Paying My Vows

Some years ago, while I was enduring a trying time in my church, the Lord spoke to me out of Psalm 66. (Leadership Magazine’s website has the full article I wrote on that subject, which ends with the story of how Psalm 66 ministered to me.) Sometime later, as I reflected on Psalm 66, I realized that the last part talks about “paying my vows” to the Lord. I had received God’s blessings, but had not vowed anything in return. So, I began to reflect on exactly what promises I want to make to the Lord. Three seemed to stand out in my mind, and I made them at that time.

1. I would live simply.

2. I would give generously.

3. I would encourage pastors.

Over the years since, I have tried to keep all three of these. However, at this point in my life–with my new assignment as director of missions for over 130 Baptist churches/missions in metro New Orleans–the Lord is giving me ample opportunity to encourage pastors as never before. With this part of our website, I want to do the same.

In the early years of Promise Keepers, one aspect of their ministry that intrigued me was when Bill McCartney would call all the pastors in the stadium to stand up. Then, he asked the 60,000 or so remaining men to stand to their feet and applaud these servants of the Lord. The deafening applause seemed to go on for 5 minutes. The first time I saw it on a video tape, I sat there weeping. It was like someone understood what it felt like to carry the heavy loads that pastors do. That’s a great feeling.

I’ll be adding material, thoughts, stories, etc., to this website frequently. I hope you will add it to your “favorites” and check it at least weekly. Feel free to send me an email; I’d love to hear from you.

1 thought on “Paying My Vows

  1. Hello Joe

    I relate to your email newsletters very much, as my wife and I have pastored the same church for over 25 years, through all seasons. Your words are real.

    If you can find time to read a few of my articles, you’ll find them on

    There are a couple of hundred online, all free, some humorous, some serious. My wife of 41 years and I still love the Lord and His people, even though the latter are are at times as unloving and inconsiderate as I am.

    Every blessing!

    Peter Barfoot

    Christian Faith Church

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