For the second time in as many weeks, we have handed a building key to a new pastor, shown them to their office and welcomed them to the team. Last Tuesday was Pastor Jacob’s first day on the job, and today it is Pastor Joe. I cannot tell you how excited we are for the ministry we trust God will do through these men.
Bringing on new pastors is like planting trees. In both, you hope they will be there a while so you take plenty of time in the selection process along with deciding exactly where it will go. The actual planting of a tree requires a lot of effort, and when you are done it is delightful to see a healthy young tree filling the empty space. Getting a new pastor oriented is also quite an effort, from learning the ins and outs of our facility, getting up to speed on the church schedule and meeting dozens, even hundreds of new people. But it is so exciting to finally have these guys on site and settling into their roles.
While the initial planting is exciting, our real hope is focused on the long-term fruitfulness we trust God to produce. I took this picture today out at the corner of our church property. In the foreground you can see a small Persian Ironwood newly planted as part of the transit construction project. On the left you see a flowering cherry and directly behind it, a Scarlet Sentinel Red Maple. These were planted in 2008 and have really come into their own. But in the upper left, you can just see the lower boughs of our giant Western Red Cedar. It was planted roughly 90 years ago and is well over 100 feet tall. It is the patriarch of all our trees, anchoring the site.
These new pastors will be blessing from day one. But our prayer is that God would make them like a trees planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in season, with leaves that do not wither. We pray that over the years of their ministry here, they would provide shade for the weary, fruit for the hungry and be a beautiful testimony to the Maker of all.
P.S. We will have a formal installation ceremony in the worship services this weekend to inaugurate the start of their ministries.