I am so excited about our new pastor at my church, Pr. Dave Sorensen. I’ve only known him for a short time, but I already feel like he’s going to be a great pastor to our congregation, and to me, for quite some time to come. So I decided for My Tuesday Three I wanted to share three things about him that make him a good pastor.
First, he always keeps Jesus front and center. During his first sermon this past Sunday he said some things that made this very clear. He used a radio-controlled sports car to illustrate our church, all revved up and ready to go (and he definitely got the attention of the men). The car, he said, was already moving and he had to jump in the open door. But he was not getting into the driver’s seat because we must keep Jesus at the wheel deciding where we will go and when.
Then he talked about Jesus as our Good Shepherd. He commented that sometimes congregations call their pastor their shepherd, but that only Jesus is the Shepherd. As our pastor, he said, he was just the sheepdog. Everyone chuckled when he said this, but I think it was a great analogy. There really is only one Shepherd, but the Shepherd needs good sheepdogs who are obedient to His voice to help guide the flock and keep them out of danger.
Second, given a difficult situation or person, Pr. Dave has said he errs on the side of grace. We humans need grace because we struggle constantly with our pride and sinful nature. We require grace to bring us back to Christ when we have strayed. I am reminded of James 5:19-20:
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
I suspect that through grace Pr. Dave has turned more than one sinner from the error of his ways, covering over a multitude of sins. That’s what the sheepdog is called to do.
Third, Pr. Dave is a very relational pastor. He has a great desire to get to know as many people as possible in our congregation, to really know us, our hopes, fears and dreams. He even plans to call on people who come to visit our church so they will feel welcome and want to come back. When you talk with him, you can tell he is listening.
Pr. Dave will be there for every member of our congregation who is sick and has to go in the hospital, every family grieving the loss of a loved one, every wedding, birth, baptism, and confirmation. In fact, only one day after officially being installed as our pastor he’s already spending time with a grieving widow whose husband unexpectedly passed away yesterday.
In reality, though, my second and third reasons I like Pr. Dave come back to the first reason. He gets his focus on grace from the Author of grace and truth, Jesus Christ. And he gets his relational nature from the One who began His earthly ministry by calling disciples to follow Him, the King of relationship development.
So if you’re ever in my neighborhood on a Sunday morning, stop by Community of Faith Church. It’s a place where you can meet Pr. Dave, but more importantly, it’s a place where you can get to know Jesus.