20 years of shepherding

on june 5, 1988, i became a shepherd.

on that day – 20 years ago today – i knelt before an auditorium filled with hundreds of people as a group of pastors laid their hands on me and ordained me into the ministry of the church. as i sit here now, reflecting on these past 20 years, i am overcome with emotion. even before God began the amazing feat of creating the universe, he not only chose me to enter his kingdom, he chose me to lead his people into the knowledge of his love and grace. there is truly no higher honor.

over the years, i have rejoiced with angels when ordinary people just like me have said yes to the invitation of Jesus and allowed him to be lord and savior of their lives.  i have celebrated with young parents as they have brought their precious infants and children to the waters of baptism and made vows to raise their children to know the Lord. i have led young couples through the saying of other sacred vows in marriage. i have stood at bedsides and watched people – the very old and the way too young – slip from this world into the next. i have laughed and cried with hundreds of different individuals through the joys and the sorrows of life.
there have been moments when i have hated ministry and almost walked away. but there have been far more of them when i have felt that i am the most privileged man in the world. 
this very moment is one of those.
for the past six years, i have shepherded a church – a group of Christ-followers – who understand what Jesus had in mind when he called the church into existence. these amazing people – you who together call yourselves THRESHOLD – have loved me, accepted me, allowed me to be vulnerable and transparent. but more importantly, you have followed my lead. in these past six years, i have understood more fully than ever before what it means to follow Jesus. and i have tried harder than ever before to do just that. and you have walked with me. sometimes behind me, more often beside me. and together, we have experienced the tremendous sovereign grace of almighty God in the most amazing ways.
i sat down today to write some random reflections about the last 20 years – things i have learned and experiences i have had. but i don’t want to do that now. to those who love Jesus by my side – you who are called THRESHOLD – i want to write just one thing to each of you and to all of you:
i love you more than i can say.
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1 Response to 20 years of shepherding

  1. Matt says:

    thanks jeff. i/we love you too. we love what you have been called to do and how you have stuck with it.love,matt & suzy

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