Yesterday, DH was a special speaker for our son's chapel service. Ben (our son's nickname) goes to a private Christian School, and yesterday was "Career Day". A nurse, a doctor, a fireman, and an engineer were some of the invited guests, but only my husband, the minister, showed up to speak. (Halfway through his presentation a mechanic arrived, so he was able to participate also.)
DH did such a wonderful job! He made his speech into an object lesson, pulling "tools of the trade" out of his briefcase, just like a child's version of "Show and Tell!" He interacted with the children from the first "Good Morning!" telling them that they were more responsive than his own congregation when they cheerily shouted back a greeting.
The first "tool" he pulled from his briefcase was a huge red heart, cut out of construction paper. This was the most important tool of ministry, he said, because without a heart you cannot love God and love people. He recommended not going into the ministry without a real love for people.
The second tool was like the first, a construction-paper-cut-out ear. As with his first object, he asked the children for responses: "Why do you think you would need an ear in ministry?" The students answered well: "to hear what God is saying to you, so you can tell the people"; and, "to listen to people who are hurting and have problems."
DH's third tool was a clock. "Now, clocks don't mean anything to a pastor when he is preaching," he quipped, but he explained that a clock represented time, schedules, and priorities. "No, pastors don't work only on Sundays," he laughingly retorted to a kindergartner in the front row. "I put in about 50 - 60 hours a week, but I like to work, so I could live at the church and be happy."
Reaching back into his briefcase, DH pulled out a white towel. "What do you think I would need this for?" he quizzed the crowd. "Wiping the sweat off your face," one very astute little girl volunteered. "Drying off the ones who got baptized," said another clever little boy. "Yes, those are right answers," DH agreed, "But, does anyone remember a story in the Bible, where Jesus might have used a towel like this to wash something? In the Book of John, chapter 13, Jesus washed the feet of all his disciples to show them that being like Jesus meant being a servant. A minister must always be willing to serve people."
"Two more tools and then I'm done," DH said, for his concluding remarks. He pulled out a thick black Bible, and held it up high. "This is your textbook," he said. "If you want to be a pastor, and show people the ways of God, you have to know the ways of God. Learn to love the Word of God, and study the Bible as hard as you would study for one of Mr. Smith's tests." (Mr. Smith is the high school teacher.)
Finally, DH pulled out a telephone from his briefcase, and held it up. "In the ministry, you have to always be available, always "on call" for people in crisis. This phone rings a lot in our house. That's something our family has become accustomed to, and they know that I have to answer the telephone when someone calls for me. Another thing that this telephone represents is the calling of God. I don't recommend going into the ministry if you are not 100% sure that you are called to be a pastor. You have to know that you know He has called you, and God will confirm his calling to you in many ways."
Short and sweet, his presentation lasted about fifteen minutes--and then the school principal came up to ask for questions from the audience. He answered a few questions, and thanked the principal for inviting him, and then it was the mechanic's turn for "Show and Tell". Conversely, the mechanic did not bring any tools of his trade, so he had to just talk about them.