When I was young like you, I never thought I would EVER, EVER be a pastor!
Does that sound strange to you?
I had a good family, who loved me and taught me about God and Jesus and Love.And we went to church some, but not very much.
And when I grew up and went to college (as some of you will) I didn’t know what I wanted to do AT ALL!!!
In never thought I would ever be a pastor!
I went to college and I made friends, and I met this one guy named Loren Stuckenbruck!
And he told me about God and Jesus, but he never used any words!!
Now, how do you tell someone something and NOT use words?
Loren Stuckenbruck told me about God and Jesus by what they did…
I watched him, and he did great things.
I saw him love people.
He wasn’t telling them they were bad for this or that.
He cared about the other students.
And he had so much fun doing it!
And you know what happened?
One night when I was laying in my bed, deep into the night, I became very, very sad.
And I thought of Loren Stuckenbruck.
I said to myself that I want what Loren Stuckenbruck has – he was happy, and good, and kind, and he loved people, and made everyone around him feel so good.
And I said to myself, that’s what I want.
And so I prayed, and talked to some people, and was baptized and finished college, and still…after all that…
I never thought I would ever be a pastor!
I found a job in a bank.
I started going to this church.
I was asked to help work with the kids in the church.
And I taught them the Bible, and went on mission trips, built a house for homeless people…
And one day, you know what someone said to me?
They said, “Mike, you ought to be a pastor in a church. You’re so good at it.”
And I said – “Nah – No way! You’ve got to be kidding!”
And then someone else said the same thing, “Mike, you ought to be a pastor. You're so good at it!”
And I said, again, – “Nah – No way! You’ve got to be kidding!”
And pretty soon more and more people told me that.
Guess what I did?
I decided that God wanted me to be a pastor!
And so I became a pastor.
And I have been a pastor, helping people, for over 23 years!!
And God was always there to help me!
I didn’t know it at the time, but I know it now, God had plans for me.
When I was young I never thought I would be a pastor.
But God had plans for me.
There is a place in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11, where God says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” ... “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I want you to know boys and girls that God has something wonderful for you!!God has plans for you!!
You might be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a fireman, or a nurse, or an architect, or a house builder, or maybe a pastor.
And you may not know it now, but God has plans for you.
Can you say that out loud after me:
"God has plans for me!!"
God has plans for you.
And whatever it is, it will be good, because God is good…
Thank you for this day.
Thank you for this special day.
Thank you for helping me finish pre-K.
Thank you for my friends.
Thank you for my teachers.
Thank you for my parents and family.
Please help me trust you,
Each and every day,
And to know your plans for me.