I can't believe it has been 10 years. No I haven't been married ten years....I haven't even know Ric that long! This month marks Ric's tenth year at Pray's Mill Baptist Church.
Ric and I were talking the other day and he told me that it was his 10 year anniversary at our church. I of course said "shut up...has it seriously been that long". We started talking about how long it had been and all that we have seen take place over the last DECADE. Decade people...that is a long time to be at a church!
When we first got married, we thought we would be at Pray's Mill for maybe 4 years. We figured we would be here for a while and then either move back to Lynchburg, or to Warner Robins to be close to family. We never thought we would last to see kids that were in 2nd grade when we came...graduate. That so makes me feel old!! It was never that we didn't want to stay here...it's just most people in the ministry jump around...a lot! We knew that we may be doing the same thing. This was his first full time church and we just didn't know what to expect.
Well, I sit here ten years later(10 for him and 9 for me) and I am so grateful God kept us here. We have seen kids grow up right before our eyes! We have seen them mature in their walks with Christ, we have seen kids saved, surrender to the ministry, start FCA clubs, the list could go on! We would keep setting a goal...."we just want to see this group of kids graduate", or "if we could just make it until....". I remember when he said he wanted to see one group graduate that had been with us throughout middle and high school....ones that had been with us for 7 years. I thought he was crazy...we would never be here that long. It was an unbelievable blessing to be able to see that take place. Most youth pastors are only at a church for about 2 years...and we had been blessed to see a class start with us and finish with us.
God has shown me that first and foremost, it is nothing that Ric or I have done to be here that long. We aren't special by any measure. God has just chosen to keep us in one spot...for such a time as this! Why you ask? I don't know...but what I do know...is that because God has chosen to keep us here, we have developed relationships and bonds with these teens, their families, our church body....that makes this feel like home. Like we are family! I am ever so thankful to be part of this crazy life called ministry. In a world that is so filled with darkness....I am thankful that I am in this journey beside a man who is trying to be a light!
Happy 10 Years Ric...and folks if you think youth ministry is easy...take a gander below and see what it will do to a grown man!!