Our faculty and staff have the privilege of being a part of God's work. When we recently recognized some of our folks as they reached five-year service increments, they made the following comments about what it means to serve at Oneida. Two of these folks are completing 30 years of service and have faithfully gone the distance!
John Gano (1727-1804) was an early American Baptist preacher. He pastored the First Baptist Church of New York City for 26 years and served as a chaplain in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. When the war ended in 1783, General George Washington personally asked Gano to offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
One thing I am proud of about Clear Creek is the fact that we focus specifically on practical ministry training for our students. The ministry training a Clear Creek student receives is not just "theory based." Our students learn a lot about ministry outside of the classroom by actually doing ministry. Our students quickly learn that ministry is a marathon and not a sprint. Going the distance means that we do what we need to do to meet the needs of the people who God calls us to serve.
When a pastor serves in western Kentucky, the challenge of going the distance is seeing that the Lord is at work. Driving through some parts of rural western Kentucky, one may only see plowed fields or abandoned buildings. Western Kentucky was built around farms and small towns whose growth depended upon good soil and access to rivers, railroad or roads.
401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and IRAs are valuable tools for retirement planning. The scripture instructs us that we are to take care of the needs of our family, especially those of our own household (1 Tim. 5:8). When it says "take care of," I'm told that in the original language it implies "with forethought toward the future." Thus, proper retirement planning is a part of our Christian responsibility—to take care of the needs of our family with forethought toward the future. And it is a part of good Christian stewardship. Too often people make mistakes in the way they use their plans.
Your legacy—have you ever thought about what that will be? Most of us would like to make a difference in the lives of our loved ones and the ministries important to us. We take steps to make sure they will be taken care of when we are no longer here on this earth. We have the opportunity to provide this care by putting plans in place through proper planning of our financial estate.