The Pastor’s Piece – October 16, 2019
October 14, 2019
Greetings from Kevin Cernek.
The great radio preacher of old, J. Vernon McGee once said: “If you want to get involved in the Lord’s work, find where God is working, then roll up your sleeves and get involved.”
A new chapter in my life has opened up with Fellowship of Christian Farmers International – and I am excited. I feel like a kid starting a new job. In the predawn hours last Friday, before I left home to meet with Dennis, my wife said to me: “This is your first day on your new job. We need to take your picture.” (Just like she did with our children on their first day of school.)
As I drove the three hours to Lexington, I thought of the wonderful reception I had received from the Board of Directors at our September 30 meeting. I thought of how I had been praying specifically for the last two years (and even before that) that God would open new doors in my life, where He would use me in His kingdom-work beyond the walls of my church and where I could put my skills and experience as a Bible teacher and leader to greater use. As the miles zipped by, my mind drifted back to how this all started with a simple invitation to speak at the Annual Conference in Dubuque, Iowa just a few weeks prior. It fills me with awe and wonder of how God orchestrates and coordinates our lives.
Upon my arrival at the office, I was greeted with a friendly and robust wave and a warm welcome from Dennis. In the course of our conversation, he told me that I was the answer to his prayers. Funny how God works, because I felt the same way about him being the answer to my prayers.
We talked about a lot of things that day. One topic was the overriding joy of serving God through FCFI and how we want that joy to be the trademark of the organization. In the Bible, as God’s people worked at rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah reminded them: “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10). I think he was on to something.
We talked about the FFA ministry and dreamed about what God might have in store for us in that program. As a student in high school many years ago, I served my FFA chapter as Chaplain and Secretary.
We talked about working with Emmaus Bible College in putting together a digital podcast featuring pastors with a farming background, where people can access messages on the podcast from FCFI anytime and anywhere on any of their digital devices. (Did you know that both Billy Graham and Josh McDowell grew up on dairy farms?)
We talked about our present and future roles at FCFI. I see myself working well with Dennis and covering areas of the ministry where he is spread thin.
We discussed what my official title will be. At the interview meeting on September 30 we left it at: “Executive Director Support Person.” But that is somewhat vague and open-ended. For support and fundraising purposes, I would prefer we change the title to something like: “National Director,” since my main focus will be on the work of FCFI here in the United States, while Dennis will continue to focus on the work both here and abroad.
Thank you for your confidence in me by giving me this honor and privilege to work with Dennis. One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 33:3 where God challenges Jeremiah by saying: “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” I’m taking God up on that challenge.
Serving joyfully with you,