Dear First Miami Church Family,
I am so very honored, humbled and excited to be joining you in this new season of ministry! If you have been in many Presbyterian churches before you may know that it is common for the incoming pastor, in any capacity, to write a couple of paragraphs to the congregation that tries to articulate why they are properly qualified to serve in that capacity.
I have no such paragraphs. That is because - while I could tell you about how, my education, my experiences elsewhere, and my interests rightly align with the congregation’s current needs and context - it doesn’t really get to the crux of why I feel I am called to pastor at First Miami. (Additionally, I am sure that the Session will tell you all of that stuff anyway!)
In truth though, I am coming because - over the years I have learned to listen to God. And as I have engaged in listening prayer and studying Scripture seeking discernment regarding God’s call on my life in this season I have increasingly felt the Holy Spirit beating on my heart like a drum to be in this place with you. And, put simply, when God calls, I try to faithfully follow.
When I asked my wife Jeannelle what she thought, she confirmed this call. She told me “I have been praying about this constantly and what God has clearly been telling me is that we are called to go love on these people.”
So it’s really that simple. God has called us to you to love you. It isn’t about fancy articulations or sanctimonious qualifications. It’s simply about the God of all Creation loving us and wanting us to love one another.
We are so excited to meet you all and get to know you!
Blessings in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Christopher J. Benek