By Joe McKeever
Dear 25-year-old me,
You’re in the second year of seminary and the first year of your second pastorate. You’ll have an outstanding three-year ministry there. And the seminary will be dear to you for the rest of your days.
In time, you’ll serve six churches as pastor and log an additional five years as a local denominational leader in New Orleans. You’ll need to learn to love boiled crawfish and shrimp po-boys.
You’ll be glad to know Jeremiah 29:11 seems to have your name all over it. The Heavenly Father has wonderful plans for you, and not only in Heaven. He’ll fill your earthly years with encouraging friends, challenging opportunities, and abundant resources.
You’re one blessed man.
I’ll not try to describe the technological wonders which will arise in your lifetime. At your age now, you use a manual typewriter, and you print the Sunday bulletin on a mimeograph machine. But don’t get too attached; they’re about to become relics for the Smithsonian!
No, there’ll be no personal rocket-ships and no robots in every home. But imagine this: The time will come when you’ll sit at your breakfast table in the early morning typing an article or Bible study (yes, you’ll still be writing, something you’ve always loved) and will “post” the piece.
By noon, you may be receiving messages from people all over the world who read it and were blessed. This will happen without your leaving home and will cost you next to nothing (after a reasonable initial outlay).
You’ll have a connection with billions of people in many ways, one of which you may carry in your pocket. This “world wide web” will make communication possible like never before.
Your church will provide its own site, so that anyone in the world can read about your church’s work and ministry by just typing in a few letters.
Sound great? It is. I’m still in awe, every day.
I don’t expect you to understand. In fact, you may well say, along with the skeptics of Elisha’s day, “If the Lord would make windows in Heaven, could this thing be?” (2 Kings 7:2). And yet, it’s true, and you’ll live to see it and make use of it.
But if communication is instant and worldwide, miscommunication is just as instantaneous. If the truth can be spread so quickly, so may lies be dispersed.
So, while methodologies will evolve and ministries will adapt, some things remain: Man is still a self-centered creature whose heart is deceitful above all things.
Man still needs a Savior, with Jesus Christ still the only proven candidate for that position. He’s the same as He’s always been and ever shall be.
For you, as a pastor, you’ll still preach the Word precisely as each generation has done. So, stay in the Word. Learn the Scriptures. Stay anchored to the Rock through prayer, Scripture, obedience, fellowship with God’s people.
Keep telling people about Jesus.
I recall that when you were 25, you’d finally learned how to share your faith in Jesus and lead a lost person to salvation. This is better than any miracle before or since. Keep at it.
And give my love to your wife. She’s pretty special.