There are many lessons to be learned from the Mathes Pastor Training School. And the ones in mind today are not the ones for the students! We just celebrated another graduation and this milestone should bring several things to mind.
Mathes Pastor Training School – Students
The obvious point of celebration is the work done by the pastors. We have equipped and encouraged at every opportunity. As I stood before the assembly this past Saturday I realized how much the festivities were tugging at my emotions.
Seeing each graduate reminded me of the many hours we have spent together. I remember working through many of their challenging questions. And I also remember the numerous one-on-one mentoring sessions we had with them. They shared their problems, concerns, questions, and fears. Yes, these folks are called to be pastors. But never forget that pastors are also disciples. And Jesus’ command is for disciples to make other disciples. But that’s a look at them from my point of view.
Mathes Pastor Training School – Hands
This is a look from your point of view. And this point of view is not only critical, it’s also instructive. What makes the Mathes Pastor Training School a great ministry tool is also true in other important circles.
Seeing the procession, my thoughts were also filled with those who have done so much to equip us. I am very well aware that I cannot do this work alone. This past week was enough to dispel any I-Am-A-Lone-Ranger ideas. Toward the end of the week I got very sick. Had it not been for willing, capable people around me our week’s work would not have been completed. And being surrounded by such people is a constant blessing to me. We had a small faculty for this session, but so many have given of their time to help teach. All have been a blessing.
But for all the helping hands we can see, there are many others that remain unseen. There are the hands that guide church groups to provide the ministry tools we need. And we can’t forget the hands that write checks in order to supply the mission. But unseen hands are accompanied by unseen knees. You know what that means.
There are countless people who faithfully pray for the work we do. Their prayers include requests for:
- Mission Supply
- Mission Success
- Divine Appointments
- Mission volunteers who will go
- Funding for ministry needs
And the folks who pray are a critical component of missions. Our Father chooses to work through the prayers of His children. And I am so glad that so many of you are faithful in your prayers!
The graduation from the Mathes Pastor Training School brings to mind all the above. And there are other things we could mention. But I’ll leave you with this one. This little picture of the family of God working together for Kingdom Success should be common. But too often we view another congregation or organization as the competition. Every Christian is to be about the business of making disciples. Sometimes we are on the front lines – like I was last week. At other times we are aiding others in the same process for the same Lord for nothing less than His glory.
I hope you see a picture of gratitude in my comments. And I hope you will continue to pray for the pastors we have labored together to equip for the cause of the Gospel.