My Musings – In many situations, the pastor needs to be a Bible teacher, accountant, strategist, visionary, computer tech, counselor, public speaker, worship director, prayer warrior, mentor, leadership trainer and fundraiser. (Philip Wagner, Lead Pastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles). Appreciate your pastor(s).
Today I am celebrating the “Fab Four” at my Church. Two (Steve and Bill) have blessed me for years. One, I watched grow up (Nate), not realizing then what a blessing he would become. The last (Kevin), I served on the pulpit committee to bring him to our Church. Actually, we did not bring him, God sent him, and I am learning to appreciate him too.
They will likely never become famous, as the world regards fame. And goodness knows they’ll never get rich , as the world regards prosperity. But these few words are what they hope to hear one day – “well done, good and faithful servant!” In the meantime, let’s be a source of encouragement and appreciation.
“[He] loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s you [He’s] thinking of, and you know that can’t be bad.”
KEVIN RUTLEDGE, LEAD TEACHING PASTOR (upper left)
Kevin has a Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies, an MA in Theology, and nearly twenty years of ministry experience. His latest adventure involved starting a new church in a city with the lowest percentage of Bible-believing Christians in the United States. He adores his wife and four kids, who have served God together with him as a family. Kevin is passionate about God and His Word, and genuinely loves people. So, he lives to see people connect deeply with God through the love and amazing grace of Christ. Kevin and his wife, Sundi, have 4 children: Ryleigh, Zander, Lily and Canon.
NATE MILLER, PASTOR OF WORSHIP & TEACHING (upper right)
Pastor Nate Miller is the Associate Pastor of Worship & Teaching. Nate is a graduate of Judson University with a degree in youth ministry/adolescent studies. He is a native of Sycamore and has attended FBC since the first week his parents brought him home from the hospital. Nate’s first foray into the wild world of youth ministry came as a high school junior when Pastor Bill gave him a chance to lead the junior high youth group.
STEVE PERSSON, PASTOR-AT-LARGE (lower left)
Pastor Steve Persson is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Northern Illinois University, and Wheaton College Graduate School. He has served at FBC since 1974 – first as a youth pastor, then spending one year in the Philippines as a missionary, and as senior pastor since 1981. He and wife, Jaime, have 6 children: Leah (Noel), Hannah, Deborah (Keenan), Luke, Mark (Michelle) and Matthew. They are the proud grandparents of a grandson, Noel George, and a granddaughter, Karis.
BILL BADAL, PASTOR EMERITUS (lower right)
Pastor Bill is retired, but remains with us in an emeritus role. Bill moved to the United States in his early teens, having grown up in a Christian home in Baghdad, Iraq. He received his Bible training at Moody extension school. Bill and his wife, Michele, have 2 sons: Joel (Lisa) and Tim (Amanda), and they are the proud grandparents of 8 grandchildren: Noah, Joshua, Luke, Rebekah, Jacoub, Matthew, Lydia and JoAnna.
“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Appreciate your pastors. They carry burdens that we could never understand. Respect them and hold them in highest regard. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” (John F. Kennedy). This is the best way to honor them, by living by the words they have proclaimed from the pulpit.