Today I share with you my first sermon as a “Preacher”…
Life Is Sacred
Life Is Sacred… Universally, Absolutely, Completely…
Life Is Sacred… Period.
(Yes, the sermon is only 14 words long. But there is a story here… so please read on…)
When I first explored my transition from police chief to pastor, one of the many people who helped guide me through the transition (a church council member if I remember right), told me that pastors have three pastoral responsibilities. He told me that pastors reach, pastors teach and pastors preach. He said this to remind me of what my job truly should be. He felt that all too often, pastors ended up spending more time being managers and administrators, than they did doing the critical pastoral work.
When I was called into ministry, my heart told me that my calling was to Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS) Chaplaincy Services. I decided early on that the direction I would take on my ministry journey, would consist of simply doing whatever anybody asked me to do. Without question, my calling as a chaplain turned out to be, reaching out to those in need, when and where they were in need, and simply showing up and caring about them. And when the opportunity arose, I might get the opportunity to care for them as well. As the sole proprietor and staff person of Public Safety Ministries, I found myself needing to also do considerable management and administrative work. But those powerful words, the pastor’s calling to reach, teach and preach always remained my primary focus.
Over the past 15 years or so of public ministry, outreach work clearly consumed the majority of my time. Yes, I did a some teaching, and also some preaching on the side, but I’ve never considered myself a teacher or preacher. I was a reacher, a Chaplain, embedded in a variety of government agencies and organizations, doing my interfaith ministry work of providing care and support to those in need. I was out in the world doing mission work, deployed from my church home.
So, with that short lesson on my first 15 years of ministry, I’m here to share a new direction for my ministry journey. Partly due to the past six months or so of year 2020 challenges, as well as the fact that I’m fast approaching an age described as mid 60s, I’m officially transitioning from a chaplaincy out-reach focus, to one of pastoral preaching. My hope is to share some of what I learned in my years of reaching, in my sermons and preaching. And the number one thing I’ve learned, as I shared in the sermon above, is that Life is Sacred. It will be my preaching foundation, the rock I intend to build my future sermons upon. As before, I’ll continue with some time spent reaching and teaching, but my focus will be to preach (in a variety of unique ways as I hope you will stick around to see!)
With Care, Pastor Dan