| A dear John letter
This story reminds me of the real-life story of what happened when another friend of mine, also named John, was appointed to pastor a church that had fallen on truly hard times. First, this church had been torn asunder when one of its strongest members encountered a time of weakness and engaged in an extra-marital affair. Then, when it was already down, a District Superintendent who was more desparate to fill a pulpit than to build a church, sent to it a young man whose calling must have been to something other than pastoral ministry. A called pastor never tries to tear apart a church. When this other John got there, he met with the business board of the church. They informed him that they met, every Wednesday evening, to pray that the Lord would send them new members. John told them that was fine, and he would be glad for them to continue to do that, but that he would not be joining them. When they asked why he would not be coming to join them in prayer, he said, "Oh, I'll be praying for new members, but I'm going to be praying for the Lord to show me which house to stop at to find them, not for Him to lead them to me."
The John of whom I speak is named _______. He is retired, now, but in all his years of pastoral ministry, he never served a church that did not grow under his pastoral leadership. He is not one of my favorite people, personality wise, but he is one of my role-models, professionally. Nothing succeeds like success.