Cover 2017-04-09

Ron Writes

YOUR PREACHER

It might surprise you that I didn’t start off wanting to be a preacher. When I left for college I wanted to know God and His Word. That was my pursuit, to study, to learn, to understand more fully. On the first day of college, I met the greatest teacher I would have, my wife. Lynn understood God’s grace. The gospel, the good news is what the Bible is all about. It starts in Genesis and goes through Revelation. It’s the message that saves men’s souls and is the centerpiece for all of the Christian’s life.

For me, it started with an elder asking if I would give a short lesson and extend “the invitation” on a Wednesday night. That led to more invitations. Then I was asked to preach a sermon on Sunday. It can be intimidating and challenging to preach. The preacher knows all too well his own weaknesses and every Sunday he wishes he had more talent. Soon I was off to the Bear Valley School of Preaching to try to learn what it meant to be a preacher. Preaching God’s Word is a serious task. It’s a life-changing business, first for the preacher and then for those who hear.

A little over thirty years ago, I was asked to preach here in Oregon City. What a blessing it has been. There’s something extremely uplifting for a preacher to realize that he’s not the best Bible scholar in a church, but is just one among many who love the Word. This has been a church full of Bible students. There’s a great quote that would need to be considered for why a preacher can stay so long, “The mature worshiper is easily edified.” This is a mature church that loves preachers, because they love hearing the Word preached.

One of the great concerns that comes with having children is what effect will the church have on them. Many preachers have had horrible experiences trying to work with a church. Their children have been extremely soured on the church as a result. I was looking for a church filled with the love, joy and hope of the gospel. A place to raise my kids knowing the peace of the gospel. This has been such a church. This is a place of love, forgiveness and understanding. You have to love a church like this.

Fun and preaching don’t always go together, but when I look at old pictures or think about the past, we have had a lot of fun. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mk 10:29-30). I have found my share of family here.