I thought it might be interesting to list a few fifteen year statistics:
New Members Received: 320
Eagle Pins given by Pastor to Youth: 83
Of course the list doesn’t include visits and various other ministerial functions.
I am ending 47 years of ministry in Wisconsin, and three more in Kentucky, as I served the Lord as an evangelist, and as Pastor of a mission church, supported financially by a U.M. Church near Milwaukee.
Upon reading my theological papers, a member of the board of ordained ministry noted that I was poor material for ministry before my ordination. I didn’t hold a grudge, but did think of that persons opinion, as I received my second Master’s Degree in Evangelism-Church Growth, and as I received the Harry Denman Award, as National Denominational Recognition of Excellence in Evangelism Endeavors. I also think of it now, as I finish 50 years of faithful service. Recently an elder in the church said of my fifty years, you are very old, or started very young. In answer to that question I would have to say both.
My longest appointment in ministry has been my fifteen years at Fennimore U.M.C. All those fifteen years have not been easy, but I honestly feel I did the very best I could, with the experience, and training in ministry and mission, that I had. Not everyone agreed with my leadership, but I feel it all turned out well, with the good Lord’s leading. The Lord helped me thru some rough times of change and growth. God certainly helped me lead the capital campaign to raise 1/2 million dollars. God helped me to secure a great staff, for enabling our ministry and mission together, as well as excellent leaders, and awesome lay participation and support.
I have always tried to sacrifice financially to make sure the ministry and mission of the local churches I served could be accomplished. 46 or my 47 years, the church I served paid their conference and connectional obligations in full, with the only year of not paying being a fluke, where they could of and should of. At times I feel some remorse about the sacrifice my family had to make because of my stance on these things.
However, personally I feel fine about the sacrifice I made, because I always tried to follow the words of a scripture verse from Acts 20:24 that I once discovered in Sunday School, in High School and never forgot. It became my mandate for ministry: “I account my life of no value to myself, if only I may accomplish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the Grace of God.”
In closing I take no credit for any good that has been done. To God be the Flory, great things God has done, is doing and will do.
A Fellow Servant of the Lord,
Rev. Duane E. Andrus