Wednesday, April 12, 2006

i've got a message to bring

Today, I was licensed to “Preach the Gospel as I might have occasion.” This was something that I asked of Pastor Don, and he in turn, asked the Board of Deacons who would approve or disapprove the licensing. I was asked to come to the Deacon meeting and give my testimony concerning why I would like to be licensed, what I’m involved with, etc. This, I did. I shared how over time, one begins to notice how he is being used by God and begins to work at being more available in those areas. I shared about worship leading and speaking that I’ve been doing. I shared about how last summer, through some prompting by Eugene Peterson, I began to recognize my pastoral role among a growing small group of students.
Years ago, when Allison and I began to talk about marriage, I realized that to make the whole thing official, I was going to have to muster the courage to “ask her dad.” One may think that this is a silly formality, because it is hard to imagine not marrying her had her Dad told me I couldn’t have her. But in reality, I told him about our relationship, about how we’d grown together, and that we’d been talking about marriage. Essentially, I asked him for his blessing on something that was already developing.
That is really what my meeting with the Deacons was about. I had come to realize where I was being used, was making my self more available and would like to do so knowing I had the backing and prayer support of my church community. I was asking their blessing. And bless me they did. I told them about how when the band began to stretch out a little and seek to go where we felt we were needed, I’d asked some Deacons for their blessing, and one night we were playing in a “scary” place and looked back from the stage to see Pastor Don, standing in the back. Don assured the deacons that he’d come to support us, and that we’d not merely “caught” him there when we showed up.
Today, the deacons supported me unanimously, gathered around me and prayed for my availability, obedience, purity, ministry, etc. It was a really good thing. It is always encouraging to know that you are going about with the support and prayers of others.

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