Wow, it has been quite a while since I have written for pastor appreciation month. At first I got sick and just decided to take a break. By the time I felt better we started having internet issues at the house. By the time that got resolved I had gotten used to not writing and then two weeks passed! But, I’m back now and promise to finish off strong.
Jim Schettler is the Vice President of Student Affairs at West Coast Baptist College. Before that he served as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Santa Maria, California. But even before that he was the Pastor of the Campus Church in Pensacola, FL where he was my pastor while I attended Pensacola Christian College.
While every pastorate is difficult, I imagine pastoring the campus church of a large Christian college must be taxing to an unbelievable degree. With college students, you have a never-ending stream of drama, emotion and literally thousands of kids looking for leadership and guidance. Not to mention that every week you are preaching to well-educated Bible college and seminary professors. That’s got to be pressure!
But, if it was stressful, Pastor Schettler never seemed to show it. He always seemed in a good mood with a cheerful countenance. He always gave me the impression that he truly liked his job, and like all of us in the student body.
He and I were never close in any way, shape or form, but he always had a listening ear. I’ve always been a pretty arrogant guy when it came to theology, but even more so during my college years. I’m pretty sure if you asked some of my professors, they’d agree I was a jerk. But, Pastor Schettler was always willing to listen to me and my questions during our class time together. We’d didn’t see eye-to-eye on every theological issue and I was never afraid to say so. (See what I mean, I was a jerk)
I remember one class the subject of Calvinism came up. You can already imagine my thoughts on the subject. After asking him a few questions, Pastor Schettler invited me back to his office in order to have more time to chat about the subject. While we still walked away in disagreement, I respect the fact that he was still willing to have the conversation and certainly willing to hear me out. And I even respect the fact that he told me I needed to examine my life for spiritual pride… He was right on at least that point!
So, thank you, Pastor Schettler for desire to train young men and women for the work of the ministry. Thank you for pointing out the pride in my heart. Finally, thank you for the constant joy in Jesus that you displayed for us each and every day.