Neal Pollard

I’ve never known a day when I didn’t live in a “preacher’s home.” “Preacher’s homes” are very much like every other home–problems, inside jokes, traditions, hobbies and interests, sin, laughter–except the chosen profession of the father is to serve either full-time or part-time as a proclaimer of God’s Word. At times, the home I grew up in was made of figurative glass, meaning I was occasionally subjected to unfair favoritism and criticism.  Kathy, also a lifetime resident of a “preacher’s home,” knows that feeling, too. Then, we subjected our sons to the exact same thing!

Whenever we are asked about what it is like to live this unique life (and lifestyle), different words would be appropriate:

  • Challenging–There can be elevated expectations and unrealistic assumptions about the preacher’s personal life, marriage, parenting, and the like. What Shakespeare’s Jewish character says of his people in the “Merchant of Venice” applies: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?” Life’s pressures and temptations visit our homes, too. 
  • Lonely–Occasionally, we feel alone and stand alone because of the message we preach. Usually, it’s not others who make us feel this way, but an innate part of the life.
  • Ordinary–Most preachers probably love to hear church members and those in the community say, “You’re just an ordinary person with an ordinary life.” To be genuine and real is, in my view, a worthy aim. See the opening paragraph.

But, please understand that the most fitting, usual words used to describe the life in preaching are positive, superlative words and phrases–“important,” “exciting,” “fulfilling,” “full,” “rewarding,” “humbling,” “meaningful,”and “uplifting.” Yesterday, we said “so long” to one of God’s greatest churches as we prepare to move to work with another one. I asked Kathy to describe a one-word assessment that best described how she felt in light of the generous words and acts from our spiritual family throughout the day. She used words like “Overwhelmed,” “grateful,” and “touched.” But then, scanning her brilliant mind as if to find that perfect summary word (as she usually does), she simply said, “Blessed.” 

We’ve been blessed by a lifetime of living the “preacher life.” Blessed by 27 years of full-time preaching. Blessed by 13 years of preaching at Bear Valley. Blessed by the opportunity to preach in this “next chapter” of life at Lehman Avenue. Blessed, as cracked pots (2 Cor. 4:7), to be used by the Master Potter. Far from a perfect life, it is certainly a blessed life. 

Thank you, Bear Valley, for your many acts of kindness–yesterday and for the entirety of our time with you in Colorado. We love you and will miss you!

5 thoughts on ““BLESSED”

  1. These are exciting times for the churches of Christ! We hope and pray that you and Kathy have a safe move and get settled in to a “new” work for y’all.
    Hopefully closer to your sons and some more college football games in Dawg Country. 😉
    We pray that Bear Valley continues to spread the blessed gospel as they have in the past. If y’all come through Jackson, TN stop in at North Jackson. We would love to see y’all.

    Doug Jones

  2. This is for Kathy. Many years ago, when I was a young preacher’s wife, I was blessed to be friends with an older preacher’s wife–Imogene Siburt, wife of Austin Siburt (not the designated kicker for OU–that’s the grandson!). I remember Imogene saying that she had searched and searched for a biblical qualification for a preacher’s wife other than the “ordinary” qualifications for a Christian. She finally found it in 1 Cor. 9:5–“Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?” I think the KJV and ASV say “to lead about a wife…” Imogene concluded that the qualification for a preacher’s wife was the ability to be “led about.” That always made me smile when I packed up belongings to be “led about” by Gary to a new work. I wouldn’t trade this life for any other on this earth! I love my preacher and I love our life. And, I pray we’ll both be “led about” by the Lord to heaven one day!

  3. Neal, I loved your article. Thanks for sharing your/our perspective in this article. God bless you and Kathy in your transition!

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