That's a mashup of "dad" and "pastor", because my dad is my pastor. :)
As long as I can remember, Dad's been a pastor; he was ordained in 1980 after apprenticing under Albie Pearson for six or so years. We have pictures of him preaching at his first little church in Reno with my brother David on his shoulders... so this pastoring gig has been a way of life for us Storeys. I used to hate the pressures of being a "P.K.", but now I'm grateful and appreciative for the sacrifices that were necessary, and the grace that the Lord always gave us as Dad dedicated himself to full-time service.
I can remember many, many times that anyone would have given up trying to shepherd and gotten a "real job" with grateful recipients of his labors and a steady salary, but my Dad has held fast to what the Lord has called him to with unwavering faith and steady determination. I don't think I personally know anyone with stronger faith than my Dad. Without fail he always, always trusts the Lord, no matter what opposition he encounters, or no matter what the situation look like in the moment. I know there were many months that rent was paid at the last minute, or dinner came from Grandma, but Dad never gave up. Even now, when he hasn't taken a salary raise in 15 years and making ends meet isn't easy, and there are still people who gossip and slander, he presses on in the calling that the Lord gave him. He is faithful.
While there are many traits that go into making up a good pastor, my Dad excels in the number-one most important: being immersed in the Word. I can remember getting up at 3:30 am when I worked at Starbucks during college, I'd come out to the kitchen to make coffee and there Dad would be, on the couch, Bible in hand, reading and praying. I don't know why it surprised me every time I saw him there, but it did. Who voluntarily gives up their sleep at 3:30 in the middle of the night?? Apparently my Dad does. And he has been keeping that pattern for years, so my Mom says. Now I know why the enemy has been held at bay in so many areas of my life, in our family, and in our church. Dad knows how to call on the One with unending strength when his own strength fails.
Dad's also a man of prayer. My guess is that he spends roughly 15 hours a week in actual active prayer. Whenever I ask Dad for advice on a seemingly impossible situation, his answer always ends with "go to the Word. And, honey, you just have to pray more." It used to frustrate me. I wanted an answer, darnit! None of this live-by-faith stuff, Dad... just tell me what to do! Oh how glad and grateful I am that Dad pastored me to go straight to the Source and seek His face for my answers.
The amount of Scripture Dad knows never ceases to amaze me. He's read his One-Year Bible through (and finished early!) for the past 15 years, and he always carries some form of the Word with him at all times, whether its his little pocket Psalms & New Testament, or a full-size Bible in whatever translation he's currently reading and mulling over. The man is steeped in the Word, I tell ya. Whenever I'm having trouble recalling where a certain verse is, or who said "be tenderhearted and forgiving", he knows pretty much right away that it was "Paul in Ephesians 4... maybe around verse 32 or so". Even when I'm looking something up using Bible software, he almost always finds it first, either in his own mind or in a hard copy Bible. He just knows his stuff. He never quits learning.
But more importantly than knowing where verses are, or what Greek word is used, he lives it out. He truly is a servant-leader who lays down his life for his church and his family. His sermons are always full of truth, he truly delights in praying and worshiping for hours, and he longs to see the glory of the Lord fill the earth... and I know he won't stop preaching the Gospel until he's called home. Then he'll revel in the glory he spoke of for so long.
And there will be many, many, MANY there enjoying that glory with him, because of his obedience to the call to preach the Word.
6 years ago