by Shinada Phillips
Transformational Leadership: The Shepherd and His Sheep An Appreciation Post: for Pastor and Co-Pastor Tony and Emily Addinall
Where there is no vision, the people perish. —Proverbs 29:18
Life is a journey where you experience ups and downs and go through many trials and tribulations. You find yourself moving into every imaginable walk of life in search of passion, adventure and acceptance. You search for a higher being, a divine calling, you are in a search for faith-a vision. This was my never-ending cycle for about two years after I graduated from college. Young, hungry and ready to embrace the world, I was in search of something new. I began a new job in a different city and there I was making my way up the ladder of success. I had it all – a great job, a loving family and friends, adventurous weekends and I was full of life! Who wouldn’t want this happy life? I felt like I was making it! I was making strides in all areas of my life…yet I was lacking and felt empty. What I lacked was vision and purpose.
Although, I felt that I was living a purposeful life, I was not living a life where my vision included God. I was not perishing physically, but I was starving spiritually. Slowly perishing, I realized I needed a change ASAP.
I tried going to go to different churches, listening to church sermons online, and downloaded the daily scripture, but nothing compared to the feeling I had when I returned home. HOME was All Nations. I stopped wrestling with my fear, worries and concerns and finally made the decision to go back home to All Nations, after so many years of being gone.
Apprehensive and guarded upon arrival, any worries or concerns I had, ceased. There were no judgments, or funny looks. I was embraced with open arms and bright smiles. I was greeted with love and acceptance by Pastor Tony Addinall. His warm smile and approachable embrace made it easy for me to feel accepted and begin to experience the power of God again.
Sometimes on your journey you have to start over to find your purpose. You have to readjust your vision by reestablishing your relationship with God. I was HUNGRY and part of that vision was finding a way to EMBRACE God and finding out what His Vision is for me.
Similar to the prodigal son, I left what was most important and vital to me – I left my church family, my security and ultimately God; only to recognize how deeply I needed Him and my church home.
Honestly, if it was not for Pastor Tony and Co-Pastor Emily telling me I was missed and that they were happy to see me, I would probably still be searching for a vision or a church. They may not have recognized how important it was for me to be loved, but they pulled me aside and made me know that I was missed at All Nations. For that simple gesture I am forever appreciative and grateful to them because they made me feel loved.
Why are my pastors awesome and appreciated? Well, let me break it down for you…
- I love my pastors because they are people of prayer. Pastor Tony knows he cannot lead and shepherd our church in his own power. Both are totally dependent on God.
- I love my pastors because they lead our church with a vision.Both Co-Pastor Emily and Pastor Tony constantly seek to make certain it is God’s vision and not their You recognize this through their prayers, the alter call and Pastor Tony’s sermons.
- I love my pastors because they are authentic. Pastor Tony does not act spiritually superior or condescending. Co-Pastor Emily will always keep it 100.
- I love my pastors because they are sacrificial. Both of them put (us) the church members before themselves. They are selfless people.
- I love my pastors because they are truly passionate. Both pastors have an innate passion about seeing those without Christ become followers of the Savior.
That last Sunday in April was a turning point in my life. The pastors made a huge impact on my spiritual well-being because of their love. I love my pastors because they love our congregation with a Christ-like love. For these reasons, they are greatly appreciated.