“Are you the pastor?” It seems a simple question, but I usually hesitate in my answer. For instance, when I answer the phone at church and the first thing I hear is, “Are you the pastor?” I always want to say, “No, but I’ll go see if I can find him.” But when the question comes from someone new to Evergreen my response is usually, “I’m one of them.” I realize they are likely asking if I’m the lead pastor, but I am always eager to make it clear we have multiple pastors, not just one.
I am especially eager to highlight this when Pastor Appreciation month rolls around each year. How sad would it be if we forgot about our associate pastors simply because they aren’t as visible? I am so happy to see many in our church family expressing gratitude in various ways to each of our pastors.
Nevertheless, one of our pastors is still sometimes overlooked: Jose Alvarez, the pastor of our Spanish Ministry. Jose is the least visible for most of us because naturally, he spends the bulk of this time with our Spanish-speaking congregation. But our support of him is critical because he has perhaps the most challenging role of all.
Jose’s pastoral position at Evergreen is half-time, technically. He also works about 35 hours a week for the Evergreen School District. Outside his school hours he somehow manages to lead a congregation of 75-100 people, preparing and preaching a sermon every week, leading the worship ministry, training leaders, counseling and a hundred other miscellaneous tasks. Oh yes, and he is also working to be a good husband to Ruth and good father to Rebekah, Isabella and Daniel.
All of this adds up to a lot! But because most of us do not see him often it is very easy to forgot the strategic part he plays in our ministry here at Evergreen. I would encourage you to pray for Pastor Jose and his family today and to make a point of keeping him in prayer going forward. I, for one, am very proud of him.