No pastor has yet been cloned. They may all have the same job description in Scripture, but they are individuals with unique gifts of their own.
In like manner, church members—each with different perspectives—view their pastor differently.
Our senior pastor, Virgilio “Ariel” Cole, who has been with us for a dozen vibrant years, is no exception. Together with his wife, Doreen, and four growing sons, he was sent by God to give us at Pilar Village Gospel Church (CAMACOP, Las Pinas) a dynamic, organic face lift, progressively morphing to spread the Gospel faster.
Some of our members see him as a builder, a non-architect who has actually erected sanctuaries in all the churches to which he has been assigned, ours included. They credit the unprecedented improvements on our place of worship to him.
Others see him as an innovator, introducing creative ways to enliven worship. He replaced our Wednesday prayer meeting with a cottage ministry setup, where neighbors meet separately in their homes for prayers and Bible study any one day of the week. The attendance in these new groupings, named after the 12 tribes of Israel, exponentially increased the number of our defunct prayer gathering.
While I agree with these sincere odes to our pastor, I am most grateful for how he cleans the cobwebs in the nooks and crannies of my mind.
As an author, I am a perpetual student of The Word, but along the way, the tangles of thread—some already gathering dust and some just newly spun—in my thoughts blur my vision.
Pastor Ariel, a passionate speaker and tireless researcher, somehow untangles and sweeps them away Sunday after Sunday, as though determined to totally wipe them clean one day. Often, I feel like he has a direct access to my brain as he seems to openly admonish me.
Hardly do I find time to tell him how much I appreciate his unique way of making God’s word accessible, ushering in epiphanies and “aha” moments.
Let me then take this rare opportunity to thank the Lord for our pastor, for gifting me—and my faith brothers and sisters at church—a God-anointed cobweb cleaner. Thus, with Pastor Ariel helping us to deepen our understanding of The Word, we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18 NLT).
About the author:
Grace Dacanay-Chong was an advertising creative director and executive vice president for years until she decided to do “new things” and pursue creative writing. A graduate of Columbia College in Illinois, USA; the University of the Philippines; and the Chicago Art Institute, Grace now lectures on Advertising, Business English, and Marketing at the Southville Foreign University. She is also creative consultant for Prime Advertising Systems, Inc. and a columnist for three publications. Among Grace’s published works are two advertising books, the Gifts of Grace series, and over thirty children’s books, five of which have won Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Three of her books hold the distinction of being finalists for the Catholic Mass Media Awards, the 2001 National Book Awards, and the 2010 Gintong Aklat Awards. Most recently, Grace Chong was a recipient of the 2012 Gintong Aklat Awards for her devotional, Grace Found Me: 365 Thoughts for Busy Women. You may visit her blogsite at http://leavesofgrace.blogspot.com.