Trust me – it’s not everyday I get to use that sought after phrase. I was able to use that phrase in 1978 after my high school football team won the state championship and I was able to say ‘we won’ in 2003 when my team won a fiercely fought game of family charades. But, that’s about it. Until now.
PastorServe was recently honored as a top tier awardee (winner) at the National Christian Foundation – Heartland Passion Awards banquet. The Passion Awards is the largest gathering in America specifically created to honor those who serve the Lord. To ‘win’ was a tremendous honor as well as a tremendous encouragement. And, winning came along with a check for $10,000!
PastorServe was honored to be chosen as a potential honoree when the field was narrowed from one hundred and eighty local and national ministries to twenty-four. When we reached the final two-dozen, the National Christian Foundation staff visited each of the ministries in order to interview the team and speak with a ‘client’ who has been significantly impacted by their ministry. For PastorServe, this created a potential problem.
The greatest stories at PastorServe can never be told. We can never divulge the details of the pastor who testifies that PastorServe literally saved his life following a lifetime struggle with pornography. We can’t share specifics when talking about the ministry marriage that was saved after PastorServe intervened. We can’t talk about the pastor who was considering walking away from his church because of unresolved staff disagreement, until PastorServe was asked to mediate the conflict. So – how do we introduce the National Christian Foundation staff to a pastor who could testify about our ministry?
The answer came in a last minute revelation from the Lord. We have been serving a pastor in the southeastern United States whose life had fallen apart. He had been carrying secrets his entire life and he felt that could go on no longer. He reached out to PastorServe and we provided a safe Gospel oriented grace filled confidential place to go to share it all – and receive counsel as well as grace.
Just before our meeting with NCF, we called this pastor and asked if he would be willing to share his story over the phone. He quickly agreed. He, like so many other pastors, serves a church that possesses the resources to financially compensate us for our services. However, they don’t compensate PastorServe because the church never knows that we are serving their pastor. The phrase we often hear – “if my church knew why I was calling, I would be fired. Therefore, my church can never know that I have come to PastorServe.” We get that. Yet, for this very reason, this pastor was thrilled to share his story. He said it way to “pay back PastorServe for all you have done for me.”
When the NCF team listened to the pastor’s story, they were literally moved to tears. They understood his story, which in turn allowed them to understand our ministry which in turn, made us winners!
During the Passion Awards, Al De La Roche, Charles Briscoe and Jimmy Dodd went forward (actually, they walked a red carpet) in front of 1,250 peers to receive a beautiful trophy and a much-appreciated check. It was a glorious night of recognition – which is rare in our calling to serve behind the scenes.
So – we won! We were recognized as one of the nation’s top ministries. And yes, we all know we were winners before the presentation of the award. We are called by God, serving the leaders of his church in a spirit of grace and hope.
As a part of our recognition, Dr. Charles Briscoe was filmed praying a prayer over pastors and our ministry. Enjoy the video clip!