This past weekend, Pastor Jimmy Evans from Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Tx., spoke at New Life while I was at his church speaking for him. Pastor Jimmy is more than a guest, he is an Overseer for our fellowship. Overseers are men who serve the church at the request of the elders and help us with wise counsel and guidance when needed, which in our case, is often.
Pastor Jimmy has been my friend for over 15 years and has taught me more about healthy church leadership than any other person. Pam and I were members of Trinity Fellowship in the 1990’s and it was Pastor Jimmy who helped restore our love for the local church. When he comes to New Life, it seems like dad has arrived for a visit to his grown son’s house.
Every church needs a dad like Pastor Jimmy and every pastor needs a friend they can call and ask “dad” questions. Most pastors have peers who come hang out or speak from time to time and some have younger men they are mentoring, but most leaders are void of the voice of a dad in their lives.
I suppose the church is a mere reflection of our culture, where dads are primarily distant, disconnected or nowhere to be found. The early Christ followers certainly realized the strength of the apostles and elders who led them and would have never considered a church to be healthy if spiritual dads were not around.
When dad is present in the family, sons tend to thrive in the safety of a relationship that is there to encourage and challenge them. Dads have the gift to remind us of our calling, our heritage and to confirm the potential we think see inside ourselves.
New Life is blessed to have Jimmy Evans, Tom Lane, Jack Hayford, Robert Morris and Larry Stockstill as Overseers. We are thankful they said yes to being dads for our church. We need their voices and their visits more than ever.