Faithfulness Rewarded

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As Phil has noted, we enjoyed a particularly satisfying ordination service this past Sunday evening at our church, as the Rev. Andrew DiNardo was entered into the gospel ministry as a teaching elder in the PCA.  It is always fun to see Phil (although we actually see each other a fair amount during the year).  But the biggest fun we both had was seeing a respected friend fulfill a long-time calling and achieve a long-standing goal.  Drew's ordination brings to my mind a number of points that might be edifying to our readers. First, as Phil pointed out in his remarks prior to the sermon, Drew has long stood out as a man who simply makes himself useful to the Lord's work.  He happens to be an extremely able preacher and an especially gifted youth pastor.  But what makes him special is something that anyone can do: he simply looks for ways to be of help to the ministry of his church.  As Phil stated, he can always be counted on to do more than you asked him to do.  When it comes to actual usefulness to the Lord, there are few things more important than this, and this is a fitting exhortation to all candidates to ministry.  Many gifted people end up underachieving for the Lord because they are preoccupied with titles, positions, and pecking orders.  As long as we have known Drew, he has ignored such trifles and made himself useful in every kind of way.  Jesus once said that instead of jostling for a seat at the front, we do better to take a seat in the back and let the Lord move us up to a better seat.  Since this is precisely what Drew has done in his approach to ministry, we were all so delighted to see the Lord to "moving him up."

Second, Drew reminds us that answering God's call often requires years of dedication.  It must have been at least 8 years ago that Drew came into Phil's office to talk about coming over to Tenth Presbyterian Church.  Shortly after college, he came to faith in Christ, and soon he was leading the youth at a large numbers-factory church.  As his theological convictions grew, he became disheartened with this numbers-driven model that lacked the air of truth and holiness.  Having been there for about 10 years, it was no small thing for Drew to walk away, begin his seminary training, and take up a position with us as a more-or-less unpaid intern.  Since he now had three children, and I think also because he recognized the value of his internship at Tenth during those last years of James Boice's ministry, Drew could only attend seminary part time.  As time passed, he was so useful to the work that his role at Tenth kept expanding, and it must have been hard for him to maintain the zeal for evening classes.  A few years ago, Drew moved his family to South Florida to join the staff of our church, and in this last year he finally received his M.Div.  It may have been a long road to his ordination, but I think the satisfaction was all the sweeter when it came.  Along the way, God has given him continual opportunities to serve His kingdom, and now Drew's long years of dedication have placed in a position of even greater usefulness.

Third, Drew reminds us that our labor for the Lord is not in vain.  It was through listening to the White Horse Inn radio program that his Reformed convictions began.  It was in Tenth's internship program -- a real internship program that receives considerable pastoral attention, I might add -- that he matured as a Christian leader and preacher.  Drew is a real product of the labor of many people who have been concerned for the rising generation of Christian leaders.  Drew's own labor has paid off, too.  Undoubtedly, one of the chief rewards of his faithful service is the respect and friendship of his colleagues.  I was touched to learn that Rev. Carroll Wynne, the minister of family at Tenth Presbyterian Church, was making the trip to attend Drew's ordination.  He was not even playing a role in the service -- he just wanted to come honor and celebrate Drew's ordination.  I think Drew knows that he has gained a respect and affection from his mentors that not every intern receives.  To be numbered as a peer among men you have respected and admired is one of the most meaningful rewards of Christian service, and Drew's long-standing faithfulness has earned his this privilege, by the mighty working of God's grace in his life.
Posted September 26, 2006 @ 9:59 AM by Rick Phillips

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