April Yamasaki is an acquaintance who has served her church for a faithful 22 years. I want to highlight her blog and her secret of success in her longevity. If you enjoy good spiritual writing like I do, please do subscribe to her blog. I’ll let my readers read her blog to figure out her secret to being such a faithful servant to the church.
When I shared April’s blog, many responded. All are positive. In a way, April is a rare breed. The fact we can say that April is a kind of an unsung hero in our age of transient relationships and ministerial work says something about our church culture. In the past, being a lifetime servant to the church, even one single church, has been the norm. I was pastored by another pastor who has served the church some thirty years when I was in a different city. April represents that norm. Why do we find that past norm the present exception?
I personally haven’t figured it out yet. I’ve seen a lot of pastors ousted from their pastorates. Others just quit. Still others move from church to church. Sometimes, the church is at fault. Sometimes the pastor is at fault. Certainly, seminary figures in there somewhere.
From my observation, the pastor and the congregation participate in a dance where they have to relate to each other and get used to each other. They rarely get the dance perfectly but they keep trying. That’s our past. If we look at the climbing divorce rate of our country, people are clearly having trouble maintaining a difficult dance. Perhaps, in our society, our need to dominate often overpowers our need to connect. Our self-interest often overcomes our common good. It’s always been a difficult dance. Perhaps somewhere along the way, relationships have become more of a transaction where I have to look out for number one and I measure people based on what they can do for me. I don’t think the problem is necessarily simple to resolve. It takes both sides to dance. If one side is out of synch, it’s up to the other side to adjust. It’s a give and take. Obviously, April has danced a good and faithful dance with her people. I pray that my students can look at this kind of faithful dance as a real possibility in their own ministries.
Congratulations, April, you good and faithful servant!