I believe that God calls pastors to communities as well as churches. You can’t have a healthy church without personal evangelism and local outreach. If is very difficult for a church to engage in these activities without the support of their pastor. In my experience as pastor, its hard to get excited about reaching beyond the four wall of a church unless you love the community where you minster.
In order to show my love for the area where I minster, I want to share a series of blog posts this week on the reasons why I love Ashland, Kentucky.
- The people here are warm and welcoming
My wife and I were both raised in the north. I’m from a small farming town southwest Michigan and she grew up in sprawing suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. We have lived a few places in our life together, some big and some small, but none with such kind and gracious people.
Our church family has been incredibly warm and welcoming, but it goes way beyond that. We have enjoyed a quick smile and an offer to help from shopkeepers, salespeople, and workmen. The teachers and staff at the schools where our children attend have been accepting and encouraging. Our neighbors are friendly and helpful and we have enjoyed a few cooks and block party together.
That is not say we haven’t encounter any grumpy people. But for the most part, the people in this hard-working little city have welcomed my family and I with open arms. For that, we are grateful.
Check back tomorrow another reason why I love Ashland, Kentucky.