In each Epistle, this column features a single question to which our pastors are asked to reply. It is usually connected to the issue’s theme and crafted to reveal the unique personalities and experiences of our beloved leaders.
What is a virtue you enjoy helping others develop (and why)?
Pastor June Barrow
The virtue I most treasure is reverential awe of God. God is very great and worthy of every kind of respect and honor. Yes, God is very kind, deeply loving, and profoundly gracious. We all need that good news. But we know God better and value his grace more when we perceive his greatness, majesty, and utter sovereignty more. To make that an aim enriches our worship.
Pastor Steve Clark
I enjoy helping others develop whatever virtue Jesus has taught me most recently. Maybe that’s a cop-out answer, but it’s true! I often find that my sermons originate from something that strikes me in my daily time with Jesus, or I teach lessons that I’m learning (or relearning) in my faith journey. My seminary friends and I enjoyed asking each other, “What is God teaching you lately?” I think that’s a huge part of being in a community of faith: sharing with one another how we’ve been growing in our relationships with Christ.
Pastor Steven Grant
All true virtue ultimately comes from Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So rather than picking a particular virtue, I love to encourage people to get to know the source of all virtues so that those virtues may freely flow because of an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus. The more we come to know and love Jesus, the more the Spirit shapes and empowers us, and the more we will put into practice through our daily living what Christ demands of us, not out of obligation but because of our love for him. In any situation, we must ask ourselves, “What did Jesus say about that? What did he say I should do?” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, ESV).
Pastor Brad Rogers
While the Christian virtue of faith is probably a favorite of every pastor, rightly understood, faith is a gift from God. A pastor can participate in the work of God, but developing the virtue of faith belongs to God alone. Therefore, the virtue I consider essential for Christian discipleship is humility. If C.S. Lewis is right and pride is the “great enemy” and our essential vice, then humility is the great antidote. The scriptures communicate this in countless ways. We are beckoned to take up our cross, to lose our lives to find our lives, serve others, consider others ahead of ourselves, and humble ourselves before the Lord. When we think of ourselves less (not less of ourselves!), the Christian virtue of humility stokes the flame of our faith.
Pastor Allen Walworth
Although all the “classic” and Christian virtues are equally important, I am often drawn to the virtue of balance or moderation, often called temperance, which the Apostle Paul called “self-control.” This virtue reminds us to seek the median path between excess and asceticism, those twin sirens that continually tempt us toward the rocks of self-destruction.
Another Perspective | Donabeth Urick, Executive Assistant
What is a virtue you have developed from serving in ministry over the years?
I have worked in a behind-the scenes church support role for almost four decades (I started when I was Pastor Steve’s age). Each of the three congregations has been unique—in its context, history, ministries, and people. And what I have learned over those years and in those churches is that there’s always much more to learn! So, I believe God has been developing in me the virtue of being teachable. Every project or task, every divine appointment (otherwise known as an interruption), every program, every conversation… indeed, every moment of every day the Lord has given me is an opportunity to “rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24) and to learn something—about faith, about life, and about service.