Thursday, May 2, 2013

robshep 1

I have known my current pastor for nearly 6 years now. It is interesting how our relationship has grown and solidified during this time. Six years ago, Rob was serving as the emergency back-up pastor at a very dynamic and growing church led by one of those uber-hip pastor types with the mod glasses and the beatnik goatee. The lead pastor was a very engaging, humorous, and energetic leader. Whenever I would show up for church and find that Rob was slated to talk, I muttered to myself. I did not care for his style and approach. It felt like I was going to a show when at the last minute it is announced that the understudy would be filling in for the star that I had come to see. I remember that shortly after we had met, Rob asked me why I didn't like him. I think this amounts to a pretty rocky relational start.

However, over the next several years, Rob and I began to form a more personal bond. We got to know each other little by little through brief conversations in the hallway before service began and we also forged relational links through our blogs. It was during this time, almost when I wasn't looking, that Rob somehow became my pastor. His Sunday talks began to speak to me because I knew him and how he lived his life. With a growing personal connection between us, I think that caused me to listen more closely to his words. The more closely I listened, the more I took away. Ultimately, I came to look forward to the weeks when I knew that he would be filling in. Over the years I have leaned on Rob with some personal junk and he has consistently made time for me, listened well, spoke from his heart, and never judged me.

For the past year Rob has been the lead pastor of his own church plant. I have been with him from his very first service and am so pleased that God has brought us together. However, given truth in advertising regulations, I am contractually obligated to note the following things about Rob.
  • He recently said, "It literally blew my mind." Yet his head was still fully intact with no brain matter showing.
  • He does not, strictly speaking, use cuss words. Instead he uses terms like "jackhole" to skirt the church's decency rules.
  • He has introduced me to his own personal vernacular, including such gems as "gag nasty" and "fat clue".
Today's tribute to my friend and pastor Rob is just the first of a two-part series. Tomorrow I review his first book, set for world-wide release on August 1, 2013 entitled, Even If You Were Perfect, Someone Would Crucify You; Stop Trying to Please People. Start Pleasing God. Well that is a mouthful, perhaps he got paid by the word.

(Part 1 of 2)