What are the marks of a good church pastor? I think most people would talk about a foundation of knowledge in the scripture, and hopefully a commitment to the Gospel. These are great answers, and those qualities will make themselves apparent from the pulpit in each and every sermon. A pastor is often called to minister, however, at other times than 11 a.m. on Sunday morning. That’s when the rubber meets the road and we really need more than a good public speaker.
In 2003, my mother suffered a major heart attack. She had been smoking for over 40 years, and one Saturday morning Dad drove her to the hospital displaying all the classic symptoms. In the ER she went into full cardiac arrest. Once they got her heart started again (after 4 shocks from the defibrillator) we learned that she would need a total of 4 bypasses. Before even driving to the hospital, I called my church pastor to start the prayer chain. Each person on the list calls the next person and so on, so that with only one call everyone can join in prayer during a crisis. I talked to him briefly, then called again when Mom went into surgery to give him an update. I expected him to pray, make a few calls, and that I would see him again Sunday morning.
I was surprised when my pastor, Mike Jones, came into the waiting room. Continue reading