your calling.
Until next time, remember: The Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Visit our website, www.bivocational.com, for more information on how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister and serve you.
Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. You can reach him at email@example.com.