I (Jim) had the privilege of preaching this morning at a small baptist church in Iasi. The pastor is a young man that loves Jesus and cares deeply for the people in his church. It is my hope and prayer that this week of teaching and my time in his church were an encouragement to him. It is difficult to be a young pastor and I pray he will be courageous in fulfilling his call to ministry (1 Tim. 4-5).
The pastors and lay leaders that I taught this week did an outstanding job of critiquing each other's sermons. Any aspects of a sermon that were not found directly in the text were brought to light by the group feedback. It was a joy to see them carefully searching the Scriptures and giving each other encouraging and formative feedback.
This past week I have felt both the weight and the joy of representing my family, my church and all of those who are supporting me before the pastors here in Romania. As a teacher I will be judged more strictly (James 3:1), yet there is a confidence in knowing that I have been showered in prayer and there is great joy in helping my brothers and sisters better interpret, teach and preach the Word of God.