August’s post is brought to us by NazToo’s own Andy McGee, who generously took time out of his busy schedule to share some thoughts with us. Andy has been a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene for ten years. He is the Executive Director of Love Wins.:LGBT, and is currently co-pastor at Trinity Family Midtown Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City, MO.
*My words have failed me. Please accept the following post as a futile attempt to accomplish the task at hand.
“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18, NLT (emphasis added)
Today, August 1, 2017, I am in the midst of celebrating my 10th anniversary of being a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene.
As the years have rolled along, there have come many challenges, great and small, and each one has tested me in different ways.
This past couple of months though, I can easily say, have been the most stressful and trying of my entire tenure as pastor.
It is not every day that you find your ministry, and yourself, as the topic of an online viral posting–in fact, many viral postings. But here I am; here we are; having come through this experience still standing and frankly doing better than ever before.
God has done, and is doing, some amazing things as a result of the last few weeks’ happenings, and I’ll eventually talk, and write more, about that later–but today, in this blog post, there is a more important task I need to undertake.
Somehow, some way, I need to properly thank this online community that is “I’m Nazarene Too.”
A few weeks ago, as the shares of the aforementioned postings were spreading throughout the internet, it was the members of this group, as well as others, that shined like a candle in a darkened room to both the ministry and myself.
Never before have I experienced anything like this.
I saw members of this group, who largely think differently than I do on a whole host of issues ( <– There’s the disclaimer for anyone who might be tempted to say that I agree with everything posted on “I’m Nazarene Too”), come to our defense in a way that I will not soon forget.
It was astounding to watch how, as each negative post was made public, the members of this community almost immediately began posting rebuttals to the misinformation that was out there.
Not only that, but you prayed, you gave, you called, etc. You put love into action in some of the most amazing ways.
Even today, y’all continue to run to our defense, and that is something I am so utterly grateful for.
Yes, it is true that I have yet to finish reading every post and every message I have received from the group, and many others, but I have felt each and every one of them and I promise I will soon finish responding to them all.
Each of you deserves a response and I’ll do my best to get you one.
In the mean time, I hope that you understand that what you have done for my ministry, and myself, stands as a testament to me that there is a reason to keep going, to keep hoping, and to keep pressing forward in the work that we do.
Thank you and remember. . .
Love always wins.
It might take longer than we think it should.
We might even stop believing it’s possible.
But in the end. . .
LOVE. ALWAYS. WINS.