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Being a pastor has been a wonderful experience. Weddings, baptisims, child dedications, and even funerals are important to me. Being able to pray and interact with people is a highlight in my life. What a thrill to see someone that is bound up in a frustrated existence, suddenly set free by the power of God. What a privilege it is to visit the hospital or hospice, and bring a word of love and encouragement. Being a friend to others is my joy.

My personal stories of ministry experiences are probably long and boring to others. Some stories show people at their worst. Some stories show people at their very best. Most people have been kinder to me than I deserved. I am a grateful and fulfilled man.

Some stories are so funny, I still laugh whenever I remember them. Here’s one: It was a busy Sunday morning, and I was rushing from my office to the Sanctuary, where the first service had already started. The hallway was crowded, and I was shaking hands with everyone like I was up for election. As I passed the Women’s restroom, a prominent leader in our congregation came out. Without thinking, I pushed my hand toward her and she shook my hand with a strange look on her face.

I turned to shake hands with an elder when I realized that my hand was drenched in hand lotion – oily, gooey, citrus smelling cream moisturizer! I now smelled like the women’s fragrance counter at Macy’s. I tried to wipe the goo off on my pants, but that just spread the fragrance to one more spot. I continued to shake hands with folks and each one looked down at my hand with an expression of surprise. It was not until after the second service that I could get to a faucet to rinse off the stubborn aroma of Lady Primrose.

It came to me that the lady with the suffocating hand lotion managed to “rub off” on me, and then infect a sizeable number of others in the congregation with a citrus emanation. That’s influence! May our walk with Christ leave behind a sweet fragrance! (2 Corinthians 2:15)

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