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June-July 2014

Looking for Leaders

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A New Job for Norman

by Jim Martin


I received the call late on a Saturday evening. “Pastor Jim, this is Norman. I am in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. They want to do surgery on me.”

I quickly prepared to go to the hospital, fully intending to stay the night. When I arrived at the hospital, the door was locked, and a receptionist had to open it for me. She gave me directions to where I needed to go.

As I walked down the corridor toward the ICU, I caught myself thinking, “What lies ahead of me?” When I entered the ICU, a nurse greeted me and asked, “May I help you?”

When I told her I was looking for a patient who was about to have surgery, she asked, “And who are you?”

“I am his pastor, Jim Martin.”

“Oh!” she replied, bolting from her seat, “This way, Father.”

Later, after learning the nature of his injuries and surgery schedule, I stood at the foot of my friend’s bed and thought, “What are we going to do now?”

You see, the person lying in the bed is what I call a “go-to” kind of guy. He does so many things in the ministry of Landmark Free Will Baptist Church. When I first met him and learned about his past experiences and what he loved to do, I prayerfully put him in charge of a number of things that needed to be accomplished at the church. It was definitely the right move—a new job for Norman.

Today, Norman has his own business cards that describe his church role as “Event Coordinator.” He has taken ownership of planning church activities, cooking for these events, and buying the food we need. He even recruited his own helpers for the kitchen. What a great blessing to plan an event and have someone take over and get the job done with a happy heart.


Lessons I have learned from Norman (and others like him):

  • Everybody is a somebody who can be useful in ministry with guidance.

  • Never underestimate the power of prayer and always expect answers.

  • Use a person’s strengths and the things they love to enhance church ministries.

  • Everyone needs help to move a mountain; choose as many helpers as you need to get the job done.

  • Always appreciate and recognize workers…from the smallest to the biggest task.

Ah! A thought just occurred to me. I would never have been able to reach the bedside of this faithful servant without the kindness of the receptionist and the eagerness of the nurse who called me “Father.” Hmmm. They might make good greeters at our church!


About the Writer: Jim Martin is part of the church-planting team in Rochester, New York. Learn more about the church at




©2014 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists