Embedded for Christ in the Community
I am a young, new pastor. I have now been at my first church call for almost eleven months. Before I was a pastor though, I had a different life. I was a middle-school teacher and coach. I did not leave teaching and coaching because I was tired of it; rather I felt God calling me to something else, but I knew I would miss my old life, especially coaching. Therefore, when I was hired as an Associate Pastor at Pleasant View Mennonite outside of Hydro, Oklahoma, I offered a proposal to the elders. I wanted to see if they would bless me to volunteer my time with the local high school and junior high wrestling team. They readily agreed, so I contacted the coach, not knowing what he might say.
I did have a lot of experience, but I did not know anyone in the local wrestling community. After we met, he was ready for me to help. After talking with the athletic director, we came to an agreement. I was “hired” for zero dollars. This made me a school employee of sorts, in that I went through the same background checks and training as other coaches. It also enabled me to have a higher level of responsibility than other volunteer coaches. This benefits the school in that they are getting a free employee that is properly trained. It benefits me in that I get to do something I love and I get to meet people I would not get to otherwise.
So far, I have one season under my belt at this new school. It has gone remarkably well for everyone. The elders like that I am finding ways to become part of the community. The head coach likes having good help. I like that I get to show God’s love while doing something I love.
-Gabriel (Gab) Pennington, Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Hydro, OKPosted on June 21, 2017 in Congregational Stories Weekly Word