“But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’”
Amos 7:14-15 NLT. http://bible.com/116/amo.7.14-15.nlt
I am so blessed with great preachers in my life. My Dad was a pastor, my grandfather was a pastor. I learned so much from them. I truly praise God for there leadership. But they are only a couple of the great professional pastors I've had. Ted Blosser, Kris McPherson, Stuart Kruse, have all been huge parts of my spiritual growth. But, I really think I have been even more blessed by the non-professional pastors of my life, the lay leaders, volunteer Sunday school leaders, and the plain old friends that shared their faith.
This past Sunday, I was greatly touched by a Freedom Riders MC prayer. This past year I was deeply touched by Billy Rivers and his testimony. Bud Bearss comes to mind. He is a gifted spiritual leader, not a professional. Jim Rousseau, a dear friend, was a great pastor to me through our friendship. Even a professional pastor, Ron Mabry, had more of an impact outside his role as pastor. He taught me more as a friend. He was my own personal pastor.
It takes a nation full of pastors to save the world. A few are called to be professionals, but the vast majority of effective, authentic pastors are just like you and me. They love the Lord and can't keep him bottled up inside. I am so very thankful to have so many of them in my life. You are the reason I am saved. You brought me to the saving grace of ChristAmen!