I sat down shortly after 9:00 a.m. in the Pastor’s office. I was “a” pastor at the time, but I was not “the” pastor. The previous Sunday was BGMC Day, and as the Children’s Pastor I had been given a window in the service. I had come up with the brilliant idea of having men dress like women and dance behind me as my backup singers as I lip synced a funny mission’s song. Things like this are a big hit with kids; however, it hadn’t gone over as well with all who were there on Sunday morning. So I found myself seated across from the Pastor. He was strong, yet affirming—a balance I didn’t always recognize early on, but would learn to appreciate.
When I first met Dennis Rabineau, it didn’t go too well—at least that’s how it seemed to me. Yet he would pull me in as his Timothy and he would become my Paul. I needed a Paul. Everyone does. I had the good fortune of being on his staff, but the day would come when I would get my own Ephesus (also know as Yonkers, to be more specific). When you’re new, the temptation can be to do everything on your own. I would find, however, that pastoring was filled with many unpredictable challenges. Juggling a young family while fulfilling the demands of ministry can be exhausting. Because of Pastor Rabineau, I could simply reach into my memory bank. I had watched him preach, seen him discipline his children, observed as he was second guessed in a board meeting, and taken mental notes on a host of other matters. I often joked about having a bracelet made with the letters “WWPRD” on it (You’ll figure it out). Other times I would need to pick up the phone.
The phone calls have become more rare over the years, but I don’t think they’ll ever completely end. Although I have now pastored for over two decades, sometimes I still need “Paul’s” advice. Other times I simply need an encouraging word. He stands ready to offer either.
I count myself blessed to have been selected for ministry by someone who believed in me. If this hasn’t been your experience, I would encourage you to seek someone out and submit to their care. You’ll be glad you did.
Oh, and if by any chance Pastor Rabineau reads this, I’m sorry I glued chips to my office wall and spilled syrup all over the carpet in the fellowship hall. Both seemed like good ideas at the time.
Jimmy Williams is the husband of Sarai and the father of Nathaniel and Zachary. He has served as the Pastor of Yonkers Christian Assembly since 1994 and also serves as the Presbyter of the BMW Section. He’s never eaten a blue M&M.