Taking Up Blogging #23

September, 2017

 

Thanks for 20 Years…


I have to admit, I was nervous about it.  I don’t really like being the center of attention and I get uncomfortable when people say nice things about me (although I also really like, go figure) so when it came time to walk into the 20th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday night, I was a bit uneasy.

But, as always, I had no reason to be.  It was a wonderful night.  The food was nothing short of amazing.  I had forgotten how wonderful old-fashioned pot luck is.  The program was appropriately awkward but also incredibly encouraging.  The gifts and the cards were overwhelming.  In short, Cathy and I felt very loved and appreciated.  I wanted to say a bunch of things that night but could only get out a few short words.  So here’s the rest…

The truth is no one stays anywhere for 20 years unless it is an amazing place to work.  And that applies as well to plumbers and teachers and salepersons as it does pastors.  Before Westwood Church the longest I had ever worked at any one place was 5 years.  And yet I have literally spent the majority of my adult career years at Westwood because it is such an amazing Christian community.  You have supported my leadership, put up with my mistakes, tolerated my eccentricities, went along with my plans and generally enable me to lead and teach.  The reason a guy like me, with limited talents, can work at a church like Westwood for so long is because of YOU ALL not me.  Westwood is simply a wonderful place to serve.

You have provided an amazing staff for me to work beside all these years.  Even though the faces and names have changed, the staff’s excellence has always been high.  The staff we currently have is nothing short of incredible.  They are the most talented people I can imagine working with.  Thanks for that.  A staff is what makes someone like me able to lead.

But we also have incredible volunteer leaders.  When I describe the depth and quality of our leadership to other church pastors I can sense their envy.  I can’t imagine doing this without those women and men by my side.  What we’ve been able to be here at Westwood, over these past 20 years, speaks more about them than it does me.

So much of the credit also belongs to my wife and family.  They have had to tolerate EVEN MORE than you have and I couldn’t love them more.  And I know, you have put food on my family’s table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs for 20 years.  I don’t take that lightly.  We’ve seen our boys grow to men – all in the same house – all in the same church – all while I was in the same job.  Not many people can say that.  I can and for that I give God praise and you the credit.

So thanks for 20 years.  I don’t know how much longer God wants me at Westwood but I do know this – the time I have left will be an incredible ride.  It has been up to now.  And thanks for the party.  I might have been nervous about it, but now I look back at that evening with much fondness.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Scott