Cloud of Witnesses

Any friend of Earl Roberts was proud to say so. But Earl and I weren't just friends; he mentored me in ministry. He died in October 1996 at the age of 93. He picked up pneumonia on a trip to Jackpot, Nevada. Earl liked to play cards and slots now and then.

I never asked Earl for advice about pastoral ministry, and he never offered any. But during the nine years I served the Victor Federated Church in Victor, Montana, Earl always seemed to know when I was worried. He'd learned a lot about worry over the years because he took risks his whole life and saw them work out. He was a rancher, an auctioneer, owner and operator of a real estate company, and a drummer in his own dance band.

He was also head usher for fifty years at the Victor Federated Church.

I don't suppose being an usher is all that risky, but he'd seen enough in the church over the years to know how risky a pastor's life can be. I think that's what we had in common.

Why worry?

Earl was raised on a ranch in the Big Hole Valley ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

From Issue:Spring 1997: Spiritual Care
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Discerning Is Only the Beginning
Discerning Is Only the Beginning
When God called our church to relocate, we thought the transition would be smooth. Boy, were we wrong.
From the Magazine
For Expats and Missionaries, COVID-19 Was a Crossroads
For Expats and Missionaries, COVID-19 Was a Crossroads
The first question for Christians living abroad was, “Go or stay?” After that, it got hard.
Editor's Pick
Listening to Podcasts Makes Us Better Preachers
Listening to Podcasts Makes Us Better Preachers
How the popular audio genre can help pastors fine-tune sermon preparation and delivery.