There are many titles for those in Christian ministry. Clergy, reverend, pastor, preacher, man of the cloth and ordained minister are a just a few of them. We serve in a variety of denominations and the differences between these groups range from slight to significant. Doctrinal dissimilarity and other distinctions definitely affect our level of fellowship and ability to cooperate.
One thing I’ve noticed however is that (with some exceptions) pastors have a respect for and ability to fellowship with one another. The following factual account of two pastors illustrates this; both were friends of mine and both are now deceased.
They served in healthy, growing churches. While they maintained a friendship there was no disguising the fact that there was some competition along with the camaraderie.
Both pastors retired in the city where they served. Three years ago, one remained at home with his wife. The other, now a widower, resided in a seniors lodge and was experiencing memory loss and confusion.
One hot, humid afternoon the man vacated the lodge. His absence was undetected for some time. In panic, the staff called his family and asked them to contact friends who may know of his whereabouts, hours later he remained missing.
It turned out that the 88-year-old had not escaped to see a family member or friend. No, he had walked more than five miles in blistering heat to visit with his former pastor friend. He was exhausted and confused, but even after his misadventure was called in by the second pastor’s wife, he insisted that they take time to reminisce and recount memories from pastoral days, and do a brief critical analysis on the topic of, “What in the world is going on in churches today?”
We meet in different buildings for various reasons; doctrinal, geographical, worship styles, perhaps even ethnic origin. But those who have a Bible-based concept of the message of Christ know that, “Christ is not divided” (1 Cor. 1:13) and that, “Jesus is building His church” (Matthew 16:18).
The Stettler Ministerial Association, (currently comprised of eight churches and 10 pastors), experiences this commonality of faith. As a result we enjoy fellowship together and we have two visible manifestations of this pastoral camaraderie each year; the pastoral BBQ in West Stettler Park in July and The Fall Round-Up in September at the Agriplex.
The Round-Up this year (as advertised in the Stettler Independent) features a meal and “The Singing Hills”. I would like to invite you to our collective pastoral effort to state our shared belief in the Risen Lord Jesus