The elders were hiring me as a the Preaching Minister alongside their hiring of a Worship Minister. The two most visible ministers on a Sunday morning, and outside a brief phone conversation about cable TV (priorities), we met for the first time one minute prior to the start of Sunday morning worship. The only thing I knew about him, "He's tall and he has lots of energy." So,I'm thinking, "I hope I like this singing giant." And he is thinking, "I hope I like this preaching Hobit!" It could have been a disaster!
But it wasn't! Kent Rogers became, not only a great colleague, but one of my dearest friends. I'm short; he's tall. I can't sing; he can. I like to run and eat hummus; he likes to sunbathe and eat Butterfingers (and loses weight). I'm a sprint eater; he's a pace eater. I organize visually on a whiteboard; he organizes with lists on a yellow pad. I like hip-hop; he likes classic rock. I'm young; he's old-er. You get the idea, so how did such a friendship grow?
First, we love God, incompletely, but we do. Second, we love the Church. Third, we love Michael Jackson and both of us think we can dance. Fourth, we love creativity and new ideas. Fifth, we appreciate the arts. Sixth, our wives love each other. Seventh, we decided to share our crap with each other early in our friendship. Eighth, we love to eat. Ninth, we love to laugh.
Some of our best times came working on video intros for Sunday AM worship. Most people missed them because of the great fellowship occurring around the auditorium, but we had a blast creating ideas and then filming them. Here's one we did together.
I believe God placed Kent in my life for such a time as this... the last sixth months. He is a man of God, a man of integrity, an extremely gifted worship leader and minister, and he oozes creativity. I owe him so much. (By the way, Kent is currently in transition as a Worship Minister. Hire him! You'll get much more than a great worship leader. His wife Rocks Cleveland too!)
We all want to have a burning bush moment where God calls us by name out of the fire. But so many times God reveals himself through those he places in our circle of friendship. I have seen God in Kent. Look around... do you see God in the faces of those around you?
For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus... (II Cor. 7:5-6)