The Bowl of Hope

What he found in a storage closet helped both pastor and church recover their purpose—again.

When the phone rang on that Monday morning, I was actually scheduled to be in Thailand on a business trip. My pastor, Allen Black, was on the other end. "The district superintendent just called me," Allen said, "and she has a church for you. You could start next Sunday."

I had been out of pastoral ministry for several years and owned a consulting business. Only a week before, I had told my wife, Debbie, that I just didn't feel I should make the trip to Thailand. I had cancelled my ticket and told my business partner that he would have to make the trip without me. Now I knew why I had stayed behind.

We had been praying for a church to serve, and God had answered our prayers—suddenly and dramatically. Although we were involved in our own church in outreach and new member training, God had been rekindling in my heart the call to pastoral ministry that I had received many years before.

Recovering from a "mismatch"


"This was a wonderful congregation, filled with wonderful people," district superintendent ...

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