When I set out to plant a church, I had no idea that this level of joy even existed.
I expected to experience the joys of attendance growing, giving increasing, community forming, and, most importantly, Jesus saving, but I never saw this coming.
It was almost as if I had assumed that I knew what every joy in pastoral ministry could and would feel like. Except, I didn’t.
The day I ordained another pastor into ministry, I was gifted a sense of happiness and fulfillment that no other moment in ministry had given me up until that point.
Maybe it was because I had been through so much with this young man already:
Leading him to Christ. Baptizing him. Introducing him to how to preach. Officiating his wedding. Counseling him through many of his major life decisions. To ordain him into pastoral ministry was a “culmination” of many hours of discipleship and investment into his life.
Or maybe it was because the moment he finished preaching his first sermon, immediately following his ordination, I was convinced that my primary ministry wouldn’t be the messages that I would preach, but the messages I would empower others to preach.
Or maybe it was because I do not have any children of my own, ordaining this young man into pastoral ministry made me feel more like a father than anything else ever had.
Though I may never fully understand why I was filled with so much joy and satisfaction on that particular day, the lesson behind the experience is one that I hope to be sure to hold onto for many years to come.
There are great joys that God has in store for those who are faithful to His purposes that go far beyond anything you can currently anticipate or comprehend.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
"Joy is the serious business of heaven." C.S. Lewis