Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions How One Pastor Stayed in One Church for 27 Years

How One Pastor Stayed in One Church for 27 Years

When the Lord called me to Northwest Arkansas in October 1986, I had no idea I would be here 27 years later.

I really did not come here with a “plan” about how long I would stay but always assumed I would probably one day be called back to a church in my home state of Texas. Yet, demonstratively and clearly, at least to this point in life, God has called me to spend 27 years of my life in our church, now known as Cross Church.

Therefore, I am often asked by so many people, especially ministers, “How have you stayed in one church or ‘survived in the same church’ for 27 years?” Through God’s grace and grace alone have we been able to do this.

Yet, I want to highlight for you some practical matters that have placed us in this grace moment.

1. My personal walk with Christ.

There is no way in the world anyone can pastor a church in today’s world for any length of time without a strong personal walk with Jesus Christ.

In a post titled My Mornings, you will learn about how I have given my mornings to God. I mention this only briefly today because I have already written about it extensively.

Please review it, because I can tell you this: Nothing, and I mean nothing, has been more important than this daily time to empower me to be in the same church for 27 years.

You can hear a pastor or leader say this or that about how they have stayed, but I can assure you, without my personal walk with Christ, I would have been toast years ago!

2. My marriage has been strong. We have done this together.

Jeana and I have been married for 37 years. She was raised in the family of a west-Texas pastor. She had experienced the ups and downs of ministry life way before she married me. Her experience accelerated my perspective in many ways.

While both of us have a passionate love for the church of Jesus Christ (and I mean passionate), our love for each other is also great and strong.

While some couples live life apart, we live life together. While many pastors and their wives declare independence from one another, we are dependent upon one another. You see, Jeana has a strong walk with Christ also, a very consistent time with God early in the mornings. We also pray together and share life together.

I am convinced, because our marriage has been strong and we have served the church together, we have been able to stay here for 27 years successfully.

To every pastor and wife, commit to do ministry together. It will lead to longevity and happiness in life and marriage.