I’ve never been one to get stuck on titles. I’ve held a lot of titles in my life time! I’ve been president, vice president and secretary of a lot of different things. I’ve been chairman and vice chairman of many different groups. I’ve been called Doctor, Reverend, Mister, Sir, Master, Pastor, Preacher and some things that I can’t repeat!
My name is Michael Joe, which gets turned into Michael, Mike, Mikey, Joe, MJ and a couple of times I was even called Billy Jack! My parents named me to go by both names Michael and Joe, which I have always said is an indicator of my true southern and country heritage!
I am sometimes known as Joy’s husband or Mrs. Harvell’s husband. A lot of kids at school know me as Gracie’s Dad or Hope’s Dad. A few for some strange reason think I am “Mr. Gravely!” When I first started doing safety patrol, a lot of folks thought that I was the principal – Mr. Langston, but I am much better looking, just don’t tell him, it might hurt his feelings! (HaHa!)
Three of my favorite titles are from my wife, girls and congregation and community! My wife Joy refers to me as her “Hunka Chunka Burning Love”, My girls call me “Daddy”, and my congregation and community when showing respect call me “Pastor”.
I want to talk for a moment about the last one = “Pastor”. I am at the very core of my heart a pastor. I used to shy away from any type of religious titles, but recently God has shown me that this was a position and title that He called me to. I don’t need to shy away from it, I need to run into and embrace it, because it is near and dear to my heart!
Yes! I am “Pastor” of Northwood Baptist Church and “Pastor” of people in and out of the church. I walk with them, talk with them, study with them, pray with them, laugh with them and even cry with them. As “Pastor”, I rejoice when new physical life comes into this world or new spiritual life enters into the Kingdom!
As “Pastor”, I mourn when physical life here on earth has ended and walk slowly with the remaining family to help them find the healing and peace that can only come from God. As “Pastor”, I hold the hands of the sick, wipe the brow of the tired and serve whoever in whatever way that I can.
As “Pastor”, I teach and preach the Word that I know and trust can make life better. I share the vision that God has shared with me and I give leadership to those that God has placed under my authority.
It is not an easy task, but one that I have been doing for over twenty years. I am Pastor and I am thankful for God’s calling, gifting and blessing. I am Pastor and I am thankful for the men, women, boys and girls that have and do make it possible. I am Pastor and I appreciate you taking the time to notice and I really do appreciate your respect for this title that God has given!