Top ten ministry moments – #1: “Pastor Dad”
Finally, here’s the one you’ve been waiting for. My number one ministry moment, though, is actually a series of moments when being a dad intersected with being a pastor and I had the unique privilege of baptizing, confirming, marrying and ordaining my children.
I did not baptize my son, who was born and baptized before my own ordination in the pastoral ministry. But I did baptize both of my daughters, in Coventry, CT and Urbandale, IA, respectively. Present at both their births, it is a powerful moment indeed to hold them in my arms, pour water over their heads, and be present at their spiritual births, too.
Confirmation for all three of my children happened at my current call in Palm Coast, FL. After two years of instruction as young teenagers, they knelt befor the altar, I laid my hands on their heads and affirmed their faith. My voice cracked just a little each time as pride, love and gratitude filled my heart.
Then came the weddings. I had the wonderful experience of standing there at ground zero when they and their spouses made their vows and exchanged rings. I felt such joy as I pronounced them husband and wife.
Just a few years ago, I was granted permission to ordain my son Adam into the holy ministry. I had no idea what a powerful moment that would be. Surrounded by the many pastors who were part of his spiritual formation, I placed my hands on his head and set him aside for the amazing work of Word and Sacrament ministry among God’s people in a world that is starving for mercy, forgiveness and love.
Each of those moments was just that — a moment. In an instant it was over and soon we were cutting a cake. But each of those moments is seared into my memory, a moment when I was powerfully aware of God’s presence, power and work among his people, and more importantly, my family. Waves of emotion wash back up onto the shore of my soul as I remember and write about them. I am so thankful to have been there for each one!