By Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Senior Pastor
There’s a story (possibly apocryphal) about Bill Russell, the legendary center for the Boston Celtics. According to the story, he was in the midst of an intense basketball game, when as he ran down the court, he burst out laughing. The laughter grew until he had to stop playing and just lean over, his hands on his knees, and guffaw. Coach Red Auerbach called time out and screamed for his seemingly delirious center to come over the bench. “What on earth are you laughing about?” demanded Auerbach. “You could lose the game for us, you know!”
It took Russell a few moments to regain his composure and explain, “Well, you see, it suddenly hit me—here I am running around in my underwear in front of thousands of people, trying to throw a ball through a hoop, and I’m getting paid to do it!”
As Cheryl and I reflect back on our 25 years serving at Faith Bible Church, that’s how we feel (except the underwear part). That’s not to say ministry is ever without struggles, burdens, concerns, and intense study of God’s Word. Preaching and teaching God’s Word has been aptly describes as the “blessed burden.” Yet, I get to fulfill my passion every day and every week by serving the Lord as pastor of this great flock. I love being your shepherd. What a privilege! Reflecting back on 25 years, I feel like Bill Russell—“I can’t believe I get paid to do this!” (Elders, don’t get any ideas!).
The month-long celebration in October of our 25 years at FBC was very encouraging to me and Cheryl. We feel refreshed and renewed by your outpouring of kindness. For all who have co-labored with us over the years—whatever your length of time at FBC and whatever your service—Thank You! Your ministry, generosity, sacrifice, encouragement, prayers, and example have made the ministry at FBC what it is today. It’s a joy to serve side by side with you. Cheryl and I also deeply appreciate your kindness to our sons as they grew up in the church. We will never forget your blessing in their lives.
Someone has said, “You deepen your ministry and let God broaden it.” Let’s continue to labor together to deepen our ministry here at FBC as we seek the Lord together and pray that God will broaden it according to His good pleasure as we await His coming.