In Praise Of My Associate Pastor On His One-Year Anniversary!

Today is my Associate Pastor’s one-year anniversary out here on the prairie. And it certainly has been one wild year for him and his family. From selling and buying houses, moving from Altoona, IA to Kalona, IA, having their second child, getting acclimated to a new community and church, and (no big deal) learning to navigate the challenges of a global pandemic while seeking to minister to folks in creative ways, this certainly has been one interesting and crazy year for the Tim O’Tool family.

Indeed, Pastor Tim has survived one year of faithful ministry at Prairie Flower Baptist Church. I am so grateful for his ministry partnership and personal friendship. At Prairie Flower, he is my primary prayer partner, chief advisor, and my right hand man. I am so thankful for all that he does for our church family. From managing the Outfitters Student Ministry, to organizing Growth Groups, to doing plenty of “other duties as assigned”, I can always count on Pastor Tim to do an excellent and thorough job.

In recent weeks, the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic has certainly made our working relationship and friendship stronger than ever. Learning to “Pastor During a Pandemic” continues to be such a fun, wonky adventure! I wonder why they never offered us such a class in Bible College? 😉 Anyways, I have come to learn and appreciate many things about Pastor Tim over this past year, but especially these last six weeks. So, in praise of my Associate Pastor on his one-year anniversary, here are three things that Pastor Tim is absolutely awesome at…

1. He is a risk-taking optimist. Never afraid of the next challenge, Pastor Tim, though aware of the risk of any new endeavor, chooses to focus instead on the sweet rewards of whatever mission lies before him. You will often hear him say, “I can do that!” or “I’ll figure it out and get right on that.” He’s a risk-taker. But not just a risk-taker, he’s an optimist…a joyful optimist. You will often hear him whistling or humming throughout the church building. Frankly, such a joyful spirit annoyed me at first. “Why can’t he keep his whistling to himself,” I thought. But I’ve come to appreciate this risk-taking optimist, whistling and all. Lord knows we need such people in this crazy COVID-19 world we’re living in.

2. He is a Scripture-wielding prayer warrior. I love to pray with Pastor Tim. Almost every Wednesday morning you will find us in my study as we pray for our precious church family. And let me tell ya, listening to Pastor Tim talk to God is a treat. Scripture just oozes from him as he uses God’s own words as his own personal words to God. Yes, he is a Scripture-wielding prayer warrior! I have been challenged by him to not just read God’s Word, but to meditate and memorize it to the point that Scripture just leaks out of me.

3. He is a multi-tasking pro. For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I am a very focused do-one-task-at-a-time type of guy. That’s why I am so grateful for the multi-taskers in my life, not the least of which is Pastor Tim. He is a multi-tasking pro. Give him a task and he’ll just take the ball and run with it. From helping me think through a theological point for Sunday’s sermon, to doing research on how to best improve our lighting for our video sermons, to managing the details of our pavilion project, Pastor Tim can multi-task and get the job done.

Pastor Tim, it’s been a great year. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary. Don’t expect a blog post from me every year. Who knows, you might just get on my last nerve during your second year. Indeed, I expect more from you during your second round out here on the prairie. And as you know, I’m a hard boss to please with perfectionistic tendencies. So, good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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