A Privilege of Ministry
Joel E. Kim
I once officiated a wedding. It took place at a beautiful historic church in Long Beach and ended with a reception at a nearby restaurant filled with food and good company. Both the bride and groom were members of the church I served for four years before coming to Westminster Seminary California. He is a quiet and unassuming medical doctor whose humility and thoughtfulness impresses you. She is a cheerful and caring young woman who brightens up any room she enters. They love each other, and they both love the Lord.
I enjoy weddings because they are wonderful ministry opportunities. Even before the day of the wedding when we can revel in seeing two people become one in marital union and celebrate the occasion with good friends, pastors have the important task of meeting with the marrying couple for counseling and preparation. In these meetings, we have the unique privilege of entering into their private lives to wrestle together, through the Word, with the issues of faith and marriage, and to reinforce personally what we’ve been teaching publicly. I cherish these moments.
It amazes me that we as pastors have the privilege of serving God’s people in such a way. Of course, weddings are not the only occasion. Despite the brevity of my ministry, I remember with fondness the many hours spent teaching and learning with my church members through baptisms, weddings, visitations, and other gatherings when the pastor is made a member of the family and given an opportunity to remind them of the grace received. Moreover, who can forget the difficult times – loss of loved ones, broken families, illnesses, and even sudden departures of members – when the pastor has an opportunity and obligation to bring to the hurting the message of the love of God in Christ.
Ministry is such a wonderful privilege and a humbling responsibility. I am humbled that God desires broken, inadequate, and insufficient men like you and me to minister to and care for his people. It is good to be reminded of the words of Paul: “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant…” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6a). May the Lord fill you with the joy of ministering to His people as you are constantly led by His grace.