Pastor’s Paragraph for August 2, 2020

Pastor's Paragraph for August 2, 2020

AUGUST 2, 2020


I committed my life to follow Christ in 1973, my junior year of high school. I connected with the youth ministry of Camp Hill UMC and, through a course of events, was ultimately asked to preach a sermon, my first, during a youth Sunday service. Vocationally, all I ever wanted to do was to enter a “rent-to-own” agreement with my grandfather to purchase and run the family farm. God had other plans. 

Following the youth service, numerous people approached me to offer affirmation. George Rudolf was one of the senior Camp Hill UMC members who sought to encourage me, and he did so regularly, to pursue Christ and consider pastoring. I deemed this to be a highly unlikely pursuit. I was an introvert. I feared public speaking. I bombed speech class. I was not strong academically, so the thought of college and seminary was way off my radar screen. God had other plans.

I simply could not distance myself from the non-solicited encouragement from others to consider pastoring. George put it this way. “Stephen, maybe God is still calling you to farm, but maybe His definition of fields, seeds, harvest, and a flock is a bit different than yours.” My response was classic and maybe similar to yours, “but what do I have to offer?” 

In her sermon last Sunday, focusing upon the feeding of the five thousand recorded in the Gospel of Mark, Pastor Kathy said, “…in Mark, chapter six, we are reminded that Jesus can do a lot with a little.” Life transformation is nothing short of miraculous. Whatever we offer up to Christ, He has the power to multiply and enlarge many times over. Jesus said that seed sown in fertile soil produces a crop thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times what was sown.

As each of us commits to following Jesus, we may never really know the impact He has upon others through how we live this life. I often think about, with gratitude, the impact God had upon my life through George Rudolf. My gratitude continues as I watch how God uses our lives to impact others as we choose to live, share, and serve in Jesus’ name!


Rev. Dr. Stephen Gallaher
Associate Teaching Minister