Your Voice: Longevity at church offers benefits

(Photo courtesy of First Baptist Church Haverhill)

Your Voice: Longevity at church offers benefits

Serving 20 years as a pastor at the same church (nearly 12 years as senior, six years as associate and two years as youth pastor) offers some benefits:

It provides stability.

We are in what is now labeled, The Great Resignation. Americans, let alone pastors, are leaving their jobs in record numbers to find either new employment or no employment at all.

It lets your people know you love them.

Many church members have seen multiple pastors come and go, and may be reserved in their affections.

It accumulates pastoral capital.

The longer you stay put, the more baby dedications, baptism, weddings and funerals you do — the more sermons you preach and the more counseling sessions you offer.

It builds trust between you and the flock you shepherd.

It is a unifying factor for the church.

Without leadership, an organization stumbles.

It establishes you in the community.

When you stay put long enough, your town knows your name.

It’s good for your own soul.

Speaking for myself, restlessness is often a lack of self-discipline.

Of course, exceptions abound. If and when God calls you to transition, follow the Spirit. God closes and opens doors.

Stay, and minister your heart out.

Pastor Rick Harrington
First Baptist Church
Haverhill, Massachusetts

The Lord saw Tamar’s determination and loyalty to Judah’s family, blessing her by giving her twins and a secure place within the family. Tamar had no way of knowing the Lord would use her struggles to continue the line of David. The world considered her reckless, some shaming her decision, but God considered her courageous, blessing her beyond measure.

Addie Lee Frierson
“5 Women of Matthew 1:Tamar”

The world is desperate for a word of hope. As Christians, we know there is nothing equivalent to hope found in Christ. When hope in Christ is all you have, hope in Christ is all you need.

Though each of us are in the midst of our own story, we full well know the ending — so what comes today or in the future matters not. The redemptive work of our Savior is complete, and we declare with confidence and boldness that our hope is in Christ alone.

Sandy Wisdom-Martin
National WMU

“People are people,” said Baptist Collegiate Ministries campus minister Penny Chesnut, former Baptist campus minister at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. “They need to feel important to someone and have people invest in their lives. That takes time.”

“I found my little place where I fit in and can use the gifts that I have and do what I can,” said Richard Browning, North Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief volunteer.

“It’s my heart to serve people. This is just what I do. And I serve people with food,” said Debbie Snyder, a volunteer with Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief. “I hope their bellies are full, and I hope their hearts get full.”

“We were asked to help, and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Butch Porch, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief team leader.

You should be seriously praying for your pastor every day. Lift him up.

Encourage him. Love him. You will never understand the weight on his shoulders. Be there for him and his family.

Dave Heller,
associational missions strategist
Columbus Baptist Association
Whiteville, North Carolina

“Every church has a role in domestic church planting — you don’t have to be a church with megachurch resources,” said Justin McKay, pastor and church planter for The Local Church in Arvada, Colorado.

From the Twitterverse


I don’t know if the revival in Asbury is real, but I’m hoping and praying that it is. Really praying. Asking the Lord to tend to the fire it looks like He started. If it is from Him, it won’t be snuffed out by Twitter. God is bigger than that.


Revival is both personal & corporate. It happens in desperate people, in God’s timing & for His glory. It is birthed in prayer, resisted by cynics & the devil. It is sustained by surrender to the Holy Spirit. It has the elements of worship, warfare & witness.


Revival is not just an awakening, but a deep and lasting work of God that transforms lives and renews the church from the inside out. It requires a deepening of prayer, repentance, and dependence on the Holy Spirit. ­—Martyn Lloyd-Jones


A lady called & said after watching our service online she wanted Christ as her Savior. I led her to Christ & connected her to a church near her.

She said, “Never underestimate the power of your streaming service,” and I replied, “Never underestimate the sovereignty of God.


I don’t know anything about Asbury, but I do know God. And God can do whatever He wants, in whatever ways He wants to do it. I know that Jesus is interceding for His own. I know the gospel is powerful and can break through false religion and performance. So have Your way, Lord!


Revival begins with prayer. And it ends with people living on mission. Therein is the test. For global peoples beyond our Twitter feeds have long been having extended prayer times. Let’s see where it leads … I want to see a new generation of evangelists going to the nations.


Your call unto the Lord, in ministry, occurred yesterday, is occurring today, will occur tomorrow. Serving Jesus is a day-by-day commitment.


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